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Fuel Tank Flushing

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We need to do the same at some point.. Couple of suggestions we've been advised.

Fuel additive as poppy mentioned and give up and change the filters continuously.

Pela oil sump pump if you can get into the bottom of the tanks through the filler neck (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pela-6000-Oil-Pump-Extraction/dp/B002EJ2GUC

Thankfully on ours we have a bottom change over valve so can remove that to empty.

Good luck.  

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Been dosed with marine 16 but it's the sludge thats the problem not the bug, filler has a 90 degree welded bend on the tank so too sharp to get a pipe in, pela pump won't do much on a 325 litre tank.

I think I'm going to put a holesaw through and make a new cover and pressure wash through the hole (with diesel not water) and pump out through the drain valve, just need to find 150 litres worth of fuel storage....

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Yes - we use Soltron onboard 'B.A', have been doing so for an age now,   as well as killing the bug, it stops it forming, breaks it down so it will pass through filters for combustion.  A big bonus side effect is that it breaks down the diesel molecules too therefore giving a cleaner more efficient combustion of the fuel = more hours per litre, works well for inboard diesel warm air heaters too.  I've been 'Banging on' about it for years now but no-one listens to me!  -  Well recommended.


I get it from here in 500ml bottles:-



Hope this helps, and you're lucky my HH3 is playing ball right now



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Sounds to me like you need to hit this stuff hard and physically break the sludge down then get the resultant liquid out. Since you have no way to see inside the tank and your fill top is not 'straight in' then the only thing I can think about is to cut a hole into the tank - that should not be too much of a problem to do and as a result will enable you to see just how bad things are inside and always then have a way to inspect the tank in the future.

You could use an Oil-Change vacuum pump to clear out the sludge at the bottom.  If it is brown and mushy feeling then its most likely dead bugs. If gritty and coarse then more likely sediment.

Once you have got as much of it out as possible maybe the use of Carb Cleaner will sort the rest out, then again suck as much as you can out.  What's left could be dissolved out with an additive such as Soltron - you need an enzyme based one to "eat" the sludge.


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cheers John, been up this weekend and cut a 2" access hole in each tank on the face (near the top!!) opposite end to the drain/fuel take off, pumped out through a 1 micron filter so I could replace the small drain fitting with a ball valve an hose tail, pumped a load through the same filter for a while, will go next weekend now fittings are in place and set up my transfer pump and filter and give it some bouncy runs over breydon while the pump runs, then swap to other side and do it again, hopefully this will shift most of the crud.

Too well baffled to get the pressure washer in.

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I was considering just turning the tanks over so the sludge and crud is at the top well away from the pickup pipe.

I have a couple of small cloth bags that I am going to attach to a string and chuck in through the access holes full of magnets to catch any rust moving about as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 02/05/2016 at 6:33 PM, LeoMagill said:

pela pump won't do much on a 325 litre tank

Worked for us.. we used a a copper pipe attached to the end of a pela pump hose. Allowed us to quickly identify what the tanks are like (all good thankfully).. (ours are 100gal tanks). cheers 

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