How To Spot Fuel Contamination?

Fuel contamination may occur for a variety of different reasons. The main things which contaminate the fuels are water contamination, micro-bacterial growth and other solvents being mixed in with the fuel. In the early stages, water damage presents itself as molecules in the air, which you can’t spot with the naked eye. Once the water in the tank reaches saturation point, it will then become emulsified. When this happens, you will be able to notice the water droplets in the oil. It will give the fuel a slightly cloudy appearance. Bugs can form in your fuel tank at a similar rate to water contamination. Basically the more water present in the tank, the quicker bugs will be able to grow. They generally present themselves in a layer of sludge that forms underneath the water puddles at the bottom of the tank. There are 3 main contamination levels:

  • Negligible Contamination- This is where there is only a low level of contamination. It does not prevent a short-term problem to your fuel.
  • Moderate Contamination- This is where the fuel contaminant is likely to have affected the fuel in some way. This type of contamination needs treatment with biocide and a change of filters.
  • Heavy Contamination- This is where there is a severe level of contaminants present in the fuel. Your tank may also have been damaged as a result. When this happens, the tank will have to be emptied so then the fuel can be cleaned. Once the fuel has been de-contaminated and the tank has been cleaned, it will be returned to the tank. In some cases, the fuel may be too contaminated to be cleaned, in which case it will have to be replaced.

If you can, it is best to check for these fuel contamination symptoms on a regular basis just to make sure that your fuel is still in the best condition. If you are worried your fuel may be contaminated call one of our specialists today and we may be able to help.