There is a UK Diesel Bug Epidemic
Since the introduction of bio diesel into the off road diesel fuel market, the chance of catching diesel bug has increased over recent years. There have been several ways to avoid the diesel bug which causes a diesel engine to stop working. Our generator department www.eventgenerator4hire.co.uk have always been vigilant testing our fuel, checking for any water contamination and blending high grade road fuel with a high quality off road commercial diesel fuel.
Blending fuels with additives give protection to the engines, reduces smoking, reduces wet stacking, makes the engine more efficient which in turn uses less fuel. Win win for us and our customers. During our end of season maintenance programme which includes 45 generators, 14 SMC TL90 Tower Lights and 7 fuel bowsers, our Chef Engineer was alerted to a phenomenon which hasn't ever been seen before.
One of our 950L fuel bowsers had been cleaned out, the high output 5 micro fuel filter had been changed, the fuel was being pumped through a polishing machine and a scum appeared which when touched had a waxy feel to it - Diesel Bug !
The whole 950 delivery was pumped out and will be treated before using in our steam cleaner. We wouldn't risk re-filling a generator or Tower light with a pre-contaminated load.
Why did we catch the diesel bug and where did the fuel come from ?
The fuel load had been delivered 3 weeks previous, we have used the fuel company for a number of years without any problems. I enquired last year as to the percentage of bio fuel in their diesel, they became defensive suggesting that we thought they were selling contaminate fuel. They did say they would supply us an additive to stave off any bugs, but they didn't.
Rather that call the fuel company again this week, I contacted a laboratory who advertised treatments for diesel bug to cure and to protect. They said, "the country is rife with diesel bug contamination since the percentage of bio diesel had be almost doubled by recent legislation".
Fortunately we have escaped a full blown epidemic within our fleet in the run up to the Christmas period as the country runs out of diesel fuel filters.
What does the future hold ? Ongoing our policy of not allowing "canning" in of customers own fuel will continue and extend to not allowing fresh fuel from the pumps in new supplied jerry cans which may well be void of rust, water and any other contaminates. Strickly no "canning" and no re-fuelling by customers unless via a hired bowser from us with a protected fuel on board.
We have run a few tests on this bug, these are the results - New high volume 10 micro fuel filter from new, blocked solid after 140 litres ! Just imagine what would happen if our fleet went out to important events and the equipment brokedown.
Think about this - you want to hire a small aeroplane with a diesel engine, they won't allow you to bring your own fuel. There is a very good reason why.