Keeping water and dirt from ever getting into the fuel tank and fuel system is the first step to maintaining a healthy setup. Checking the fuel source is not always easy to do, but there are some precautions that can be taken to help ensure clean fuel goes into the tank. Getting fuel from a reliable source is important. Try to fuel from marinas or other sources that have a high turnover in their fuel supply. Avoid fueling from a storage tank with old fuel or one that is close to empty. If possible, put a small sample into a clear container for visual inspection.
Next, make sure water cannot get into the vessel’s tank from outside sources. Water can enter through the fill plate on deck, the tank vent and even from the air in the tank. It is good practice to inspect the fill plate and cap every time fuel is put aboard. Take a few seconds to inspect the cap and seal for damage or wear. If anything does not look right, it should be fixed.
Often ignored, tank vents and fittings can cause problems by either letting water into the tank or preventing air from entering the tank. Make sure the vent hose has a loop above the tank top to trap any water entering the vent and prevent it from reaching the tank. The vent itself should be located high and in a place that will not allow seawater or rain water to enter.
Dealing with air
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September - October 2020