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klparker

Algae in fuel tank

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2001, Itasca Horizon, diesel pusher.  I am loosing power and transmission gears down.  I changed both filters, fuel/water and fuel.  I filled my tank and added product Sta-Bil for algae.  However, when I check the fuel/water filter I still see black algae.  Do I need to drain all fuel, change two filters  and then add an  algae elimination product or is there a product that will kill and dissolve algae so it would be removed when all fuel is consumed.  Can I add another type of algae killer to the Sta-Bil that is currently in my fuel tank, since March 2019.  Do you think I need professional help or is this a problem I can take care of?

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Sta-bil is a good product if you use it from the very beginning.  Once water is allowed to sit in the tank for a length of time, algae will grow.  I would seek professional help to thoroughly clean the tank and get rid of the algae.  Then, start fresh, and try to keep the tank full and treated when not in use.

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To my knowledge there is no way to run algae-contaminated fuel through the engine. It must be removed prior to the injector pump = fuel filters. Once you have killed algae in the fuel tank it still must be removed. There are 2 options for that, one is fuel polishing, but at today's low  diesel prices IMO it will be cheaper to#2 option- have the tank drained and cleaned.

I would become adept at changing fuel filters, and carry 2 of each for spares when traveling, until you have captured all remaining black stuff.

To greatly reduce the chance of this re-occurring, keep  your fuel tank full when in storage, and only buy fuel at high-volume/turnover  stations. Normal air temperature changes cause condensation in a partially filled fuel tank, which then settles to the bottom, where "algae" may grow between the water and fuel. A full tank has very little  vacant space for condensation to form.

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Use Biobor, and change filters a lot...time consuming, but a lot cheaper than option 1 or 2.  Joe L. wrote an excellent story on this, 2 years ago, his own experience! 

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There is @70 gallons fuel in tank, should I attempt to remove fuel before adding Biobor?  After adding Biobor any idea how long I should wait until driving, and how often should I change filters to ensure algae is gone.  Currently, I can see algae in fuel/water filter but no water.  Should I drive to mix up fuel with Biobor or should I start RV and let it idle for a period of time.

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7 minutes ago, klparker said:

There is @70 gallons fuel in tank, should I attempt to remove fuel before adding Biobor?  After adding Biobor any idea how long I should wait until driving, and how often should I change filters to ensure algae is gone.  Currently, I can see algae in fuel/water filter but no water.  Should I drive to mix up fuel with Biobor or should I start RV and let it idle for a period of time.

I added algaecide to ours, topped it off with fresh fuel and ran it to 1/4 a tank, topped it off with fresh fuel and added more algaecide. I did this for several months and many fill ups. It took me a while to get it all out. My primary filter was in need of changing the first time around 900 miles, and it went up from there. That all happened back in 2016, to this day I still use a fuel conditioner at each fill up. Cheap insurance and the coach does perform better with it. 

I looked into fuel polishing, it was just north of $1000 and I had to drive it to them. I didn't spend nearly that much doing the way I mentioned but I guess it will depend on how bad yours is. If I still had a fuel tank repair shop close by I would have pulled the tank and had them cut it open, clean it and weld it back together. I have had that done in the past for Ambulances and Fire trucks, that works best and insures cleanliness. 

Make certain you carry extra filters, proper tooling and a way to prime those filters with you at all times. I still carry 5 primary filters and 2 secondary filters. Tools are in a tote, rubber gloves next to the tote and I have a jug to store excess fuel until I can properly dispose of it when I get home. 

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5 hours ago, manholt said:

Use Biobor, and change filters a lot...time consuming, but a lot cheaper than option 1 or 2.  Joe L. wrote an excellent story on this, 2 years ago, his own experience! 

Since  1oz treats 80G  diesel fuel, and klparker has 70G in his tank, and it might take 3 filter changes to get through that 70G; @ $3/gal for diesel, it may be a wash, empty tank or buy Biobor @ $14.26 + at least 3 changes of filters, then clean the tank of slime remaining on surfaces exposed. At today's diesel prices, $3/G  roughly, disposing of 70G will cost about $250. He can always find a farmer who wants free diesel fuel to burn brush piles.

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Ray, we burn pretty big brush piles once a year and use 4 bags of Frito's or Potato chips!  I'm still battling Cedar, got all the Mesquite.  Never use diesel, it's too hard to control.  

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Having spent many days clearing and burning brush we have found that the best and most economical fire starter, in dry or wet weather, is a Presto Log.  At a cost of around $16 for a case of 6 at Home Depot, once started these logs burn for 2-3 hours and will ignite any bush, wet or dry, that you lay on top of them. Way cheaper than using oil, diesel, bags of chips. We always carry one in the MH. Great for starting a camp fire too!

 

enviro-log-firewood-1000562-64_400_compressed.jpg

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1 hour ago, manholt said:

Never use diesel

Funny, one of the first tests to determine if diesel fuel is contaminated with gasoline is to see if it lights with an open flame, if it does its contaminated, if it doesn't there is NO gas in it. 

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Joe, oil will burn, tar, diesel, kerosene, gasoline...same thing.  Some have more volatility than others.  I guess I don't understand your statement.

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9 hours ago, manholt said:

Joe, oil will burn, tar, diesel, kerosene, gasoline...same thing.  Some have more volatility than others.  I guess I don't understand your statement.

Diesel will burn if misted over a flame, you can pour it on the ground and put a torch to it, it will just smoke, only after a while, not burn. 

Scroll down to #2

https://www.anl.gov/article/7-things-you-might-not-know-about-diesel

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I used diesel to start brush fires for years when I had my ranch. I would use a paper feed sack to start it. The crews clearing land for highway R-O-W's used diesel to for years to start the fires; I don't know what the use today. Maybe we have a more volatile diesel here in Texas, Joe. :blink:

Just to not stray from the topic, I don't recommend burning the diesel while its in your tank to destroy the algae.:ph34r:

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On 9/11/2019 at 12:34 PM, klparker said:

There is @70 gallons fuel in tank, should I attempt to remove fuel before adding Biobor?  After adding Biobor any idea how long I should wait until driving, and how often should I change filters to ensure algae is gone.  Currently, I can see algae in fuel/water filter but no water.  Should I drive to mix up fuel with Biobor or should I start RV and let it idle for a period of time.

How did you make out with this? 

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3 hours ago, jleamont said:

How did you make out with this? 

Just got the Biobor, will put enough for 90 gallons - 60 already in tank and adding  30 to top off and then take it down the road.  I have extra fuel/water and fuel filters.  After driving several miles I will check the fuel/water filter for algae and change as needed.  I appreciate all your help and if you have any further ideas please let me know. 

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Hopefully you can clear it out on your own. The Algaecide for me broke it down so it would get into the filters. At first it was so bad it was clogging up the fuel line at the water separator. I thought for sure it was going to be expensive.

I got ours from a truck stop that must have had a load dropped that sat around too long in the summer. I had these little buggers also;

https://www.aa.co.nz/cars/motoring-blog/what-is-the-diesel-bug-and-how-can-i-prevent-it/

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