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Strong fuel smell under floor

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Old 12-26-2003, 07:35 PM
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Default Strong fuel smell under floor

Greetings all,
I have this strong fuel smell (at least it seems strong to me) coming from the tank area of my 22' Scarab. The thing is though is when I pressure tested; it will hold 3-psi indefinitely. (over 12 hours) I sprayed water on the tank through the deck plates and didn't smell fuel in the water that drained back and out of the bilge. What gives? Where could this be coming from? My tank is made out of what looks like a brown plastic. The fumes are strongest from the fuel filler, all the way down the hose and where the hose goes into the tank. The sending unit and fuel pickup have very little or no smell.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Roby
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Old 12-26-2003, 07:41 PM
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Check the hose clamps? I would pressure test it to a higher pressure and leak check. Try 5 then 7 psi. Good luck!
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Old 12-26-2003, 08:05 PM
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Rob How long have you noticed this??
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Old 12-26-2003, 08:41 PM
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Could be the filler hose has split or come loose.
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Old 12-26-2003, 09:24 PM
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Default STOP!!!!!DO NOT USE THE BOAT ANYMORE...

DO NOT START THE BOAT!!! You MUST find the cause BEFORE starting the boat again!!! I cannot stress this enough! Last week, my very good friends almost lost their lives due to an extremely violent explosion & fire that totaled the boat and it sank at the gas dock! It was a TOTAL LOSS! He had no insurance at the time. The Marina is charging him for all the gas dock damage(and the fill-up of fuel, of course.) The EPA is fining him for the gasoline pollution, etc... The force of the explosion knocked another customer off his feet, that was in another boat, 50 feet behind them. His beautiful 21 year old daughter lost her front teeth and a facial fracture and does not remember a thing! Her 21 year old boyfriend suffered torn knee ligaments and is considering sueing her father. My friend(the father) was burned slightly. All VERY, VERY Lucky to be alive...and the fact that it did not happen while out in the ocean that day, with nobody around to save them. Please check your boat out FIRST! Thanks, Ed
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Old 12-26-2003, 10:20 PM
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I agree with pressure testing the tank again at higher than the 3 psi. I would also AGREE STRONGLY with Ed and not start the boat until you establish the problem. If something "bad" happens, it's gonna be "REAL BAD".
Good luck....
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Old 12-26-2003, 10:41 PM
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Check all the connections and fuel lines. If the boat is older the lines may have dry rotted and are leaking. If you have accessed the tanks pull out all the foam from around them.

I hate to say it but the best thing to do is pull everthing out to inspect. A presure test may not be the answer. When it comes to gas fumes, this is the best thing to do to prevent an explosion. It may happen even if you don't smell it!!!! Money is not the issue here!!!
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Old 12-26-2003, 11:38 PM
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Been holding steady at 8-psi for the last hour. I have left the deck plates off and the smell doesn't seem to be as bad. I think Too Old hit the nail on the head. The only place it smells is the foam. There is foam running down the hose holding it in place. I removed all of the foam housing the hose and that is where the gas smell is coming from. After taking the foam outside you can smell it from 6 feet away. Now the smell in the boat seems to have greatly dissipated even still under pressure. I'm leaving for the UK in the morning so I won't have time to look at it. I suppose it will be a good idea to leave it outside with deck plates out to make sure. Thanks for your help.

Roby
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Old 12-26-2003, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve 1
Rob How long have you noticed this??

I noticed it just today. I was in the process of installing stereo equipment when I had my face near the area of the fuel hose. needless to say I lost interest in the installation.

Roby
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Old 12-27-2003, 12:27 AM
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I bet you did. One more thing, if it is on the trailer remove the drain plug if it is not already out. At leaste that way the fumes have a place to go out the boat. One place that I notices a LOT of vapor leaking is around my fuel hoses to the motors. You may have thought that you found the problem but the real question still remains, HOW DID IT GET THERE!!!!! Do everything you can to see if you can find out why. I am pulling my tank out to do a test this winter and to take a look. I figure after 25 almost years I should take a look.

Jon
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