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Spring Clean Your Fuel Tank

05/10/2019
Spring Clean Your Fuel Tank

Spring cleaning doesn’t just pertain to your garage anymore. Just like cleaning out the extra stuff that piles up over the winter, fuel tanks need the once over, too. Substandard fuel with a few minor impurities didn’t affect diesel engines of the past. But today’s High-Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) engines demand clean fuel and are often equipped with 2-micron filters to catch impurities before they cause damage to fuel system components. These filters plug easily, often cause downtime, and are expensive to replace.

This past winter created an ideal environment for tank problems. Extreme temperature fluctuations and above normal precipitation lead to condensation, one of the main ways that water enters storage tanks. Free water in fuel can cause filter plugging, corrosion of metal parts and microbial growth in storage tanks. 

So how do you spring clean your fuel tank? First, find out what’s inside. Take a s sample of the fuel and give it a visual inspection. Is the fuel clear or foggy? Are there visible impurities? Checking the fuel provides a starting point for addressing problems that can lead to preventing costly downtime.

Secondly, change out your storage tank filter. Filters that last several years have gone by the way side. Considering the demand for high quality fuel by today’s engines, it makes more sense to replace the filter on the storage tank now than wait until a filter plugs in the field during critical planting operations. If you moved up in micron size during the winter months to allow heavier fuel to pass through, it's time to return to a minimum 10-micron filter. Storage tank filters only cost about 25% as much as tractor filters and you can cover an entire fleet with just one! Water-absorbing filters that remove free water before it reaches your equipment are available, too.

Finally, you should inspect the external portions of your fuel storage tank, pump, hose, nozzle, emergency vents, and volume gauges. As fields dry out and it’s time to go, you don’t want to be delayed by fixes that could have been made during slower times.

If you have any questions about your fuel, fuel storage tank or fuel handling equipment, look no further than your local FS energy specialists. They’ll help keep your operation running during the busy spring season.

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