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Author Topic:   Aluminum Fuel Tank Grounding
Jimm posted 01-23-2003 11:07 PM ET (US)   Profile for Jimm  
When being used as an on deck fuel tank in a Montauk, must aluminum tanks be grounded; and if so, to what do you ground them? Thanks...Jim
Tom W Clark posted 01-23-2003 11:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Jim,

No, you do not ground them.

logan posted 01-24-2003 01:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for logan  Send Email to logan     
to properly ground an aluminum tank you must use a wire that runs to the ground. place this wire near the filler on the tank to reduce the amount of static charge acrost the tank. the other end of the wire runs to the cleat on your dock. this can be tricky so I would sugjest using a vary large spool and many weights on it to keep the wire low in the water so it doesent couse a hazard to other boaters.

but really no grounding is nessisary.

SaintGeorge posted 01-28-2003 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for SaintGeorge  Send Email to SaintGeorge     
Technically a portable tank is supposed to be removed from the boat for fueling. However, plenty of people do not.

For built in, the key grounding point is between the fuel nozzle and the tank, requiring conducting hose system. The ground to the water is actually secondary, because you are already grounded back through the fuel filler hose from the pump.

jimh posted 01-29-2003 06:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The ground point for fuel system bonding on Classic Boston Whalers was a submerged anode on the transom. The anode was made of bronze. A 10-AWG stranded wire with green insulation ran from the transom to the fuel tank and all other metallic elements of the fuel system like filler pipes, vents, etc.

Later, the factory stopped using this anode and ran the fuel system bonding to the negative terminal of the battery. This terminal is effectively connected to seawater via the unpainted anodes bolted to the engine lower unit.

I don't know the official regulatory answer regarding the grounding of portable metallic fuel tanks on-deck. In as much as there are very few regulations at all regarding fuel systems for outboard engines, I suspect there are no regulations governing this situation.

There may be a NMMA recommendation on this, but I do not have their (expensive) book of recommended practices to consult, and thus I cannot speak with authority on this topic.

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