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Old 09-25-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
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Bad diesel fuel? - 1st time. Tips please!

We've been in a campground for about 5 days now, and the last few days I've had trouble getting the HydroHot to fire up on Diesel. Went out and looked at the fuel filter, and it is a darker color then I'm used to seeing. So then went back and checked the engine fuel filter water bowl, and it too is darker in color. Barely shine a light thru from the back side. Used to seeing it be clear and amber in color. I drained some out, and holding it up to white car, it has a light greenish tint too it.

So, I thought back to our last stop. The truckers were lined up at the truck stop fuel pumps, so I went to the main pump out front with the cars. We were just topping off the tank, so added only 36 gallons to a 130 gallon fuel tank. I do use Biobor JF and Optilube, summer blend, at all fill ups.

I speculate that the 36 gallons had some algae, and even with the additives it was not enough to keep it from perking with the rest of fuel. We did sit for about 8 days in Buffalo Bill State Park, with about a 3/4 tank of fuel, then into the Tetons with now just over 1/2 a tank sitting for another 4-5 days. It is dry here, even with some rain from time to time, the humidity is low.

OK, so now what? My first time with what i think is contaminated fuel. Please see if you feel I'm thinking the right way:
-Spike the tank as is, with a large dose of Biobor JF, or, I may just go to Napa and get some Diesel Kleen.
-As the ISL had not yet shut down, thinking to drive it the 20 miles to town, and topping off the tank.
-I have extra fuel filters, and though I'd wait until it started to clog, before changing them out. Or, should I go ahead and change them out after topping off the fuel and adding the additives?

By the way, I've been running the generator for a few hours each day, and no signs of any problems with it. (Suspect the smaller fuel filter of the HydroHot may have been impacted earlier, due to less volume?)

Any other advice would be welcome. Especially on my thinking the color is off on the fuel. (Nothing floating around in the oz or s I drained, just a slight greenish tint.)

TIA for any tips,
Smitty
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:36 PM   #2
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Chances are that the fuel you got came from the same underground tank as the truckers were buying. Of course that does not mean they bought clean fuel either. If the tank they were pumping from was nearing the bottom it is possible that you picked up some sludge or water. As long as you are still running changing out the filters more often may be the best way to clean things up. Getting the tank polished like the boating industry does can be fairly expensive (they will often have tanks that hold a 1000 gal of fuel and may sit for longer periods of time in a wet inviroment.
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:44 PM   #3
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All pumps , pump off the bottom all the time about ft.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:34 PM   #4
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Smitty77

I use Biobor on a regular basis, not all the time. I do use it if the coach will be parked for a period of time, I fill the tank and put in the recommended amount.

I also started to use Startron Enzyme treatment for diesel engines. The enzymes will actually break down the dead algae. This is sold at a lot of marine stores. The last time I ordered mine from Wholesale Marine the last time, cheapest I could find.

Good Luck
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:02 PM   #5
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How long ago, in miles, did you fuel? I am not so sure that you have contaminated fuel. I think you should give that station a call , ask the mgr. If there have been fuel complaints. The genset should tell you if the fuel is sour fun it for several hours listen for faltering, better to have the genset go down then the prime mover. If the genset runs fine I would troubleshoot the hydro hot
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:13 PM   #6
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If it turns out to be bad fuel, save your receipts where you bought it
Ever since I had a 5-6k bill on my Ford Excursion for bad fuel I typically save all receipts for a bit now

Give your insurance agent a call, My bill was covered by my insurance - think they put it under the vandalism policy, then they went after the station...
they paid the tow bill, all repairs, injectors, and even a tank of fuel !
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:19 PM   #7
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I doubt if it came out of the underground tanks, the refinery where I work owns over 450 gas/fuel stations, all gas/fuel is filtered through large filter's in the pumps (As most all do that I know of, some on the outside of the pumps).........and just as with the paper media in our fuel filters, water/bacteria will not pass through it, it plugs off the filter media, just as on our gas/diesel engine filter's.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:09 PM   #8
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Thanks! And a few more updates.

I went into Jacson to the Napa, and bought some Power Service Bio Kleen. ! gallon, and boy are they proud of it$$!

Before I left to do this, I put a 'spike' treatment of the Biobor. Figure I have about 65-70 gallons of diesel in the tank at this time. When I got home, I added 3 oz of the Bio Kleen.

When at the Napa store I got filter for the HydroHot. Need to call them back with a PN for the Onan QD8000 to see if they have a filter. I was explaining my problem, and an older gent behind the counter said: "Very possible you did this to yourself. All those days with a tank slowly working it's way down from 3/4 to now just over 1/2 tank. Cold nights (low 30's to low 40's ever since I filled up. (About 375-400 miles from where I filled up, in Sheridan off of I90.) Condensation probably kicked in moisture.

I did call the fuel stop, and they said they've had no reports of contaminated fuel in over two years. High volume, and quick turnover.

So, after adding in the stuff to the diesel, I thought I would start the generator and let it run for 10 mins, to get some of the fuel with additative into the filter. And, I fired up the ISL to run it for 10 mins to do the same. The ISL shut off after 2 mins. Going to let it sit again, suspect I got some air in the line when I was draining out the fuel to look at. Try it two or three times, then stop if that does not work, and change out the fuel filters. (On Edit: Started up fine, stopped again in under 2 mins. No Silverleaf Diagnostics reported. Key on, off, on, off for two more cycles. Then on, and started the engine. Ran for 5 mins, the last two at 1100 RPM. So, think I had to burp it. Now have fuel with the cleaner in the filters. To sit overnight, both engine and generator.)

If it does run OK for about 10-15 mins, I'll go ahead and drive the 10-15 miles into Jackson to top off with fresh fuel, to dilute what is in the tank.

Any more though appreciated. Any links on 'How to change a fuel filter.', appreciated too!

Best to all,
Smitty

(Also on Edit: Forgot to report that I will for sure debug the HydroHot, if everything else looks good. I do think I picked up some moisture, and probably have not been keeping enough Biobor in the tank to keep it from cooking into algae over this period of time. We get up into 70's and low 80's a few of these days. So cold overnight, warm in the day... But, also realize the HyroHot can be finicky. Just had this service two months ago by a good tech, trying to help us with a inconsistent firing up of the diesel. He felt it was a bad adjustment on the elements that spark to fire up the the diesel. New tech had done this about four months ago, and it had been hit and miss ever since. This gent put in a new novel, adjusted the sparker (forgot what he called it), and it has run good for the last two months. But, who knows... My bet, clogged fuel filter!)
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:25 PM   #9
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Well, not sure if I had a problem, or if I nipped in the bud via the chemical warfare!

After sitting overnight with the chemicals, I started the generator and ran it for 90 mins under a moderate load. No stutters, ran as normal. I would have expected it to clog the smaller fuel filter, if I had a sever problem(?).

So, we're going to run the coach at about 1000RPM for about 10 mins (fellow campers will love us), and if no signs of problems run into Jackson and top off the tank. I'll add more chemicals for the added fuel, then just see how things go.

I did drain some moisture, maybe a bit less then an oz, out of the HydroHot fuel filter water bowl. Today it fired up, and smoked pretty hard for about 4-5 minutes. As it had residual fuel from when it would not fire up yesterday. It ran good for a solid 45 minutes, cycling off and on a few times without any problems. So, I'm going back into monitoring mode on this. Though I suspect I have an igniter not kicking off like it should. So that will be another adventure!

Appreciated all the input, and hoping all is OK on the fuel front for now,
Smitty
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:29 PM   #10
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Hope you got it!!

I didn't comment earlier because I have no first hand knowledge of a problem like yours as I've never had a problem that might be fuel related.
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:34 PM   #11
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Smitty, you seem surprised this fuel had a 'green' tint to it . All of the diesel I put in the tank is a light green color!
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:39 PM   #12
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Maybe you nipped it in the bud Smitty! Hopefully you don't have anymore problems! I am sure if you had a slight problem with your fuel, it will require some fuel filter changes to get it cleared up over time.......
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
Smitty, you seem surprised this fuel had a 'green' tint to it . All of the diesel I put in the tank is a light green color!
Sorry if I gave that impression. I described it as mostly amber, with a hint of green! But, in the bowl of both the main engine fuel filters, and the HydroHot heater, it was darker then I'm used too. The amount I pulled out, seemed to have a 'slight more' greenish color. No debris, and again no signs of black stuff.

May have been fine, but I think I had the start of an algae problem.

What color, other then tadpole size hunks of black, should I see at the start of an algae problem?

The drive into Jackson was a non event, added another 70 or so gallons, and drove back to camp. Now just going to take a wait and see.

Best to you, and all,
Smitty
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post

May have been fine, but I think I had the start of an algae problem.

What color, other then tadpole size hunks of black, should I see at the start of an algae problem?
Baby tadpole size !!
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