4 Easy Steps To Keep Your Fuel Healthy During Winter

Put simply, your fuel supply is more susceptible to contamination in the winter.

Cold temperatures and wet weather mean that the quality of your fuel is more likely to deteriorate, and in turn create some huge issues for you.

Fuel contaminated with water or bugs can damage machinery and therefore result in business downtime. So it cannot be ignored.

It’s not a case of just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. There are measures you can take all year round to minimise the impact of winter weather on your fuel supply.

How can you protect against contamination?

1. Keep checking your fuel

Early diagnosis of any potential issue is paramount. During the colder months, we suggest checking your fuel for tell-tale signs at least once a month.

The visible symptoms include:

  • Cloudy fuel
  • Blocked or slimy filters
  • Unusual behaviour with your machinery, such as stuttering
  • Evidence of rusting on the tank

If you notice any of the above, or simply want peace of mind, a fuel test will be able to identify the following:

  • Tank erosion
  • Excessive water content
  • System issues
  • Unwelcome bio-matter

To book a fuel test with us, get in touch today.

2. Clean your fuel tank

After tests, your fuel may show no signs of contamination. However, we still highly recommend getting your tank cleaned.

It’s quite possible that there is a build-up of sludge or dirt that sits at the bottom of your tank undisturbed. This is caused by rust from your fuel system, general dirt and the oxidation of the hydrocarbons contained in oil.

This build-up of sludge can easily go undetected if your fuel level remains relatively high and you just get regular smaller top-ups to your fuel levels, as the sludge remains largely undisturbed.

If you ever run particularly low on fuel, sludge can easily find itself getting further into your fuel system and the other machinery it powers.

Issues caused by getting sludge in your fuel system

The more immediate issue is a notable reduction in efficiency. Much like if you don’t remove the lint build up from the filter screen in your tumble dryer, the performance of your fuel system will also be negatively impacted by a build-up of deposits.

The result is you use more fuel to achieve the same energy output, whilst emitting extra harmful waste as a result of burning non-combustible compounds.

Longer term, it will cause irreversible damage to your fuel system. Decreased efficiency will mean the lifespan of your machinery and fuel systems will be greatly reduced by the impurities in the fuel.

3. Check the condition of your tank

You’ve checked your fuel and there seem to be no discernible issues.

But if the condition of your storage tank is deteriorating, you are simply inviting issues at some point down the line.

Your tank is going to be particularly vulnerable to decay and damage during the harsh weather of the winter months. Therefore, spotting the issues early on means your tank can be repaired or replaced before the quality of your fuel is compromised and even worse, your equipment damaged.

Plus, you are legally required to ensure safe storage of your fuel because an oil leak or spillage is an environmental hazard.

4. ‘My fuel is contaminated, what should I do?’

You have two clear courses of action to rectify the situation.

You can have your fuel cleaned, or ‘polished’. This is performed on-site with limited disruption to your operations. Essentially the fuel is passed through a machine which filters the unwanted contaminants and returns the fuel to the tank, all in one motion.

Not all fuel is salvageable, and fuel polishing can only restore fuels that aren’t too heavily contaminated. Which is all the more reasons Steps #1-3 should be followed throughout the year.

If your fuel is heavily contaminated, we are able to perform a fuel uplift. We can efficiently remove the fuel from the tank so that it can be fully repaired or replaced entirely

If you would like to further discuss your fuel’s health, get in touch with one of our experts today. Call us on 0845 0303 111.