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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just pumped 5 gallons of old (5 year old) fuel from my tank and I'm trying to figure out if it's bad or not. I did put stabilizer in it before putting it to bed long ago.

I have a tube that I'm sucking right from the bottom and I'm not seeing much in the way of sediment. Should I try pulling off the top? I've heard about algae growth in/on diesel fuel, but I don't know what to look for. What is coming out looks pink and smells like diesel.
 

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Easy to do:

• Get a clean GLASS container - discarded (plain, with no patterns in the glass) 'drinking glass' is best.
• Pour in a few inches of old fuel
• Hold the container + fuel ---- in between your eyeball and very strong white light
• If you denote any 'HAZE' in the fuel ... its BAD and is loaded with particles greater than about 5-10µM.
• "Good" fuel should be 'crystal clear' and with NO discernible haze when examined with a 'glass' and strong white light.

Works with diesel or gasoline fuels.

;-)
 

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Easy to do:

• Get a clean GLASS container - discarded (plain, with no patterns in the glass) 'drinking glass' is best.
• Pour in a few inches of old fuel
• Hold the container + fuel ---- in between your eyeball and very strong white light
• If you denote any 'HAZE' in the fuel ... its BAD and is loaded with particles greater than about 5-10µM.
• "Good" fuel should be 'crystal clear' and with NO discernible haze when examined with a 'glass' and strong white light.

Works with diesel or gasoline fuels.

;-)
Don't forget throw out the glass afterwards! Though I have heard fine aged diesel goes best with beef, while aged gas goes better with chicken or fish.

You might be able to save the diesel by having it polished. Depends on how much you have as to weather or not it is worth trying.

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk
 

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If yer talking about 5 gallons, just mix it with another 50.
itll be fine...

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DO NOT do this!!!!
Once fuel begins to 'particulate' - the formation of gels and other intermediate liquid phases - you've only provided more 'nucleation' sites for the formation of MORE gels and 'slimes'.
Take the bad stuff home and put it into your oil burner during the heating season.
 

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islander bahama 24
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I have pulled diesel that was over thirty years old out of a fuel truck and used it with no I'll effects on my engines if in doubt add an additional spin on fuel filter close to the tank the hype of low storage life is just that look where the money that pays for those studies comes from. I would gladly retract my statements if anyon provides proof that old fuel when properly filters causes any problems. M2¢ worth
 

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islander bahama 24
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As I stated this statement was paid for and done by an oil company that doesn't profit from long term storage of fuel but the just in time delivery that people expect now in the industrialized first world. I spoke of my personal experience not some oil industry paid study. However if it will make you feel better I will retract my last
 

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Ha!
tell that to anyone other than a yachtie!
...
I did and they laughed at me!

I have pulled diesel that was over thirty years old out of a fuel truck and used it with no I'll effects on my engines if in doubt add an additional spin on fuel filter close to the tank the hype of low storage life is just that look where the money that pays for those studies comes from. I would gladly retract my statements if anyon provides proof that old fuel when properly filters causes any problems. M2¢ worth
I have been told by many mechanics and truck drivers that diesel fuel does not age, and if it is filtered properly there is no harm feeding it to the engine.

Why would it be different on a boat? Are the engines more delicate? Puzzled.
 

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I have been told by many mechanics and truck drivers that diesel fuel does not age, and if it is filtered properly there is no harm feeding it to the engine.
Diesel mechanics rarely rebuild and repair injection pumps and injectors. I would offer that virtually all those in the injection pump and injector rebuild-repair business would tell you that injector pump and injector failure is 95% due to BAD fuel.

Common filtration is not the answer for severely degraded fuel oil, as the vast majority of particles in degraded fuel are soft/deformable and under increasing pressure/vacuum will/can readily 'extrude' right through the typical fuel filter, 'reform' downstream of the filter and eventually under engine heat form very hard particles (asphaltines, etc.). These 'deformables' are the 'haze' that one sees in brightly lit fuel.
 

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All this discussion over $20 worth of fuel? Jeeze, toss the stuff, partially refill the tank, polish that fuel for a few hours to clear out any sediment that may be stirred up with the refill and be done with it.
 

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yeah Im not getting this whole discussion...

if we had a 100 galon fuel tank and you were indecise I would test it like others say

to me the most important thing regarding fuel and or diesel in this case is:

sediment(this would include the haze rich is talking about, particles)
water

either of those require more filtration and cleaning...and can mean a go no go on wether to use it or not.

since you already are halfway done, meaning you have accessed the fuel, have looked at the bottom of the tank and are dealing wuth such little fuel amount

pump it out, clean you tank, slap on new filters and get some fresh fuel in there

those 5 galons of fuel can be used for:

kerosene lamps, cleaning parts, solvent for washing greasy stuff, diesel fuel heater, etc...

you can always filter it off site and give it to someone who has any of those things that could use not "perfect" fuel

why risk clogging up pumps and or injectors or crudding up an engine internally over 5 galons?

if you had a huge powerboat it would be a different story.

I agree...pump, clean and start with fresh fuel

simple as that.
 
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Five gallons of bad fuel can contain, or cause the formation of, enough crap in the fuel oil to clog more than $20 worth of filter(s).

Diesel is csometimes alled fuel oil because it is, after all, oil. Which is food for all sorts of critters, even if there's no water contamination in it.

If you've ever gone through three or four rounds of changing filter$ and purging fuel lines because of a diesel fuel problem, you won't think twice about dumping five gallons of questionable fuel.

If you want to pour it into a tall flagon and see if it looks edible (to your engine) after it has sat overnight, great. By all means. If stuff settles out or it stays cloudy, you can always stick a wick in it and call it a tikki torch.
 

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Diesel mechanics rarely rebuild and repair injection pumps and injectors. I would offer that virtually all those in the injection pump and injector rebuild-repair business would tell you that injector pump and injector failure is 95% due to BAD fuel.

Common filtration is not the answer for severely degraded fuel oil, as the vast majority of particles in degraded fuel are soft/deformable and under increasing pressure/vacuum will/can readily 'extrude' right through the typical fuel filter, 'reform' downstream of the filter and eventually under engine heat form very hard particles (asphaltines, etc.). These 'deformables' are the 'haze' that one sees in brightly lit fuel.
RichH, I hear you. But.... bad fuel is bad from the beginning, it may not have anything to do with how old the fuel is.

All this discussion over $20 worth of fuel? Jeeze, toss the stuff, partially refill the tank, polish that fuel for a few hours to clear out any sediment that may be stirred up with the refill and be done with it.
I posted my reply not because of money. C'mon.

Polish that fuel for a few hours... What does that mean? and for what?
What if your don't have to?
We post stuff here so that we can learn from each other not necessary to save money.
If you don't have anything to offer in regards to the OP, just move on...
 

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RichH, I hear you. But.... bad fuel is bad from the beginning, it may not have anything to do with how old the fuel is.
.
Typically oil from a refiner is VERY clean and VERY dehydrated, it only degrades over time in storage - oxidizes, forms gums, etc. and can grow a lot a microorganisms ... when the conditions in the tank are 'just right'. Boat tanks, fuel depot tanks and marina tanks are *open to the atmosphere*. The most common contamination is from fungus (and water vapor) from the atmosphere, the most common is 'kerosene fungus' (do websearch for Cladosporium Resinae) which uses the oil as its nutrient source and whose metabolism produces 'hardened resins' which are the 'black crap' (an asphaltic) that grows on the tank walls and instantly plugs filters when it eventually breaks loose. The common bacteria found is Brevundimonas aeruginosa - but its not a 'resin former'.
Ive been inside of million gallon tanks that were spotless ... and the tank right next to them with the same 'feed' looked like a tar pit from all fungus, etc. growing.
Ultra-pure dielectric oil used in hermetically sealed containers can become contaminated .... right through the joints & side walls of the steel containers. Its the leading (non-storm) cause of 'exploding utility pole mounted transformers'. The Amtrak electrified main NE corridor shuts down completely every year or so for the very same reason.

The important thing here I believe is that for a typical 3 cylinder marine engine, an injector pump rebuild is now averaging about $600-750 and injectors at now at $100-150 each. If your exhaust system or 'injection elbow' is routinely clogging with 'coke' ... theres a high probability that its mostly the poor burning 'deformable fragments' from bio-contamination is whats 'extruding though the filters', not completely burning in the combustion chambers, and is settling out on the hot surfaces downstream of the combustion chambers.
Thats why in my first post on this thread implied that if you have any doubts, take it home and dump it into your home oil heater tank during the heating season. If you haul for the winter, drain the tank and take the stuff home to burn in your heater.
I gave you all a visual test to lessen that 'doubt' ...... that'll be $475 for my consultation fee. :)))
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So OP here, so I took a sample and looked at it in glass and honestly I couldn't see any appreciable clouding or 'haze', but after reading this rather heated debate, I decided to go the cautious route and remove the rest of the fuel 25 gallons total. A bit of a pain because I'm using a vacuum pump that has a 1 gallon capacity. I poured it right from the pump into my house's furnace tank for 'disposal'. At least it won't be a complete waste.

Once I pumped it as dry as I could, I poured in 3 gallons of fresh diesel and pumped that to hopefully get some additional crap out of the tank.

Still haven't gotten it started but that's for another thread :)
 

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So with out tearing the top of the tank off how does one clean the "'hardened resins' which are the 'black crap' (an asphaltic) that grows on the tank walls " ? Our boat has been sitting on the trailer since the day she left the factory in 1992. The OP never finished her.
There is some fuel in the tank, how much I don't know. In the process of installing equipment I removed the filling hose from the tank fitting and saw condensation on the fitting. Is there an additive I can put in the tank that will dissolve the "black crap" ?
 
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