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Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:28pm

Post Subject: Fuel Tank

Had leak in fuel tank on my new narrowboat, how do they test tank once repair has been done? Do I need a certificate as the boat is only 4 months old?


Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:14am

Post Subject: Fuel Tank

Unless this is a self built boat it, and all its equipment is subject to the Recreational Craft Directive and as such one would expect a stand alone fuel tank to be CE marked. However I expect the tank is in reality just a blanked off area using the hull and a front plate to form the tank. I am far from clear as to what markings this will require. Its the Trading Standards people at your local council who are responsible for enforcing the RCD so perhaps they could help clarify the regulations for you. Hampshire County Council have a number of papers on their website about boats and the RCD. At one time the Boat Safety Scheme required tanks to be pressure tested and marked but they seem to have dropped that requirement, only specifying that they should not leak. Normal practise is to test any tank by filling it full of water and then pumping more water in to raise the pressure. This is because water is virtually incompressible and the slightest weep will quickly show as a pressure drop. Also it is far safer than using air. In this case seeing a typical narrowboat tank is all but impossible to fully drain I suspect they will use air pressure over diesel but if they do it needs leaving under pressure at least overnight and then carefully inspecting for signs of the slightest weep. There are also methods using a special penetrating dye but that would require access to the inside of the tank so I doubt they will use that method. Tony Brooks

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