Understanding “Diesel Bug” contamination

Diesel bug spores are all around us.  They are very common in the normal atmosphere.  There is not just one sort of “bug” in fact,  bacteria, fungi and even algae may all play a part.

Like the vast majority of living things they rely on water to survive and therefore to reproduce – clean, new diesel should have a very low water content and is unattractive to these spores. Unfortunately when purchasing fuel tests taken often show readings way in excess of 400ppm (Parts Per Million) of water in the fuel. Water at this level in your fuel will allow water to drop to the bottom of your tank creating the ideal environment for diesel bug to proliferate.

The spores enter fuel tanks via purchased fuel, the breather vent and every time the filler cap is removed. Each spore has the capacity to reproduce 260,000 times every 6 hours!

Simply put “diesel bug” needs water to survive and grow. The bugs don’t live very long and when they die they leave waxy contamination in your tank.  So then you have  problems – water, dead diesel bugs, rust and other contamination all of  which will be bad for your engine. If your diesel heating system is fed from your tank, then that’s yet another problem. IN SHORT CONTAMINATED FUEL CAN COST YOU A LOT OF MONEY FOR REPAIRS AND YET IS EASILY AVOIDED.

Tankbusters clean and remove contaminants above 1 micron and remove water to 100parts per million- THAT’S FUEL CLEANING AT IT’S BEST.

So how does water get into the tank?

A tank which is not full has some air content – that air contains water vapor which condenses to form water droplets on the side of the tank.  These droplets fall into the diesel fuel and sink because water is heavier than diesel. Over time this water builds up. All fuel that you buy contains some water and when the diesel saturation point is reached (think here about putting sugar in tea- you can get about 2-3 spoons to dissolve then any further sugar will simply fall to the bottom of your mug),the excess water over the saturation point will fall as free water to the bottom of your tank.

What are the consequences?

Once diesel bug is in your tank it lives in the water at the bottom of the tank. When the bug dies in 48 hours or so it will leave a sticky / waxy substance behind.  The resulting fuel contamination symptoms for your engine are:

  • Mis-firing and resulting reduced power output and efficiency
  • Very regular filter change required. In Line filters are around 30 to 35 microns and don’t remove water
  • Worse than expected wear and tear on engine moving parts, injectors and gaskets
  • Very smoky and smelly exhaust

The Tankbusters solution

By using the TANKBUSTERS SYSTEM and our equipment you can be secure in the knowledge that you have clean diesel.  CALL THE TANKBUSTERS! for further details.