Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-05-2016, 12:44 PM   #1
Guru
 
angus99's Avatar
 
City: Signal Mtn., TN
Country: US
Vessel Name: Stella Maris
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,388
Plugged Fuel Tank Fittings

I posted a version of this on the Defever owners forum but haven't heard back yet; I think it's general enough for this group.

There is a (female?) fitting near the bottom of each saddle fuel tank that has been plugged/glassed and possibly epoxied over by some PO. Not sure if this fitting arrangement is an original configuration . . . if it were, I suppose the lower fitting would be to allow any water and sludge thajt might be at the bottom of the the fuel to be drained off while the upper fitting allows clean fuel to be pulled from above during normal operations?

But why plug them? Looks like there were leaks in the past (or maybe stains while replacing or plugging the fittings). The cleaning service that inspected the tanks last year said they were in very good shape internally and did not notice anything amiss around these fitting on the inside but we didn't discuss them beyond that. Externally, the fittings feel very strong and I see no evidence of corrosion.

I'd much prefer to have working ball valves on the bottom fittings to tap water from the bottom of the tank, if that's their purpose, but I'm afraid to start pulling any of this material off the fittings until the tanks are completely drained (currently, there's only 25 gallons or so of fuel plus some powerful treatment in each tank).

So, is this a common configuration and am I correct about their purpose? Is the obvious solution the best--drain the tanks, cut away the plugs, inspect the fittings and replace them if necessary?

Thanks.

__________________
Advertisement

angus99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 03:09 PM   #2
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,740
You could pump from on tank to the other. That would empty one tank and let you remove the plug if you wanted to and inspect/repair if necessary and replace with a drain valve.
While transferring the fuel you should probably run it thru a filter.
__________________

__________________
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
jleonard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 05:37 PM   #3
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,376
On my side tanks the fitting you have plugged is "open" to a ball valve then allowing gravity connection between tanks. I have never had the need to open the valves. The fuel pickups will empty the tanks to within two inches or so of the tank bottom.
sunchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 09:51 PM   #4
Guru
 
Capt.Bill11's Avatar
 
City: Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 5,422
I'd be careful monkeying around with that mess.
Capt.Bill11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 11:03 PM   #5
Guru
 
angus99's Avatar
 
City: Signal Mtn., TN
Country: US
Vessel Name: Stella Maris
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,388
Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
You could pump from on tank to the other. That would empty one tank and let you remove the plug if you wanted to and inspect/repair if necessary and replace with a drain valve.
While transferring the fuel you should probably run it thru a filter.
As configured, I can't pump below the level of the upper fitting, so there would still be several gallons of fuel behind the plugged lower fitting. (I guess I could pump from the filler port or inspection plate.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
On my side tanks the fitting you have plugged is "open" to a ball valve then allowing gravity connection between tanks. I have never had the need to open the valves. The fuel pickups will empty the tanks to within two inches or so of the tank bottom.
Interesting. On my tanks, the upper of the two fittings pictured have that same feature. One of the PO's rigged them to move fuel from one tank to the other by gravity or to the transfer/polishing pump. It's that last two inches--where any water's likely to collect--that I'd like to be able to drain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
I'd be careful monkeying around with that mess.
Exactly! Hence my post.
angus99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2016, 06:26 AM   #6
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,534
Some dumb surveyor in the past might have had a problem with a bottom drain in a fuel box. So it got plugged.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2016, 07:00 AM   #7
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,820
What size pipe fitting does it look like? I would carefully clean the head and exposed threads of the plug. If you decide after drainind the fuel down in the tank, that you don't feel comfortable trying to remove the plug, the other option would be to drill and tap it to a smaller pipe thread size. If it were a 1/2" plug, I might tap it 1/4". Certainly large enough for a water drain.

If it's a steel tank, I would remove the glass on and around the plug to make an accurate determination. Then I would likely try to remove the plug with modest effort. If it doesn't budge, either leave it alone or go to the above plan.

My boat's tanks came with drains valved and plugged. They are now the connection point for my fuel polisher / transfer pump. Very happy with this setup.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2016, 08:43 AM   #8
Guru
 
angus99's Avatar
 
City: Signal Mtn., TN
Country: US
Vessel Name: Stella Maris
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,388
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Some dumb surveyor in the past might have had a problem with a bottom drain in a fuel box. So it got plugged.
Actually, I hope this is the case since the fitting might be undamaged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
What size pipe fitting does it look like? I would carefully clean the head and exposed threads of the plug. If you decide after drainind the fuel down in the tank, that you don't feel comfortable trying to remove the plug, the other option would be to drill and tap it to a smaller pipe thread size. If it were a 1/2" plug, I might tap it 1/4". Certainly large enough for a water drain.

If it's a steel tank, I would remove the glass on and around the plug to make an accurate determination. Then I would likely try to remove the plug with modest effort. If it doesn't budge, either leave it alone or go to the above plan.

My boat's tanks came with drains valved and plugged. They are now the connection point for my fuel polisher / transfer pump. Very happy with this setup.

Ted
Thanks for the ideas, Ted. Not sure of the size, but I suspect 1/2 inch. Wonder what the best way to remove fiberglass while not hurting the metal fitting would be . . . maybe a torch?

Just kidding .
angus99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2016, 08:50 AM   #9
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9,997
Greetings,
Mr. 99. I've had success with delicate fiberglass alterations using a Dremel tool and a cutter attachment such as...
https://www.dremel.com/en-us/Accesso...+Speed+Cutters
__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2016, 11:43 AM   #10
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,820
Quote:
Originally Posted by angus99 View Post
Thanks for the ideas, Ted. Not sure of the size, but I suspect 1/2 inch. Wonder what the best way to remove fiberglass while not hurting the metal fitting would be . . . maybe a torch?

Just kidding .
Think I would start with a wire wheel on a drill. Should attack the glass without hurting the metal.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2016, 12:32 PM   #11
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,723
Perhaps there was a nipple and a fitting w a valve and someone kicked it off or something heavy fell on it so all the fuel in the tank drained into the bilge. If that had happened to a PO he'd be very likely to plug it. But w a male pipe thread hex head plug I would think.

Also perhaps a flush socket head plug was used and it leaked. Draining all the fuel in the tank could be viewed as an undesirable task so it got covered over w whatever like JB Weld. As suggested before I would'nt touch it unless it started to leak.
__________________

__________________
Eric

North Western Washington State USA
Nomad Willy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012