How to detect fuel contamination

The two forms of contamination you need to be aware of are water and microbial biomass. Any visible water in your primary filter sight glass or from your tank drain valves is a sign you may have microbial contamination in your fuel tanks.    
Signs of microbial infection can include the following:

Sudden engine shutdowns indicating blocked fuel filters

  • Visible biomass material in primary filter sight bowls
  • Cloudy fuel in primary filter bowls and tank sight glasses
  • Slime formation on internal tank and fuel line surfaces
  • Discoloured fuel filters indicating plugging and fouling
  • Loss of engine power and vessel speed over a period of time
  • Unpleasant odours with the characteristic smell of rotten eggs
  • Leaking fuel tanks
  • Corrosion damage to tanks, fuel delivery and injection systems
  • Dirty exhaust emissions

Fuel Testing

 Look out for our soon-to-be-realesed PFT Test Kit; you will be able to determine the presence of any contamination and the level of the problem. In the meantime local microbiological laboratories should be able to provide you with a complete microbial analysis of your diesel fuel. Here in New Zealand we recommend one of our partners Marine Diagnostics Ltd as their advice in this area is invaluable.