This is from a customer in Southampton, who inadvertently put diesel fuel in his fresh water tank on a luxury charter yacht. This is his story.
Diesel in your Water Tank? Need a ‘Magic’, easy and relatively quick remedy?
A confession! “Did I just do that?” 5 gallons of red diesel straight into one of the three fresh water tanks. “I can’t believe I just did that!”
After 40 years of avoiding this error, at last I had joined this elite and secretive club. Who would wish to admit to this ‘crime’? I had no choice as my other half observed me who was running the hot water at the time. So crime 2 – she, I mean I, allowed the red diesel to enter into the calorifier circuit, producing a lovely rainbow pattern in the sink. Joking about it was my only recourse, as jumping off the Itchen Bridge seemed the only other option that would placate those around me.
Now what? Straight onto the web – what had others done to rectify this error? Well the most common answer was – avoid doing it! Far better to have put water into the diesel tank than vice-
The most favoured solution offered was to replace all the affected water circuits with new pipes, tanks, pumps and calorifier as well. This seemed extreme, very costly particularly in the time required to do the job. Fortunately the boat was not needed for 6 days so I at least had time on my side.
We started by taking the inspection hatch off the affected stainless steel water tank. Yes there was the diesel and its characteristic smell but no water! We had hoped to find the diesel floating on the top of the water – effectively isolating it from the water system but no, the tank had been nearly empty and that is why we had hot water seriously contaminated with red diesel. We drained the tank, extracted it from its foam retaining structure and took it back to our workshop to transport it to the tank cleaners, who seemed less than certain that they could remedy the ‘diesel smell’ issue. Retired for the day to ‘sleep on the problem’.
Next day dawned early, as I found sleep difficult – so onto the web again to see if any better ideas were available. Well others had used agitated ‘Fairy Liquid’ to remove the diesel from tanks, with a variety of solutions to remove the residual Fairy Liquid and any remaining diesel smells. So we tried that on our tank – hot water flushing and quite a lot of Fairy Liquid, followed by several hot water only flushes, then cold water only flushes, ending up with 16 Milton tablets standing in cold water overnight. It worked!
Those on the web were far less confident that such remedial action would work for plastic tanks and pipes. I tried using the technique on the affected hot water system, using the calorifier to heat the water and re-
Tucked away in one blog, was reference to ‘BioMagic’, with claims that it had been used successfully to eliminate diesel and it’s smell from fresh water systems – mainly in caravans. It claimed it was not necessary to remove tanks or plastic piping – too good to be true?
I looked up Biomagicuk.com on the web; and then phoned Alex on 01530 249253. He listened to my problem and confirmed that BioMagic should solve it for me but to follow the instructions carefully, particularly the inclusion of methylated spirits in the flushing process. He reported success on many caravan-
We ordered some, re-
Talking around the Marina, another person had the same problem but with plastic tanks. We advised he try BioMagic, which he did. He did not dismantle any of the system. First try left some traces of diesel but following the second treatment all traces of diesel had gone.
So BioMagic worked for us, is not that expensive and certainly will save a lot of time and expense in not having to dismantle the water system and substitute new parts.
Ocean Quay Marina