Diesel Bug - Big Problem?

Thoughts on diesel bug...

  • ...it's a worry but I don't do anything

    Votes: 10 10.0%
  • ...I don't even think about it

    Votes: 12 12.0%
  • ...I take preventative steps (additives etc.)

    Votes: 77 77.0%
  • ...what's diesel bug?

    Votes: 1 1.0%

  • Total voters
    100

cobolt

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Hi all,

I'm just trying to do a bit of research on something, namely Diesel Bug, and I hope you can help!

How much of a problem is diesel bug? Is it a major worry or a minor annoyance and is it a regular occurrance or something that happens only seldom?

If a bug contamination is found, what can the damage costs be? Equally, how much do people spend on preventative treatments p.a./per fill?

Looking forward to your input!

BR, Ben
 

NormanS

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One of the best preventative steps is to have a well designed fuel tank, fitted with a dirt / water sump, as all good tanks used to have.
 

pvb

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How much of a problem is diesel bug? Is it a major worry or a minor annoyance and is it a regular occurrance or something that happens only seldom?

For most people, once they've experienced problems with diesel bug they use additives to prevent it recurring, so it's a one-off experience usually.


If a bug contamination is found, what can the damage costs be? Equally, how much do people spend on preventative treatments p.a./per fill?

Diesel bug usually just clogs the primary filter and stops the engine. The main damage is inconvenience, and there isn't much of a cost involved (unless you pay someone to get rid of the contamination).

As for the cost of treatment, I use the excellent Startron enzyme additive which costs next to nothing to use - about a penny a litre.
 

SHUG

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If it is a common problem, why don't the manufactures put in an inhibitor at source ?
Actually I know the answer." It would cost 0.0003p per litre and/ or there is no demand for it."
 

RobBrown

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I seem to recall a recent post here that, Premier was it?, were looking to provide pretreated fuel at their Marina outlets, but at an increased price, not fuel at cost as previously.

I had no fuel troubles for 4 years, then substantial probs some weeks after a fuel pipe fracture and loss of all diesel in the tank- stirred up the gubbins one assumes. Put in a pre-filter and now treat with Fuel Set.
 
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Its never been a huge problem for me. I have had a bit of sludge in the fuel it just needed to be taken out from the water separator and after I added some biocide and changed the fuel filters no more dramas.
 

Martin_J

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This little link has a summary of what the main marinas are selling (or plan to sell) by way of bio-diesel (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester or FAME) and has links to their statements.

http://littleshipclub.co.uk/content/whats-diesel-youre-buying

It looks like MDL will only sell FAME free diesel and Premier sell FAME free in all but Chichester (because it is classified as inland) although Chichester will be selling FAME free from Aug 2011. Until then it will be pre-treated with Soltron.

Perhaps the official marina web sites will confirm this by being up to date.... I for one add an additive whether what I am sold is FAME free or not because whichever fuel I buy, it is not guaranteed bug free.
 
A

angelsson

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I use a well known additive, but problems with diesel can still occur via dirt and water etc.
I have installed a fuel polishing circuit which runs pretty much continually or as batteries allow. It also doubles via a 3 way valve to supply the engine filter if the engine pump should fail. I have a circuit diagram if anyone would like to see it. PM me.
 

Ional

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I bought diesel from a well-known supermarket last autumn, to top up the tank. Didn't need it.....so put it in my Volvo car. It had been standing in my garage for 4 weeks. On the next trip in the car a message flashed up. Do NOT drive, contact garage immediately. Fuel problem.

The volvo dealer told me it was contaminated fuel, and to fill up with diesel from Bp or Shell. They are purer, and he said that bio-fuel is a major problem even for some car engines, makes you worry about fuel in the boat sitting there all winter!
 

SimonJ

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Bio Diesel possible problem with GRP fuel tanks

In USA where bio gas (ok, petrol!) has been in use for a while huge problems have been experienced with damage to GRP fuel tanks which are attacked by something in this type of fuel. I thought the issue only applied to petrol.
However - on a recent trip from Majorca to Las Palmas in a 62ft version of a very well known class of expensive yacht (not mine!) where we did a lot of motoring we experienced frequent filter blockage. The just cleaned GRP tanks had been refuelled from empty with Spanish diesel. The suspicion is that this fuel (& it seems Spain has been using a Bio mix dieso fuel for a while) reacted with the GRP fuel tanks - a large amount of clear jelly, a kind of solidified foam was constantly blocking the filters.
I have friends with experience in the oil fuel industry who confirm this scenario as a possibility.
Be warned if you have GRP fuel tanks.
Any further more expert comment on this would be very welcome.
 

fisherman

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parts of a missive from Fuel Proof Ltd
Dear Customer,

Since the start of the year Fuel Proof Ltd has had a huge influx of calls from customers with concerns about the changing fuel specifications, and fuel security. To try and help bring some clarity to what is currently happening we have compiled this brief advice sheet.
The changeover to a new diesel specification, which began back in November for red diesel and over 12 months ago for DERV, has given on-site maintenance staff another headache to contend with.

The changeover to fuel specification in line with EU Directive 2009/30/EC means that ‘gas oil’ (red diesel) is now almost sulphur free, and will also contain up to 7% Biodiesel. This low sulphur red diesel containing Biodiesel is a better solvent than current diesel and it will loosen deposits that have built up inside diesel tanks and fuel lines. If not correctly filtered this can end up blocking vehicle filters and possibly cause damage to engines. Storage tank filters and vehicle fuel filters now containing the loosened deposits should be replaced soon after the change over, and spare filters stocked. The filters may need changing several times over the first few months, depending on the age and condition of the tank.
The shelf life of this new fuel is also considerably less as it is more prone to oxidation, which as before, may lead to filter blockages. Fuel stocks should be turned over ideally no longer than 6 months. Find out when your fuel supplier changes from ‘summer’ to ‘winter’ grade fuel (usually at the end of October) and make sure you don’t end up with a tank full of ‘summer’ grade for the winter, as this will ‘wax’ as temperatures drop.
Bio-diesels can contain up to 25 times more water than petroleum diesel, and is a perfect habitat for microbial growth. The bacteria feed on the fuel – breaking down the carbon chains which reduces the combustible properties.
Storage tanks which have large amounts of ‘dormant’ fuel due to their shape or design, are more prone to bacterial growth. This should be taken into consideration when upgrading your fuel storage equipment.
 

Evadne

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I went through a phase of having trouble with this a few years back. "Trouble" usually means the engine cutting out unexpectedly, often in rather nasty cicumstances.

Installing a good primary filter was the most effective preventative measure. Followed by using DERV exclusively, using an additive (it's important to change biocides regularly to prevent immunisation, I'm told) and finally, something I've always done, is to drain off the bottom tablespoon from the tank before starting the engine.

I still get gunge out of the tank every time I drain it, but not much and it hasn't stopped the engine for a long time now.
 

Grumpybear

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our Marina (Sutton Harbour in Plymouth) now sells red gas oil, offered as compliant with the EC directive, with less than 10 ppm sulphur, no biodiesel and no FAME. Should we be adding anything to compensate for the reduced sulphur and, if so, what?
 

alan_d

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If it is a common problem, why don't the manufactures put in an inhibitor at source ?
Actually I know the answer." It would cost 0.0003p per litre and/ or there is no demand for it."

The other answer is that it would promote the proliferation of micro-organisms resistant to that particular inhibitor. That is why it is good practice not to use the same biocide in your tank every fill-up but to ring the changes from time to time.
 

TAIC

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Every time I fill my diesel tank I add about 0.5l of petrol to the diesel tank to kill off any bugs - that is 1/2l on about 100l of new diesel.

Why risk damaging the delicate parts of your fuel injection system by adding petrol? surely at todays prices it would be just as cheap to use a specialy designed additive.
 
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