Diesel Fuel maintenance
Maintenance of diesel fuel can range quite a lot, from a basic fuel sample for laboratory analysis to fuel evacuation and complete tank cleaning.
Diesel fuel sample kits are the most common form of maintenance for diesel fuel systems. Fuel analysis kits can track trends that are occurring within the diesel fuel inside the storage tank (aboveground or underground). Fuel samples test for biodiesel content, stability, bacteria, mold, cloud point, sulfur, and water / sediment. LionHeart Field Service Engineers (FSEs) can obtain fuel samples from the day tank or from the underground storage tank / base tank, or both, to determine the condition of fuel in each tank. While our technicians are onsite obtaining a diesel fuel sample, we can also dip the bottom of the tank to check for the presence of water, since oil is lighter than water, the water will separate to the bottom of the tank.
Diesel fuel polishing is a step of diesel fuel maintenance that takes place after a diesel fuel sample analysis has determined that excessive amounts of sediment, water, or other contaminant has entered the fuel storage tank. Polishing equipment is brought to the fuel tank, existing quantity of contaminated fuel is determined, inlet and outlet hoses are ran to and from the polishing machine, and the polisher is ran for several hours, until the majority of fuel is cycled through the filtration equipment and the fuel considered “polished”. The filters used in the polishing machine can also separate and remove the water from the fuel. LionHeart typically operates the polishing equipment for an extra hour or two after the polishing equipment has cycled through the entire tank capacity of diesel fuel, just to ensure that the majority of all the fuel is cleaned and polished.
Evacuation of diesel fuel and thorough deep cleaning of the tank interior is one of the most involved types of diesel fuel maintenance. If the diesel fuel in the tank(s) are heavily contaminated or in poor condition, sometimes removing the entire tank and cleaning the interior surfaces of the tank may be necessary. Additional repairs, while the tank is empty, may be necessary if this is how the fuel became contaminated in the beginning. Refilling with the old fuel may be a possibility, if the fuel can be run through a polishing machine and reconditioned; otherwise new fuel may need to be delivered once the tank is ready to be refilled. Special concern must sometimes be given when this step is necessary as we may be emptying the fuel tank which supplies an emergency generator; this may require a temporary fuel tank with temporary fuel hoses and/or a portable generator with a dedicated fuel tank on the trailer. This is a rare situation that does not happen often, but LionHeart is prepared to handle all aspects of various diesel fuel maintenance practices.
Why is diesel fuel maintenance important?
Ensuring the fuel for your engine is clean, fresh, and free from water or other contaminants is crucial to keeping your diesel engine in good running condition. Today’s modern diesel engines with high pressure common rail fuel systems uses fuel pressures in excess of 20,000 PSI. Any small piece of dirt or contamination can cause major problems within the fuel pump, actuators, injectors, and fuel lines.
How often should diesel fuel be maintained?
LionHeart advises performing a fuel sample analysis on each tank / fuel source on an annual basis, but more critical facilities may be advised to take a fuel sample every six months to ensure the fuel is in good condition throughout the year and handle any issues that arise as quickly as possible.
Fuel polishing should be performed on an as needed basis, but can also be done as a regular preventative maintenance item to proactively ensure that the fuel system is kept clean and in good operating condition. As a maintenance item, polishing could be performed every three years or so.
Evacuating and cleaning tank interiors are really only performed on an as needed basis due to the significant costs and logistics challenges associated with this scope of work. Regular cleaning of the tank interior can be mostly be prevented with good maintenance practices for the diesel fuel system.
LionHeart is prepared to handle all of your diesel fuel maintenance.
LionHeart FSEs will obtain a fuel sample for analysis while onsite for a PM2 or PM1 service. That sample kit will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. The lab sends results back to LionHeart. An expert at LionHeart reviews these results and determines if additional steps are needed. If polishing or retesting is necessary, LionHeart will enter a recommendation into our system. We will process the recommendation and deliver a quote for these repairs. Once approved, our LionHeart FSEs will complete the fuel polishing service, evacuation and replacement, or whichever service is determined to be most appropriate.
We believe no organization should ever be at risk due to the failure of their critical power systems. LionHeart is the team you need for peace of mind.