accidentally added gasoline to our diesel tank - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 28 Old 11-09-2009
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I think it all depends on how much gasoline was dumped into the tank and how big the tanks are... If the amount is less than 3-4% by volume, as long as it has mixed thoroughly with the diesel fuel, it shouldn't be a major problem. Once the two are mixed it is pretty unlikely that they will separate...since they generally need to be separated by fractional distillation at the refinery...




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post #12 of 28 Old 11-09-2009
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I'm no expert, but here is an article you should look at:Mixing Gasoline And Diesel

Quote:
Both Gasoline and alcohal have the same detrimental effect on diesel fuel and are very close in weight and BTU content.

Old time mechanics who said diesel owners should put a gallon regular gas to a diesel tankfull after about every four tanks thinking it would perform essentially the same job as a fuel injector cleaner at a fraction of the cost meant well and probably never saw a fuel pump or injector failure due to improper blending of fuels. But that doesnít mean one is not risking damage, even in small dosages.

Gasoline and alcohols hit diesel fuel right where it hurts the most. Those light thin fuels will lower the cetane number and lubricity.

Gasoline will raise the combustion temperature. This might or might not reduce carbon deposits in the cylinder. This also might or might not overheat the injector nozzle enough to cause coking on the nozzle. Thatís a clogged injector tip in laymanís terms. The fuel being injected is the only thing that cools the nozzle. Diesel fuel has a lower combustion temperature than gasoline. The fuel injectors depend on the fuel burning at the correct rate and temperature for a long life. If the combustion temperature is raised long enough, the gums and varnishes in gasoline will start to cook right in the fuel injector and turn into carbon. These microscopic carbon particles will abrade the nozzle. High combustion temperatures alone will shorten fuel injector life, gasoline makes the problem worse.

Gasoline and alcohols do have an anti-gel effect on diesel fuel, but these fuels are too thin and will hurt the lubricity. The old timers got away with this because high sulfur diesel fuel had enough lubricity to take some thinning. Todayís low sulfur diesel fuels have adequate lubricity, but I wouldnít put anything in the tank that would thin out the fuel, reduce lubricity, or attract water.
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post #13 of 28 Old 11-10-2009
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You've got only two options..............

Fill it up with more diesel to further dilute the gas/diesel mix you already have or drain your tank. If you only truly only have a gallon of diesel in 40+ gallons, it is probably ok. But if you're not sure, I'd drain most of your tank, and then refill.

Of course the safest plan for the motor and your state of mind is to drain your tank.

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post #14 of 28 Old 11-10-2009
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- - Add all the posts together and you get the best solution - drain all the mixed diesel/gas out of your tank and sell it to a trucker with a diesel rig.
- - Sure your diesel engine may burn the mixture okay - but - the big ticket/priced parts of your engine, the injector pump and nozzles may be damaged in the process as the cooling and lubrication is being compromised by the gasoline. Do you really want to risk damage to those two high price components over 20 gal of diesel? Drain it and take the opportunity to also clean your tank of crude, water, and other things that accumulate over time. Then with a freshly cleaned tank you personally supervise the proper acquisition of diesel.
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post #15 of 28 Old 11-10-2009 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
And next time do not delegate fueling or watering to pangeros or untrained (by you!) crew.
Amen! Definitely not the crew's fault. This screwup is all mine.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.


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post #16 of 28 Old 11-10-2009
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so... did you start it with the gas in the tank?

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post #17 of 28 Old 11-10-2009
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What Osiris said.

Siphon it all out and start over.

When people are saying things like "as long as it has mixed thoroughly", or "if you have X percent mix", etc. you'll "probably be okay"...weigh that probability against the thousands of dollars you'll spend on a possible rebuild. The issue is - there is no way for you to really know any of these things.

Does that gamble make more sense than an hour or two of siphoning every drop out of the tank and being sure? Sure, it's a pain - but it's cheap.
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post #18 of 28 Old 11-10-2009
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Jason, I would contact Caliber and the engine maker directly to see what their experience with this is. The small percent of gasoline (which is mainly naphtha, which is somewhat different from diesel oil, plus up to 60 other ingredients) may be no problem for some makes, and a known issue for others. I wouldn't gamble unless the engine maker said "No problem mate, for sure!"

And if there's any problem--I'd expect Pangas to either do all the work, or compensate you for the work, to drain the entire system and replace the fuel for you, with diesel, at no charge to you.
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post #19 of 28 Old 11-10-2009
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Top off with diesel and run it.
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post #20 of 28 Old 11-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post

And if there's any problem--I'd expect Pangas to either do all the work, or compensate you for the work, to drain the entire system and replace the fuel for you, with diesel, at no charge to you.
Really? People who may or may not have known what you wanted yet did try to help, you would have them pay for the damages? I asked a friend to help me on the boat and he dropped a tool, should he sand fair and paint my decks? As the OP mentioned he should have checked what was going in the tanks. That is why a boat has a Captain, ultimate responsibility.
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