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Old 11-10-2014, 09:56 PM   #61
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So, Marin is the only one here. I still have to ask him "did you personally see the biologics yourself"..
Yes. As I say, we were making a film for the organization that does all the fueling of our planes on the flightlines. We shot in the lab where at that time they did the quality analysis of the fuel they use. We filmed the screen of the microsope they used to examime the bacteria that can grow in the water-fuel interface. IIRC, the bacteria live in the water and feed off the fuel. They weren't much to look at, as I recall.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:57 PM   #62
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I don't know what's so hard about believing there are microbial things growing in diesel or any other thing on this planet. If growth in diesel blows someone's mind just think about the trillions of microbes growing in the human body and the fact that you could not function or exist without them. Another point if a doctors patient by diet is contributing to the increased deposit of cholesterol throughout the arteries in his or her body the fact that the patient feels fine and functions well does not mean that a slow fuse time bomb is not present. There are degrees of dysfunction that are not apparent to the patient or even easily measured. The crud in diesel be it bugs or aspertine degradation both much more plentiful in old fuel is not a great diet for your engine. Yes I know we count on filtration but why tempt fate and why over tax the filtration with old fuel.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:01 PM   #63
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The USCG sprays bacteria on oil spills to break it down...not hard to imagine where the bacteria and co-existing organisms live day to day....
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:03 PM   #64
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So, Marin is the only one here. I still have to ask him "did you personally see the biologics yourself". I would love to find some of them, and see it for myself. I have been around diesel most of my life and looked at some nasty stuff from storage tanks. I never once thought it was alive, or had ever been, but I could be wrong.
Not only could you be wrong, but you are. Please read Larry M's post again. That bacteria can make a living feeding on hydrocarbons in the presence of water is a whole less remarkable than the idea that some species of bacteria can feed on nothing but electrons. Yet both are observably true.

Biologists discover electric bacteria that eat pure electrons rather than sugar, redefining the tenacity of life | ExtremeTech
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:42 PM   #65
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On Volunteer I started using a tank that had been refueled by the P.O. five years before we had bought the boat.. it did have some contamination that I would describe as looking like boogers or tapioca. It was sort of clear and looked like some form of sea creature they show from the abyss on the Discovery Channel.
Polished it through a Racor 1000 and it cost me one filter to do 100 G.
The John Deere might of smoked a bit burning it but it didn't run a bit differently.

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Old 11-10-2014, 10:50 PM   #66
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I dont mind being wrong. I dont take it personal. But, so far Marin is the ONLY person here that has seen anything alive that came from a fuel tank. Which I assume was stationary. I said I could see how it could happen in large stationary tanks (stationary meaning "not moving around") but not on my boat, or yours either. So,,,, have you seen any "bugs" in your fuel. If you have not a simple no will suffice.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:36 PM   #67
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Which I assume was stationary..
I don't know anymore where the fuel sample they were studying came from. I assume it was from one of the fuel trucks but maybe not. I do remember that we were showing the difference between fuel treated with a biocide and fuel that was not. Needless to say, the treated fuel didn't have bugs, the untreated fuel did.

But I'm pretty sure commercial jet fuel is always treated. Flywright or Baker would know about this better than I.

I guess I don't see why bacteria would not grow in a boat's fuel tank. It would have the same water/fuel interface that a shore tank would. The fact the fuel is moving around a bit more shouldn't make a difference; fuel and water don't mix so the interface still exists. All it would mean is the bacteria would get to go for a ride.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:54 PM   #68
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I dont mind being wrong. I dont take it personal. But, so far Marin is the ONLY person here that has seen anything alive that came from a fuel tank. Which I assume was stationary. I said I could see how it could happen in large stationary tanks (stationary meaning "not moving around") but not on my boat, or yours either. So,,,, have you seen any "bugs" in your fuel. If you have not a simple no will suffice.
I think it is more likely that there are few if any tanks that don't have bugs. The question is how many and what are they doing. Put a little water in those tanks and the bugs take off with exponential growth and will then cause problems. Microbes are almost everywhere and have amazing ability to survive and adapt to harsh conditions. Its highly unlikely that there are any sterile tanks on a boat or at the fuel dock. Microbes are so ubiquitous you really don't need a microscope to know they are there. The microscope is more for recognizing which ones are there and in what quantity. Yes there is a microscope on my desk right next to the computer I am using.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:22 PM   #69
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Simple, use "Soltron".

I have for six years with unusually good results for cleaning tank interior and their fuel and the fuel lines. Also, occasionally in various tanks my fuel might sit for many months to a year or more... with small recommended amount of Soltron included. No Problem!

Haven't experienced one problem since began using Soltron to clean some really old brown gasoline in two, then 31 year old, 100 gal aluminum tanks (now 37 yrs and doing fine!). There was too much water and gunk in screw-in canister at each filter change; which I did per 10 hours operation at first.

Within a few weeks gasoline returned to clear, water had "evaporated", gunk no longer. Never since have I had one drop of water or gunk with always clear gas. After the first couple months operation with Soltron added I began checking filters on 25 hour basis, then 50 hours; soon became 100 hours. I always pour gas from filter into glass jar for close inspection. Then I pour it back into filter because it is perfect!

Of course... tank made of really shot material = R&R

Presentation ~ Soltron Enzyme Fuel Treatment

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PS: I figure the very small cost of Soltron has saved me a few or more "Boat Bucks"... in the ongoing scope of things!
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:36 PM   #70
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There'll good news is there are lots of clean running engines with no problems with their fuel tanks, all without additives.

Some engine manufactures recommend for, some against additives. But ultimately they all recommend additives if needed.

You are the only one that can answer that based on your boat, engine, fuel system, use, source of fuel, and just plain old gut feeling.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:46 PM   #71
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There'll good news is there are lots of clean running engines with no problems with their fuel tanks, all without additives.

Some engine manufactures recommend for, some against additives. But ultimately they all recommend additives if needed.

You are the only one that can answer that based on your boat, engine, fuel system, use, source of fuel, and just plain old gut feeling.
And most fuel companies do already have additives in the fuel they deliver to marinas....at least in our area. That probably would not apply to much of the world.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:46 PM   #72
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I have become more interested in fuel contamination since becoming the owner of two common rail injected engines. I think a lot of the older heavy iron lower output motors are much more tolerant to minor particles and water getting through the filtration system. If you look at the filtration specifications for these new tier III motors you will note the final filter is much finer than had been the case for older motors. The common rail units are just starting to flood the market and you cant build a new boat without one due to the need for tier III certification. It may take a while till we find out if some of the common practice of using old and or contaminated fuel is going to become a much bigger problem. If you have an older motor that seems to be happy running on suboptimal fuel I can see where you might not give a dam. The question is what is going to happen when people with that attitude acquire the common rail units and treat them like the old iron? Most people don't use their boats enough to keep fuel fresh. Many people don't put on much more than 50 hours a year and then lay the boat up for months. This is often complicated by tanks too big for that kind of light use. What does it mean when we see a ten year old boat with 250-500 hours on the motors and 600+/gal fuel capacity and the add excited about a low 4-5 gallon an hour fuel burn.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:59 PM   #73
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I have become more interested in fuel contamination since becoming the owner of two common rail injected engines. I think a lot of the older heavy iron lower output motors are much more tolerant to minor particles and water getting through the filtration system. If you look at the filtration specifications for these new tier III motors you will note the final filter is much finer than had been the case for older motors. The common rail units are just starting to flood the market and you cant build a new boat without one due to the need for tier III certification. It may take a while till we find out if some of the common practice of using old and or contaminated fuel is going to become a much bigger problem. If you have an older motor that seems to be happy running on suboptimal fuel I can see where you might not give a dam. The question is what is going to happen when people with that attitude acquire the common rail units and treat them like the old iron? Most people don't use their boats enough to keep fuel fresh. Many people don't put on much more than 50 hours a year and then lay the boat up for months. This is often complicated by tanks too big for that kind of light use. What does it mean when we see a ten year old boat with 250-500 hours on the motors and 600+/gal fuel capacity and the add excited about a low 4-5 gallon an hour fuel burn.
First and foremost they better have an assistance towing policy.

Second...I give most here more credit than that. I think with those dollars on the line owners will protect their assets by reading the manuals, talk to servicing dealers and research what to do when their boating habits cause their systems to be out of line with what is "normal operating conditions".
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:05 PM   #74
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This somewhat back and forth thread is actually more productive that what I have normally seen this time of year on most other sites. I think the problem is that we often get folks who are really confident of things they don't understand because they read a nugget of truth in a magazine once and want to over simplify.

I think the truth is both complex and practicality often goes out the window with theory.

Condensation is over represented (but can happen). Microbes can happen, but again, are often over represented as folks try to sell wonder products. Fuel can and does get old, but whether it causes measurable impacts depends greatly on the condition of the environment that old fuel is in. Age fuel in a water filled environment and I'll step up to believe quite a bit about things growing and fuel degrading significantly. Algae is usually asphaltines, not bugs. Worse yet, many mechanics are some of the worst offenders in monkey see repeating of "facts" of dubious origins. Oh, I don't mean they have not seen things, but the "cause" is usually a jumble of something they heard once. I personally think it all gets a bit entertaining over time.

My own story is pretty simple and pragmatic I think. I don't regularly use additives, unless a specific need presents itself (such as cetane to reduce smoke, or stabilizer for fuel I know won't be used soon). I never see water in my tanks. I don't fill them just for the sake of filling them and so, don't have to know much about old fuel as I minimize ever having it. I live in a wet rainy environment and don't heat in the winter anymore, yet still never see condensation in my tanks, so after a decade of doing this I figure I'll never have to worry about that either. Frankly, it makes most of the usual arguments moot, or at worst theoretical.

The one thing I do is watch for water, a vent can get splashed or a deck fill can leak. I've had neighbors who had quarts of water in their tanks, so water can get in. Crud can still build up over time, so I think its healthy for tanks to regularly run with less than half fuel in them to help stir things up on a regular basis, not just when things get ugly.

I think you you just do these basic things, you really don't worry about it or get overly technical, and I am THE overly pedantic technical personality.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:09 AM   #75
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Fuel is a pipeline delivered commodity, that meats specific low standards.

Yes there is dirt , water and probably bugs in all fuel as it is delivered to the local distributor.

IF he is good he may filter the fuel , but a cruiser exposes his tanks to a huge variety of distribution systems.

Thats why we have filters between the tank and the engine .

Insurance as a preventive like bug killer is a good idea, as so few tanks have serviceable sumps.
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:27 AM   #76
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Here is a question. Why in a set of mild steel tanks, recently cut out of an 82 Roughwater 41, was the only rust on on the top inside? Rusting from the inside out? And condensation is not a problem? The oil in diesel eliminated rust in the rest of the tanks...... Hummm.
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:34 AM   #77
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Here is a question. Why in a set of mild steel tanks, recently cut out of an 82 Roughwater 41, was the only rust on on the top inside? Rusting from the inside out? And condensation is not a problem? The oil in diesel eliminated rust in the rest of the tanks...... Hummm.
There is always water vapor present above the fuel, enough to cause rust but not necessarily enough to condense into droplets sufficiently enough to become free water in the tank.

It comes and goes through the vent.
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:37 AM   #78
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Good point
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:13 AM   #79
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Good point
ps - often makes a good point! By golly, I'd say, considering all things accounted... he has more good points than the average Captain. Practice makes perfect!

Not too unlike a "PS:" at close of letter... making a good point -
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