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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    55

    Default Diesel Bug - fact or fiction

    Gidday

    I have a 20l diesel tank for a Yanma 1gm10. I was recently told to put in a diesel additive to stop deisel bug. I use the boat on a regular basis and run the engine about 1.5 hours a week.

    Do I need a fuel additive?

    What is the bug and the consequences of getting it?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Oxonia
    Posts
    60,316

    Default Re: Diesel Bug - fact or fiction

    diesel bugs are actually several different organisms, but all have they same effect.

    They are organisms which grow on the water/diesel interface. They are very 'slimy' and clog filters.

    The best bet is to keep water out of the fuel tank, which is best done in winter/cold conditions, by filling the tank to the brim. No air filled spaces - no condensation - no water in diesel.

    If you are using every week, then you should have few problems unless you fill up from a tank/tanker/bowser which is already contaminated heavily.

    Dosing continually with biocides is not a great idea, as the bugs can develop tolerance to the biocide in the same way that bacteria in humans can develop antibiotic resistance.

    Many forumites have used Soltron very effectively, though there is little scientific evidence provided by the several competing manufacturers/suppliers of how it works. It breaks down the slime by enzyme action into particles small enough to pass through fuel filters, and not being a biocide, it doesn't cause resistance effects.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    13,397

    Default Little scientific evidence?

    Are you sure Brendan, surely you mean no scientific evidence? At least I've seen none in all the talk of solly although I will concede that it does seem to work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,479

    Default Re: Diesel Bug - fact or fiction

    a 20l tank is such a small amount and you use the boat on a regular basis so i wouldnt bother, i have a 35l tank and have never used the stuff as the tank gets filled every month.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    3,919

    Default Re: Diesel Bug - fact or fiction

    Diesel Bug lives....
    I got it once - nasty; engine seemed constipated and stopped. Changed filter and all was well.

    Now I check the tank twice a season by using a Pela vacuum pump and an extension pipe to reach the lowest point of the tank. Since the first episode I haven't had a recurrence - and I buy my fuel from sources that many would consider "doubtful" as to quality.

    Just check regularly and always carry spare filter(s). I use a primary and a secondary.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,738

    Default Re: Diesel Bug - fact or fiction

    Dont forget, prevention is better than cure!! i have been on a boat that stopped every 40 mins for a filter change in a big sea - not very nice.

  7. #7
    Guest

    Default Re: Diesel Bug - fact or fiction

    Diesel bug exists in ALL Diesel supplies.

    Those that say one supplier is bad / another is good etc. are fooling themselves ........ sorry about that but true.

    The bug comes in various forms and is NOT just simply an Oil / water interface item. It depends on which bug.

    There are bugs that survive on sulphur IN the diesel, without water, there are those that use the oil / water interface, there are those that stay in the interface.

    Evidence of bug contamination starts with brown / dark 'gunge' settling in bottom of tank - this is DEAD organisms ..... and is actually the problem that stops engines by clogging filters. The LIVE bug is not so much a problem.

    There are various chemicals on the market that a) kill the bug, but leave residues, b) kill the bug and dissolve the residues, c) 'eat' the bug / residues and break it down to manageable microscopic size.

    Ok on to my point of supplies etc. - the condition of suppliers tank is not so critical actually - many a farmers tank looking like a relic from some War arena is fine, with some pristine clean looking high-street tanks being badly contaminated. Outside condition is only a cosmetic affair. The main point is that the tank contents are regularly changed by useage.

    For a boat with a 20l tank .... I wouldn't think that there should be a problem, and the size of tank makes it easier to lift out, swill out and keep clean - I would presume.

    I do not say ignore the Chemical guys .... but really it is a matter of sensible husbandry and regular darining of bottom of tank to ensure that no build up of sediments occurs.

    I repeat again for those who do not believe - ALL diesel has bugs in it - unless it has just immediately prior been dosed for bugs .........

    IF you do use an additive .......... use it sensibly and do not overdo it .... once in a while to keep things sorted should be enough....... if at all with such a small tank.

    The postee that siphons tank bottom out is actually doing one of the best actions he can .... as he can have bugs, but they will not clog his filters with dead crud. He is also not adding to the environmental accumulation of chemicals etc.

    Me - I have an approx. 80ltr tank that sits month after month with diesel in, often only half full ............. as yet I have had no problem after 6 yrs.......................... I buy from cheapest source I can find, I even do not filter into the tank ......
    Yep - I run Petroleum labs, inspect 1000's tons of the stuff and I do not take my own advice !!!!

    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    West Midlands & Plymouth
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: Diesel Bug - fact or fiction

    I am over from the dark side (mobo) but my experience of the Bug may prove useful. I bought a new boat in February 2002 which had a 300 lt diesel tank, after approx 50 hours of running and halfway across Bigbury bay enroute to Salcombe from Plymouth we started to lose engine power and revs, we returned to Plymouth, with max speed down to 7 knts from 24 and rpm down to 1100 from 3400. On getting back on our berth i changed the primary filter which improved the situation but did not cure it completely, I then attempted to change the fine engine filter which put the situation back to where it should have been. I then had the tank drained, taken out and steam cleaned. then 6 months later, I sold the boat and bought a new one, this time much bigger and with 2x500 lt tanks.
    as you can imagine I did not want a repeat of the original problem, so I kept the tanks full and used a biocide treatment, guess what?
    Correct! both tanks contaminated. I religiously check the primary filter and found that the lower half of the bowl contained a green moss like substance. This was about 6 months ago. I dosed heavily with Soltron and i have replaced the primary filters every 10 hours of running and although the filters are dirty I have experienced no running problems at all.
    my advice is to use Soltron as a precautionary measure. Although expensive, it is cheaper in the long run, and the size of your tank it will not be prohibitivly so.
    "Open Another Bottle"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    1,367

    Default Re: Diesel Bug - Prevent it or Cure It

    The Bugs exist - had over 5,000 tons of diesel get the bug and rejected by the Navy after we had hauled it all the way from Grangemouth to Falklands, so we took it back to bonny Scotland and pumped it into the hillside at Campeltown in Scotland where presumably it still is!!

    I like to prevent rather than cure so always keep my tank full as possible and drained of any condensation. After 10 years with present boat no signs of bugs.

    Guess the treatments do work but what happens if yon bugs mutate and start feeding on the treatment? Experience tells us it will happen one day.

    They must be happy little bugs however they certainly breed well!!

    Brian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    UK north East
    Posts
    1,432

    Default Re: Diesel Bug - Prevent it or Cure It

    What about heating the diesel with a blow torch. Wont the heat kill the bugs.
    more questions than answers

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