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Old 10-12-2012, 18:28   #1
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Water in Fuel

tried to start engines today, and they ran for awhile then died. After checking, and bleeding both engines, I drained some fuel from racor into a three cup measuring cup. I had about an inch of water in cup. SOme one must have left fuel cap loose,(probably me), Now is there an easy way to get water out of tank? My first thought is drain fuel from bottom of tank, via fuel line going to racor. Then dose it heavily with "Sea Foam"
I have only one tank, and of course it is full
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:39   #2
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Re: Water in Fuel

You need to build a "gascolator" found on most small aircraft. It's a drainage "spigot", at the lowest point of the gas tank. Pilots drain a few ounces of fuel prior to flight and check for water and small sediments. To prevent condensation, always top off your tank whenever possible. The location of the fuel tank, on a sail boat, might make this feature difficult to build.
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:45   #3
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Re: Water in Fuel

You only have one racor? If this is the case, do yourself a favor and set up a dual racor system, and then run a temporary return line from the filters back to the tank. Use them with an electric fuel pump to polish your fuel, switching back and forth between filters whenever they get close to being full. It's not that hard to run a gallon or two of water out of your tank that way.
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:47   #4
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Re: Water in Fuel

Water is heavier than fuel, so "sinks" to the bottom of the tank.

If you have an actual drain or outlet on the bottom of the tank, you can probably get most/all the water out. If your fuel pick-up is at the top of the tank, the suction tube usually never goes all the way to the bottom of the tank.

If you have an inspection port on the top of the tank, you can remove it and stick a hose down to the very bottom of the tank and suck up the water.

Hopefully we are talking about a diesel fuel tank. Diesel is pretty safe to work with but gasoline is really, really dangerous.

Once most of the water seems to be out, rock the boat a few times while draining and you may be able to suck out any remaining amounts. Then just run the engine and check the Racor for water and change as found necessary.

If your fuel tank is not made out of marine grade aluminum, the puddles of water sitting on the bottom of the tank will eventually corrode through. I speak from experience....

Good luck!
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:52   #5
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Re: Water in Fuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
You only have one racor? If this is the case, do yourself a favor and set up a dual racor system, and then run a temporary return line from the filters back to the tank. Use them with an electric fuel pump to polish your fuel, switching back and forth between filters whenever they get close to being full. It's not that hard to run a gallon or two of water out of your tank that way.

It sounds like a good idea, if I am following you right. Could you not use just one and keep emptying it when it is full?
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:54   #6
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Re: Water in Fuel

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It sounds like a good idea, if I am following you right. Could you not use just one and keep emptying it when it is full?
Absolutely. But the dual racor system is one of the best improvements you can ever make to a boat.
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