Water in diesel fuel tank - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 09-30-2008
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
RetCO is on a distinguished road
Water in diesel fuel tank

I recently left my boat with the fuel tank fill cap off prior to some heavy rains. So obviously I've got water contamination. I ran the engine for about a half hour before I realized that there was water in the fuel.
I assume I'll have pump out all the fuel I'm able to and put in fresh fuel.
I'm wondering if any damage has already been done and if there is any other things I can do at this point to minimize the problem. Appreciate any help.
(sorry Barry).
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 09-30-2008
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
If you have a water/fuel separator filter, then you probably didn't do any damage. If you don't, you should probably get one... It really depends on whether the fuel pickup tube was in the water or in the diesel. If it was in the diesel, you may not have done any damage. If it was in the water, the engine wouldn't have run and you would have probably damaged the injectors.

You won't have to pump out all the fuel, but adding a biocide and trying to pump out the bottom of the tank to remove the water would probably be a very good idea. Capture the fuel and pour it back into the tank using a baja filter or something similar to separate out the water.
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 09-30-2008
Banshi's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 94
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Banshi is on a distinguished road
You should check the water separator to insure it is not full, your diesel won't run once it is. Water can do extreme damage (it does not compress well and is rough on injectors) which is why the water separator is used. Depending on how much you think it might be there are additives that will get rid of it without removing all the fuel already in the tank. It certainly can't hurt to dump the old fuel but that still may not get it all unless you can get it completely dried out inside. Water often gets in the tank from humidity in the air and a tank that is left only partially filled all the time allowing it to condensate inside the tank. So it is likely there is always some in it anyways.
__________________
1976 Chrysler 22 "CinJam"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 09-30-2008
MIKEMCKEE's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Cobbs Creek, VA
Posts: 969
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 13
MIKEMCKEE will become famous soon enough
there is a paste you can buy at most fuel container site's that you put on a stick and when you put it in the fuel tank's depression area by the pickup tube, it will turn from brown to red, letting you know what amount of water you have in your tank. I've used it for a few years and one 5 oz tube goes a long way.

Good Luck,

Mike
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 09-30-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 96
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
svindigo is on a distinguished road
You'll know when the water gets to your engine because it will stop running so you should be OK FOR NOW. Agree with the earlier advice re: fuel water separator (if you don't have one, do not pass go or WM and get one now, pumping out the bottom of the tank vs emptying your tank will also work. Particularly if you have large tank(s) (We have 250 gallons and I have pumped water off the bottom with a hand bilge pump and hose extension with success. Pls don't ask why, it's a very long story!)

After doing all of the above, pay close attention the next time you are motoring in lumpy conditions as some residual water may slosh by the fuel pick up tube and end up in the Racor filter you bought. (you did buy it right?)

I think you are OK and future trouble is easily avoided. Especially if you remember to put the fuel cap back on!

Cheers,
Ike
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 09-30-2008
hellosailor's Avatar
Plausible Deniability
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,604
Thanks: 2
Thanked 87 Times in 85 Posts
Rep Power: 10
hellosailor has a spectacular aura about hellosailor has a spectacular aura about
"there is a paste you "
Thieving paste, so called I'm told because it "steals" the water. One of those old-fashioned products that may produce a baffled stare from the younger help at the counter.[g]
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 09-30-2008
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
NorthUp is on a distinguished road
the paste is called Kolor Kut, and its made in Texas. it just discloses the presence of water in the fuel, it does not remove it.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 09-30-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: wherever
Posts: 5,261
Thanks: 8
Thanked 17 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 11
xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about
I love my fuel polishing system!!!

It has a tube at the very bottom of the fuel tank that runs to a small pump. The pump pushes the fuel through a Racor 500 filter system with a 10 micron filter and then back in at the top of the tank. Does 50 gallons in an hour. A beautiful thing!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 10-01-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,207
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
Rockter will become famous soon enough
Open the inspection hatch at the top of the tank and shine a flashlight in there. If there is water in there it will often look like liquid mercury as it reflects the light at the oil-water boundary. If it's there, get a wee pump (a motorised oil-change pump with a fine tube will do) and suck it out of there.
You can add some biocide also if you want.
Water is bad news in there. It causes endless problems, particularly the build-up of a strange, slime-like polymer.
I trust that there is an inspection hatch. If not, then you will have to take out the fuel pick-up tube and suck it out from there.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 10-01-2008
EO32's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Fremont, WA
Posts: 165
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
EO32 is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banshi View Post
Water can do extreme damage (it does not compress well and is rough on injectors)
I don't think it has to do with compression, since diesel also does not compress. I would think it would have to do with the lubrication that diesel provides.
__________________
If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps better than most. A small sailing craft is not only beautiful, it is seductive and full of strange promise and the hint of trouble.

- E.B. White
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Diesel Tank with no Fuel Return dhornsey Gear & Maintenance 3 06-14-2008 09:00 AM
Flushing/testing/preping an old water system on a new old boat tenuki Gear & Maintenance 8 04-19-2007 10:33 PM
water in the fuel tank ddilman Gear & Maintenance 1 08-27-2006 12:48 PM
The Beauty of the Jury Rig Mark Matthews Seamanship Articles 0 08-12-2003 08:00 PM
access to diesel fuel tank carisea Gear & Maintenance 1 05-16-2002 06:26 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:15 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.