Oil/Diesel cocktail in bilges,

mickshep

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A combination of ancient fuel piping and leaking hydraulics has resulted in several litres of a truly revolting and 'orrible' concoction lurking in the bilges, It goes without saying that pumping the revolting mix overboard is not an option. Can anyone recommend a product that I can pour into the bilge that will break down this mess and render it water soluble perhaps, The boat is ashore so the mix can be left to stand several days if need be, Cheers, Mike.
 

TigaWave

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You can't make it water soluble, you need an adsorbent or absorbent to allow you to remove the hydrocarbon and leave the water. We supply re-usable adsorbents mainly for ship bilges, these are normally put in a centrifuge to spin out the oil and then used again. The adsorbent is licenced by DEFRA but for one operation may be a bit costly.

You can squeeze out the oil by hand but it's a bit messy, otherwise it's a case of pump the lot into a settling tank/old oil drum and leave for a few days, the water may seperate if it hasn't emulsified too badly.

I could send you a sample to play with if you're interested.
 

ADLS

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Firstly I recommend pumping as much of the 'orrible' mess into containers for proper disposal. Then washing down the effected areas with an engine cleaner such as Gunk. Then wash out with soapy water. I did this prior to painting my bilges and the paint stuck a treat.

I have fitted drip trays when re-engining my boat and have oil soak up pads elsewhere in case of diesel/hydraulic pipe leaks. A few squirts od cheap washing up liquid will take care of the odd drip.
 

VicS

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[ QUOTE ]
You can't make it water soluble, you need an adsorbent or absorbent to allow you to remove the hydrocarbon and leave the water. We supply re-usable adsorbents mainly for ship bilges, these are normally put in a centrifuge to spin out the oil and then used again. The adsorbent is licenced by DEFRA but for one operation may be a bit costly

[/ QUOTE ] An oil absorbant mat/blanket/pillow is the way forward if it is a layer of oil floating on water. They are good and are what industry would use to mop of oil spills.

If it is just everywhere coated in and oily mess then as mentioned else where Bilgex will loosen it up and emulsify it so that it can all be washed out. Gunk and other emulsifiable engine degreasers may also be suitable provided they are safe on GRP , I expect they would be. Bilgex may have a low marine toxicity, I'm not sure though. The others almost certainly wont have.
 

VicS

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[ QUOTE ]
Then use an absorbent. Baby's nappies are excellent

[/ QUOTE ] The thing about the oil absorbant blankets is that they absorb the oil but not the water. Nappies will absorb the water. Nevertheles for a small task like a yacht bilge they are a good idea and are readily available from all supermarkets. If you do not have a baby of your own explain to SWMBO why you are buying them!
 
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[ QUOTE ]
A combination of ancient fuel piping and leaking hydraulics has resulted in several litres of a truly revolting and 'orrible' concoction lurking in the bilges, It goes without saying that pumping the revolting mix overboard is not an option. Can anyone recommend a product that I can pour into the bilge that will break down this mess and render it water soluble perhaps, The boat is ashore so the mix can be left to stand several days if need be, Cheers, Mike.

[/ QUOTE ]

Nappies and the old superamarket placky bag ... let it all soak up and then bag up to dispose in bin.

So now you have a smelly oily bilge surface ... You can do the age old trick of washing up liquid squirted liberally around ... throw in some fresh-water ... swill around and then nappies again .. this will remove most loose easy stuff.

My party trick to remove back to squeaky clean absolute clean ? Oven spray cleaner. Yep ...... Now there are experts on here that will shout NO NO NO ... it has Caustic in it ... True ... but you would have to leave it there for a long time to do real damage as the amount of caustic is quite low.

So as long as you are able to get water to rinse off and wipe over to all areas that you are to clean ... you spray it on .. leave it while you have a cup of tea. Come back - wipe away with loads of toilet rolls etc. (gloves on of course !) ... if it needs a second go ... spray again ... have another cuppa ... back and wipe away.
When you are happy its' clean enough ... you then give it a good rinse off with fresh-water ... wiping away and rinse again ... 2 or 3 good rinses should be enough.

Done well - the surface is ready to glue to ! I use this method when I want to prepare for Echo-sounder tubes or to clean up leaked castor oil etc. from tubes etc.

Boats I did this too are still sailing around quite happy after years .. so ????
 

VicS

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NO NO NO ... it has Caustic in it ... True .

[/ QUOTE ] Not necessarily. You could use a "safe" oven cleaner that doen't contain caustic. Useless at cleaning ovens imho but may not remove all the paint from the engine.

Personally I'd stick with the Bilgex or similar bilge cleaner. (and hang the expense)

Memo to self: clean oven while swmbo is away........leave it 'til tomorrow ...... but not with Bilgex... it stinks!

Come to think of it I don't understand what you are proposing .... can you demostrate.... on my oven!
 

Evadne

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I would endorse the above, having been there and got the (rather oil-stained) T-shirt, I used bilgex and Ecover/fairy liquid to scrub the bilges with after bailing and then soaking it up with nappies. We always carry nappies now, don't know how I managed without them. I would only add: don't pump the mixture out, bail it or soak it up: the oil will linger in your bilge pump to embarrass you for months to come.
Getting rid of the smell in the cabin is another matter, it lingers on the upholstery. Febreze, Oust and anti-smell sprays from pet shops have all been recommended.
 
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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
NO NO NO ... it has Caustic in it ... True .

[/ QUOTE ] Not necessarily. You could use a "safe" oven cleaner that doen't contain caustic. Useless at cleaning ovens imho but may not remove all the paint from the engine.

Personally I'd stick with the Bilgex or similar bilge cleaner. (and hang the expense)

Memo to self: clean oven while swmbo is away........leave it 'til tomorrow ...... but not with Bilgex... it stinks!

Come to think of it I don't understand what you are proposing .... can you demostrate.... on my oven!

[/ QUOTE ]

Thought he wanted clean bilges ........... I found out the Oven Cleaner trick when I had to refit a sounder in-hull tube ... the old had leaked castor and it had become that sticky goo we all know !! Ex ... at that time we were still happily together ! ... suggested Mr. "Biceps" Oven Cleaner as its designed to remove that sort of stuff from ovens ...
Tube pulled out, old resin chipped away .. Boy it worked like magic ... so well in fact I was able to glass new tube straight on ... years later when sold boat on ... tube still good and no leaks etc. etc.
 

Poignard

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[ QUOTE ]
I would only add: don't pump the mixture out, bail it or soak it up: the oil will linger in your bilge pump to embarrass you for months to come.


[/ QUOTE ]

Instead of using your bilge pump you could use a PELA vacuum sump pump[ or similar]. Let it settle in a container and decant the oil off the top and dispose of it via your local authority waste disposal site.
 
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