July 21st, 2020
BENEFITS TO tANK cLEANING
One of the most common fuel contaminants is water. Water, of course, doesn’t burn. Nor does it mix with diesel or other oil-based fuels. Water can get into your fuel system when its being filled, or from condensation from air that’s in the tanks. Water can mix with fuel to form a ‘mayonnaise-like’ goo that blocks filters and gets stuck in fuel lines, leading to system failure.
Microbes are also a problem, especially with modern fuels. They can get in to fuel tanks along with the air. After this they’re free to grow, largely clinging to fuel additives and living off of air in the system. Microbes can form both a jelly-like substance and sediment from their dead bodies. Both of these lead to fuel line blockage, filter blockage, and system failure.
Microbes are more common near water, so they can be especially problematic in marine industry. They’re also more of a problem where fuel is stored for a long time, so emergency tanks stored near the sea are especially vulnerable. The slime and sludge that microbes can produce may also cause equipment and fuel lines to crack, make filters last less time, and can cause raised emissions and black smoke. If your tank filters need changing a lot more often than usual, there’s a good chance that microbes are to blame.
Sediment, Sludge, and other Particles
Sediment formed from dying microbes, shed from decaying tanks, or brought in from outside as dust or dirt on the wind can also cause problems. Not only can it block pipes and filters, it can also get into running equipment and cause friction and other wear and tear on moving parts. Sometimes these particulates come from organic matter, such as dead microbes or other organic waste that has gotten into the tanks. Other times rust or even just plain old dirt is the culprit. Both of these are a big problem and need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Decaying matter especially can damage tanks and other equipment in the long term, leading to increased maintenance costs and sudden unpredictable failures.
The Benefits of Removing the Unwanted
Keeping your fuel supply clean and viable is essential no matter how long you store it, but the longer you store it for, the more likely you are to face problems with fuel degradation. Water and sediment in fuel can lead to blocked fuel filters on the equipment that’s using it. Ultimately you can end up seeing equipment suddenly fail. If mission critical equipment fails you can end up facing all of the problems the equipment should be protecting you from, along with a hefty maintenance bill. This is especially pertinent where lives are at stake, or in situations where power failure will lead to high costs for customers using your service.
Fuel contamination and degradation is one of the main causes of equipment failure in an emergency, making looking after your fuel a key part of your emergency back-up maintenance responsibility.