Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: What is Clean Fuels National, Inc.?
We are an AST (Aboveground Storage Tanks), UST (Underground Storage Tanks), and fuel cleaning company.
Question 2: Who is Clean Fuels National, Inc.?
We are a family owned and operated corporation with over 17 years of experience in the petroleum industry. We are the largest company with a focused specialization in fuel filtration and tank cleaning. We are the number one choice for top fuel retailers and fleets nationwide. We offer the peace of mind that comes from doing business with a family-owned company, a company that understands the importance of protecting your name and reputation.
Question 3: How often should I be changing the filters at the pump?
Every 10 to 12 months; circumstances may vary dependent upon the monthly volume of fuel dispensed. If you are suddenly changing filters more often, there is likely a problem.
Question 4: Why am I plugging filters so often?
Various things could be causing this; however there are a few principle culprits; dirt or rust that has reached a problematic level, tank wall deterioration, microbial growth and their by-products, recent use of a biocide without cleaning the tank, switching from regular fuel to an ethanol blend, or poor tank maintenance. (See our Preventative Maintenance page) If you are plugging filters at an unusual rate, contamination is that much closer to the customer’s automobile, to your fleet vehicles, and that much closer to damaging your reputation as a quality fuel provider or a reliable fleet.
Question 5: Don’t the filters catch all of the contamination that may be in the fuel?
It is true that dispenser filters are designed to catch most of the contamination in fuel before reaching a vehicle. However; when gasoline and diesel filters become clogged, the particulates are in effect pushed through the filters along with the fuel. These particles, when pushed through a dispenser, enter a vehicle and damage engines. Dispenser filters are the last line of defense. When filters start failing, there is nothing protecting the engines from the contaminants that caused the problem to begin with.
Clean Fuels National focuses on cleaning the tank and the fuel prior to it reaching the dispenser filter. Clogging filters is a symptom of a problem in a tank. We go to the root of the problem and correct it.
Question 6: Why should I clean my tanks?
You should clean your tanks to ensure a quality product is being dispensed. Regular maintenance helps avoid expensive repairs to your pump or meter equipment and prevents the headache of frequent filter changes. Contaminated fuel puts you at risk for equipment failure, fines, state shut-downs, lost revenue and lost efficiency.
Question 7: What if I don’t own the tanks?
You should talk to the company that owns the tanks and ask them what steps you should take. This question needs to be answered with another question though: “Who will the customer blame when his or her car doesn’t make it off the lot?”
Question 8: Is a VAC truck an option?
A VAC truck is valuable when used properly, but it’s not an effective or efficient tank and fuel cleaning option. It’s true that vac trucks can remove water from a tank – but they can’t treat microbial growth, remove particulate or check your equipment condition. They are a useful tool but not a solution in and of themselves.
Question 9: How does your company clean a tank?
Our proprietary process aggressively agitates the tank contents, running the fuel through a multi-level system of filtration, then returning the product to your tank under pressure using our fuel jetting technology. The fuel is cycled through this system until a clean, clear and bright product is obtained. Essentially, we use the fuel in the tank to clean the tank. No chemicals, water, or foreign products are added to your tank.
Question 10: Will I lose product during the cleaning process?
No, only contaminate and unusable fluids are lost. We only remove water, sludge and particulate.
Question 11: What else is done during the cleaning process?
All tank accesses are inspected and cleaned. Your monitoring equipment is cleaned, the S.T.P. is inspected, cleaned and the seals are replaced. Caps are inspected, gaskets are checked, wells are emptied if need be. Additionally, filters can be changed, if necessary. A Post-Service Report (PSR) is generated and made available to the customer using ZenputTM. We can provide a secure online portal to check these PSRs, or we can email each individual report to the customer.
Question 12: When should my tanks be cleaned?
Your tank should be cleaned when a dangerous level of contaminate is present, or when indicators alert you to potential problems, such as slow dispenser flow, frequent filter changes, foul smelling fuel and discolored, or contaminated bottom samples. Ideally, a tank is cleaned before serious problems occur – this is the importance of a preventative maintenance program.
Question 13: How long does the cleaning process usually take?
2 and 1/2 hours is our average time to clean a tank, however, different contamination ratings could either speed up this time or slow it down. Regardless of the level of contamination, our prices do not change. The goal is a clean product and a clean tank, and we will make sure the job is done right.
Question 14: How often should my tanks be cleaned?
When they have reached an unacceptable level of contamination, or every 1 to 2 years as a preventative maintenance measure. Our Fuel Quality Testing division can help you determine the health of your fuel supply and is a good measure of how often you need to have your tanks cleaned and fuel filtered.
Question 15: Can new tanks be contaminated?
ABSOLUTELY. Having a new tank in the ground does not mean you do not have contamination. We have found many new tanks holding dirt and debris from the construction and installation process. In addition, many new tanks are ballasted with water, which initiates corrosion to new components in a tank. We recommend cleaning the tank after the ballast has been removed and before product is dispensed. We help our customers guarantee that at their grand opening, clean fuel is being dispensed.
Question 16: Where does the contamination come from?
Leaky tank entrances, plugged vents, broken vent covers, caustic fuel, microorganisms, neglect, and fly-by-night bargain carriers. Even small amounts of water can harbor microbial growth that accelerates corrosion and equipment breakdown!
Question 17: How is contamination located?
Clean Fuels National, Inc. uses a “bacon bomb” or “sample thief” to take a bottom sample from your tanks at all accesses. If there is contamination hiding in your system, we will find it.
Question 18: What level of contamination is unacceptable?
We feel that any level of contamination is unacceptable, however, we use a scale developed by some well-known major oil companies, a common sense approach, our experience and our customer wishes. Obviously, contamination that is plugging filters and damaging equipment is unacceptable – but by monitoring your fuel supply, we can help you prevent expensive equipment repairs and state-shut downs.
Question 19: How often should my tank bottoms be tested?
Your tanks should be tested every quarter. It is a misconception that higher volume fuel operations need fewer tank inspections. Even high volume fuel operations get contaminated fuel and tanks. Some lower volume distribution locations can go slightly longer without an inspection; however, this is not recommended. A neglected tank can harbor serious problems.
Question 20: Is Clean Fuels National, Inc a maintenance company?
No, however, we can point you in the right direction for your area. We pride ourselves on being a resource for our customers.
Question 21: How do I know if my tank is clean when you are done?
We will continually take bottom samples of your tank until clean samples are retrieved – of course, this is done in front of the customer, manager, or approved employee. The reason we return the contents of the tank under pressure is two fold : first, it allows us to utilize our patent-pending fuel jetting technology to clean the interior of the tank with the fuel itself, secondarily, the aggressive agitation stirs up all of the sludge and debris that may be lurking in the tank. This results in the cleanest possible fuel. We are not finished until a clean, clear and bright product is obtained. A picture of these before and after samples is included in our Post-Service Report, provided for our customer records. We stand by our work, every time, every day.
Question 22: If contamination is on the bottom of my tanks and the motor is not on the bottom, what does it harm?
Some contamination does not settle but stays suspended in the fuel. Furthermore, every time you receive a delivery, your tank bottom becomes part of the fuel supply. Contamination at the bottom of your tank does not stay at the bottom of your tank.
Question 23: What water level in my tank is unacceptable?
It takes less than 1mm of water to support microbiological life. Keep a dry tank. Water at any level is unsatisfactory. Once microbial growth begins to flourish, the quality of your fuel and the integrity of your equipment is at risk. Water must be kept out of tanks. If water infiltration does occur, Clean Fuels National can help!
Question 24: How can water be in my tank if the monitor detects zero water?
Water at lower levels will not always show at the monitor. Because the monitor only checks one 4″ opening, you still need to check all accesses to the tank with water paste or for ethanol (SARgel), including under the S.T.P. Small amounts of water, enough to harbor microbial growth, can hide in areas other than underneath the monitor.
Question 25: What exactly is microbiological growth, algae, bugs, or H.U.M. bugs?
H.U.M. bugs or Hydrocarbon Utilizing Microorganisms, are naturally occurring organisms that utilize the carbon in fuel as a food source. Some are fungus, some are bacteria and they are all destructive. These organism live between the water and fuel layer. As with all organisms, they produce waste – resulting in an acidic sludge.
This acidic waste eats seals, corrodes metal and makes fuel unusually caustic. H.U.M. bugs enter your product supply through vents, fills, and transports; if you have water you will have bugs. It seems that algae are a fairly recent issue and experts are divided on determining the cause. There are organisms that prefer diesel, some that prefer gasoline, some that even prefer to live off the vapors from ethanol blended fuels. These organisms live off fuel and that is their preferred food source. Once they are in your tank, the tank must be treated.
Question 26: What kills H.U.M. bugs?
There are many brands of biocide on the market, but with anything you have to look at the products track record and pedigree and weigh the difference between price and cost. We are a distributor of ValvTect BioGuard ULS Microbiocide as well as BioGuard Plus6 for after a tank has been cleaned and the fuel restored. We can recommend a product and a program that is right for your fuel application.
Question 27: How do I get BIOCIDE?
Give us a call: 260-346-2500
Question 28: What preventative measures can I take?
The first and foremost approach is making sure all caps are secure and not damaged. Keep water out of your tank – that means keeping it out of your sumps and making sure all tank accesses are in good condition. From there, give us a call to find a program that is right for you.
Question 29: What is Clean Fuels of National, Inc.’s service area?
Coast to coast – some trip allowances may apply.
Question 30: What is your policy on the customer’s right to privacy?
Your site and tank information is only discussed in detail between us. Confidentiality is held in the highest regard. As a family owned company, we understand the importance of reputation. It isn’t just your good name on the line, it’s ours as well.