Diesel fuel does not last forever.
You may not realize it, but diesel fuel has a shelf life. Over time, when left unused, it can grow stale and even turn bad. Fuel goes bad in equipment such as emergency generators which utilize fuel, but only infrequently as needed.
It occurs when water molecules from tank condensation bond with the diesel fuel, providing food for microbial growth, but can also happen when sludge, rust, and other solid impurities contaminate the fuel.
Most of the time when fuel turns bad, you can easily tell. It may appear discolored when it gathers in the bowl below the filter, appearing yellow instead of cranberry. The fuel may also have an off smell, sometimes of varnish. A lab test can discern for sure.
Luckily, you do not have to go through the costly process of disposing of old fuel and replacing with new when fuel polishing can renew your diesel. Regular fuel polishing is a key part of preventative maintenance. Polishing fuel occurs when the diesel gets run through a filter designed to capture water and other unwanted substances. It can prevent clogging of filters and damage to other components while preventing the need to dispose of fuel outright, which wastes the money spent upon it. Some recommend having fuel polished every three years, while others say that more sedentary machines should undergo the process every six months.
It’s not difficult, and can save you money.
Polishing fuel is not difficult, but it does require that you follow a step-by-step process. Watch the video above to see the entire process and how it’s performed. Preventative maintenance, including fuel polishing pales in comparison to a generator repair or its unavailability in case of an emergency.