Water in your Gas?

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by tkishkape, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    Water In Your Gas?

    (Previously published in the North American Fisherman 11/14/2007)

    Water and gas don’t mix, or at least they shouldn’t in your boat’s fuel system as excess moisture can cause problems ranging from decreased fuel efficiency to actual engine damage.

    Ironically, a common additive in unleaded gasoline actually absorbs water. Ethanol is a grain alcohol typically produced from corn in the United States, though in other countries it’s often made from different raw products, like sugar cane, sugar beets or wheat. In many states it has replaced methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) as an octane booster and oxygenate in unleaded fuel after MTBE was suspected to be carcinogenic.

    The most common ethanol/gasoline blend sold at filling stations is called E10, which is 10 percent alcohol and 90 percent gasoline, and is approved for use by all major outboard manufacturers. This is not to be confused with E85 “flex-fuel” that has garnered so much attention lately. This blend contains 85 percent ethanol, and is not approved for use in outboards.

    Ethanol, however, is hygroscopic; it mixes easily with water, which means that 10 percent of the fuel load in your boat’s tank could become a mixture of water and ethanol. In the worst case, the gas/ethanol/water mixture could undergo a “phase separation,” which means the water/ethanol blend sinks to the bottom of your fuel tank where it could be pumped directly to the engine. Since phase-separated fuel cannot be remixed, the only solution is to have the tank drained—a job you should have done by a professional mechanic.

    Here are a few facts that can help you eliminate or reduce water-related fuel system problems in your fishing rig:

    1. Never mix ethanol blend gasoline with fuel that contains MTBE. When the additives are mixed, especially in the presence of water, they can form a gel that may clog the engine’s fuel delivery system.
    2. Take steps to keep water out of your fuel tank by maintaining a full tank when the engine is not in use. This decreases the air space above the fuel level and reduces the opportunity for condensation to form.
    3. Install a fuel-water separation filter if your boat is not equipped with one. If it is, change the filter at manufacturer recommended intervals.
    4. Ethanol acts as a scrubber and will loosen rust and debris inside the fuel tank. Check and replace all fuel filters on a regular basis. It’s smart to carry extra filters with you in the event they become clogged when you are using the boat.
    5. If the boat is to be stored for an extended period, two or more months, add a fuel stabilizer at the recommended level. However, no additive can prevent phase separation from occurring
  2. tofish

    tofish New Member

    i hear so much of this water seperater, but what is it? know about on air lines, and figure about same idea. but here in yuma, az, never heard of one being used. now we are are starting the get the ethenal gas and starting to get concerned. i use the stablelizer diligently, but still can't afford a big bill. someone enlighten me please.