Getting to the Bottom of Fuel Problems

Condensation can occur in fuel tanks, leading to microbial growth that falls to the bottom of a tank, forming an acidic sludge. Some corrective steps are only partial solutions. Draining the tank removes most of the sludge, but not the entrained water. Biocides kill microbes but don’t address the sludge issue. Adding fuel re-suspends sludge. This article offers a more complete solution.

The City of Ocala, Florida, had difficulty starting some generator sets, a major concern for a community with more than 60 standby units. The city’s service supplier changed some parts, which resulted in a stockpile of parts in anticipation of future failures without a solution to the starting problem with generator sets. At the same time, the city experienced injector failures on some of its fleet vehicles. These problems eventually convinced the city to call its Cat® dealer, as 90 percent of the generator sets were Cat. Checks of fuel filters and tests of fuel storage tanks indicated the issue was not parts oriented at all but rather dirty fuel.

Cat dealer Ring Power cleaned the city’s fuel in a procedure called fuel polishing. It is a process that removes entrained water and sludge, kills microbes and stabilizes stored fuel. Ring Power generator product support sales representative York Bridges reports the City of Ocala “has not had any more fuel related problems in its generator sets or on-highway vehicles” since the fuel treatment last spring.

Fuel polishing does not replace but rather augments a good fuel filtering program. Our dealership can sample your fuel for cleanliness to help generator sets meet or exceed performance expectations.

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