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Old 04-05-2019, 11:31 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by Riverguy View Post
Currently own both the Mainship and the Bayliner.




Anyway...Water's not the problem, it's the microbes that live off of the water and their corrosive bio-waste. Use a biocide, keep the bugs from growing, and sleep well at night.
Good point about warm and cold fuel, above and below ground storage, and the varying ability to hold water in suspension.

I disagree, water is a huge problem for metallic tanks, even if it's not supporting biological colonies. This is why, once again, I deem biocides a panacea, they address the symptom, not the cause. Water and no biological life is better than water and biological life, but water remains problematic, it shouldn't be dismissed as a mere nuisance.

Also, regarding water absorption by fuel in a tank, the inverse is also true, if the air in the tank is "dryer" than the fuel, i.e. it contains less water, water entrained in the fuel (not free water) will "evaporate" or be absorbed by the air.

Black contaminant in filters can be evidence of a microbial infestations (or more accurately its byproduct) or asphaltene contamination, the latter is mineral-based. Although some claim to clean tanks, no additive I've ever encountered will remove either of these per se, they need to be removed manually, by accessing and cleaning the tank.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:37 AM   #162
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One "O" ring had completely failed and we had just about 15 gallons of water in that tank - pumped it out with a vane puppy pump and a length of soft copper ice maker line snaked into the tank.
As a note to anyone who has an aluminum fuel tank, do not use copper plumbing/dip tubes to access the tank. Copper is cathodic to aluminum (every metal except zinc and magnesium is) which means when the two are in contact with each other, and an electrolyte, i.e. water, the anode, aluminum, will corrode. Dragging a copper tube across the bottom of an aluminum tank will leave behind deposits of copper, where water will accumulate, this can set up the right environment for galvanic corrosion. Stainless steel and non-metallic tubes are preferred.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:14 PM   #163
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As a note to anyone who has an aluminum fuel tank, do not use copper plumbing/dip tubes to access the tank. Copper is cathodic to aluminum (every metal except zinc and magnesium is) which means when the two are in contact with each other, and an electrolyte, i.e. water, the anode, aluminum, will corrode. Dragging a copper tube across the bottom of an aluminum tank will leave behind deposits of copper, where water will accumulate, this can set up the right environment for galvanic corrosion. Stainless steel and non-metallic tubes are preferred.
Good point - the tube was coated with glyptal.
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Old 04-06-2019, 01:33 AM   #164
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Wow. Take two cups of science, add 1 cup reality, 1 cup assumption, mix well in a well designed tank, and as my late gran would say, "There you are, you don't know where you are."

So what do we know?

1) Water can be held in suspension in diesel
2) The water/diesel interface can be a breeding ground for diesel bug

The point at which this becomes a potentially dangerous issue is in an emotional sea when the contents of your tank are being shaken around picking up the dead, brown, slimy bug from the tank's bottom and delivering it towards the engine(s) with the inevitable result of blocked lines and filters. Just when you need your engine(s) to stay working for you. Not the most helpful of results.

Given this potential, regularly adding a biocide is a good hedge, helping to reduce your anxiety levels when coping with nasty seas.

At the same time, the obvious regular tasks are:

a) keep your filters fresh (we do ours annually). Looking at their state will give many a good clue to what's going on.
b) ensure the O rings on your filler caps are in good conditions to minimise 'unnatural' water ingress.
c) only buy your diesel from a supplier which has a regular fresh turnover.
d) wait a good 24 hours after your supplier has had a delivery before you fill-up to give time for anything stirred up to have settled.

Having helped lead many cruise in company events (25+ boats per cruise) around the UK and Europe, diesel bug has always raised its head at some time during the cruise. I've lost count of the times I've had to tow.

Prevention is better than cure.
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:37 AM   #165
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Good point - the tube was coated with glyptal.
I love that stuff!
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