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Old 01-14-2016, 03:35 PM   #1
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Fuel Tank Sight Glass Material

I have two fuel tanks with plastic 1/2" OD tubes. They are pretty stained making reading the fuel level hard to see. Does anyone have a recommendation for replacement plastic 1/2" OD tubing that will stand up to both the heat of the engine room and the staining of the diesel?
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:00 PM   #2
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Fuel tank sight tube material

Our American Tug uses the same system. I bought some Tygon tubing online from US Plastics. us plastics.com It has a yellow tint but the red fuel shows up fine. It has been about 14 months since replacement and still looks good.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:31 PM   #3
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We recently replaced the sight tubes on two of our four saddle tank with the other two to be replaced when the tanks are empty. After doing considerable research and talking to companies in the area who supply sight tube material we took their advice for the easiest solution and used clear PVC tubing. It will eventually stain but not for quite awhile and it's inexpensive and easily obtained. There are other tubing materials that are more resistant to staining but it's more expensive and all the suppliers of this tubing we located in our area required one to buy a minimum of a 50 foot roll. We only needed about eight feet.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pgitug View Post
I have two fuel tanks with plastic 1/2" OD tubes. They are pretty stained making reading the fuel level hard to see. Does anyone have a recommendation for replacement plastic 1/2" OD tubing that will stand up to both the heat of the engine room and the staining of the diesel?
Thick walled vinyl tubing.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:01 PM   #5
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The tubing that was recommended to me on the Grand Banks Owners Forum was Tygon. This is the tubing that is reputed to be pretty resistant to staining and was the tubing I could only find sold in this area in 50' rolls. The distributors said they would not cut any off a roll.

So we went with the recommendation of clear PVC tubing. But if one can find Tygon in the amount one actually needs it is supposedly a better solution.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:09 PM   #6
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We used clear PVC tubing and it is crystal clear 4 years later.
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Old 01-15-2016, 12:43 AM   #7
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Wire reinforced clear tubing and still good after 11 years.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:43 PM   #8
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I have two fuel tanks with plastic 1/2" OD tubes. They are pretty stained making reading the fuel level hard to see. Does anyone have a recommendation for replacement plastic 1/2" OD tubing that will stand up to both the heat of the engine room and the staining of the diesel?
Here is the answer I found and am very satisfied with the purchase of 20 feet:

GO TO THIS LINK and read about details: SuperthaneŽ Ester Base Tubing | U.S. Plastic Corp. and 3/8" ID x 5/8" OD x 1/8" Wall SuperthaneŽ Ester Based Tubing | U.S. Plastic Corp..

GO TO THIS LINK to place an order and read about more details:
The product you are looking for is 3/8" ID x 5/8" OD x 1/8" Wall SuperthaneŽ Ester Based Tubing, Item #56417

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
This 3/8" ID x 5/8" OD x 1/8" Wall SuperthaneŽ Ester Based Tubing has a working pressure of 100 PSI @ 70°F and a burst pressure of 300 PSI @ 70°F. Standard length is 100' and it weighs 10.22 lbs per 100'. It has a durometer of 85 A (ą5), a tensile strength of 6000 PSI and the elongation at break is 550%. Values are typical and should only be used as a guide.

SuperthaneŽ Ester Base Tubing
Clear, flexible, resilient, tough; resistant to oils, greases, and fuels. Extremely resistant to weathering, tearing, impact, radiation, and abrasion. Wide range of temperature resistance: -95°F to 185°F. Contains no plasticizer that can cause flow contamination or tube hardening. Manufactured from FDA-sanctioned ingredients for use with wet and fatty food contact surfaces. Can be heat sealed, coiled, fabricated, or bonded. Hydrolytic Stability -- Ester polyurethane does not react well with water, prolonged humid conditions, or attack from fungus. SuperthaneŽ PU tubing is much more resistant to pressure and vacuum applications than corresponding sizes of PVC or rubber. Although polyurethane is commonly used in fuel applications, due to additives in today's gasoline and petroleum products, field testing should be performed. SuperthaneŽ is a registered trademark of NewAgeŽ Industries. Phthalate free. Standard length of 100'. Priced per foot; sold in 10 ft. intervals only.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:58 AM   #9
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I use Tygon yellow tubing from McMaster-Carr - available by the foot.
Good prices and really good shipping rates.
The link below takes you to the relevant page.

McMaster-Carr
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:03 AM   #10
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Thick walled vinyl tubing.
Yes.

Glass is too fragile. Don't trade a small risk or a much larger one.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:06 AM   #11
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Yes.

Glass is too fragile. Don't trade a small risk or a much larger one.
Wish more people lived by this concept, especially those at ABYC sometimes.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doninfresno View Post
Here is the answer I found and am very satisfied with the purchase of 20 feet:



GO TO THIS LINK and read about details: SuperthaneŽ Ester Base Tubing | U.S. Plastic Corp. and 3/8" ID x 5/8" OD x 1/8" Wall SuperthaneŽ Ester Based Tubing | U.S. Plastic Corp..



GO TO THIS LINK to place an order and read about more details:

The product you are looking for is 3/8" ID x 5/8" OD x 1/8" Wall SuperthaneŽ Ester Based Tubing, Item #56417



PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

This 3/8" ID x 5/8" OD x 1/8" Wall SuperthaneŽ Ester Based Tubing has a working pressure of 100 PSI @ 70°F and a burst pressure of 300 PSI @ 70°F. Standard length is 100' and it weighs 10.22 lbs per 100'. It has a durometer of 85 A (ą5), a tensile strength of 6000 PSI and the elongation at break is 550%. Values are typical and should only be used as a guide.



SuperthaneŽ Ester Base Tubing

Clear, flexible, resilient, tough; resistant to oils, greases, and fuels. Extremely resistant to weathering, tearing, impact, radiation, and abrasion. Wide range of temperature resistance: -95°F to 185°F. Contains no plasticizer that can cause flow contamination or tube hardening. Manufactured from FDA-sanctioned ingredients for use with wet and fatty food contact surfaces. Can be heat sealed, coiled, fabricated, or bonded. Hydrolytic Stability -- Ester polyurethane does not react well with water, prolonged humid conditions, or attack from fungus. SuperthaneŽ PU tubing is much more resistant to pressure and vacuum applications than corresponding sizes of PVC or rubber. Although polyurethane is commonly used in fuel applications, due to additives in today's gasoline and petroleum products, field testing should be performed. SuperthaneŽ is a registered trademark of NewAgeŽ Industries. Phthalate free. Standard length of 100'. Priced per foot; sold in 10 ft. intervals only.

I like the specs on this tubing. I like that it is 1/8" thick as opposed to the other tygon that is only 1/16" thick.
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:23 PM   #13
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A real glass sight tube is the very best way to go. And not just a glass tube hanging out in the open waiting to get broken. Look at Freund, they have a drum sight gauge that could be used for most diesel tanks less than 24 inches or so tall. Kenco makes a very good sight gauge, and would be my choice. These are all REAL sight gauges and not the pretend stuff we see on pleasure boats. Compared to $5 worth of plastic tubing they are expensive, but IMO, well worth the cost. As an aside, properly installed glass sight gauges are no more a risk than any other material (the valve you know !) and a purpose built unit is much safer than a piece of plastic hose. Personally, I like the sight glass built into the tank, flanged on the outside and ring bolted all around. 3/8ths tempered glass About 1 & 1/2 inches wide and extending from top to bottom. More of a "window" into the tank than an external tube. But, this is big boat and industrial stuff, seldom seen on toy boats. And, it's best if the tank is built with this in mind. Although it can be retrofitted to existing tanks.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:41 PM   #14
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Ebay has everything. Clear tygon:
Tygon 2375 Tubing AJK00027 1 2" OD x 3 8" ID x 1 16" Wall x 10 Feet | eBay
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:00 PM   #15
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Ebay also has real sight gauges, if you know what to look for.
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:24 PM   #16
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I put a sight tube on my fuel oil tank for my furnace at home. I went to my favourite marine mechanic and asked him to get me some. What he sold me (inexpensive) was a soft plastic 1/4" tubing that was rated for diesel fuel. Lasted with no signs of aging for 14 yrs, till the furnace was replaced and the installer put a different kind of gauge on the tank.
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:30 PM   #17
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The plastic tubing works, I'm not saying it doesnt. Tanks with no access for cleaning work also. There are countless places on our boats where "good enough" was the way to go for the builder or the next guy upgrading. What I am saying, is that with a little more time and sometimes more $$, you dont have to settle for "good enough".
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:37 PM   #18
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Sure...you can go astronomically overboard for safety features that add...possibly (till proven differently)....0.000001 percent safety upgrade.


That's the whole point...while the "best" can possibly provide 99.9% safety... a way substandard alternative...based on how may sight gauge disasters I have heard of....may only provide 99.89% safety....


I might be more likely to be hit with lightning while being eaten by an alligator because I fell over the side peeing because a meteorite hit me in the back of the head and I didn't take all the precautions in the reboarding thread.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Wish more people lived by this concept, especially those at ABYC sometimes.
Your comment puzzles me. The quote you are referring to mentions glass as a sight gauge material. Are you under the impression that ABYC sanctions this ? They do not as far as I can see in H-33.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:43 PM   #20
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Is anyone interested in a milled aluminum channel with slots to see the fuel level in the sight tube? What I was thinking was something about like a shelf standard with elongated slots to see the tubing. Run it from the top L to the bottom L and clamp it to the band clamps perhaps, or devise a T shaped mounting system that would secure to the tank wall or backboard and physically bolt to the channel. If something fell on the channel, it would protect the tubing. In the event of fire, it would protect the tubing from radiated heat. None of the mentioned tubings are over the 185 degree melting point, and I think ABYC requires 300 degrees for 30 minutes? I'll have to check on that.

So, is anyone interested?
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