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Old 10-12-2016, 08:18 PM   #21
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To clear one of mine, rather than suck on the outlet end using a shop vac, try sticking the shop vac hose into the fuel filler but hook it on the "Blower" side of the motor. That will blow out anything that's blocking the outlet.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:35 PM   #22
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One of my four tank vents was clogged, so it was useless to put more fuel in that tank. The boatyard said they removed a collection of bees clogging the line. Not aware of how they cleared it, but logic says they sucked or blew out the carcasses.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:44 PM   #23
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Check and make sure your air vent line run from the tank to the vent is always Above or geographically higher than your fuel fill hose. The blockage you are experiencing could be a low hanging vent hose. It was on mine. After a deck full of fuel spill I discovered the problem.
I had the same issue!

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Old 10-13-2016, 10:41 AM   #24
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I had a chronic burping fuel tank. Pursued clearing the vent by a number of means on the theory that mud daubers or spiders had created an obstruction. Then, with the replacement of that tank, discovered that the vent hose had come loose from the factory supports, resulting in low spot in the hose. When I replaced the hose, it was routed to establish a clear and regular gradient from the tank to the vent hull opening. Cured the problem. Worth a look.
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:40 PM   #25
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Earlier I suggested that one might not want to vacuum a fuel tank with a vacuum cleaner to try to get the vent tube clear... I was told that no problem existed with a vacuum.

So, enter this in evidence:
Woman vacuuming gasoline sparks explosion at Titusville car wash

I understand that the thing being vacuumed is not likely to be diesel, but still something quite flammable.

So, don't vacuum combustible gases.
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:26 AM   #26
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Stubones, the title of the thread is "Clogged DIESEL Tank Vent".
Yes, it would be disastrous to try this trick on a gas tank, but the conditions required to ignite diesel fumes just do not exist in a vacuum cleaner.
Even your diesel engine does not combust diesel fumes, but an atomized spray of liquid diesel.
Toss a lighted match into a diesel can, and it is extinguished in the liquid.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:44 AM   #27
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Passed along to me by a marine diesel expert....

"....., fuel injected into the cylinder of a diesel engine is atomized in order for it to evaporate faster, the vapor (what some call fumes) is what burns, not the atomized droplets. Droplets will not burn, they carbonize and that is what makes soot. "
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:02 PM   #28
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Droplets or vapor or atomized mix or liquid, diesel still won't ignite in your shop vac, vacuum is just the opposite of compression, which is the other part of the equation.
If you're afraid to try and clear your diesel tank vent with your shop vac, by all means hire a professional to do it.
It would be a good idea to check the hose routing to the vent, as mentioned above. It should run uphill all the way from the tank to a point above the vent, then back down to it to avoid trapping.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:16 PM   #29
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Again...more input from the pros...

"" vacuum is just the opposite of compression, which is the other part of the equation"

I wonder what equation that is? Diesel fuel vapor does not need "compression" to ignite, it takes heat, like that provided by an electrical arc.

It is how an oil burning stove works...... Or an engine room fire....."
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:55 PM   #30
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#2 diesel has a minimum flash point of 125.6F. In open air conditions, shouldn't be a problem. However, and as many industrial tank cleaners have discovered the hard way, it's not that hard to hit 130F in a hot environment in a confined space. Think south Florida in August, 85-90F injection temp, and an engine room after a several hour pull. Might get you there.

As with all activities, the devil is in the details. Way too many people treat diesel like it's water.
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Old 10-20-2016, 04:18 PM   #31
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Thanks guys. I'll try all of the above. I suspect it's blocked due to "burping" of fuel near top off and no "weepage" at vent. Also, the port side always takes less fuel so I figure a blocked vent is causing a slight vacuum as fuel is used making the fuel flow from the starboard tank easier by comparison.
Thoughts?
Now that you mention the real issue, it's possible it's not blocked at all.

My tanks do exactly as you describe and the vents are not blocked.

I'd also try the shop vac blowing into your diesel fill (close valves to fuel lines etc)
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Old 10-20-2016, 04:27 PM   #32
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#2 diesel has a minimum flash point of 125.6F. In open air conditions, shouldn't be a problem. However, and as many industrial tank cleaners have discovered the hard way, it's not that hard to hit 130F in a hot environment in a confined space. Think south Florida in August, 85-90F injection temp, and an engine room after a several hour pull. Might get you there.

As with all activities, the devil is in the details. Way too many people treat diesel like it's water.
yeah, they do.

I've put out plenty of matches in diesel trying to start a heater. You should try it some time.

by the way, if you hinkt flash point is pertinent to this discussion, then with that line of thinking, all I would have to do is heat diesel to 130F and I don't even need compression anymore.

I wonder why nobody else thought of that first
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Old 10-20-2016, 04:48 PM   #33
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Just a guess, but I imagine you were trying to light the heater because the temp was less than 125-130F ?

The statement was regarding pulling vapor through a diesel tank vent line with non-rated equipment.
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:13 PM   #34
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Do a little research and you'll find that the first diesel engines had no injectors, but instead used a cloth soaked in fuel to atomize the fuel. Fire takes fuel + oxidizer + heat (spark). Anyone running a vacuum at night can see sparks in the motor of a vacuum.

now you know, do with the knowledge as you wish.
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:36 AM   #35
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Surely if the tank vent is really blocked the engine will eventually suffer fuel starvation?
I one saw a vessel with a seriously beer-canned water tank after being partly evacuated by the water pump while the vent was closed. Perhaps there is no need for the vacuum anyway??
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:53 PM   #36
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I've had success w/ wet dry vac sucking on diesel vent to free it up.
I resisted blowing as it would push whatever is blocking it into the tank
I'm now sorry I even posted this...
If you are a gasser certainly don't do this.
If diesel and you are concerned also don't do it.
I will try to refrain from posting such controversial recommendations...however I will continue to use fixes that worked for me and didn't result in catastrophies
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Old 10-22-2016, 09:13 AM   #37
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I would be careful vacuuming a fuel line, since that might pass fuel vapor past the motor with sparks from the brushes... kaboom!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbu22 View Post
#2 diesel has a minimum flash point of 125.6F. In open air conditions, shouldn't be a problem. However, and as many industrial tank cleaners have discovered the hard way, it's not that hard to hit 130F in a hot environment in a confined space. Think south Florida in August, 85-90F injection temp, and an engine room after a several hour pull. Might get you there.

As with all activities, the devil is in the details. Way too many people treat diesel like it's water.
So I'm thinking that you guys should pass this info on to ABYC and convince them that ignition protected engine room equipment really is required for diesel powered boats / gennies...
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:40 PM   #38
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OK - #2 diesel is mother's milk. Ignore the caveats I stated. I frankly don't care what ABYC's positions on ER protections are. It does not alter the physical characteristics of the material. I suppose, in your eyes, that ABYC's opinion negates several instances that I have personally observed involving #2 diesel igniting in vessels, rail cars, and storage tanks. Guess it didn't happen and I didn't fight the fires. Must be getting old. Better, why don't you ask ABYC for an opinion of placing a diesel vent under a vacuum that potentially streams vapor through unrated electrical equipment? I'm not telling anyone to do anything. I am suggesting a thoughtful evaluation of site conditions in the context of planned activities. Sheesh!
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:52 PM   #39
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Don't forget that as the pressure is reduced via the vacuum that the flash point of the diesel will also be reduced.
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