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Old 06-02-2013, 09:29 PM   #1
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Old Diesel Fuel

I am wondering how safe it is to use old diesel fuel. What I mean by that is simply that it is commercial diesel fuel that I bought for my diesel tractor about two years ago when we were going to have a massive ice storm in January. I have a diesel tractor with a PTO driven 25 KW generator which I used to use to power my house. I went out and filled about 15 5.5 gallon plastic fuel cans that I had with diesel for what I was sure would be a long power outage. The power never went off, and I have 50 to 75 total gallons of diesel still stored in these containers. I have noticed in the past, when I store diesel, that I usually get a layer of sediment at the bottom of the container when I finally pour it out. I would strain this fuel before I used it in anything.

My question is, is there any reason not to use this diesel in my motorhome? I assume that diesel does not lose any of its properties, but I certainly don't want to do anything to harm my Cummins engine. Thoughts?

Gary
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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Considering the price of fuel, if it was me, I'd force it through a 2 micron filter then add fuel conditioner. If the fuel has oxidized it will not pass a 2 micro filter and should be disposed of. Be sure to check for water as well. Then I'd blend it 50/50 with fresh fuel and give it a go.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:43 PM   #3
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Gary, I'd proceed with your plan. Bob is correct that the finer you strain it, the better. I've never attempted to force anything through a 2 micron filter, but if you can do that it would be ideal. Otherwise, you can buy a lot of filters for what that diesel costs. Since it was stored in an enclosed can with no air or moisture getting to it, you should be good to go after straining and adding some conditioner.

OK, so the next question is..... what are you going to do with 15 large fuel cans that will be left over?
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:59 PM   #4
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If you bought the fuel for off road use, it might have red dye in it. It's a HUGE fine if you get caught. In addition, off road diesel is usually higher sulphur content. If it's a '90's Cummins, you'd be O.K. A newer engine, with more emission controls, might have trouble with the old fuel.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:43 PM   #5
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I haven't done that with this motorhome but I did with my F350. Just to be on the safe side, I poured it through a coffee filter and added 5 gallons to each fill-up. Didn't take long to get rid of it.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:23 AM   #6
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Thanks for the collective wisdom

I really appreciate the feedback. I did some looking and could not find any 2 micron filters that were not standard diesel filters that would go in the motorhome, so I thought that might not work outside of the standard motorhome diesel system. The diesel I bought was from a truck stop so is standard low sulphur over the road high quality diesel. Definitely not for something off road. I am going to strain it, and then follow the advise of adding 5 gallons with conditioner to each tank. I will go through it pretty quickly. Again, I appreciate the encouragement and advise. Drive safe.

Gary
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:41 AM   #7
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Gary, pour the diesel into your tank, let the MH filters do their job, carry an extra fuel filter or two with you in any case.
Or on second thought you could just give it to me
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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I have a diesel generator and have never had any problems with diesel stored for a year or two in 5-gallon plastic tanks.

I always have a supply of diesel on hand for use during hurricane season and the random storm. I eventually renew my supply by using the "old" diesel in my RV rig.

Since the filled 5-gallon storage tanks are protected from the rain and are sealed from the atmosphere, there is little chance of any water (or sediment) problems from the storage factor.

I am talking about storing straight diesel. I would not want to store biodiesel blends for this long because they are more unstable and unpredictable regarding the various issues involving storage.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:04 AM   #9
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If you have a oil burner for water in your house......
You did pay road tax on it if you got it from a station pump, but the burner is not as picky as an engine.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCooke View Post
If you have a oil burner for water in your house......
You did pay road tax on it if you got it from a station pump, but the burner is not as picky as an engine.

Exactly. For the cost of what you can screw up I wouldn't put it my engine.
Sometimes you have to look at the "penny wise and pound foolish" analogy,,,,


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Old 06-09-2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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Use a filter and add something to prevent algae.(suggested to me by Cummins south)
First time you add it make sure you have it run for a while to mix it up.
Seem that algae is a problem in very humid area and will clog all filters etc.
Deposit might be wax.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:25 PM   #12
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Gary has a 2001 Monaco Dynasty Regent tag axle, 400 Cummins; per his profile. The engine will not have any issues with burning mixed off-road fuel if indeed that is the case.
Gary, your 2-yr old fuel is fine to mix in with your MH diesel tank fuel. There is no need to buy a 2 micron filter or anything similar, simply strain the fuel through an ordinary funnel with a screen to catch any large stuff. Your water separator and fuel filter will do their jobs quite well. Pour each cans contents gently (except the last quart or so) into another container, through the funnel; as long as any water in the bottom of the can is not disturbed it will remain there. Now that you've seen the fuel clarity you may add it to your MH fuel tank.

I once bought an old Case diesel tractor that was parked in a fence-row. There were 2" diameter trees growing through/around the tractor as it had been there for several years. I drained the diesel fuel, strained it as previously stated, re-charged the battery, changed the fuel filter, and the tractor started right up. Ran that tractor for 2 years without needing to change the fuel filter again.
Diesel fuel does not deteriorate like gasoline does, it remains good until contaminates make it unusable.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:41 PM   #13
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I believe that if diesek fuel stand still for a while you could get:
1) a precipitate that looks to be wax
2) in humid area, algae could grow

As far as chemical it is very stable and because of it chemical composition, there is very little evaporation
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:51 PM   #14
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http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_inte...age_diesel.pdf
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