If fuel contains water, then finding out where the contamination is entering the system is a priority. A thorough fuel system assessment is essential. Two of the most important aspects of fuel quality management is keeping water out of the system and reducing any noticeable corrosion.
An assessment will identify obvious areas where water might be entering the system. If water is entering the system and a leak is undetermined by a visual assessment, then a line and tank test should be completed. Continued investigation is necessary until the leak(s) are found.
If water enters tank instantly or quickly, then fuel might become emulsified from top to bottom. If water enters more slowly then it may settle to the bottom and not emulsify the fuel or become heavily entrained. To find out, a fuel sampler can be used to pull samples at different levels. This can help narrow down your search for a leak.
If you do not own a fuel sampling device, call Dixon Pumps today or go on our online store. We include instructions on how to use it. Don’t let water cost you money. Buy a sampler today.
The fuel sample above came out of a new fuel system barely six months old. In a very short time, the fuel degraded and was causing damage to both the fuel system components and the engines the diesel was running.
When asked, “is your fuel clean,” most will answer “absolutely.” Chances are, you really do not know unless you are regularly sampling the fuel. The best way to know is to take a good bottom sample. How many of you take regular bottom samples? Likely, very few. Sampling is the simplest and most cost effective way to get a quick snapshot of what is going on in your tank.
If you do not have a bottom sampler, get one. You can find them on the Dixon Pump’s online store. It will be the best investment you ever make. Contact us for volume pricing.
There are numerous risks associated with contaminated fuel. The liabilities and financial risks are high if ignored. How do I know I have a problem? The warning signs and problems are complex. Fuel system history is very important because it reveals the breadth of the issues. While the following list is not exhaustive, it is a good starting point. The problems are warning signs that likely indicate a more sinister issue lurking in your tank.
- Premature filter changes
- Corroded or clogged filters
- Dispenser slow flow
- Premature hanging hardware failures
- STP Failures
- Visual evidence of corrosion in the sumps
- Shear valve failure
- Meter failure – clogged and corroded
- Proportional valve failure
- Leak detector failure
- Probe failure
- Constant water issues in the tank
- Line and tank leaks
- Dispenser overruns
These are a few of the problems caused by contamination in a fuel system. Engines also exhibit warning signs caused by contaminated fuel. Below is a list of common engine problems associated with contaminated fuel:
- Engines not starting, rough starts or stalling
- Clogged engine filters
- Reduced engine power
- Poor fuel economy
- Premature injector failure
- Discolored fuel (dark, cloudy, emulsified)
- Excessive exhaust emissions
- Increased injector and pump repairs
- Premature cylinder wear
- Repeated fuel delivery system failures or repairs
Ultimately, all of the associated warning signs and risks add up to higher maintenance costs. The risks are very real. There are four risks to consider when dealing with fuel quality.
- Operational Risk – not managing fuel quality carries the risk of operational downtime and losses. When the power goes off due to bad fuel, the most obvious risk is operational.
- Reputational Risk – sustained power loss can become a reputational problem with any organization and the individuals responsible for maintaining power. If fuel quality is not at the forefront of your maintenance program then the loss of reputation is likely.
- Health and Safety Risk – no doubt that the loss of power poses a health and safety risk to those affected. This is especially true in the emergency management and healthcare sectors.
- Value Risk – there is a financial risk when fuel quality is ignored. The ideal management program reduces financial risk! Do not wait until it is too late. Call Dixon Pumps and ask us how we can help.