Diesel Fuel Maintenance Procedure


Position the FuelTurbo unit in a good location relative to the tank and surroundings. A good idea is to first practice on a tank of fuel before if you are new to operating the unit. Connect the suction intake supply clear hose / wand tube and the green return discharge hose into the tank. Remove all hoses from the machine and allow them to lie on the ground, do not run with hoses still coiled on the unit. Secure hoses so they cannot become dislodged from the tank. Valves one and two should be in the open position and valve three in the closed position.

Diesel Fuel Cleaning Maintenance Procedure

Ensure drain valves 4 and 5 are closed. FuelTurbo is equipped with quick release hose cam locks with safety pins that stop the cam locks from coming apart during operation. Always use these pins to secure the cam locks so they cannot come apart, in a matter of seconds you could have a large diesel spill problem. Ensure a filter is tightened and strainer basket is clean. Filter changes, draining of the FuelTurbo cyclone separator unit and draining / cleaning of the basket strainer will be required depending upon the amount of contamination in the fuel and tank. NB the FuelTurbo fuel pump is not a sludge pump, it is not designed to remove massive amounts of thick hard contamination.

First start up priming

When first starting a new job the FuelTurbo must be primed with diesel fuel. Air must be purged from the system to allow fluid flow. Simply remove the basket strainer cover and pour diesel into the unit until its full (see below picture A) about 4-6 litres is required. Connect a suitable earthed power supply and turn on the pump via the switch on the unit. (only If needed do the following step as unit will normally self prime) Open valve 3 (see below picture B) for a couple of seconds when the pump is first running to purge out any air from the system, place a container under the valve outlet to catch any diesel fuel that comes out.

Once started visually check the strainer unit and clear intake hose to ensure the unit is circulating diesel fuel. If you still have start up prime problems you can also fill the cyclone separator / intake hose with fuel to help. The priming only needs to be done at the very start of a new fuel clean. If you notice any unusual noises from the pump motor this is a sign of a restriction in the system, turn off the pump motor immediately and determine the fault.
(A) Fill strainer unit (B) Open valve 3 to purge out air on first start up (only if needed).

Stage 1 Cyclone separator unit service

Draining of the cyclone unit is done by turning off the pump motor, closing both valves 1 and 2 and opening the drain valve 4 on the bottom of the unit. Please note you may need to open the basket strainer cover slightly to enable draining off the contamination from the cyclone unit. Drain the contamination into a suitable container for safe disposal.
Keep some of this contamination in a clear container as it is a very good sample to show the customer what was in his fuel tanks. Once the contamination is drained from the cyclone separator unit simply close the drain valve and tighten the top strainer cover (if loosened), open both valves 1 and 2 and restart the pump motor.

Stage 2 Basket strainer service

Cleaning of the basket strainer is just as easy, again turn off the pump motor close both 1 and 2 valves and slowly remove the top cover, screwing it off anticlockwise when looking from the top, remove check / clean and reinstall the basket and cover. Remove contamination by opening drain valve 5. Reopen 1 and 2 valves and restart the pump. NB. Do not over tighten top cover, the handle should align itself with the in / out ports on the unit when tightened correctly.

Make sure strainer cover O ring is in the correctly. NB Running of the unit without the strainer basket in place may result in rapid wear of the pump vanes or damage to the pump unit. Do not use a solvent when cleaning the basket strainer, use a degreaser or detergent based product. Use care when opening and closing the drain valve as the valve port threads are made of plastic. Do not over tighten valve adapter fitting on strainer housing.

Stage 3 Magnetic conditioner

The magnetic conditioner needs no special attention during the cleaning process.

Stage 4 Filter service and gauge reading

The gauge on the filter assembly will tell you when the filter needs to be changed. We suggest changing of the filter when the indicator gets into the yellow / red section on the gauge indicator. The filter is changed by turning off the pump motor, closing valves 1 and 2, unscrewing the old filter, installing a new filter, reopening valves 1 and 2 and restarting the pump motor. A gauge reading high can also indicate a restriction on the discharge side of the system, example an obstructed discharge green hose or excessive lift height for fuel return.

Remember the gauge will only indicate a restriction on the discharge side of the system i.e. anything after the pump unit. You will notice an increase in load noise from the pump as the filter gradually becomes blocked with contamination and fuel flow on return side will decrease.

Tanks and hose access

You will be cleaning several different types of tanks dependent upon the application. Stationary and equipment tanks are generally easier by nature to clean and polish as opposed to marine fuel tanks that can be more difficult to access. Pleasure boat marine tanks are sometimes situated in difficult to reach areas of the boats. The need for tank cleaning on pleasure boats is not often thought of when the boat is manufactured. Commercial marine tanks are usually more accessible as they are built with maintenance needs in mind. Marine fuel tanks often are baffled which creates pockets of sediment that are hard to reach with the fuel suction wand.

When servicing marine tanks place the return green hose in the port they use for filling the fuel tanks. Always ensure that you are accessing the correct filler port as many marine vessels also will have a port for filling the vessel with fresh water. It will be a major problem if you fill a customer’s water tanks with diesel fuel. Marine fuel tanks on smaller vessels sometimes do not have a good access point for placement of the hoses and wand. You may have to remove the fuel tank gauge sender unit to gain access into the tank.

Commercial marine tanks generally have a hatch cover that allows easy access. Keep in mind that the key to success when cleaning is to initially get to the bottom of the tank and remove the layer of sitting sediment and water.

High height fuel tanks

When cleaning high tanks (like picture D below) you may have to hoist the unit on to the top of the tank or at least raise it significantly above ground level. Use a small hand winch to hoist the unit up. The height of these tanks can cause flow to be reduced due to the lift height of the fuel returning to the tank. Try and keep the FuelTurbo unit and the hose in / out position on the same height elevation.

Also the need for a foot valve (otherwise known as a check / backflow prevention valve, like picture E below) may need to be used when cleaning high above or deep below ground tanks. This valve should be added to the pickup pipe wand, this valve keeps the fuel intake hose primed when the unit is turned off for service of the filters etc. These brass or plastic valves can be obtained from your local plumbing shop and should be a high flow / low restriction type valve. Regular common size tanks will not require this additional valve.

Non polishing bypass operation mode

NB. If you have a badly contaminated system you may first need to remove and discard the major bulk of this contamination before you start the cleaning process otherwise you will use too many filters. Simply connect the discharge green hose to cam lock at valve three, (see picture directly below) open valve 1 and 3, close valve 2. Following these procedures will cause the fuel to bypass the filtration unit so you can then transfer this waste into a suitable container for safe disposal. The FuelTurbo unit can be used as only a transfer pump, thus bypassing filtration altogether using bypass port 3.

Suction pick up pipe wand tools

As mentioned earlier the use of a plastic wand pipe is required on the suction clear hose. Remember the majority of the fuel tank contamination is located at the bottom of the tank. Secure the clear suction hose onto the plastic wand with a hose clamp. The use of this wand allows you to get to the worst contamination that settles in the bottom of tanks. It’s like vacuuming a carpet but you are vacuuming a tank and diesel instead. These plastic pipes can be found at your local hardware, electrical or plumbing shop.

One plastic wand is supplied with the machine. The plastic wand pipes can be easily shaped and molded for different angles that you need to reach. Ensure that you cut the bottom of the pipe with a slot as shown in the picture on the bottom of page 5. Over time you will gather a large selection of plastic wands to suit a variety of different tank design styles. The standard size wand you need will match the hose internal diameter which is 25 MM, if you’re in / out tank ports are smaller than 25 MM you will need to step down the wand pipe size accordingly. Note reducing the wand pipe internal size will restrict the flow and reduce the FuelTurbo flow rate, also avoid using a wand pipe that is longer than reasonably needed to do the job.

Additives for diesel fuel

The use of a liquid additive treatment chemical is suggested when cleaning fuel. Any quality fuel additive that you can find in your local area should be sufficient. Its quality’s should state its ability to disperse contamination, kill algae / bacteria and restore fuel quality. Keep in mind that the amount to use suggested on the additive instructions may have to be increased significantly for cleaning purposes.

Emulsified water in fuel

If you find milky cream colour diesel fuel you have water emulsified into the fuel. This can happen especially where seawater has come into contact with diesel fuel. This contamination is not common but it is a difficult recycle job to do. The water has become bonded with the diesel molecular structure.
FuelTurbo test kits
We offer inexpensive clarity and water in fuel test kits. These kits are very useful in diagnosing the levels of contamination in the fuel and selling the service to customers. Please refer to the starter test kits and sampler pump instructions provided with the FuelTurbo unit.

When to stop the cleaning process

You will notice an increase in time intervals for filter changes with less water / contamination being removed from the cyclone separator and basket strainer unit. The clarity of the fuel will also get lighter and brighter. When the filter gauge no longer shows a restriction (stays in the green section) over a period running of about 2 hours or so the fuel at this point is generally clean. You can however continue to operate the machine if your customer has the budget that allows it. The longer the unit runs the more the fuel is conditioned and cleaned. The magnetic conditioner unit will continue to recondition and stabilize the fuel even though all particle contamination has been removed by the FuelTurbo unit.

Diesel fuel test kits

Ensure you use a diesel fuel test kit before and after the cleaning process, this will give you a indication of the success of the job.

Mobile Diesel Fuel and Tank Cleaning / Polishing Systems

The 6 steps of polishing

1. Stop pump unit, close intake valve 1 and return valve 2.
2. Drain sediment from cyclone separator tank and basket strainer valves.
3. Remove / clean / refit strainer basket.
4. Change spin on filter if required as per gauge indication.
5. Open 1 and 2 valves.
6. Restart unit.

Safety first, last and always

General guide-lines

  1. Diesel fuel is not considered a dangerous fluid to handle however environmental issues from spillage could become a major problem for you if you don’t take proper care. The more safety aware you appear the more professional overall people will see you as.
  2. Environmental legislation is continually becoming more stringent.
  3. Despite taking care accidents can happen. It is imperative to be able to respond to problems quickly.
  4. Keep a supply of fuel spill mop up pads / containment products at close hand.
  5. Always use approved safety goggles and adequate gloves while handling diesel.
  6. A suitable fire extinguisher should be close on the job at all times.
  7. Be aware that the fuel you are handling may contain chemicals that are toxic and hazardous to your health.
  8. Biocides used in the treatment of algae bugs / bacteria are common in diesel fuel. The safest way is to assume the fuel you are handling contains these chemicals and handle the fuel accordingly.
  9. Do not allow vehicles to drive over any of the hoses.
  10. Maintain a safe zone around the equipment being serviced and the FuelTurbo unit / hoses, cordon off the area to outsiders with caution tape if necessary.
  11. The FuelTurbo unit should never be left unattended while operating.
  12. Do not run the unit with a closed loop fuel supply, the unit should never be blocked on the return or intake sides. As an example, hose valves in the closed position when starting the unit can cause pump failure.
  13. Do not allow fuel to spill on to the pump motor and do not run pump dry.
  14. The FuelTurbo unit cannot be used with gasoline petrol products or any other fluids with low flashpoints, only diesel fuel can be used with this machine.
  15. Be aware of diesel fumes when working in confined spaces, take necessary precautions when in these situations and use approved respirators / ventilation.
  16. Be aware that when the unit is moving from site to site diesel fuel will be within the unit and if a valve becomes open fuel will leak out.
  17. Consider securing the valves in a closed position with a tie and also drain fuel from strainer and separator unit when transporting. Use supplied caps and plugs for hoses to prevent spillage.

Maintenance of diesel cleaning system

Pump motor
The pump unit will periodically require replacement of the ceramic vanes in the pump head housing. The vanes will wear dependent upon the level of contamination that they come in contact with, if you do a lot of jobs that have very high levels of contamination the vanes will wear out quicker than normal. When the vanes wear the pump flow will decrease, if you notice a drop in discharge flow and gauge pressure this is a good sign that the vanes require replacement.

Replacement is done by –
1. Remove the outlet pipe connection on the basket strainer.
2. Remove the 3 x hex head 4mm or 5/32” size screws from the pump head section.
3. Loosen the 2 x bolts on the filter bracket that secures it to the back frame.
3. Remove the 4 bolts securing the motor to the back frame.
4. Slide the pump motor unit out and away from the head of the pump.
5. Replace the vanes, O ring and refit pump. Always grease up the new vanes when assembling so they don’t fall out of position when refitting motor unit.
6. Refit fasteners in reverse to above procedure.
Note how the old vanes were placed in the head rotor. You must install vanes in the same way.
It is a good idea to replace these vanes before the flow gets to a level that slows a job down. You do not want to have to service a pump while on a fuel cleaning job. Preventative maintenance is the key. Do not push or pull on the motor

switch cover as it is plastic and not intended to be used as a handle.

Stage 1 Cyclone separator unit

This unit has no moving parts and it’s only needs are too flushed out after cleaning a very contaminated tank. Large clumps of contamination may become trapped in this unit therefore than need for flushing. Simply open the lower gate valve and flush with a water hose from the top flushing port through the unit and out via gate valve 4. Leave unit to drain out water completely before closing the valve.

Stage 2 Basket strainer unit

The basket strainer unit provides excellent large particle filtering which helps to extend change intervals of the spin on filter unit. The unit comes standard with an 800 micron basket. The strainer cover O ring seal should be checked on a regular basis. The O ring can also fall out of its correct position on the housing. Keep the O ring in place with suitable grease and keep threads lubed also. Optional stainless baskets in sizes of 385, 513 and 800 micron are also available. An O ring service kit is supplied with every unit. Do not over tighten the cover on the unit.

Stage 3 Magnetic fuel conditioner

The neodymium magnet conditioner is maintenance free. However please keep in mind that this super strong magnet will attract and hold any metal contamination that passes by. Should the systems you clean have a lot of metal rust fragments in the fuel, the magnet willattract and hold them. Should fuel flow get restricted you may need to remove the conditioner and flush it out with a water pressure washer to remove these fragments.

Storage and cleaning

If the FuelTurbo unit is not for some period of time you need to spray some lubricating fluid into the head of the pump unit via the plug on the pump head housing. Also to prevent rust inside the FuelTurbo cyclone separator unit if not being used we suggest filling the tank with a litre of diesel fuel via the top flushing port. Clean the unit down after each job with a detergent product and wipe unit dry with a suitable towel.

Cam lock fittings

The hose quick connect cam locks have inner seals that should be replaced on a regular basis to prevent leaks on both the suction and discharge sides of the system. A leak on the suction side will allow air to enter the system and reduce the systems performance. A leak on the discharge side will cause diesel leakage. A seal kit for these cam locks is supplied with every unit.

Wheels and axles

Maintain 50 PSI / 350 Kpa of pressure in the pneumatic tyres. Each wheel axle has a grease nipple, pump grease into each axle to keep the bearings lubricated.

The hoses on the unit are very durable but they should be inspected on a regular basis for cuts and abrasions that could lead to a leak, the hoses should be cleaned with a solution of degreaser or detergent and wiped dry. Secure the intake hose with the clamp on the frame as per picture below.

Hose caps and plugs

During transportation you may need to cap and plug the hoses so fuel left in the hoses does not leak out. We provide caps and plugs for the cam lock ends and the fuel tank ends of the hose. Install the cam lock caps and nylon plugs to the hoses with clamps when required.

Base protection

A rubber mat is supplied with each unit to protect the base of the unit and protect the surface that the unit is positioned on. Always use this mat for protection.

Moving the unit safely

The hoses can be coiled up on the frame brackets when in motion and plugged, if you need to move in a tight position reduce the overall weight by removing / plugging hoses and carry them separately to the job position, refit back to the unit when in place.

Problem solving and troubleshooting

No fuel delivery
Pump does not run.
Pump / strainer / cyclone separator unit is not primed or looses prime.
Fuel supply hose or pipes blocked with foreign object.
Cyclone separator / fuel conditioner / pump clogged.
Lift is too high for the equipment.
Air leak on intake side, check hose and strainer cover O ring.
Valve 1 or 2 closed.
Liquid / sludge too thick.

Insufficient fuel delivered

Air leak on intake side, check hose and strainer cover O ring.
Defective pressure relief valve on pump.
Lift return load too high.
Pump or vanes worn, check and replace vanes or pump.
Flow restriction in hose / plumbing / cyclone separator / strainer / fuel conditioner.
Valve 1 or 2 not fully open.

Pressure gauge in yellow / red area with clean or new filter element installed

Restriction on discharge side too high.
Head (lift) on discharge side too high, e.g. above ground tank to high, hoist the FuelTurbo unit to higher position to reduce return pressure lift load.
Valve 2 closed or not fully open.
Discharge line blocked / kinked.
Filter gauge never reads high (even with blocked filter)
Pump not pumping or building up pressure, pump vanes worn
No fuel intake or flow.
Gauge defective.
Noisy pump operation
Insufficient fuel supply.
Air leaks in the inlet side of system.
Excessive pump load, restriction on discharge side.
Valve 1 or 2 closed.
Pump requires replacement.
Filter blocked.

Motor does not turn or turns intermittently
Power not available.
Pump / motor, lazy, failed or seized.

NB. If the pump does not operate when turned on, check power supply if ok remove fan cover by unscrewing the three Philips head screws. While toggling the on / off switch manually spin the fan blades until motor runs. The motor when not used for sometime may become a little sticky / slow / lazy to start up when first turned on.

How useful was this product?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.5 / 5. Vote count: 4

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.