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matadormike

Cleaning a fuel tank for white diesel

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Hi everyone,

 

Apologies if this has been covered before but I am wondering if there is an approved method of cleaning out a fuel tank before you put white diesel in it.

 

I understand that to drive my truck on a road it has to have white diesel in it, and I have no problem with this.

 

However what do you do if it has been run on red previously? (off the road)

 

I am led to believe that the dye in red diesel leaves a lasting trace, so what can you do other than drain the tank/fuel system and fill with white diesel?

 

Is there a chance that the white diesel could be contaminated, making it appear like a tank of red?

 

Do I just need to carry receipts showing that I've bought loads (its a big fuel tank) of white diesel?

 

I have heard about paying the extra duty on red and keeping the paperwork but it seems to me to be a bit of a hassle.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Mike

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Assuming it is empty just fill it up. If you are really worried about it run a jerrycan of white through it first.

I know a tanker driver who has said that when they are delivering different fuels (white, red or heating oil) they don't use dedicated compartments or bother flushing them out.

I am unconvinced about staining, I have never seen any evidence of it. I suppose you might get it in plastic pipe or components.

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Mike

It would be a good idea to give the tank a good clean out anyway- if you have not done it already. It is surprising how much crud can build up over the years, giving rise to potential fuel blockages.

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I'm sure the dye is deliberately formulated and detectable at very low levels, that said, if you run the thing completely dry and then start running it on clear diesel, and keep recent receipts for a tankful or more on the vehicle, you'd have a reasonable case that whatever was detectable was just a trace of red dye from a previous life.

 

Ask HMRC the same question - they are bound to have an online site for just this sort of question ?

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Thanks guys,

 

I thought if the tank was fully drained, cleaned and filled with white diesel I'd probably be on the right track, I'll keep a couple of receipts with me as well.

 

I've emailed HMRC to see what they reckon, I shall await a reply and post any relevant info on here when I find out.

 

Cheers

 

Mike

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....I have heard about paying the extra duty on red and keeping the paperwork but it seems to me to be a bit of a hassle.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Mike

 

Don't you have to get permission form HMC&E to do this? I believe it would have to be an emergency e.g. fuel shortage for them to allow it?

 

We did it during the last fuel shortage (tanker embargo) - it was certainly the case then that authority had to be sought from C&E. No need to clean out afterwards but advised to keep copy of letter of authorisation in each vehicle for some time in case of checks.

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you dont need a lot of cherry to stain a whole lot of white red,but as mentioned if you keep all your fuel receipts and this thread as reference you should be ok,if theres any clear pipes they will will be stained red/black colour

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And remember to change your fuel filters and drain the agglomerator as well...........

 

Alec.

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Thanks,

 

I need to do a bit of work on the engine anyway so it'll get new filters and such.

 

The auto reply I got from HMRC said they aim to reply within 15 working days, so I'll wait and see.

 

Cheers

 

Mike

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I seem to remember that the detection limits for a roadside test were considered to be between 0.5% and 1% of contaminated fuel. A roadside test would not be able to detect less than 0.5% contaminated fuel. i.e. if you have less than 0.5 litres red per 100 litres white you are ok as the roadside test is unable to pickup this low concentration level.

I often fill from jerry cans and am always cautious that no red has been in the cans previously. It will be interested to see what the official line is.

Best to clean it as mentioned before.

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hi matadormike, if the tank is empty of red when you put the derv in or white fuel as you call it you wont have a problem, no need to clean the tank unless you think there might be dirt in there, as for the filters you wont have to go far before the red diesel will have gone,i say this as i use a mix of fuels on the farm and have been dipped by the ministry people and never had a problem.

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I have just received a reply from HMRC.

 

"You would need to have the tank professionally cleaned to remove any trace of marked fuel and to retain evidence of such work having been carried out in the form of a receipted invoice."

 

(I have edited out some sections of the email which I didn't think were needed, the above text is the entire reply - except for dear sir, yours sincerely etc.)

 

That seems fairly clear cut to me, thanks for everyone's advice.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on where you can get the tank cleaned? I am fairly confident I can remove any rust and grime out of it but the additional piece of paper might give a bit more piece of mind.

 

Cheers

 

Mike

Edited by matadormike

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