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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,876

    Default Re: Solvent for gunk

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostlymoron View Post
    Get a sample out and test various solvents on it : petrol, paraffin, Gunk, acetone?(with care), etc. See which works best.
    BTW someone suggested steam from a hired wallpaper stripper. You can buy these very cheaply - I've just acquired one for a tenner of a local sale/sell website.
    Good find. That's probably much less than I paid to hire one many years ago!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    1,263

    Default Re: Solvent for gunk

    Work in progress:

    I find I can tip the tank about 10-12, making the fuel outlet tap the low spot - and I can shake it a bit ( until I re-secure it soundly ). There are two 1/2" spigots on top for fuel RETURN and for breather, a low outlet with ball valve and 8mm hose barb for fuel OUT, a 38mm right-angled fuel INLET on top, and a cranked pair of 1/2" spigots for a see-through fuel level sight gauge.

    The ~4 litres of old diesel I extracted has swirls of brown/black powdery sludge. I take that to be 'diesel bug'.

    Today I was able to cobble together a small carpet steamer with a rubbery hose, and introduced - in several cycles - watery steam in which a little kitchen detergent had been mixed. The dribbled outflow was collected bit by bit in a small tray. The initial fluid was opaque black/brown. Steadily, subsequent 'collections' largely cleared until the 'soup' was milky and half clear. Towards the end of the operation, larger flakes ( 3-5mm ) of black material passed through. The fluid was semi-opaque and milky.

    I now have to rid the tank of residual water, and am wondering if blowing in warm air from a hair dryer/hose for half an hour or so would be effective.

    I have made up a 'fuel polishing' rig from a recycled 4x4 filter unit married to a 12v pump. I have it in mind to half-fill the tank ( circa 16 litres ) then ''polish' this volume several times around, finally capturing/extracting some for inspection.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Boat: Falmouth. Work: Cambridge
    Posts
    1,241

    Default Re: Solvent for gunk

    Quote Originally Posted by zoidberg View Post
    The ~4 litres of old diesel I extracted has swirls of brown/b.lack powdery sludge. I take that to be 'diesel bug'.
    I think that is an unwarranted assumption. Most black sludge in a tank is not the result of biological activity but simple chemical instability of modern diesel. References abound, look for Asphaltane. If it is indeed Asphaltane then steam cleaning will be pointless and a simple solvent will be best (and it's not that harmful anyway). Why don't you try cultivating the stuff in a jam-jar of water and diesel: I bet it doesn't grow!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    up on the moors.
    Posts
    32,408

    Default Re: Solvent for gunk

    If you think that you have made a partial clean on the interior surface, can you introduce your endoscope and check visually the condition of the walls ? If they are not shiny bright, then try the Sobo stuff for 24 - 48 hours, shaking tank from time to time.
    I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    1,263

    Default Re: Solvent for gunk

    Quote Originally Posted by sarabande View Post
    If you think that you have made a partial clean on the interior surface, can you introduce your endoscope and check visually the condition of the walls ? If they are not shiny bright, then try the Sobo stuff for 24 - 48 hours, shaking tank from time to time.
    That's a plan! And 'jdc' is quite right. I 'concluded' instead of 'considered'.

    Now to find my el cheapo endoscope....

    Oh, the joys of 'pimping' a sailboat!

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