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Old 10-08-2017, 08:38 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
If condensation was going to be a problem, it would occur in aircraft where the tanks (wings) are out in the air exposed to rapid temperature changes as the sun goes up and down. I had this fight endlessly when I managed aircraft as believers in the condensation bogyman wanted the tanks kept filled. That left pilots who wanted the exchange fuel weight for passengers or cargo on shorter trips stranded.

I prevailed. Aircraft tanks are checked for water by draining from the bottom before every flight. Our aircraft had carefully maintained and tight fuel caps. In all my flying years, I never saw a drop of water.

A professional filtration specialist also pointed out to me that diesel fuel does absorb water which does the injectors no favors. The less fuel in the tanks over the winter, the less water will be absorbed and the more it will be diluted with the spring fill up in the unlikely event that any does get in.

If you find a puddle of water in the bottom of your tank or filter bowl, it almost certainly came with the fuel (very common) or from a bad seal in the deck fill. It didn't come from condensation.

Roger,

Agree. And re aircraft, I've operated them for 40 years, and the only water found in tanks was because of a failed fuel cap o ring. But I replaced those on schedule and never got a drop of water out of the tanks (170 gal), and often filled before flight, so could sit several days with 1/4 tank. And many of the flights had a 100d temperature change during the flight.

Same in my boats. I operated one that was rarely topped off, perhaps once every 3 or 4 months and operated a few times a week. No issues.

Totally an old wives tale.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:08 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
My experience....no harm in running 4 cycle gas engines dry.

My experience....leaving gas in a carburetor leads to carburetor cleaning at a professional level.

I have towed MANY boats where phase separation in ethanol fuel has occurred.
IMO:

Soltron - For fuel separation and water removal and bacteria removal: https://www.navstore.com/soltron-en.html

Berryman B-12 Chemtool - For severe fuel line cleaning: https://www.berrymanproducts.com/pro...ector-cleaner/

Seafoam - For mild fuel line cleaning: https://seafoamsales.com/

That's my story and I'm sticken to it! - LOL
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:38 AM   #23
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Nothing prevents phase separation except the lack of water......
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:38 AM   #24
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Nothing prevents phase separation except the lack of water......
http://www.franklinfueling.com/media...-07-12-web.pdf
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:06 AM   #25
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I have never seen any proof that full tanks or empty tanks matter either way. ... it doesn’t matter either way.
Tom points to Compass marine's "Mainsail" who has done experiments with the "water in fuel" question." (I read a lot of Mainsail's posts which I consider to be excellent!) Here's another expert on the subject.

The Myth of Condensation in Fuel Tanks by David Pascoe: Boat Maintenance, Repairs and Troubleshooting

What do I do after obsessing over this questions for years? Nothing!
On my last 4 boats it didn't matter if the tanks were full, half empty or empty.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:07 AM   #26
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Isn't phase separation with ethanol gas?

Is it an issue for non ethanol gas, or diesel?

Ive never had an issue, but occasionally use sea foam. Helps, but also helps with clean injectors, too. (don't know why they need cleaning, but someone sold me on the product).
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:28 AM   #27
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Pterry sure the Franklin Fuel article tells you when you have it or about to by means of a detection system, not a pour in prevention. To protect customers equipment.

As far as I know nothing can prevent it as of today except keep free water out of it. The EPA is convinced watwr vapor alone probably wont cause it.

Yes any level of ethanol and it can separate out, the higher the concentration the worse it is.

Lots of short articles on the web describing it, how to avoid it, how it damages equipment, etc.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:53 AM   #28
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Folks seem to worry a lot about winter fuel storage. Its easy to get mislead by RH, ppm, vs temperature. It's ppm that describes amount of water. It's RH that describes how close to condensation you are, and its all widely affected by temperature.
Some samples:
At freezing temperature (0 deg C), 90% RH air contains less water than 21 deg C at 30% RH. So, this cold air entering the tank as it "breathes in" is quite dry, even at 90%. Yes, if the tank wall cools much below 0, while that 90% air is sitting on top of the fuel, it will wet down the surface of the internal non-wetted part of the tank. Ultimately, some of this will run down into the fuel, and either be absorbed by the fuel or, if its at saturation, fall to the bottom. Its always the free water at the bottom that is the issue for a motor.

Looking at free water at the bottom of a tank, if things are at equilibrium, means the solution in the tank is 100% RH and what water remains, sits on the bottom. In other words, fuel will always contain water but usually at the 100 to 200 ppm level, if there is no free water at the bottom. This would be harmless, unless you happen to go to the artic, and lots of this water settles out.
How much water it will hold is a function of temperature. COLD, excess water may sit on the bottom. Warm up the fuel, and the free water may go back into suspension.

What I have seen in boats is never enough condensation to cause measurable free water in one years time. I'm sure it's possible, but i've never seen it. I've seen lots of salt water in tanks and lots of rain water in tanks.
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:08 PM   #29
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One other point (sorry). Let's say you have a 1/4 full tank going into winter. If, at the end of a long, wet winter, with lots of hot/cold air cycles, you could have some free water sitting at the bottom due to condensation. The fuel is fully saturated. Now comes spring and two things happen to the fuel. It warms up and is now able to hold somewhat more water in suspension and the free water goes back into solution. AND, skipper adds typically dry(er) fuel. That can also absorb free water and get it back into suspension. This suspended water runs through the engine without issue. Filters don't much "filter" it, either. Another topic.
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:18 PM   #30
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Biodiesel: Another animal altogether. Many/most? sources of biodiesel will result in blends that can hold a tremendous amount of saturated water, compared to what I mentioned above for petro-diesel (100 to 200 ppm) at full saturation. Like 1500ppm. If you run biodiesel and have stored this in the tropics with very high ppm, and then the temperature drops much (winter happens) you may find yourself with a lot of water at the bottom. Bio can have 15x the problem of petro diesel.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:44 AM   #31
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Many boats suffer from a bad O ring , so any water passing by the fill cap becomes a problem.

Our solution is cheap and sure.

Purchase (or find in the scrap pile) a piece of GRP at least 1/2 inch thick.

Cut it to match the fill hole in the deck and the OD or larger of the deck fitting

When the sealant under the fuel fill is renewed simply install the spacer .

Now any water running by will need to be deeper than the spaced up deck fill.

Could catch your toes tho.

This also works for stanchion bases , davit mounts and windlass mounting.
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:37 AM   #32
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I have never seen any proof that full tanks or empty tanks matter either way. .
TB

While I won't argue the full tank issue, I do find it interesting that many on this forum swear by the use of "fuel polishing" to keep their fuel clean. That being the case, how does it get "dirty" to begin with? Empty tanks maybe?
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:54 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Many boats suffer from a bad O ring , so any water passing by the fill cap becomes a problem.

Our solution is cheap and sure.

Purchase (or find in the scrap pile) a piece of GRP at least 1/2 inch thick.

Cut it to match the fill hole in the deck and the OD or larger of the deck fitting

When the sealant under the fuel fill is renewed simply install the spacer .

Now any water running by will need to be deeper than the spaced up deck fill.

Could catch your toes tho.

This also works for stanchion bases , davit mounts and windlass mounting.
That is a good general idea! I'm putting on a anew windless soon and will think closely on your suggestion.

Regarding fuel fill seal, to keep it so that toe stub is not created...

In addition to making sure that "O" ring is in good condition I keep jar of Vaseline always handy. Each time I open fuel fill hole I put liberal amount of Vaseline onto the "O" ring and all the top's threads; also wipe some on female thread area too. When screwed tight the Vaseline squeezes out all around the cap's seam. Paper towel wipes it clean.

That way the seal against water intrusion is perfect and the Vaseline, made of fossil fuel ingredients and compatible with gas or diesel, poses no threat to fuel in tank.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:38 AM   #34
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Your in Mystic, CT. There is not a problem with condensation up here like in other parts of the country. I always just put the boat up with what is left in the tanks. If there at 1/4 or full it doesn't matter here. I've never had a condensation issue in 40 years of boating.
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:32 PM   #35
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Want a read a sad story of how I managed to get water in my fuel? I really had to work on it too. This occurred when I had the Nordhavn. It carried 1000 gallons of fuel in 4 tanks.
I thought I had a sanitary tank vent plugged so I went and got a fresh water hose to flush it from outside, on the side of the boat. Yes, I had a hull diagram, self made, of all the hull opening and vents. Well, I ended up putting about 20 gallons of water back through the vent only to realize, I was filling one of my 4 fuel tanks. I called a company out to polish the fuel, clean and inspect that fuel tank. He unrolled his big bladder on the walkway, pumped all the fuel into it, pulled the tank inspection plate, cleaned out the tank, inspected it, pronounced it clean and undamaged. He polished the fuel as he refilled the tank after reinstalling the inspection plate.
How much did it cost to polish about 500 gallons of fuel? Ah, that's a good question. I do have a tendency to forget the price of things that 'cost too much'.

After that incident, I installed a fuel transfer pump with a Racor filter so as to transfer fuel between tanks for timing the boat.

That is my very sad, self imposed "How I got water in my fuel."
Oh, I corrected the 'hull opening chart' too.
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:47 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Many boats suffer from a bad O ring , so any water passing by the fill cap becomes a problem.

Our solution is cheap and sure.

Purchase (or find in the scrap pile) a piece of GRP at least 1/2 inch thick.

Cut it to match the fill hole in the deck and the OD or larger of the deck fitting

When the sealant under the fuel fill is renewed simply install the spacer .

Now any water running by will need to be deeper than the spaced up deck fill.

Could catch your toes tho.

This also works for stanchion bases , davit mounts and windlass mounting.
FF,

What's GRP? And are there many fuel fills on the deck? Also, why would you want to raise up davit mounts, etc.? If they're bedded right, no issue, if you re bed them. What am I missing?
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:39 AM   #37
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"What's GRP? "

Glass Reinforced Plastic , fiberglass , probably what your boat is made from.

"And are there many fuel fills on the deck? Also, why would you want to raise up davit mounts, etc.? If they're bedded right, no issue, if you re bed them. What am I missing? "

You are missing the reality that bedding compound fails in time , and has to be redone.

Some folks wait till the fitting leaks , which is fine on an all GRP built boat
but a horror for many TT where a leak rots the plywood core and major work is required.

By raising thru bolted fittings UP off the deck the amount of water needed to create a leak is raised.

That poor O ring on the fuel fill may never leak water into the tank , a huge plus.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:30 AM   #38
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As winter is approaching, should I fill my fuel tanks or leave them at 1/4.
Wifey B: Winter? What? Approaching from what direction? Is it another Atlantic storm? Did we really get to W? Last I knew we were still on N. What is this winter stuff? I'll go Google it and maybe I can find out more. Doesn't sound like something I'd like.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:42 AM   #39
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My boat's owner's manual suggests keeping the tanks full to reduce the possibility of condensation introducing water to the (diesel) fuel.

I top off the tanks when I return from a cruise regardless so this isn't something I do for winter or summer, I just do it so I'll be ready for the next cruise.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:45 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by FF View Post
Many boats suffer from a bad O ring , so any water passing by the fill cap becomes a problem.

Our solution is cheap and sure.

Purchase (or find in the scrap pile) a piece of GRP at least 1/2 inch thick.

Cut it to match the fill hole in the deck and the OD or larger of the deck fitting

When the sealant under the fuel fill is renewed simply install the spacer .

Now any water running by will need to be deeper than the spaced up deck fill.

Could catch your toes tho.

This also works for stanchion bases , davit mounts and windlass mounting.
You can buy those rungs pre made, with a split so you don't have to remove the hose, just raise the deck fitting and slip them on. No need to try and make one yourself.
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