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Keeping Stored Diesel Fuel In Great Condition Over The Winter

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If you have large above ground tanks or containers filled with diesel fuel to help provide your large scale construction equipment with fuel, then you need to make sure that the diesel inside stays in good condition. Without reliable and consistent fuel, your fuel lines and filters can clog or freeze. This can lead to serious equipment damage or complete failure. There are a wide variety of things you should do to keep the fuel in great shape and most of these things should be completed in the winter.

Add A Tank Heater

Diesel fuel can succumb to freezing issues as the temperatures drop outside. Typically, diesel fuel will start to reach its freezing point as temperatures reach 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature may be as high as 40 degrees Fahrenheit if the fuel contains impurities. When the freezing point is reached, the diesel fuel will not start to turn into ice, but it will instead form a wax or gel. This wax or gel will not flow or allow you to utilize your pieces of equipment. If temperatures in your area stay below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for several months, then it is wise to invest in high-grade diesel fuel that contains less wax. Fuel called #1-D diesel is a good option. This type of fuel will have a lower freezing or cloud point.

You also should think about keeping your diesel fuel warm over the winter months. Not only will this help to keep fuel flowing freely, but it will keep the diesel from deteriorating. To keep the fuel warm, you should invest in a tank heater from a company like Power Blanket. Tank heaters for diesel fuel come in blanket, immersion, and over-the-side varieties. If the tank is protected from the elements, then a silicone or rubber blanket heater is a wise choice. If the heater is exposed and contains a top with a twist cap, then a screw plug immersion heater is a good idea. Over-the-side varieties are good permanent heater solutions, but these devices typically need to be placed in the tank before purchase or they must be slipped in a large opening along the side of the tank.

After picking out the type of heater that you like, make sure it is a variety that is meant for flammable or corrosive fuels. These types of heaters will reduce fire incidents. Also, devices with automatic thermostats and shut-offs are a good option for fuel heating as well.

Consider An Additive

If you will be consistently warming the fuel in your diesel tanks, then you should think about placing an additive in the container every few months during the winter. Due to the consistent amount of heat, the buildup of condensation within the tank, as well as the snow and other debris that can get into the container, microbes and mildew can grow inside the diesel containers. Bacteria and fungi can clog filters by creating a mucous along the surface of them. Fuel lines can also become clogged. To help reduce microbe and fungi issues, make sure to pour a diesel fuel biocide material within each of your fuel tanks. The fluid additive will help to kill microorganisms within the fuel.

While the additive can successfully reduce microorganisms, you should consider emptying and flushing diesel tanks every spring to help remove any mildew, mucous, other debris that has had the opportunity to form. Make sure that tank heaters are turned off a few hours before you flush the tank though. Almost all tank heaters are meant to be submerged in fluid at all times or they can overheat.

If you have diesel tanks filled with fuel, then you will likely want to keep the fuel in great condition during the storage period, especially in the winter. Make sure to use tank heaters and additives to do this.