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Old 07-12-2020, 06:57 AM   #1
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Another bad fuel tank

Well I lost another fuel tank. Both of my 75 aft tanks, one port and one starboard. The last tank that went out was plumbed to my generator only. This leaves me with two tanks left. These two tank are on the starboard side in engine room and plumbed to the engine only. I want to dedicate one to the generator to get through the season.

These tanks are basically level with each other and they are connected at bottom with hose and valves for leveling out. There is a single sight glass in the middle of this hose that’s plumbed at the top to one tank return line. The sight gauge worked fine before but both tanks were dedicated to the main engine only.

Do I need to disconnect the top of the sight glass from the return and install a shut off valve just so I can keep up with level?
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:01 AM   #2
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Why bother? How much do you run the genny?

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Old 07-12-2020, 07:10 AM   #3
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We run it mostly for ac only when out. Pretty muggy here in Tennessee. May just have to toughen up rest of the season.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:52 AM   #4
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I ran into a similar problem. Just T off of the tank supply, one line to the engine racor, one to the generator racor. The return line from the generator gets T'd into the engine return line. Wouldn't bother changing the tank interconnects.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:41 AM   #5
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Right now I have the engine supply running from one tank and generator supply running from the other tank. The returns for both generator and main engine are tied together going to both tanks. The generator will only run about 3 or 4 minute then quit.
I just changed all my generator filters prior to my tank going out and did 4 hour run with no problems. I guess my filters on generator could be bad again.
Could one return be over powering the other and starving generator for fuel ?
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:56 AM   #6
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The returns should play no part in that as long as the line is sufficiently large enough to handle the flow back to the tank. I have always had my 8kw westerbeke and my Lehman 135 returns on a common return line.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:57 AM   #7
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Small diameter copper tubing ? 1/4". Same as refrigerator ice maker.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:04 AM   #8
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Are both tanks vented? Is the connection between them open or closed? How is the gen hooked into the tanks?. Sounds like fuel starvation or air getting in the line.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:13 AM   #9
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Are both tanks vented? Is the connection between them open or closed? How is the gen hooked into the tanks?. Sounds like fuel starvation or air getting in the line.
I’m going back out to check on it today. Both tanks are vented to same vent. I could have a the valves at the bottom of each tank to connecting line open. Thanks
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:17 AM   #10
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Well I lost another fuel tank. Both of my 75 aft tanks, one port and one starboard. The last tank that went out was plumbed to my generator only. This leaves me with two tanks left. These two tank are on the starboard side in engine room and plumbed to the engine only. I want to dedicate one to the generator to get through the season.

These tanks are basically level with each other and they are connected at bottom with hose and valves for leveling out. There is a single sight glass in the middle of this hose thatís plumbed at the top to one tank return line. The sight gauge worked fine before but both tanks were dedicated to the main engine only.

Do I need to disconnect the top of the sight glass from the return and install a shut off valve just so I can keep up with level?

What do you mean "lost another tank" Is it leaking or do you mean it quit feeding fuel to the gen. or engine.

If it is leaking from corrosion that's a big headache.
If the fuel is simply not feeding reliably for some reason then some effort and noodling should sort out the cause.

But which is it as it is not clear, to me. Maybe not enough coffee yet.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:19 AM   #11
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Simplist thing to do is return everything to how the tanks were set up with engine alone and operating the way you wanted. Then just T in the supply and and return lines for the generator. Should work fine
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:28 AM   #12
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What do you mean "lost another tank" Is it leaking or do you mean it quit feeding fuel to the gen. or engine.

If it is leaking from corrosion that's a big headache.
If the fuel is simply not feeding reliably for some reason then some effort and noodling should sort out the cause.

But which is it as it is not clear, to me. Maybe not enough coffee yet.
The tank is leaking. That makes two this year. I transfer all the fuel to a neighbors boat. He was pretty happy. I’ve got to bite the bullet and breakout the checkbook this time. I’m down from 450 gallons (which’s was way too much) in 5 tanks to just 125 total in two tanks for both generator and main engine.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:44 AM   #13
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Does the genny cut off when running by itself or just with the main running ? Sounds like a fuel supply problem to the genny.
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:20 AM   #14
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Does the genny cut off when running by itself or just with the main running ? Sounds like a fuel supply problem to the genny.
Cuts off by itself. I’ve got another fuel filter for generator boat t I’m out of racors for primary. I’m out here now and fixing pull filter on generator.
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:32 AM   #15
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Ok I just found something. On the tank that went bad that I disconnected also has it’s vent tied into the other two tank vents . I emptied this tank yesterday and disconnected the supply and return lines . I thought it was vented on it’s own . This tank has no fuel in it and it is totally disconnected from anything but the vent is tied to my last two good fuel tanks . Could this be it ? The generator was running fine before I started the rerouting. It’s tank just went bad .
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:39 PM   #16
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I clamped the vent off and changed fuel filter on engine.It still doing the same thing. I didn’t have an extra racor so I couldn’t change it . This one only has about 8 hours on it but it could be nasty . The last one was just two weeks ago . The electric fuel pump is fairly new. I notice the fuel pump doesn’t sound as loud as before when preheating engine. Must be a clogged racor. I hate to take it off with out a new one ready to go on. It’s always the simple things first. It sure was running good till I rerouted to different tank . Coincidence maybe .
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:59 PM   #17
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I edited last post so maybe it kinda makes sense now. I could use a rum and coke about now.
I canít help but think I made some kind of mistake when rerouting hose.
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Old 07-12-2020, 01:29 PM   #18
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Have a rum and coke. Make sure your engine still runs. Make sure the generator didn't shut down due to overheat or low oil. Buy two T fittings.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:41 PM   #19
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Have a rum and coke. Make sure your engine still runs. Make sure the generator didn't shut down due to overheat or low oil. Buy two T fittings.
So your saying T the supply to generator into both tanks and generator return to same return as main engine?
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:53 PM   #20
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No, T the supply to the engine to make it supply the generator also. T the generator return line into the engine return line.
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