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Water in Fuel/water Separator Filter....now what?


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I removed the fuel filter and dumped contents into a quart jar. See pictures. Water, contaminated. Now what do I do? Tank has 90 gallons in it. How in the world am going to drain all the fuel out and dispose of it? I noticed the fast few times out the motor would big down momentarily. Advice is appreciated. IMG_20210618_145122932.jpegIMG_20210618_145055234.jpeg

 

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If it were me put some good dry gas to how many gallons of gas you think in the tank.  Then keep some extra filters on board and see if it better. If it dont get better  than pump the tank.

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I've never drained the tank since I bought the boat 3 years ago. It's a 92 gallon tank on a grady white Bimini 220. I'm going to try to to pump out the bottom aft part of the tank and hope to get the water out. I have the bow of the boat trailer jacked way up.

When did you drain it or check it last?
 


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15 hours ago, garrymny said:

I've never drained the tank since I bought the boat 3 years ago. It's a 92 gallon tank on a grady white Bimini 220. I'm going to try to to pump out the bottom aft part of the tank and hope to get the water out. I have the bow of the boat trailer jacked way up.

 


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I was referring to the filter not the tank. If its been a season or more I would change it out and check it for water again after a few trips to see where you stand.

 

**The amount of water is not extreme for that time frame & shows the filter is doing the job it was intended to do.

Edited by L&M
**
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Oh ok. I changed the filter last spring. Ran it all summer. Then I thought I would check it today since once in a while at full throttle the motor would back off a few hundred RPMs for a few seconds. I thought maybe hysterisis in the cable might be the cause, but now that saw that water that in the filter I'm thinking maybe that was it. I ordered a new filter today.

 
I was referring to the filter not the tank. If its been a season or more I would change it out and check it for water again after a few trips to see where you stand. 


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Hi, the water is on the bottom of the tank and the fuel pickup is usually an inch or so above the bottom. To remove the water you have to remove the fill pipe or the sending unit and then put a hose to the bottom and draw out from the bottom of the tank until you encounter no water. Ethanol already in the fuel is very similar to dry gas you very likely have a considerable amount of water that needs to be physically removed. Please keep in mind use nothing that can create a spark. After you remove the bad portion of the fuel I would go to the auto store and buy a couple of cans of octane booster . harbor freight and staples on line sells a cream that changes color when in contact with water it is used for oil tanks and fuel tanks this will tell you of water being present in your tank at the bottom. hope this helps. Dino

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What do you do with the stuff you pump out to dispose of it?

Edited by Sk8man
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It dosen't look that bad to me sure there some scum in the jar but I dont think nothing to be to concerned with . Treat with seafoam I would double it up put a new filter on it fill the filter first with good gas. I would keep a couple extra filters in the boat . Like said above post run it for a couple trips then take sample again . I would run the gas as low as you can to burn the old stuff out and then start with fresh . Anyways that what I did when it happen to me my tank is 40 gallons didnt take long to do . Good luck to ya .

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The trouble with the wait and see approach is that you do not know when or if the motor is affected by potentially bad fuel. If your out on the water and the water kicks up the last thing you want to address is changing a filter or being broken down. you may be ok and your fuel may just have what you discovered in your filter. But I strongly suggest that you should be prudent and inspect your Tank and make sure you your fuel is OK. Breaking down on the water in a boat is not like breaking down in a car you simply can not get out and walk for help. As far as disposing of bad fuel many gas stations that do car repairs have waste tanks they may have a small fee and accept your bad fuel or at the very least let you know what facility you can dispose of it in a proper manner.

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Thanks all I think I will buy two 55 gal barrels and pump out what I can, and filter it back into the tank after ensuring no water. I'm worried about a breakdown 10 miles out. Maybe I should just completely drain and remove it. I'm trying to attach a picture....

 

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Before overreacting to it you might want to follow Hank's (LandM) advice and go from there. Might save you money all the way around.:smile:

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1 hour ago, Sk8man said:

Before overreacting to it you might want to follow Hank's (LandM) advice and go from there. Might save you money all the way around.:smile:

Ditto. Hank might have encountered this problem once or twice in the past and would NOT recommend anything that might harm your boat.

Edited by spoonfed-1
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Hi , someone asks for help and it turns sour, unbelievable!. 1) I never said pump out all gallons in separate tank, I suggested to gain access to tank via sending unit or tank fill then check out fuel at bottom of tank with indicator paste . 2) I never said or implied that anyone was recommending anything  to harm you or your boat. pissing contest go right at it, do or do not do as I suggested. I simply told you how I would address this fuel issue. Take care, Dino

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1 hour ago, whalertoo said:

Hi , someone asks for help and it turns sour, unbelievable!. 1) I never said pump out all gallons in separate tank, I suggested to gain access to tank via sending unit or tank fill then check out fuel at bottom of tank with indicator paste . 2) I never said or implied that anyone was recommending anything  to harm you or your boat. pissing contest go right at it, do or do not do as I suggested. I simply told you how I would address this fuel issue. Take care, Dino

All comments were reasonable, yours as well.  None sour.  just open talk with a few different thoughts.

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Make sure the gasket or o-ring on your gas cap is in good condition and doing the job.  This is often overlooked.  Can leak especially if it is the screw on type on a horizontal surface.  I check mine by putting some gas in a small squirt bottle and putting a bit around the cap when it is closed.  If it stays for a few minutes, it is ok. If it leaks down quickly, it needs attention.  Thing how much rainwater can be seeping in

 

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What do you do with the stuff you pump out to dispose of it?

I had this problem last year, although I think mine was a bit worse. Monroe County took 35 gallons of water soaked gasoline from me at their ecopark as they collect old paint, varnish, etc. They were VERY clear about not accepting a 55 gallon drum.
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Ok all, I got it done. And I appreciate everyone's comments and advice. I didn't take offense to anything anyone said, so I'm not sure what that post was all about. But, I decided to go by the old adage, "better safe than sorry"! I bought two 55 blue plastic drums, and a little siphon hand pump. First I siphoned out about 30 gallons so when I removed the sending unit the gas wouldn't be gushing out since I thought I had quite a bit in this 92 gallon tank. This first 30 or 40 gallons looked good, no water or sludge. I just siphoned right through the filter can and used the primer bulb hose. After that, the tank sending unit hole was easily accessible. I removed it, and I then stuck the hose all the way to the bottom, and finished sucking out all the gas. This went into the other barrel, and it had water and sludge in it. I'm guessing but probably 2 maybe 3 gallons of bad stuff. It's hard to judge. But the tank looked pretty good. I used a sponge to soak up the last of it. So, I will put a new filter on, and fill her back up with non ethanol which is all I use. As for the gas in the barrels, I'm quite sure the 30 gallons in the one barrel is good, but it will go in the mower, not the boat. The 4 or 5 gallons of bad stuff, I will call around and find a place. This boat is a 1982, so that's a long time for water to accumulate. Everything seems tight and sealed. One advantage was I got to calibrate my fuel sending arm/float mechanism which I believe was way off after checking it. Thanks for your help! IMG_20210619_140746855.jpegIMG_20210619_164415125.jpeg

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