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Old 06-12-2018, 07:18   #1
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How much water in diesel is to much?

A friend just managed to get maybe 5 gallons if water in 80 gallons of diesel....

Can he add alcohol to get rid of that much water?
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:23   #2
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

No alcohol, that works for gasoline engines with carburettors
.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:25   #3
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

Water will settle, Diesel on top, water in bottom. If he is lucky, he can just use a narrow hose to the bottom of the tank and a pump and transfer the water. Small residual amounts, the water separator at the primary filter will take care of.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:27   #4
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

Nope, pump it out.


No, it does not work for significant amounts in gasoline either. You need >20 gallons of ethanol for every gallon of water for it to be stable, and you can run more than 10% ethanol in a marine engine. Additionally, most gasoline is e10, so you can't add any more ethanol.


Pump it out with an oil vacuum. Easier anyway.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:19   #5
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

I have used the fuel pickup tube to pull out bad fuel in the past. Only need a small fuel pump on fuel line to engine. Of course unhook line BEFORE Racor to prevent re priming fuel injectors. Thanks, this is my first post.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:08   #6
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

I have removed 5 gallons out of a 50 gal. tank. You need to get to the very bottom of the tank. Most pickup tubes are about 2 in. above the bottom. If you are getting water from the pick up , you have a lot of water. As a previous mentioned, suck from the very bottom and the Primary filter/separator will handle the rest.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:15   #7
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

What I would like to know is: How do you get THAT much water in a fuel tank? That is an awful lot of water.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:21   #8
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

If the tank is correct constructed the fuel pickup should be a few inches above the tank bottom. Some tanks, like mine, have a second pickup that goes to the tank bottom, just for the purpose of removing contaminants. If your pickup is big enough, maybe you can insert some thinner diameter tubing and get this to the bottom.

Make sure you get (almost) all the water out. It only needs ver small amount of water to wreck an injection pump.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:27   #9
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaban-Alleria View Post
What I would like to know is: How do you get THAT much water in a fuel tank? That is an awful lot of water.
Deck fills can be confusing. I even have one for a fuel tank that is labeled "waste", (it was all I could get at the time.)
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:46   #10
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

I hope your friend had a water separator like a Racor 500 series.

First rule DO NOT START THE ENGINE. If you get water into your fuel supply lines you need to take all the fuel lines off and clean them. If you get water into your injection pump it is toast.

As others have said put a tube down at the bottom of the tank and pump until clear diesel is coming out. Wait a day and pump again to see if you can get any more water out. A water separator will get the rest. Watch the bowl of the separater - it will need to be drained. The Racor will stop the fuel flow if the water separator is full of water.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:49   #11
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

I'd be more concerned with how it happened and preventing it from recurring. Removing water is easy but the residual effect of growth isn't something with which anyone wants to routinely deal
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:11   #12
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

Pump it out. It only takes a small amount of water to blow injectors.
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Old 06-12-2018, 13:07   #13
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

Up here in Canada, you don't ever want to be the first one to fill up at the fuel dock in the spring! I heard of one unfortunate guy who had his whole tank pumped full with water.
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Old 06-12-2018, 14:17   #14
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

If you have a Racor like, water separating filter, with a small hose pump from the tank bottom into 5gl buckets until you get fuel. Then add quality 3x fuel conditioner and add a circulation pump that pulls thru the Racor. Empty the fuel bowl of water as needed. You should have zero problems.
I recently fixed a friends boat with a starting problem. First thing I did was check the fuel (100% water). Boat had 8 gallons of water in the tank. Long story how it got there. Pumped out water until 100% fuel. After the lines had fuel, I changed the filters, bled injector pump and tubes, used the above method with Archoil AR6200. Engine started and ran fine. Over the next several hours, owner got a very small amount of water in the Racor bowl.
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Old 06-12-2018, 14:22   #15
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Re: How much water in diesel is to much?

Even when you think you have pumped out all the water your need to run all the fuel in the tank back through the filter several times. Probably you will find that even when you thought you had it clean you will clog up the filters and bowl a few times. Don't try to do it by running the engines to move the fuel -use a separate pump. Mine is setup like a polisher system that I can uses from time to time. If my boat has been setting for a while I will run it for a few hours "scrubbing" the fuel before ever starting the engines.
I had to come back from the Berry Islands to Florida on one engine because of taking on water contaminated diesel back in '09. With a total top end rebuild and injector tube installation in the heads for 3 of the injectors. Not fun. How much is too much? Any at all is too much.
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