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Old 12-19-2018, 01:46 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Delfin View Post
Blanket statements on just about any subject tend to be wrong, as this one is.


If you've had fuel 'shutdowns' due to contaminated fuel, your prime goal, unfortunately, is to somehow get inside that tank and remove all the built up and adhering crud that is deposited and is GROWING on the tank walls. Inspection ports 'can' (should be) be added to fuel tanks.


That 'crud', if black, is usually massive colonies of fungus (Cladosporium resinae, etc.) that are using the (water wetted) fuel oil (and the metal walls of the tank) as its nutrient source.
The best way to remove such contamination is to chemically 'kill it' and then physically hand scrub the 'colonies' off the tank walls.
Further down in efficacy of contamination removal - but the 'next best', is to hire a commercial fuel service with a high capacity 'recirculation polishing' system ... but without opening up the tank and physically SEEING the tank walls, there will be no guarantee that the sludge will be completely removed from the tank walls. Any living organism not removed will continue to produce spores (most all organisms that contaminate fuel oil are 'spore formers') which will continue to reinfect your fuel system. BUT, biocides like Biobor and Star Tron will affect 'some' reduction of the continual re-contamination.
An onboard recirculation polishing system is a means to KEEP a fuel tank relatively clean; not a means to 'clean' it.
Better?
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:57 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Easting View Post
“I'd suggest sticking with the tried and true additives like Biobor or what we use, Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment.”

Tried and true according to who? No offense intended. Just wondering.
Primarily by commercial operators of small craft like fishing vessels, workboats (mostly on harbors, lakes, and rivers), charter boats, and small harbor tugs. Though they use fuel in quantities that would make pleasure boaters go pale, most I've worked on used Biobor, and more recently the Star Tron products, religiously.
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:08 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by foreverunderway View Post


If you've had fuel 'shutdowns' due to contaminated fuel, your prime goal, unfortunately, is to somehow get inside that tank and remove all the built up and adhering crud that is deposited and is GROWING on the tank walls. Inspection ports 'can' (should be) be added to fuel tanks.


That 'crud', if black, is usually massive colonies of fungus (Cladosporium resinae, etc.) that are using the (water wetted) fuel oil (and the metal walls of the tank) as its nutrient source.
The best way to remove such contamination is to chemically 'kill it' and then physically hand scrub the 'colonies' off the tank walls.
Further down in efficacy of contamination removal - but the 'next best', is to hire a commercial fuel service with a high capacity 'recirculation polishing' system ... but without opening up the tank and physically SEEING the tank walls, there will be no guarantee that the sludge will be completely removed from the tank walls. Any living organism not removed will continue to produce spores (most all organisms that contaminate fuel oil are 'spore formers') which will continue to reinfect your fuel system. BUT, biocides like Biobor and Star Tron will affect 'some' reduction of the continual re-contamination.
An onboard recirculation polishing system is a means to KEEP a fuel tank relatively clean; not a means to 'clean' it.
Better?
Not really. If the contamination is biologic, appropriately designed polishing will remove water and the biologics die. If inorganic, true the deposits that take a chisel to clean off the tank walls won't be removed by polishing, but the particles that actually matter will be. If "clean" means fuel that won't clog the filters and stop the engine, then polishing can certainly produce that result. But I certainly agree that if you have clean tanks and want to keep them that way, a polishing system will do that. As well.
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:28 PM   #44
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Greetings,
Mr. f. I fully agree and to further clarify your post (#41) for the naysayers, C. resinae is a fungus and one of many contaminants that may dwell in fuel tanks. Some are fungi and some bacteria.
While fuel polishing, properly done, will minimize the overall number of biologics and should eliminate any water there will still be "bugs" in your tank.

Tank treatments will affect 'some' reduction but complete elimination would require total sterilization of the tank that would last as long as your next batch of fuel or passage of bacteria bearing air from your tank vent.
As anyone knows, elimination of mold aboard is quite difficult due to their reproductive mechanism ie: spores. By their very nature, spores can survive extremely harsh conditions.
The best one can hope for is keeping the fuel bug free enough to use.


This paper addresses jet fuel but the problem is very much the same:


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC546914/


Nasty things those fuel eating bugs when they're in your tank BUT great when used to clean up oil spills...



https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0409144725.htm
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:37 PM   #45
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Greetings,
Mr. f. I fully agree and to further clarify your post (#41) for the naysayers, C. resinae is a fungus and one of many contaminants that may dwell in fuel tanks. Some are fungi and some bacteria.
While fuel polishing, properly done, will minimize the overall number of biologics and should eliminate any water there will still be "bugs" in your tank.

Tank treatments will affect 'some' reduction but complete elimination would require total sterilization of the tank that would last as long as your next batch of fuel or passage of bacteria bearing air from your tank vent.
As anyone knows, elimination of mold aboard is quite difficult due to their reproductive mechanism ie: spores. By their very nature, spores can survive extremely harsh conditions.
The best one can hope for is keeping the fuel bug free enough to use.


This paper addresses jet fuel but the problem is very much the same:


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC546914/


Nasty things those fuel eating bugs when they're in you tank BUT great when used to clean up oil spills... https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0409144725.htm
Since resinae lives in the water/fuel interface of the fuel, when the water/fuel interface is removed, where do the "bugs" remain?

Having bought Delfin with 1,500 gallons of fuel that sat for 4 years before we finished refitting her and I could start burning it, and with thousands of gallons of fuel passed through the tanks in the last decade, with never bothering to keep the tanks full during the winter, and having never added a drop of biocide to my fuel - just lubricity improvers - why do you think I have zero biologic contamination and no water in my tanks, which I can attest to since I just looked the inside of them?

Hint: the fuel has been polished over the last decade.
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:37 PM   #46
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From experience, I respectfully disagree. What you describe would be a system that can only polish the fuel if the tanks are at least half full, which doesn't seem terribly effective.

And for big tanks, and I'm thinking of a 750 gallon wing tank I recently inspected, their length, supporting gussets, etc. would prevent stirring up any muck effectively with a single nozzle, where ever it was placed. Far easier is to do a serious polishing when the tanks are near empty and you are bashing around in a bit of a sea. Before that, the occasional polishing of a tank that has more fuel in it removes the asphaltine that is starting to precipitate out. The decade old aforementioned tank that has had a lot of fuel passed through it and has been polished as described had about 2 quarts of murky fuel, zero water, and zero deposits on the sidewalls. The pump moves 3gpm, which with a tank 10' long, isn't going to stir up much muck, but will very effectively clean the fuel of managed as described
Delfin, agreed, polishing system pick up and return plumbing should be located close to, and at opposite ends, of the bottom of the tank. 3 gpm, or 180 gph, is a healthy rate for polishing, while it's enough to stir up light sediment, however, nothing is better for this than getting underway.

Far too many polishing systems I encounter suffer from inadequately sized or located plumbing. There should be no restrictions between polishing system pumps/filters and the plumbing that connects them to tanks, and no plumbing should be shared between polishing systems and consumers, engines, and gensets. You should be able to run a polishing system while dockside or underway.

This article covers fuel polishing systems http://stevedmarineconsulting.com/wp...PBB112_opt.pdf

This one covers centrifugal filtration http://stevedmarineconsulting.com/wp...ters115_05.pdf
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:31 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Steve DAntonio View Post
Delfin, agreed, polishing system pick up and return plumbing should be located close to, and at opposite ends, of the bottom of the tank. 3 gpm, or 180 gph, is a healthy rate for polishing, while it's enough to stir up light sediment, however, nothing is better for this than getting underway.

Far too many polishing systems I encounter suffer from inadequately sized or located plumbing. There should be no restrictions between polishing system pumps/filters and the plumbing that connects them to tanks, and no plumbing should be shared between polishing systems and consumers, engines, and gensets. You should be able to run a polishing system while dockside or underway.

This article covers fuel polishing systems http://stevedmarineconsulting.com/wp...PBB112_opt.pdf

This one covers centrifugal filtration http://stevedmarineconsulting.com/wp...ters115_05.pdf
Steve, check out these pumps: https://www.grainger.com/product/PRO...l-Rotary-6XE90

You can get them in a number of sizes, and they are driven by a 1/3 hp 120 vac motor. The carbonator clamp attachment makes it simple to mount. Quiet, and seemingly indestructible.

On my system, one pump draws through a 30 micron Racor 1000 that I run to maintain refinery spec on bulk fuel storage. The other motor/pump is wired through a pair of Omron programable relays that allow me to set an off time separate from the on time. If I leave the boat for a month and want to refill the boiler day tank, the off time is set to 7 days and on the on time to 3 minutes and this keeps that day tank topped off. Or, if I want to polish for 3 days sitting at the dock, that is easy. The filter on this pump is a 10 micron, and I use it to transfer fuel from one tank to another.

I built this system for around $1,500 in parts, not counting the hoses, my labor, or two Debug units which everyone will say are pointless, but which I had great success with in cleaning up a contaminated tank on a prior boat.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:31 AM   #48
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Maybe it's time for some personal experience rather than theory.

Play d'eau (Fleming55) has 4 fuel tanks with no polishing system installed. One Racor filter plus a fine filter per engine. Overspill returns to the supply tank. The overspill is the polished fuel. Tanks are kept full to prevent internal condensation

The base of each tank is checked bi-annually. No water, dead diesel bug or debris has ever been found in 15 years.

I treat the fuel with an additive every fill, plus a full treatment at the start and end of the season. Tank filler caps have their O rings changed every 3 years to prevent water ingress.

Result? No trace of any isses.

On the other hand, over 30 years I've known many motor boats and yachts suffer from diesel bug and end up employing a contractor to come along with a 'polishing system' which doesn't in any way stir up the base of the tank to get rid of the slimy dark brown dead bug. Lo and behold, that in almost every case, the clogged filters casued by dead bug, persists.

The moral of the story is to care for your fuel from day 1, realising that if there's going to be prpoblem it will happen in an emotional sea just when you don't need it.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:42 AM   #49
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Who amongst us can provide some first hand experiences with details as to:
-- fouled tanks that stopped your vessel
-- how old was the fuel
-- how old is the boat
-- what % of tankage does the vessel turn over each year
-- where was the bad fuel purchased

I have second hand information on
-- new boats with construction debris blocking the tank pickups
-- old fuel in old boats being problematic
-- bad Ensenada fuel fouling tanks on a two year old vessel equipped with a top flight polishing system
-- contaminated shore trucks and 55 gallon drums
-- deck fills leaking

Stories
-- refineries use no additives so "I" do
-- the reason "I've" never had a problem is due to (pick one or two)
-- ESI or similar fuel polishing system
-- Gulf Coast filter
-- magnets
-- use of additives makes bad fuel good, cleans tanks eliminates water
-- "I" heard on TF yada yada about bad diesel fuel

So as tossed out earlier, who amongst us has the first hand knowledge and details as to bad fuel stopping your boat.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:06 AM   #50
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"So as tossed out earlier, who amongst us has the first hand knowledge and details as to bad fuel stopping your boat"

Never stopped yet BUT the monel tanks do not rust , have a plate with holes mounted near the bottom to keep motion from mixing gunk , and a low point drain. And we use BioBore

The drain has a gate valve and plug , as insurance.

The deck fills have been relocated to under 6 inch deck plates , and capped with a std 2 inch plumbing cap.

Even if the deck plate went overboard the cap the threaded cap could take water washing down.

I know of one marina where a weekend constant boat washer did not replace the O ring on his deck mounted fill , and came to blows with the fuel dock for water in the fuel.

Both the USN and Palmer Johnson have published plans of genuine fuel tanks , filter strainers and bailable sumps
.So even a 50/50 fuel and water fill could be bailed out with no equipment , just time for the water to sink.

As few pleasure boats have fuel tanks , most have boxes for fuel,
I have wondered if a bottom drain could be built in to feed a lower down installed sump to collect the water that causes the bugs.

Sure there might be a danger from a leak , but if the water sump were only used dockside there would be less danger.

We use an emergency bilge pump all summer in case there is an oil leak.
Or the usual pump fails.
It is plumbed into the galley sink which has a pile of oil grabbing pads .
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:16 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Who amongst us can provide some first hand experiences with details as to:
-- fouled tanks that stopped your vessel
-- how old was the fuel
-- how old is the boat
-- what % of tankage does the vessel turn over each year
-- where was the bad fuel purchased

I have second hand information on
-- new boats with construction debris blocking the tank pickups
-- old fuel in old boats being problematic
-- bad Ensenada fuel fouling tanks on a two year old vessel equipped with a top flight polishing system
-- contaminated shore trucks and 55 gallon drums
-- deck fills leaking

Stories
-- refineries use no additives so "I" do
-- the reason "I've" never had a problem is due to (pick one or two)
-- ESI or similar fuel polishing system
-- Gulf Coast filter
-- magnets
-- use of additives makes bad fuel good, cleans tanks eliminates water
-- "I" heard on TF yada yada about bad diesel fuel

So as tossed out earlier, who amongst us has the first hand knowledge and details as to bad fuel stopping your boat.
On a delivery run from Florida to the Chesapeake, one of our 1987 Lehmans shut down during rough conditions on Albermarle Sound due to a clogged Racor. I wasn’t aboard, but my son and the delivery skipper changed the filters and plowed on. The fuel was mostly new—purchased in Daytona and at Hinkley’s in Savannah, IIRC—but I have little doubt there were decades of crud in the tanks when I bought the boat. When the boat was on the Chesapeake, I had the tanks professionally cleaned and they got half a 5-gallon bucket of crap out. The boat was then out of the water for two years while I did some major projects and I’m sure some of the crud has returned.

The “polishing” system I have is home-made and weak—although it does draw from the very bottom of the tanks. It’s being replaced with a Fleetguard mud filter, progressive primary filtration and a stronger pump and will be used both at the dock and underway in sloppy conditions to remove any water and whatever else can be sucked out through the “polishing” system. At some point, I’ll check the tanks again to see how it’s working.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:29 AM   #52
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This is becoming interesting in as far that in the UK and Europe we almost never come across any boats which have 'inbuilt' polishing systems such as ESI.

Once bug is found (normally in emotional seas when it's least wanted) it's treated with additives such as Grotomar 82, filters are changed and lines blown through. This may well happen two or three times before it's been cleared through.

I'm just thankful that the regime I've adopted, appears to have worked well for all the boats i've owned.

Often, we find bug hits when boats have just refilled. The force of refilling causes muck in the bottom of the tank to be stirred up, blocking the filters, and rest you know.

We also find that boats which fill from a refueller which itself has only very recently been refuelled, suffer problems. The bottom of their tanks have been stirred up, and again, you know the story.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:30 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Who amongst us can provide some first hand experiences with details as to:
-- fouled tanks that stopped your vessel
-- how old was the fuel
-- how old is the boat
-- what % of tankage does the vessel turn over each year
-- where was the bad fuel purchased

So as tossed out earlier, who amongst us has the first hand knowledge and details as to bad fuel stopping your boat.
I have first hand knowledge of bad fuel stopping my boat.
1978 Mainship I twin saddle bag tanks, Perkins 160.
I used the boat a lot and it was fine for about 5 seasons. Out and about locally and "sputter, sputter, dead". Anchored and investigated, found blockage in a brass fitting where a copper line came into the manifold assembly that Td the tanks together (I ran on only one side so troubleshooting was easier).

The piece of crud looked like a very large coffee grounds stuck together. It was stuck inside the male flare fitting, look like it had a cutoff burr that was rolled inside when the fitting was manufactured.
Cleaned it out, deburred and back up and running.
A couple months later, I got shut down again. This time I noticed the Racor 900 looked a little low on fuel. So I went to shut the valves off and heard/felt a cruck on one of the valves. Opened that one back up and the fuel "bubbled" back into the filter. I'm sure it was anther "chunk".
I always bought fuel from the same place on the Mystic river where the commercial guys went so the turnover was high.

The next season, one of the guys on my dock had his filters all taken apart on the back of his boat and had a crowd around "helping". The crud he had in the bucket was that same as I had but he had it in spades.
We discovered we both got fuel the same day last season at the same place. Further investigation determined that that marina's filter system imploded that day and they didn't know it for a while.

Ship happens.

After that I started draining the crud out of the bottom of the Racor after each days run. It eventually cleared up.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:41 AM   #54
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A colleague supplied a superyacht with some specialist FLIR kit, and found that when the superyacht refuells, all fuel goes through the yacht's Alpha Laval centrifugal filters before reaching the tanks. When refuelling is complete, the yacht's engineer hands the refuller the muck from the centrifuge....
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:09 AM   #55
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This is great, the last few posts are most relevant. It really is helpful for those of us awaiting the and how to recognize it.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:13 AM   #56
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This is great, the last few posts are most relevant. It really is helpful for those of us awaiting the and how to recognize it.
Have you ever seen dead diesel bug? It's a nasty dark brown sludge that falls to the bottom of the tank, waiting to be stirred up to clog filters and pipes.

As you know, it breeds on the interface of the water that's naturally in suspension in diesel and the diesel itself. Anti-bacterial additives work wonders to stop it from breedng.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:40 AM   #57
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Two points. Both disparate.

1. I had a leaky deck fill that allowed several liters of water go into one of my fuel tanks. Fuel pick up is at the bottom of tank (1981 boat). Engine stopped due to fuel starvation as the water couldn't get past the Racor. Aquabloc coating worked! Pumped out as much of the water as I could with a barrel pump through the deck fill. Ballasted the boat so that the fuel pick up was at the low point. Ran the engine until the water level came up in the filter. Stopped engine, drained filter. Repeated ad infinitum. Gave tank a shot of Biobor. Dip tanks with sounding rod with Kolor Kut paste on bottom. No repeats, no growth. Have boroscoped my tank many times and have never seen crud. Filter runs clean on a regular basis. Tank is clean. Change filter annually to ensure Aquabloc coating is still present.

2. Nuclear powered submarines have a tank separating the reactor compartment form the forward compartment. It is called the NFO (normal fuel oil) tank. It provides shielding and stores fuel for the ND 8 1/8 Fairbanks Morse diesel engine. The tank is always full as it is topped off (bottomed-off?) with seawater. It would be a bad thing to have ullage in your shield tank. The tank has an equalization tank vented inboard to accommodate temperature and hull contraction changes. The fuel in the NFO could be there for years. It was a big tank. We pumped fuel from the NFO tank to the DFO (Diesel Fuel Oil) tank through a duplex filter for use in the engine. No centrifuges. No biocide. Go figure. Now maybe the old ND 8 1/8 could burn a combination of horse urine and roofing tar and it just wouldn't matter. Or maybe, having cooties in your fuel tank doesn't really matter, as long as it is filtered.

Shrug.
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Old 12-20-2018, 12:42 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Steve DAntonio View Post
Delfin, agreed, polishing system pick up and return plumbing should be located close to, and at opposite ends, of the bottom of the tank. 3 gpm, or 180 gph, is a healthy rate for polishing, while it's enough to stir up light sediment, however, nothing is better for this than getting underway.

Far too many polishing systems I encounter suffer from inadequately sized or located plumbing. There should be no restrictions between polishing system pumps/filters and the plumbing that connects them to tanks, and no plumbing should be shared between polishing systems and consumers, engines, and gensets. You should be able to run a polishing system while dockside or underway.

This article covers fuel polishing systems http://stevedmarineconsulting.com/wp...PBB112_opt.pdf

This one covers centrifugal filtration http://stevedmarineconsulting.com/wp...ters115_05.pdf

Thank you for posting those PDFs.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:55 PM   #59
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Thank you for posting those PDFs.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:00 PM   #60
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Does anyone have an idea how much fuel gets pumped through an 855 cummins "PT" pump?

I can find no actual data online or in manuals but the 3500 litre x 2 fuel tanks warm up pretty quick so I am thinking it must pump it through at a good rate.

This page indicates 400 LPM max
That's 24000 litres/ hour
I find it hard to believe that could be right.
https://wancum.en.made-in-china.com/...-Oil-Pump.html
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