Ask Sail: Diesel Desiccant Marinade

My question is this: what effect will diesel have on the blue desiccant beads in the H2Out? Is there some change I should make to the air vent?
Author:
Publish date:

Philip Donegan of Dublin, Ireland asks:

I was interested in the article by Nigel Calder on the H2Out Filer (Tech Notes, Feb. 2012) and was thinking it is something that I might install on my boat. I keep my fuel tank topped up to minimize condensation. The fuel gauge is down below, so the only practical way to ensure a full tank is to keep filling until I see fuel near the top of the fuel inlet. However, by that stage the fuel has risen up the air vent and will eventually leak out the side. My question is this: what effect will diesel have on the blue desiccant beads in the H2Out? Is there some change I should make to the air vent?

H2Outsmaller

Nigel Calder replies:

Diesel will not harm the desiccant, the filter housing or the fittings. The desiccant will still work as a drying agent even when soaked with fuel. If the filter housing is mounted horizontally, some diesel will be trapped in the filter, leaving less desiccant exposed to the air flowing into the tank, so it is better to mount the units vertically so fuel can drain out.

NigelCalder

The desiccant should not be dried out and reused if soaked in diesel, because of the fumes and associated fire risk. Replacement packs are available from H2Out. However, if replacement is not an option, either wait for the desiccant to turn fully pink, or pour it out into a pan to allow for full adsorption of water vapor. Once the beads are fully pink, the desiccant can be placed in a fine mesh strainer and washed with water and soap to remove any leftover fuel from the beads. Dawn dish soap works well. Once they are thoroughly washed, the beads can be “regenerated” without risking an explosive buildup of fumes, though some odor may still be present.

Related

07n_45R2699

Multihull Sailor: Classic Cats

If you’re looking for a decent sub-40ft cruising cat, you have few choices when it comes to new-boat offerings. It is a well-known fact that the multihull market has taken off in a way very few could have predicted. Despite Hurricane Irma’s recent destruction of a large part of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Thanks a bunch  This scene is very calm and seamanlike. No frantic rope throwing or shouting. As he passes the line to the gent on the dock, the crew on the boat says, quietly and clearly, “Would you ...read more

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more

shutterstock_698968441

Cruising: The Bahamas

“The ‘Explorer’ chartbooks. All three.” “An unlocked phone. But good luck with BTC.” “Spam. It’s ‘spensive there!” These were just a few suggestions we received from fellow sailors who had cruised the Bahamas when we asked how to best prepare for the trip. In fact, several ...read more