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Old 01-06-2019, 07:51 PM   #1
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Fuel Level Sight Glass Replacement?

My fuel level sight gauges are old and completely opaque, can't see a thing even with back lighting. What is the proper tubing to use to replace them?
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:09 PM   #2
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You will get lots of suggestions here. When I replaced mine on two tanks I used tubing from West Marine; the same stuff used for water. Although others will criticize my choice, I’m happy to report that after 7 years they are still in service and perfectly clear. Cost was minimal. I do have shut off valves at top and bottom of the tubes which remain closed unless I’m reading the fuel level. BTW, the “proper” tubing is Tigon.

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Old 01-06-2019, 08:27 PM   #3
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Tygon perhaps?
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:36 PM   #4
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Tygon perhaps?

Perhaps.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
You will get lots of suggestions here. When I replaced mine on two tanks I used tubing from West Marine; the same stuff used for water. Although others will criticize my choice, I’m happy to report that after 7 years they are still in service and perfectly clear. Cost was minimal. I do have shut off valves at top and bottom of the tubes which remain closed unless I’m reading the fuel level. BTW, the “proper” tubing is Tigon.

Howard
I use the same re enforced water pipe for a small tank that feeds the boiler. While mine aren't clear, they can still be read easily enough. Whatever type one uses, it's important to have shut off valves in place top and bottom when not being used to measure tank levels.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:35 PM   #6
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Clear PVC is probably fine. Because it is so easy and cheap to replace, its likely not worth doing anything more. Even the "better" alternatives will still melt and spill fuel in a fire situation. But, if you're so inclined...

Below is what I have just installed. (I'm still fabricating the guards and indication markings, so they haven't even seen fuel yet.) Meet up with me in 15-20 years and I'll let you know if it was worth the effort

Tygon (and Versilon) are brand names that refer to a multitude of different tubing, all with different properties and not all rated for hydrocarbons.

What you want is one of them formulated for what you intend to put in it. I bought mine from McMaster-Carr, about $20 for two 2 FT pieces that made up both my sight gauges. They were one outfit where I could buy a reasonable length (less than a 50 ft roll.) The tubing is specifically rated for use with diesel fuel. Its basically the same clear PVC tubing you can get at a local store, but has a thin inner liner of another clear polymer that has the chemical resistance...In this case FET, which resists a lot of dang stuff.

Here's a pic of the material installed as my stbd side sight gauge (still waiting completion and installation of the guards and markings for level indication.)

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Below are the details from the the McMaster-Carr website.
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Ultra-Chemical-Resistant Versilon PVC Tubing

Formulation: SE-200
Very Flexible
Compatible Tube Fittings: Barbed
Soft (Durometer 65A)
Temperature Range: -30° to 160° F
Formerly known as Tygon, this tubing is lined with FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) for better chemical resistance than PVC alone. Tubing is clear, so you can easily monitor flow.

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Here's the part number and cost to ship to me in the PNW.
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David Bowman placed this order.
Line Product Ordered Shipped Balance Price Total
1 6519T14
Ultra-Chemical-Resistant Versilon PVC Tubing 3/8" ID, 9/16" OD, 2 ft. Length 2
Each 2 0 9.64
Each 19.28

Merchandise 19.28
Sales Tax 2.44
Shipping 8.78
Total $30.50
Payment Received 10/12/18 (30.50)
Balance Due $0.00
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:10 AM   #7
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Thanks for the detailed info. This question was driven by my paranoia about what I don't know will kill me. What I have for gauges now is some sort of tubing with cross hatched reinforcement. I guess fuel line of some sort. Wasn't sure why reinforcement was necessary on this.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Tygon perhaps?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
Perhaps.
Tygon F-4040-A eBay and Amazon sell various sizes. When we replaced our fuel tanks we used Tygon.

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/it...x?itemid=23487
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Tygon perhaps?

Tygon for sure. It is constructed with a liner that is impervious to fuel. This is true, I replaced mine 10 yrs. ago, still perfectly clear. The PVC tubing I removed was yellowed and nearly opaque. SE-200 is available from McMaster. It's apparently now marketed as Versilon.
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