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What You Can Do After Confirming Your Fuel Tanks Are Contaminated?

If you have concluded that your fuel tanks are indeed contaminated with water, depending on how advanced the contamination is, there are several easy and cost-effective solutions that you will want to give a try. 

You, acting on this problem the soonest right after noticing the symptoms, is the game-changer here. The longer that you allow the contamination to sit on its own, the greater damage it will wreak  and the more costly the clean-up drive and treatment will be. 

fuel tanks

Mix some diesel bug treatment product or biocide to your fuel

The use of biocide or diesel bug treatment products will help in preventing or eliminating fuel spoilage organisms. They are collectively referred to as diesel bugs.

This treatment is a very cost-effective solution to our woes on fuel contamination.  

Where manual draining of the water is the usual course of action taken before, now this additive treatment can be taken advantage of instead

Clean your fuel tanks

With respect to how severe the contamination is, there are instances that fuel tank cleaning work will be very necessary also. This will involve completely emptying your tank first. The contents can be transferred to a temporary liquid storage facility while fuel tank cleaning is still in progress.  

It is of paramount importance to give you fuel storage tanks deeply cleaned first. This will involve cleaning all filters and lines, to remove all sludge and traces of it, contaminants, and residue. The final step would be returning your cleaned fuel to your decontaminated liquid storage tanks.  

This may give you an impression as if everything here is going to feel like a herculean task, but the best way to go here is to just enlist the services of a professional tank cleaner who can complete the job in no time. 

Replacement or tank maintenance

If your fuel tank contamination problem has reached that point where it has eroded your tank system itself, the key issue now has shifted to an environmental type. This renders your tank system unstable. It is not safe now to hold and contain your liquid fuel. If this is the case, replacing your tank system would be necessary.  

If fuel would be leaking out of the tank, it will contaminate its immediate surroundings and that happening will cause environmental havoc of unimaginable proportions. A substantial and massive clean-up drive will be necessary for this kind of situation. 

You should always treat fuel tank corrosion as an urgent and serious matter. Haphazard or thoughtless action is going to have a high cost in the end.  

If you are uncertain whether your stored liquid fuel is contaminated or not, you should be on the safe side of things and assume that it positively is. It is not advisable to wait upon your situation because at stake here is the safety and the security of the environment

Biocide products are indeed safe, easy to use and inexpensive practical solution when dealing with contaminated diesel fuel. Issues on fuel tanks can be avoided by observing regular maintenance and cleaning. 

It Is Important to Have Clean Fuel Tanks

Unclean fuel tanks are amongst the major reasons why fuel filters and fuel pumps fail. If you are wondering as to how this has even become possible, ponder on what we have to tell you next. 

Depending on the frequency, each year there are hundreds or even thousands of gallons of liquid fuel that go through your tank. With that in mind, there is one ineluctable fact that goes alongside that and this is the accumulation of sediments and debris that have ended up in your tank. 

Aside from unwanted foreign particles that will inevitably find their way to your tank, rust is likely to develop also in random areas of your tank. 

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your liquid fuel containment tank is a must because it will not only help the life not only of your fuel filter but your engine, too.  

Steps to Clean Your Fuel Tanks

If you are an engine enthusiast, you perfectly understand why it is much better to prevent the onslaught of a problem as opposed to finding a way to fix it. But before you can even start doing it, it is of paramount importance that you know how to clean your tank. 

Here are the steps you need to follow to accomplish this task with ease, regardless of the engine you are dealing with. 

1.  Safety first

Working with fuel systems means to say that you are going to deal with highly combustible gas, therefore you need to keep safe all the time. To ensure your safety, observe the following points.  

Ventilate: When working indoors, see to it that your work area has good ventilation. If necessary open up doors and windows or consider setting up a fan also. 

Be prepared: Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on stand-by and within your reach. Also, there should be sources of spark or flame near your workplace.  

fuel tanks

2. Mask up:  

Mask up. Even if you are not used to wearing a face mask, for safety concerns, you need to. This measure will help a lot in minimizing your inhalation of toxic fuel fumes. And don’t skimp on your eyes, use a protective pair of industrial eyeglasses for this purpose.  

Drain your tank

Be sure you empty your tank before you remove it. It is not just one of the safety precautions here, but this action will also take away a considerable amount of weight. Therefore, it will make the whole process a lot easier. Some tanks are equipped with drain cock. Check out if your tank does have this feature – so you can neatly drain your liquid tank through it. Otherwise, you manually drain or use a siphoning method instead.  

Remove your tank

With respect to the type of engine you have, this part may be complex or simple to do. Once you have it out, carefully inspect the entirety of the tank and look for anything foreign, sediment, debris, rust — or even holes. Anything significant will matter. If holes are found, patch them up before you proceed.  

Wash and clean your tank. 

Make sure you use effective parts cleaner. Dispersing it all over the internal surface of your tank is a must. Depending on the size of your fuel containment system and the concentration of build up there is, it might take several soaking sessions before you can get the bottom part completely clean.  

Replace your fuel filter. 

You might say to yourself that this is common sense, however many people overlook this aspect. When pulling yourself together to clean up your tank and lines, see to that you don’t skimp on the fuel filter and replace it as needed. 

If you have an old filter, the odds are high that it will limit your system’s entire fuel flow. This happening will make your pump to work doubly hard, rendering it to wear out sooner. (This brings you back to the prevention )

How to Prevent Microbial Growth in Your Silvan Tanks?

Silvan tanks are among those top-of-the-line fuel containment systems that are reputed for their unique characteristics. Manufacturers have them built with enhanced efficiency and safety features, however, these positive notes about them do not necessarily take away the fact that proper maintenance practices should be put into perspective to protect the liquid fuel it contains inside.  

Even if these occurrences seem to be limited, diesel fuel microbial contamination is likely to produce challenges and difficulties such as: 

  • plugged filters
  • reduced combustion efficiency
  • injector malfunctions
  • increased rates of corrosion
  • fuel flow problems

Microbial growth

Microbial growth in fuel tanks is caused by no other than fungus and bacteria. This kind of growth is likely to take place the moment that water has found its way to your liquid fuel storage tank and your diesel’s temperature is anywhere between 10C to 40C. 

Fungal spores and bacteria can be found everywhere, they can be found anywhere but have high concentrations in the soil. They can find their way to your fuel tank in various ways, such as through your fuel vent system. Another is through contamination during the refilling process. 

When water vapor inside your fuel tank condenses, this will eventually create a suitable condition for microbial growth to take place. Usually, microbial growth will occur at the water-fuel interface which is at the bottom part of the tank. The biomass production and microbial growth melding together will result in a dark slime.

It takes on the appearance of algae, others have asserted that it is comparable to a chocolate mousse. This sludge, when they accumulate and grew or spread on the bottom part of your storage tank, that means to say that the conditions are already severe, and thus necessitating immediate action.  

Prevention

fuel tanks and storage

If you want to prevent microbial growth in your fuel storage tank, the best, cheapest, and easiest way to do it is to limit the amount of water that can get into your tank. Initially, we suggest that you check or inspect your tank every month and see to it that the bottom parts don’t have water in them. You may decrease frequency gradually if you are certain no water is found. Twice a year, make it a habit or as part of your tank maintenance routine to have it checked for water presence.  

Most fuel tanks do have drain plugs, and they are usually located at the bottom part of it, too. Use this feature to regularly drain your tank. In the absence of drain plugs, you may come up with other mechanical means. Water leaking into your underground storage tanks must be prevented at all costs.  

Check your fuel tank vents and make a way to install a filter system on them. This measure will help prevent fungal and bacterial spores from finding a way to get inside your fuel containment system or tank. Maintenance, periodic tank cleaning, and inspection should be among the prioritized. 

We are not encouraging you to skimp on the above-suggested measures, but another option you can consider is the use of approved fuel preservative. Such products can provide substantial help in delaying or implementing some control on the buildup of microbial growth. As for the fuel treatment frequency, this aspect though will depend on how fast the growth (microbial) will go.