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Old 09-18-2016, 05:42 PM   #1
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Clogged diesel tank vent

Hello all,
I suspect my port diesel tank vent is clogged. Does anyone have a suggestion for how to try freeing up the vent from the outside. Perhaps compressed air, a squirt of WD-40 or some other product that won't do any harm.
I figure I'd try the easy fixes first in case it's something like a spider nest or similar insect related blockage.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:16 PM   #2
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Does it have a screen on it?
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:32 PM   #3
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I would try some wire if it has a screen that's the problem if it doesn't have screen then you got bugs in it
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:37 PM   #4
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No Capt.Bill11, it doesn't. It's a small knob with a gap on the bottom and a concentric knob within. Protruding about 1 1/2 " from the hull below the fuel filler.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:29 PM   #5
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I was thinking I might have an insect blockage of some sort. I was hoping I could squirt something in the vent from the outside to help break up the suspected " bug blockage" without doing any harm. Ideas? Past successes?
Thank you.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:31 PM   #6
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Have the same issue, fortunately access to the tank via a deck hatch which reveals a 5/8" brass end fitting for the purpose of measuring allows me to remove this during fueling allowing it to serve as a vent. There is enough of the actual vent to allow for tank breathing. This may be an out for you providing you have a similar measuring port.

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Old 09-18-2016, 10:00 PM   #7
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Thanks Al. No deck hatch. If I can't clear the suspected blockage the easy way I may have to try to re-do my vent lines. Hoping to avoid that if possible.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:04 PM   #8
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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
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:11 PM   #9
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Interesting Bacchus! Certainly worth a try. Thank you.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:26 AM   #10
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No Capt.Bill11, it doesn't. It's a small knob with a gap on the bottom and a concentric knob within. Protruding about 1 1/2 " from the hull below the fuel filler.
Some vents have a cap that unscrews. If yours fits this description, unscrew the cap and you should be able to figure out how to clear the vent. If you can match your so one in a store, read the directions on the one in the store.

You certainly don't have to replace the vent line just because the thru hull is clogged.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:46 AM   #11
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Why do you suspect the vent line is clogged?
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Old 09-19-2016, 01:17 PM   #12
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Had the same issue recently. You could hear the air coming out of the fuel fill and then some fuel during refueling. No screens on my vents.
Got a piece of SS wire and was able to dig out a significant spider's nest.
No problem refueling after that. Keep the SS wire in my tool box for the next time.
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Old 09-19-2016, 01:58 PM   #13
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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?
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:20 PM   #14
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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?

Shop vac keeps my tank vents clear. South Louisiana mud-dobbers fill every hole. lol

On Tango, my generator pulls from the Stbd tank, so I also always need more fuel on starboard.

I also have vacuum Gage's on both engines to monitor fuel filters and the benefit also tells me if a vent is blocked.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:16 AM   #15
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A tank burping can be caused by a long tank as it gets really full.

Air is trapped on one end for a while if the boat is not level.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:47 AM   #16
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Good stuff! Thank you guys.
I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I'm learning alot from this forum.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:07 AM   #17
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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 would be careful vacuuming a fuel line, since that might pass fuel vapor past the motor with sparks from the brushes... kaboom!
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:17 AM   #18
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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!
I don't think the threat is there with diesel fuel, but congratulaions on your 666th post!!! You devil you :-)
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Old 10-12-2016, 12:47 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 10-12-2016, 03:05 PM   #20
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Pgitug,
Thanks for the input. I'll look into that.
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