Fuel and Tank Cleaning Fact vs. Fiction

Reality Check

Fuel contamination and dirty tanks are a reality for tank owners today. Poor fuel quality is responsible for rising costs for tank and fuel system owners.

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Liability issues caused by microbial influenced corrosion abound. The tank owner is faced with skyrocketing maintenance costs and liabilities that were not a problem a decade ago. Contaminated fuel attributes to the corrosion issue, part of the larger global corrosion problem costing over $2.5 trillion dollars each year. Corrosion represents the single largest expense in the US economy, 6.2% GDP. Today’s tank owners are having trouble coming to grips with the cost of bad fuel. Separating fact from fiction will help identify an acceptable solution to dirty tanks and contaminated fuel.

Fiction often begins with the idea that tank and fuel cleaning is too expensive. Fact exposes the truth – you cannot afford to have dirty tanks and fuel. The rising cost of equipment, maintenance and liability issues are all attributed to contaminated fuel. The cost benefit of clean tanks and fuel far outweigh the cost to clean.

Fiction includes believing your tanks and fuel are clean. Fact – almost 75% of fuel sampled contain moderate to serious contamination. Exposing the dangers of blind belief that your tanks are clean is a necessary step to taking appropriate action. A fuel sampler is an investment worth making. Monitoring devices and water finding paste can fail. The most effective way to determine what is in your tank is to take a bottom sample.

Helping tank owners peel away fact from fiction is key to reducing the costs associated with contaminated tanks and fuel. Identifying cost effective options to clean and maintain tanks will help owners to take the necessary steps to fuel quality management and tank maintenance. Call Dixon Pumps at 1-800-874-8976 or check out our Online Store where you can order a fuel sampler and much more.


It Starts with a Sample

65-00100-1Fuel quality management does not just happen. It starts with a sample. Unless you know what is in your tank, it is impossible to manage its quality. The first defense against fuel quality issues is regular sampling. Ideally, take a good bottom sample from the lowest access point in the tank at least once a week – more often if deliveries are made.  If the sample is visually clear and free of water or large contaminants you can breath a little easier.  However, clear fuel does not necessarily mean clean fuel.  Because contaminates can be microscopic and still cause damage, they may not be easily seen with the eye.

field testsTesting can also be periodically done to rule out any additional issues that might not be visible to the eye during sampling. There are economical field tests available that can detect water, acid level, ethanol and bacteria. Lab testing is also an option. While more expensive, it will provide a more detailed analysis of the fuel.  For critical applications, this if very important.

Check out Dixon Pumps Online Store for easy ordering of fuel samplers, fuel test kits and other fuel quality management accessories. If you have a question, email us at dixon@dixonpumps.com or give us a call at 1-800-874-8976.

Do You Sample?

Do you sample your fuel regularly?  Can you imagine pulling a sample of the fuel in your tank and seeing nothing but black sludge?  So many are experiencing higher maintenance costs on their fuel systems and equipment.  Bad fuel can account for more than a 35% increase in maintenance costs.  Fuel efficiency can drop by more than 25%.

Surprisingly, most people asked will say they have good fuel quality without really knowing what’s in their tank.  Statistically, their fuel quality is likely substandard and is the very reason maintenance costs have drastically risen.  Do you know the quality of your fuel?  Unless you have sampled your fuel recently, you probably do not know the answer to that question.  One thing is certain, the only way to determine fuel quality is take a sample and test the fuel. Knowing is the first step to proper fuel quality management. Check out Dixon Pumps website or online store for answers. We can help you find the solutions you are looking for.

Bad Fuel Kills Engines

bad fuelWOW…. This sample was pulled from a fuel depot at a very large county school bus garage system.  They called in a panic saying they had big increases in bus maintenance.  The lead mechanic indicated that they could not keep injectors for their bus engines on the shelf.  Buses that were almost new were breaking down.  What was the cause – BAD FUEL!   Fuel depots were surveyed and samples were taken of each tank.  Not one passed.  They were all just as bad as the next.  One sample that contained bio-diesel had turned rancid.

Unfortunately, this is the story often witnessed.  Unaware that fuel has a very short life span and is associated with an assortment of problems if left unmanaged, many tank owners and operators are experiencing the same problem.  FACT – fuel must be managed!  Water, contaminants and microbial growth are all a serious problem.  If a fuel quality management program is not in place, then bad fuel will almost certainly cause catastrophic increases in equipment and engine maintenance resulting in failure and liablities.

First, take a good bottom sample of the fuel.  If the visual sample is failing, then something must be done to clean the tank and fuel.  Minimally contaminated fuel might be mediated with chemical additives. However, it is likely tank and fuel cleaning must be done which often includes a fuel additive or biocide. Check out Dixon Pumps website. We can provide you with the cleaning equipment and the training to take care of the problem. Don’t have a fuel sampler, go to our online store and purchase one. In need of biocides or quality fuel additives, we also sell Biobor products.

What’s in your Tank?

bad fuel sampleThe 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.65-00100-1

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.