Home Auto Repair How to Clean Diesel Fuel Tanks

How to Clean Diesel Fuel Tanks


Contamination in diesel fuel tanks is largely caused by petroleum-eating microorganisms. Since these microbes need water to grow, the service interval on cleaning the fuel tank varies with humidity, water contamination at the pump and water infiltration into the fuel tanks themselves. The average service interval is around five years for most applications, adjusted for conditions in marine or high-humidity regions. Properly treating your tanks with a biocide agent can extend this interval somewhat, and systems equipped with fuel-polishers have been known to eliminate the need for tank cleaning entirely. Tanks can be cleaned in-place with use of a biocide agent and a fuel-polishing rig, and they can also be cleaned mechanically using a scrubbing medium to remove stuck-on contaminants in the tank.

Cleaning a Removable Tank

Step 1

Treat the fuel, using a biocide product according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Measure the dose based on the amount of fuel remaining in the tank.