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Author Topic: water in fuel  (Read 1316 times)

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Offline Nemologger

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water in fuel
« on: November 08, 2018, 07:56:27 PM »
Sometime in the past  month someone decided to pour quite a bit of water in my truck fuel tank. How is the best way to get it out? Or is the fuel ruined?
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 08:41:08 PM »
If it's quite a bit - drain the tank, not worth getting it into the fuel system.  I would re-fill and add some 911 / Howes to the fresh fuel.  In the days before re-gen engines we used to add straight methanol to tanks that had water / condensation in them.   It would bind the water and get it to burn off, not sure how old your truck is and if that would cause an issue with a re-gen engine or not.  

A tank of fuel is cheap compared to an injection pump. 
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Online BargeMonkey

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 09:54:19 PM »
What kind of "truck tank" ? Any fuel oil company will have "water paste" for sounding tanks, a little bit on a tape will tell you how much is there. Like Southside said, a tank of fuel is cheap compared to a pump or injectors. 
 Funny story about "water and fuel" 🤣 We went someplace we didnt belong on the boat, punched a hole in a large tank, someone panicked and transferred water into the rest of the tanks, I woke up to a slick staring at the statue of liberty. Did everything we could to get rid of the water but couldn't, they loaded us up with filters and sent us to TX. We got as far as Norfolk VA and had lost 6 injectors on 1 engine, 8 on the other. M/Es where still under warranty so the company tried to play it off, repair company came down with 40k bucks in injectors on a Sunday morning. 🤣 In the end we dumped 50,000 gal of fuel and emptied every tank we had into a 2oil barge. 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 08:04:27 AM »
Water and diesel fuel are completely separateable.  Drain the entire tank and blow it out with air then refill.  You can also get rid of a lot of remaining moisture by splashing in acetone and blowing that around.  Itll grab the water and evaporate them both but is very explosive.  No smoking, disconnect battery, dont do it indoors or huff it.


 Store the wet fuel you drained in buckets or drums that wont be disturbed.  If you are in a freezing climate winter is right around the corner.. When the water freezes you just pour each bucket into a fresh bucket and leave it settle another few hours. Pour the cleanest one into the truck then the next cleanest into that empty bucket and so on.  Youll have an assembly line of settling buckets.  Just knock out the ice and use a clean old shirt to wipe down before refilling.  


If it doesnt freeze, do the same thing but use a siphon pimp or big harbor freight syringe or your favorite burger king cup to gently siphon off the top of a standing bucket without disturbing it.  The water is on bottom so when you get to about 1/3 full just stop and do the next one. Then consolidate all the thirds into tall buckets again and start over.  Pour the watery dregs on your wood pile. 

If i had to build a machine for this, it would basically be a tall beaker with a bottom drain.  

There is a way to do it with a vacuum pump and a heated garage too but i think thats probably harder for you, depending on the situation.  I dont know if we are talking about an S10 or a fuel delivery truck.
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Offline woodmaker

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 11:06:28 AM »
I have to do this with waste oil for my furnace. I ended up with an old oxygen tank.cut the bottom off it , turned it upside down on a stand high enough to put a 5 gallon pail under it ,and poured everything into it. After a couple days,i would crack the valve in the bottom(formerly the top) and drain the water off until oil came out. Called it the still
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 11:50:16 AM »
a welding gas cylinder or propane tank etc is a great vacuum decanting vessel for drying the water out of whatever oils.  If itll take pressure itll take vacuum.  A 55gal drum caves in at about 8 inches HG.  


Your upside down cylinder with bottom drain is perfect as a start point to scale up as large as needed.  Funnel bottom and drain is the important part.  Then a vacuum is drawn off the top with a plain jane HVAC vacuum pump.  Hazard fraught one works fine.  There just needs to be a condensor in the line from the tank to the pump to keep it from sucking water.  I use a big glass pickle jar. 

 I think its 27" of vacuum to boil water molecules (explode them really) at 70f or something close to that.  I filter and dewater waste vegetable oil into diesel fuel.  Most work is done by the musical settling drums and time.  The clean looking almost finished stuff goes into the still and gets heated to 160-170.  I then alternate between pumping through increasingly finer filtration loops or pump turned off and vacuum drawn for a period of time.  The exploding water will condensate on the upper headspace of the drum and i open the bottom drain to let it suck in dry air.  The clear vacuum hose on top will show water drops racing by the fluorescent tube light over it.  A 50 gallon batch of "man that looks like new corn oil" has about a soda can of water bonded to it in suspension.   I do 3 sequential hot pan tests then pump the clean oil into a drum to the top and seal it up.  Have burned 4 yr old oil with no smell or issues.  Its the water that goes rancid. 


I know this is beyond the scope of what was asked.  But for any of you guys with access to free oil and an old mechanical pump knuckleboom that loves eating the fuels all day long.... 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 06:56:32 PM »
This is good info on waste veg. oil. I don't do any of that but I should. My oil sits in jugs for about a year and a few months after the first 2 filterings. The final pumping is through 10 and 5 mic. and then blended about 50 percent with diesel. I run my C series cummins gen. and '91 f350 and 06 perkins fork lift on this until cold weather. Been doing this a long time. Before this , when the sawmill was belt drive I ran the old 318 cat on used motor oil. Good thing it was pony start and the injectors came out real easy. She would run about 6 weeks and plug the pre cups.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 07:37:52 PM »
I have run various  ratio wvo blends in the stock tank during like 50f and above days and i have built heated 2 tank systems that were pure grease year round.  2 tanks are slow to heat up in winter so useless for short tripping.  The big issue with blends is copper wipers on the fuel level sending unit.. Thats a catalyst for polymerizing into chicken skin which plugs everything up.  

  I should brew biodiesel to run it in all my equipment but dont really want to get involved in the methanol and lye end of it
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 09:10:06 PM »
Mike B., You are so right about the sending unit points. Had 1 tank down 4 times! Went for years with no trouble and then 2 brass floats sunk, put in plastic and then both units went nuts. I see the fuel gage on the yale fork lift is getting funny. You must work on a lot of stuff like I used to.  Good posts, thanks, Doug

Offline mike_belben

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 10:15:39 AM »
If not for junk id be trapped in the same rut i was born in.  Lots of junk has created rut mobility to jump out of one and into the next, enabling me to atleast attempt helping a wider range of people. If i am in a position to help someone else, then my lot cant be so bad right?   ;)


Learning about camper furnaces today.  Hit me up if you wanna know why slow motor speed wont fire the gas valve.  ::)
Revelation 3:20

Offline Magicman

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 07:21:36 PM »
Sail switch.  ;D
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2018, 10:47:47 PM »
Yeah.  i wish it was a bad sail.  Fully used up brushes and smoked commutator inside the ridiculously hard to find blower motor.  Im like 40 miles from the manufacturer and cant find one in a 200 mile radius thats in stock.  Ordering tomorrow.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 02:15:50 PM »
And when you get it up to speed it will operate the sail switch which will turn the gas on.  ;D
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: water in fuel
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 10:17:46 PM »
Well, a pencil closes the sail switch and fires the gas valve just fine.. But im trying not to burn the place down.   8)
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