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Old 05-29-2009, 11:26 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Diesel algae problem

Just got word from my Cummins repair shop that due to algie growth in my fuel tank that I need a new lift pump and my fuel line needs to be re routed in order to install a pre filter. This problem is on the rise due to low sulphur diesel fuel especially in southern states or vehicles that have fueled in southern locations. This is a costly repair $2000.00 that could be avoided with the addition of a pre filter and the use of some fuel additive, and of course the knowledge of this problem which niether the dealerships or the government are handing out. If anyone else has experienced this please respond ,I would like to get your thoughts. PO"D IN VA
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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I don't want to sound harsh, the problem with algie and water are very well know problems with diesel fuel.

You need to keep close tabs on a diesel fuel system.
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:01 AM   #3
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Keeping the fuel fresh and the tank full is the best. Next would be to use something like Algae-X. They also make filter systems that will clean the fuel.
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:06 AM   #4
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I've never heard of algae harming a lift pump either, but I suppose it is possible of some of the crud gets through the filter. Algae clogs the filter quickly, but that's what filters are for. The opre-filter will get clogged too, but the secondary hopefully stays ok.

And most coaches already have a pre-filter. There was a period of about 18 months where Freightliner was installing only one filter (roughly 2003 thru 2004) with permission form Cummins, but they went back to a pre-filter + final filter combo after problems arose. I have one of the single filter coaches but have never had a problem. I do use an algaecide when the coach sits for awhile, but don't bother when I am runing it regularly and keeping things stirred up.
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Old 05-30-2009, 03:33 PM   #5
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I am wondering if the problem is algae or just the crud that the new diesel "cuts" lose from the tank and the fuel lines -- lots of problems with that due to the new Ultra low diesel. I installed a dual filter system on my MH just because of that problem. I also use an additive with about every other fill to help with any moisture and algae problems. After two fill ups with the new diesel and after the new filter system installed, the "pre-filter" had to be changed due to clogging up with the "crud." changed out both filters at the same time just to be careful. The dual filter set up cost right at $500.00 at Cummins South and included the re-routing of fuel lines, wiring in the new sensor, mounts, both new filters, and labor.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:06 PM   #6
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Diesel fuel is a fraction of crude oil that is wet as is Jet A. The removal of sulfur would not effect microbial life. Algae growth in wet fuels is common and has been known forever. The use of diesel additives that inhibit microbial growth is also a very old practice. Proper filter maintenance and the use of a quality fuel additive should eliminate algae problems. Buying from high volume sources is also recommended.

BTW there two sources of petroleum based diesel. Diesel based on high paraffinic crude, high gravity, has a yellow sweet smelling appearance and normally has a high cetane number. Diesel based on low gravity crudes are root beer colored and usually a fowl smell, they have been cracked, and require cetane improvers to meet specifications.
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