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Old 02-24-2015, 06:21 PM   #1
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Diesel Fuel Lines Freezing

My son is in the forestry business and diesel fuel lines on one of his skidders froze and cracked in four locations and an elbow coming out of the bottom of the fuel tank froze. The fuel has been winter blend. He has been using additives with each fill up. Temperatures have been as low as -20 degrees F here in upstate New York. When I stored my diesel motor home at our home, I filled the fuel tank and added fuel stabilizer/treatment. With temperatures down to -20 degrees, would a motor homes fuel lines freeze when stored outdoors.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:03 PM   #2
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As long as there is no water in the lines I don't think it would be possible. Diesel fuel jells, as in parifin wax flakes stick together and block the lines. Water freezes and expands and that is what will crack a line.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:09 PM   #3
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Most Likely not !
Go Start it up and let it warm up .
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:09 PM   #4
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I have never seen diesel freeze, gel yes.
Sounds like there was more than a little water in the system.
Also sounds like the fuel was not winter grade with the proper amount of anti-gel.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:50 PM   #5
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The assumption that all additives remove water from the fuel is not a safe assumption. That is why we have filter/separators. I have used diesel fuel in lower than -20f with no problems as long as there was no water in the fuel. I have no confidence in additives removing more than trace moisture from my fuel. There have been a number of related discussions on this site and most contain similar advice: first keep,the tank full, second, buy from high turnover sellers and lastly, change filters regularly.
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the feedback. It puts my mind at ease and I let my son know to check supplier and water separators.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:45 PM   #7
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Need a seperator where visible and maybe at that elbow if on bottom of tank.

Maybe suggest draining off a bit just in case.

There must already be devices in place for this unless these machines are not from a cold area or been removed.

Our bobcat has minimal protection from this but we are in central ca...does not get cold here...
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:59 AM   #8
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The fuel/water separator filter has a chemical in it to help separate the water from the fuel, these filters have a shelf life of 3 years before the chemical degrades.
Why it is important to check build date and change filter within this window.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:57 AM   #9
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Depending on the model of vehicle (skidder) there could be a separate water separator installed somewhere downstream of the fuel tank. This would be in a glass bowl that can be drained by the operator or maintenance personnel. Cat use to use one on their model of skidders.

Now most of the off road fuel is stored in bulk container of some sort some times on the job site or in the back of a pick-up truck for small outfits. These tanks also need a water separator installed along with a fuel filter on them to prevent debris and water from entering the vehicle fuel tank. Most anti-jelling treatments will not help with the bulk storage tank if the tanks are not drain and water is allowed to accumulate.

That is why most manufactures of RV motor-homes advise against above ground storage tanks for diesel fuel usage with their vehicle usage.

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