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Old 01-04-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
KJ
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Diesel Fuel

Inquiry:* does diesel fuel breakdown over time like gasoline does?* I have read that it is recommended that for winter storage the fuel tanks should*be completely filled to avoid water condensation (sounds $$$), so I guess it stays intact for that period of time.*When operating your boat, do you keep just enough fuel for a season or for a weekend jaunt?* At what point (time-wise) would you consider dumping the old fuel in your tanks.** Tanks a lot.*** KJ*
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:50 AM   #2
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel does separate out some of its components over time. There has been some discussion of this in the past that you could probably find in the archives.

Everyone has their own "fuel management" practice. Our boat has five fuel tanks--- four saddle tanks and one day tank that we gravity fill from the saddle tanks. Total capacity is 400 gallons. Our normal fuel management practice is to transfer fuel from one opposing pair of saddle tanks until they are empty. We then start transferring fuel from the other pair, leaving the first pair empty. When the second pair is down to about a quarter full we then fill the first pair. When the second pair is empty we leave them empty until the first pair has been drawn down, and so on.

We use the boat year round, winds permitting, and this keeps fuel from sitting in a tank too long. In the course of a typical year we cycle through each pair of tanks twice. When we take longer trips, we fill all the tanks.

We would not trust diesel fuel that has been sitting in a tank any longer than a year, and we would prefer to not let it sit even that long. Other people say they have used fuel that is several years old with no problems.

We also use additives that are supposed to prevent the formation of bacteria, enhance the fuel's lubricity, and stabilize the fuel over a longer period of time. Others don't feel additives accomplish anything.

Both points of view have been discussed at length on the forum and these discussions should be findable in the archives using the Search function.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:08 AM   #3
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
Marin wrote:

Both points of view have been discussed at length on the forum and these discussions should be findable in the archives using the Search function.
The search function on this website is pathetic.* Let's hear more responses, please.

*
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:03 AM   #4
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RE: Diesel Fuel

I'm a newbie to the large boat world but diesel fuel is diesel fuel and I've never heard anything about it breaking down over time.* Although I have never personally experienced this, apparently in the right (wrong?) climate it will grow algae if there is water present.* I have personally stored diesel over a year with no apparent ill effects and that is a routine practice in the farm community in times of rising prices.* I have an opinion about the merits of adding lubricity additives to your tank but its just an opinion.* My opinion is that if it doesn't come out of the dealer's nozzle then it doesn't go into my tank.* The one exception to that is a product like "Melt" which serves to thaw summer fuel that you have inadvertently tried to use in sub-zero temperatures but I don't think that's an issue in this application.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:08 AM   #5
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Yes, diesel degrades during storage. Here are some good Q&A's:
http://www.fueltechinc.com/techinfo.html
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:35 AM   #6
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RE: Diesel Fuel

When I bought Volunteer the P.O. had filled up the boat and I got a full load of fuel ( 1200 gallons) ... as they sold the boat because they were getting up in years they had only used and replaced a small amount of fuel in the last 3 years of ownership ( 150 gallons ). The bulk of the fuel had been purchased four years prior.... now you can call me cheap... thrifty.... lazy... whatever.! But I did add biobor regularly until I burned through all the old fuel. I had a 100 gallon day tank that had a bottom drain and I do not believe I ever got a total of 6oz. of water / crud out of the 1100 gallons. I did notice that when I finally was using "fresh" fuel that I had a touch less soot on the transom. I also used 2 racor 1000 elements and 1 engine primary filter during that time... and not because I clogged them... just thought it should be done. The first filter looked nasty when changed... but the second one was pretty clean. So how long does the stuff last ???
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:02 AM   #7
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
hollywood8118 wrote:So how long does the stuff last ???
Your experience is probably more realistic than the fear mongers, who just happen to sell "fuel polishing" devices, magnets, and additives, would wish more people to know.

If it weren't for diesel fuel what would most recreational trawler drivers have to worry about? Besides low loading, over or under propping, galvanic corrosion, crevice corrosion,*peculiar smells, or refrigeration of course.

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Old 01-05-2011, 08:15 AM   #8
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel does suffer from Ashpalting , it clumps intp bigger pieces as it tries to return to tar.

Most filters have zero problems with removing these big clumps and it is easy to notice when you remove the filter it has 1/2 inch of black sandy granuals on it.

IF the tank was properly designed as a marine fuel tank (not just a cheapo box with fuel in it) your normal water removal will preclude the growth of " bugs" (slang) that do stop up the filter system.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:07 AM   #9
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Is anyone hearing anything about Ethenol enriched or low sulpher diesel fuel making it's way into the Marine market?
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #10
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
markpierce wrote:

*
Marin wrote:

Both points of view have been discussed at length on the forum and these discussions should be findable in the archives using the Search function.
The search function on this website is pathetic.* Let's hear more responses, please.

*
Actually, I've found the archives to be quite user-friendly.* The trick is in using the right keyword(s).

The problem is that forums like this tend to deal with the same issues over and over and over again, and the responses tend to be from the same people.* So when responding to a question about fuel or anchors or buying a boat, a person's first response tends to be much better than their fifteenth response to the same question.

So it's been my experience on this and similar forums like the GB owners forum that searching the archives for eariler answers very often gets you better and more detailed information than you would get by posing the same question yet again.

The T&T list has a truly horrible search function for its archives which is really too bad because there are some people on that "forum" who really know their stuff and it would be great to be able to easily find earlier posts from them.* For example, this exact same question about diesel fuel has come up many times on T&T over the years, and there have been answers from people in the oil industry who also happen to be boaters about exactly what diesel fuel does over time, how it breaks down, how fast it breaks down,* what can be done to slow the breakdown process, the formation of bacteria, the value and non-value of multi-vis oils and synthetic oils--- all terrific information.* But try to find it today.* And in the case of the diesel fuel info, these same people have not repeated their posts.* So this great information is there but almost impossible to find.

*
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:49 AM   #11
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
Marin wrote:


markpierce wrote:

*
Marin wrote:

Both points of view have been discussed at length on the forum and these discussions should be findable in the archives using the Search function.
The search function on this website is pathetic.* Let's hear more responses, please.

*
Actually, I've found the archives to be quite user-friendly.* The trick is in using the right keyword(s).

*
*


**

I did check the archives under this heading.* There are over 50 topics with several that have nothing to do with this subject at all. Could not find any discussion dealing specifically with this subject. Very time consuming having to open each one to try to find the info.*Unless the moderator considers this to be cluttering up the forum, I don't see*any harm in getting some fresh perspectives.* I have found the folks here to be a wealth*of valuable info,*and I think some of the newbies like myself can really benefit from*your collective insight.** KJ*

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Old 01-05-2011, 12:05 PM   #12
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RE: Diesel Fuel

with the cost of diesel... Just burn it I don't think it will hurt your engine if it does it is not going to ruin it. Diesels are pretty forgiving.

If you want to.**Polish it and get the water out.

I keep my tanks full. *I top off*every time I use the boat who knows how much of the original fuel is left in the tank after about 10 years.*

If you want to be real finicky about it. Sell it to someone and put new fuel in.

The motor is gonna last longer than you are going to own the boat Right?

Unless you are going to be crossing oceans I wouldn't worry about it.
Run it down to near empty and refill.

That's my thoughts on the subject.,

Don't go by me I put Marvels Mystery oil in my tank. Just because someone gave me 5 gallons of the stuff.

SD
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:17 PM   #13
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Filling your tanks is dependant on how big your tanks are and how much you use during the year.* The rule was to fill the tanks to the top to eliminate air/moisture.* However, now its starting to change as the new low sulfur diesels*has a shorter*storage live.* So its the worse of the two; moisture in the fuel and/or tanks or have the fuel start to degrade.


*
Since the Eagle has three 400 gallon tanks, I have chosen over 10+ years ago not to fill the tanks, but to clean/polish the fuel, use additives and try to us the fuel with in a year.* I polish the fuel at least 40+ hours per year, and use additives,*911, *that absorb water back into the diesel, and storage stabilizers.* Must be working as there is not sign of water/dirt in the filters and been running a small, 2 long, clear in line filter with very little dirt.*My biggest concerned is the 30 year old tanks and how to preserve and make the last for another 30 years.


*
I been using the newer ultra low sulfur diesel for two years now, which seems to burn cleaner/no soot and less fumes.* Since it does not have much sulfur is also better for the tanks and the engine, but it does have a short life.* The Webasto diesel boiler runs great on the ultra low sulfur road diesel with very little soot and not fumes.* The Webasto also polishes/cleans the fuel as it draws more than it uses so does the DD 671.



*
Everettmarina just start pumping Ethanol gas and is going to pump the ultra low sulfur be summer. Some one told me that if oil is mix in the ethanol that it will last longer? *



***
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:21 PM   #14
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
bobofthenorth wrote:

*it will grow algae if there is water present.*
Algae is a plant Plants like algae need light. so unless you have a grow light in your fuel tank I don't think you need to worry about algae.

bacteria is a different matter.

SD

*
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:35 PM   #15
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:


bobofthenorth wrote:

*it will grow algae if there is water present.*
Algae is a plant Plants like algae need light. so unless you have a grow light in your fuel tank I don't think you need to worry about algae.

bacteria is a different matter.

SD
LOL I don't know what the green slimy stuff is but it sure looks like algae to ME.* I guess Bob could phrase it as "green slimy stuff that looks like algae" will grow in your tank if there is water present.* Let me tell ya that stuff will clog up your racors.*

*
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:53 PM   #16
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Yep,
*that greenish to black sludge is a bacteria that grows in diesel fuel tanks.
Especially in warm weather.

Like I said algae is a plant.* The only people who will tell you different are those who sell algae-x

Plants got to have light.*

your problem is microbial and a good biocide will take care of it.*
It can become immune to what ever you choose to use.
*Just change brands of biocide.

SD
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:14 PM   #17
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
Phil Fill wrote:

*
.......as the new low sulfur diesels*has a shorter*storage live


Europe has been using ULS fuel for years with no problems.* How does removing sulfur cause a shorter storage life in diesel?* Enquiring minds want to know.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:18 PM   #18
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:
your problem is microbial and a good biocide will take care of it.*
It can become immune to what ever you choose to use.
*Just change brands of biocide.

SD
LOL we got a new boat instead. * Our old boat partner still has the sailboat with the bacteria infested tanks.*
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:35 PM   #19
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RE: Diesel Fuel

Quote:
Phil Fill wrote:Since it does not have much sulfur is also better for the tanks and the engine, but it does have a short life.****
Just curious how ULSD is "better for the tanks"*than fuels with higher sulfur content? Since you claimed that you must have some evidence, I would love to see it.

And as for the "short life" how short is that life and how did you know when yours exceeded its life, or is nearing the end of its short life?

Or are those claims just something you heard from one of your charter guests while entering the locks ahead of the*pleasure boats?
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:44 PM   #20
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RE: Diesel Fuel

RickB you dont give up do you?***


*
Being I started using the low and ultra low diesel when they hit the on road pumps I asked and check boat sites/magazines and asked diesel mechanics.* In most of the diesel articles says that diesel start degrading in about 30 days, but they do not state how long. Might be advertising hype.**

It is my believe/understanding it has a short self live and should be turned/used at least once a year which is the reason I polish the fuel, use additives and use/turn the fuel.* Its worked for 10+ years!* Its best to be on the conservative side and take preventive action before a problem develops. If you have information other wise I would like to*hear about*that also.* * ***
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