Choosing the Right Filter for Your Fuel Storage Tank

January 18, 2019by tyrussum

A vital piece of hardware for your above ground storage tank is a fuel filter. Filters are designed for a variety of customer applications. Some remove particulates (soil, rust, microbial growth), some remove just water and others remove both particulates and water. Regardless, when tainted fuel goes through the fuel filter, it captures the particulates and the size of the filter pores (micron level) determines what passes through. If fuel filters are not regularly changed, contamination will eventually take a toll on your above ground fuel storage tank.

How to Choose a Fuel Filter

Our filters are compatible with a variety of fuel, however, to choose the correct filter you have to identify what kind of fuel is filtered.

  • Diesel
  • Biodiesel
  • Non-Reformulated Gasoline
  • Reformulated Gasoline

Next, you must figure out whether you are concerned about water contamination. Some filters cover both. If your fuel contains excess water, when it passes through the filter, the media notifies the operator by restricting the flow and increasing the pressure along the flow path. After you have determined the type of fuel you want to filter, and if you want to remove water contamination or not, you are ready to proceed to selecting a filter for your Fuel Storage Tank. There are many to choose from, be sure to check your systems owner manual for the recommended media type. The most common types are:

  • Cellulose – Cellulose filters are made with a paper and resin-bound plant fiber material. They are designed specifically
    for particulate removal only and not suitable for fine filtration. Best used for: gasoline, diesel, ultra-low sulfur diesel.
  • Microglass – This type contains synthetic fibers that are small in size and more uniform in diameter than the Cellulose
    filter, this increases the life of the filter. Best used for: Bio-fuels, ethanol-blended gasoline up to E15, ultra-low sulfur diesel, and all Biodiesel blends.
  • Hydrosorb / Hydro glass – This filter type is used for both particulate removal and water detection and absorption. Best used for:
    gasoline, diesel, biodiesel up to B20, and ultra-low sulfur diesel.

Selecting the right filter is not an easy task. Sizes vary widely and are made for a wide range of applications as well as flow rates. When determining which filter is right for your fuel storage tank, you must first know the flow rate of your system. If you are replacing a spin-on filter on an existing adapter, you need to know the adapter size. If purchasing a new filter and adapter, you’ll also want to determine the size of the fuel flow line or hose when selecting the correct adapter. If you do not know your thread size you should be able to easily cross-reference your old filter.

The micron-level determines the level you want the filter to catch. The lower the micron rating, the smaller the particles will be filtered from your fuel. For example, a micron rating of “10” will filter out particles 10 microns and larger, while a micron level of “2” will filter out particles that are 2 microns or larger. One downside to the smaller micron rating is filtered will catch more particles and the lifespan of the filter will be shorter. Check to see what appropriate micron rating is recommended for the equipment you will be using.

When should you chance a Fuel Filter?

Contaminants over time will gradually reduce your flow rate. If you are experiencing a reduced flow rate, it is important to correct your issue so you can increase performance and extend the life of your equipment. To determine if your fuel is dirty, obtain a fuel sample through your pump, visually inspect it for suspended particles. Water contamination usually occurs quickly, causing an immediate reduction in flow rate. Use a water finding paste and “stick the tank” to determine if you have water contamination. If you are replacing your filter more often than expected, you will want to have your fuel supplier test your fuel for contaminants, including water.

Why do I need to change my Fuel Filter?

It’s important to change your filter to ensure a trouble-free operation of your fuel storage tank. If you have an old filter, fuel will get slowed down over time and cause the pump to work harder. Changing your filter helps maximize the life of your equipment. Service stations and those who have a high volume of fuel usage should replace their filters at least every 6 months. In applications where use is moderate, filters can be changed once a year. This simple maintenance task will save you time and money in the long run.


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