Diesel Exhaust Fluid winter blast

Good morning friends…

Dense and stubborn is not your standard language that is reserved to describe our winters… However; we are being faced with one of the worst winter storms in decades. For us folks in the south, yep; we are loading up with coffee and heating blankets since we do require a bit more TLC.  For you guys right in the middle of the storm forthcoming, temperatures dropping well below freezing will not be unusual; try -40F.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid freezingSo, this brings me up to the subject of Diesel Exhaust Fluid which freezes on the other side of this zero equation…+12F. That is a big gap between outside ambient temperatures and freezing point of Diesel Exhaust Fluid.  Being that it is mostly water, it will become a block of ice if you don’t take some precautions.

Our biggest recommendation is to top off your tanks…. it is easier for DEF to freeze in lower volumes than it is when you have 500, 1000, 2000, or 5000 gallons. So, the old saying.. top it off and use common sense.

Some items to consider after topping off DEF tanks;

1. Bring it in… That’s right, if you can bring your tank inside ,do so now.

2. Remember the old saying, “Leave room for more”. Well, DEF will certainly expand when freezing in upwards of 5-7%.

3. Last, the question of quality once DEF freezes often comes up.  There has been plenty of conversations on this and DEF has now been around long enough in countries like Norway where freezing and thawing of DEF does not affect its quality. You can read more here… link

In summary, if you have totes or mini bulk DEF tanks… you may consider topping them off during this winter, so hurry and call your local distributor!

Drop any other suggestions that you may have for the benefit of the groups… and for goodness sake; stay warm!

Join the discussion on the new LinkedIn Diesel Exhaust Fluid Equipment Center group





Tecalemit USA

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  • Michael Peterson
    Michael Peterson

    One of the concerns voiced to me is the possibility of the DEF pump as well as the lines/fittings busting when the DEF freezes since the pump that we offer is plastic as well as the DEF splitting the side of our stainless steel containers. What have you heard about this problem?


      Hi Michael, thank you for posting this. As you can imagine, we have been getting lots of questions this winter on DEF systems. To answer your question, everything that is plastic will have tendency become more brittle with the rapid expansion and contraction when seeing freezing temperatures. If DEF fluid remains inside that diaphragm chamber then when experiencing temps well below 12F; you will see DEF become solid or crystalized and it will expand in upwards of 5-7% if that chamber is full. So it boils down really to who the pump manufacturer is, its warranty, engineering, etc…. I have never heard of pumps bursting when frozen, but the internals (seals) may suffer leading to leaks and even causing it to go into limp mode.
      For example, take our W85 Hornet, it has Stainless Steel internals, and we have engineered the hornet to work in extreme temperatures; as cold as 12F-14F which is about the freezing for Diesel Exhaust Fluid anyway. Our advice to our customers upon experiencing well below 12F consecutively temperatures is to evacuate the pump/lines. Disconnect the suction from the source, or if you have an insolation ball valve, go ahead and close it. Then simply evacuate the DEF fluid, you don’t want to leave that chamber full of DEF. Will it crack? Maybe, unlikely it’s my opinion. Once temps go back up, whatever crystallization was left in the chamber will become fluid once again once fresh DEF enters the pump again.

      I hope that sheds some light on your question, but if you have any further technical questions; feel free to call us or email us at sales@tecalemitusa.com

      Stay warm!
      TECALEMIT Inc.

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