Fuel Samples Can Deceive You

Over 20 years or so, we have pulled thousands of fuel samples from customer’s diesel and gasoline tanks.

The point of a fuel sample is to get a representation of what the fuel looks like inside the tank, so you can make sound decisions on fuel treatment.

You want to know what the worst quality fuel in your tank looks like, so you can anticipate what happens when your fleet or emergency generator draws in that fuel.

Fuel sampling normally uses a stainless steel tube often called a Bacon Bomb, which draws fuel into it, and then is released into a sample jar.

Both samples from the same tank – left from the monitor, right from beneath the turbine

The location in the tank that the fuel sample is drawn from is important.  The picture above shows two samples from the same tank:

  • The left sample was tank from the monitor area of the tank.  This is the easiest area to pull a sample from.  You can see the fuel looks pretty good!
  • The right sample was taken from beneath the turbine.  You can see a large amount of water sediment and bacteria in the sample.  Since it’s below the turbine pump, this is the fuel that is going to be drawn into the generator and motor that consumes it.

If someone relied only on the first sample, they would mistakenly believe their fuel looked great, when in reality, this fuel does not meet quality standards, and both the water and sediment needs to be removed before engine damage occurs.

FuelCare provides expert advice, tank and fuel quality reporting and fuel polishing services in Washington and Oregon.