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Author Topic: Clean diesel fuel?  (Read 378 times)


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Clean diesel fuel?
« on: September 22, 2017, 12:16:38 PM »
Several of the local stations have been out of diesel for much of the time since hurricane Harvey, making me think about how safe it is to refill my truck following the replenishment. Would filling an empty storage tank stir up particulate matter as well as water from the bottom of the tank? This is in Dallas, an area not included in the flooding.
 Another thing that this situation brought to my mind is how valid are concerns about filling at a station that doesn't do a lot of business? I know the consensus appears to be that you're better off filling at a high volume station but is that really valid? Diesel is very stable and while I understand the most common and concerning impurity is water, is there really evidence that this is a larger issue with low volume stations or is it one of those "truths" passed on from person to person that has simply developed the aura of fact because no one has ever proven it wrong? Do all stations have filters at the pump? I've tried to research this and found it difficult. Here's one source I found that doesn't really answer any of the questions I've posed but it's interesting. http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/article/story/2015/06/keep-it-clean-and-dry.aspx
Just ruminating.🤔
Bob & Kathy
2017 F350, Diesel
5th wheel: 2016 Cedar Creek Champagne 🥂

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Clean diesel fuel?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 03:18:59 PM »
The problem is twofold: In times of shortage, the tanks get drawn down low to where the crud can get pumped up. And the a refill of the tank stirs it up more than usual. And I have no idea how common filters are at fuel stations.

I suspect you are right that the thing about using high volume stations is more myth than practical advice. The only dirty fuel I've run into came from a major truck stop that literally pumped thousands of gallons of diesel daily.  There can be several reasons for fuel quality problems, e.g. Old tanks that leak or are rusty inside, dirty tanks with years of accumulated contaminants, etc. I don't think low volume alone is a factor.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Clean diesel fuel?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 06:28:44 PM »
If there was no biodiesel, I would say no to contaminated fuel on the short term. With biodiesel, I don't know, but doubt the short term shortage will cause any problems  I know the worst winter of my life, in the trucking business, was the winter of 73-74. OPEC embargo. All the super large tanks at the refinery down to the tanks at the truck stops were nearly always near empty. This caused condensation in the storage tanks  and the moisture became entrained in the fuel. This fuel would start freezing in the filters at about 25 degrees and by zero degrees it looked like snow in the fuel tanks. No amount of alcohol would disperse it. 
I was running five trucks in the Mt.,Wy. Co., and Dakota areas. We finally did three things to keep running.  We plumbed the fuel return line to the bottom of the fuel tanks so the heat from the returned fuel would migrate up through the fuel. We plumbed in coolant lines from the center front of tank to center rear of tank. We wired in switched 12 volt baby bottle warmers ( sometimes two sewed together) to keep fuel filters warm. This let us run down to about -20. Below that we were in trouble.
Fuel filter heaters, heated water separators, and some types of fuel tank heaters were not available before the embargo, but were available after.
Just noticed I was in "the rambling old man" mode. Sorry.