‘The longer fuel is in stor­age and the more wa­ter is in the tanks, the more the bugs will breed’

Canal Boat - - Technical - TONY BROOKS Tech­ni­cal Con­sul­tant

I was re­cently asked specif­i­cally to talk about diesel bug at an In­land Water­ways As­so­ci­a­tion branch meet­ing, so it may be a good time to re­peat the ad­vice.

Bug is a generic term that cov­ers mi­crobes, moulds, slimes and yeasts found in all diesel fuel. If fuel has a bio-diesel com­po­nent then this will en­cour­age bug for­ma­tion. The longer fuel is in stor­age and the more wa­ter is in the tanks, the more the bugs will breed un­til they even­tu­ally start to block fil­ters and pump valves.

Try to buy your fuel from out­lets with high through­puts and also take steps to pre­vent the bug breed­ing.

Try to min­imise the amount of wa­ter in the base of the tank, keep it as full as pos­si­ble dur­ing the win­ter and give con­sid­er­a­tion to the reg­u­lar use of a wa­ter-re­mov­ing fuel ad­di­tive. I drain the bot­tom of my tank each spring.

If, dur­ing ser­vic­ing, there is any sign of dis­coloured fuel or slime in the old fil­ters, im­me­di­ately use a suit­able bio­cide ad­di­tive – but be pre­pared for more fre­quent fil­ter changes.

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