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

Before-and-after-1_silo

Know How: Cleaning Stainless

Without a doubt, the best way to “clean” stainless steel parts is to have them electropolished. Electropolishing is an electrochemical process that cleans the stainless and removes any surface iron particles, leaving a shiny and far more rust-resistant surface. The downsides of ...read more

catstory

Cruising: Sailing With a Young Family

The dark is alive when you are surrounded by water. Black is tinted blue and silver, and sky meets surf with electricity and the lapping sounds of silence. Inside our 36ft catamaran, moored off Cooper Island in the BVI, the raw nature outside, just now settling down from a late ...read more

IslandPacket349

Boat Review: Island Packet 349

After years of quiescence in the wake of the Great Recession, iconic Island Packet is back with its new 349, a re-boot of the old Estero that not only looks great, but takes the Island Packet style of sailing performance to a new level. Design & Construction First among the many ...read more

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more