Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Diesel fuel problems and additives

Bill Kinney <greatketch@...>

To avoid problems with diesel, keep it clean and, most importantly, dry.  Without water there is no biological growth.  That is a bit easier said than done.  We can filter our incoming fuel and it can go into the tank bone dry, but over time condensation will add small amounts of water.  Small amounts, but enough for the slime to grow.  By the way, there are different types of organisms that grow there.  Some algae, some bacteria. It can get to be a complex ecosystem!

There are various additives that people will recommend, and some of them will certainly help, but none of them will be perfect at keeping a mixture of water and diesel clean for very long—no matter what the advertising says. Your best best is to have the tanks cleaned once a year, or anytime after you have taken on fuel you suspect.

I am not sure how widely available it is, but there are “fuel polishing services” here who come to the boat, and recirculate the fuel at high velocity through filters and water separators.  No need to drain and dispose of the fuel.  Or you can install your own system to do this as others have recommended.

Over the long term (20 years), even dry, well maintained tanks will accumulate a layer of hard, black coke on the bottom.  There is no way I know of to remove this without opening the tank and physically digging it out.

Having a sample tap at the VERY lowest part of the tank would be nice to see if there is water there, but at least my boat does not have that. The SM tank does give you access to the deepest corner of the tank through the fuel fill pipe.  A small hand pump with a stiff tube (or a flexible tube tied to the dipstick) will let you get a sample from the very bottom below the normal fuel outlet port.

Bill Kinney
SM #160 Harmonie
Highlands, NJ

On Jun 28, 2016, at 10:16, mshirloo@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hello everyone;

In talking to several different cruisers in the med, it appears that some have had some serious issues with bacterial or other types of growth in their diesel tanks leading to the need for disposal and deep cleaning of the fuel tanks.

I'd like hear others experiences and solutions to the problem in order to avoid the problem.

Thanks in advance

Mohammad and Aty

AMEL 54. #099

B&B Kokomo

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