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Author Topic: Fuel accident into bilge + solution  (Read 1322 times)

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markr

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Fuel accident into bilge + solution
« on: August 10, 2010, 05:12:06 PM »

I have just returned from 8 days at Catalina Island. Wonderful.
Problem: My confession is that, as part of preparation for the trip, I took the boat two days before to the fuel dock to fill up my 3/4 full tank. The next day, I was on the boat and wondered why it smelt of "glue". I checked the bilge and found it was full of fuel (heart attack moment). I cut the bilge pump wire and turned on the engine panel to see that my fuel tank was not full.
Took off the panel inside the aft cabin (port side) to gain access to the fuel tank. Saw that fuel was dripping out of the fuel hose at the point where it bends from the vertical to go into the side of the tank, towards the top of the tank. The hose had fatigued (probably original 1987) and had cracked on the lower part of the bend. Fuel had run out of the hose, under the tank on the shelf, down the side of the hull inside the cabinet under the basin in the head, and into the bilge. Luckily, only the amount at the top of the tank had run out and there was no evidence of it going overboard.
Solution: Bilge pump cut. Took off fuel hose at engine and turned on ignition - fuel pump pumped out fuel into bucket until drip stopped at pipe on fuel tank. kept this pumped diesel for re-use. Removed decayed fuel hose and replaced (took off engine panel to get to the attachment under the fill cap).
Replaced hose onto engine and put pumped fuel back in tank. Pumped the fuel out of the bilge using a manual pump into an old fuel container for disposal.
Moral: inspect and replace old fuel fill hoses! I had always assumed the only access was headfirst down into the aft lazarrette, but those panels in the aft cabin come off and give amazing access to the aft fuel and water tankage.
I get to know this old boat more and more, one issue after the other!

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markr

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Re: Fuel accident into bilge + solution
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 05:15:25 PM »

I forgot to mention the use of a whole tub of bilge cleaner and liberasl fresh water on the track of the spilt diesel once I had pumped the spilled diesel out of the bilge. This got rid of any diesel smell and removed any vestiges of it from the shelf under the tank and the inside of the hull/bilge. I was pouring on the bilge cleaner and hosing down the track of the fuel to get rid of it.
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Ron Hill

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Re: Fuel accident into bilge + solution
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 05:59:13 PM »

Mark : I surely hope that you replaced all hoses in the fuel system ?
1.  Hose (3/8") from the tank to the Racor
2.  Hose from the Racor to the electric fuel pump
3.  Hose from the fuel pump to the engine fuel filter
4.  Hose from the fuel filter to the injection pump
5.  Small return hose from the #3 injector that goes into -
6.  Fuel return hose back to the tank (1/4")

FYI, I've already replaced my fuel system hoses on my 1988 TWICE

Guys, these hoses do not last forever !  Read the upcoming Nov Mainsheet and look at the exhaust hose that I replaced on my 1988!!  A few thoughts & food for thought !!
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