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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/15/2011 1:26 PM

Recently I have noted that I have water in the diesel fuel in my rig. The computer reads "water in fuel". I have been told that if we add 1/2 cup of alcohol to each tank of diesel fuel, that the alcohol will blend with the water and our problems are solved.

In addition, I have been told that diesel fuel contains 7% water by volume. I thank you for your answers.

Chuck McBurney, Alberta Canada

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#1

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/15/2011 1:55 PM

Is there a question?

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#2

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/15/2011 2:59 PM

HEET®. Use one 12 oz bottle to treat 20 gallon of diesel fuel.

Unless you are a chemist, just buy some. Is your tractor worth the $20.00?

"In addition, I have been told that diesel fuel contains 7% water by volume." If the guy at the fuel stop told you that, buy your fuel elsewhere!

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#3

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/15/2011 3:12 PM

Alcohol and water do mix, and that is the traditional approach to dealing with water in gas. I can't see how it would hurt your diesel engine.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/15/2011 3:28 PM

Alcohol?

In the common use of the word, alcohol means ethanol.

Perhaps, if an experiment is in order, you can try C3H8O.

What does the manual for the engine have to say?

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#5

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/15/2011 3:45 PM

With our farm tractors I usually dump a full bottle of isopropyl alcohol in with each tank when I fill them in the winter.

Diesel engines have no issues with the stuff, same as with ethanol, but the methanol based Heet fuel additive is very bad for diesel engines.

I have my doubts about th7% water thing as well. Around here if there is any water in the fuel it gets creamy and plugs the fuel fillers with snot.

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#6

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/15/2011 10:48 PM

If you are getting any water in your diesel fuel, you should be looking for a new fuel supplier. Water in diesel doesn't always turn fuel milky and plug up filters because that depends on how much water there is and how old the filter is. But water does freeze and can ruin a lot of expensive parts. Ethanol, gas line anti-freeze, diesel fuel conditioner or what ever you want to call the alcohol will keep the water from freezing and get it out of the system.

One thing for sure, if I had my warning light come on for water in fuel, I would immediately add alcohol, run the tank as low as possible and change fuel filters. I would then fill up with a known water free fuel and add some more diesel fuel conditioner just to be sure. When the motor was running properly, I would replace all the fuel filters again. Filters are cheaper than injection pumps, injectors and engines. Once my unit was running right, I would trace my fuel back to find out why I was getting water in the fuel in the first place. Water in any type of fuel can be bad news and in our climate that is especially true. Water is never added intentionally, but does sometimes occur at low volume stations, in low usage units where the tank is always less than full and a host of other reasons.

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#7

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/15/2011 10:57 PM

Don't they equip diesel vehicles with water separators any more? That is the standard solution to that problem, and I have never known a diesel to fail through water ingestion if equipped with an adequate-sized separator that was drained daily.

Mind you, the water separator is usually in the engine compartment, so it won't stop fuel lines from freezing in deep cold-soak situations, so fuel conditioner may be needed as well. But the separator is the first line of defense for the fuel-injection system.

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#8

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/16/2011 9:24 AM

There is a product sold in Canada called an H2O Water Worm that absorbs only the water when placed in any oil or diesel fuel tank.

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#9

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/16/2011 9:31 AM

Most diesel powered engines come with a drain in both the fuel tank as well as before the injectors, you can drain the water and no more issue.

You will have to look for the drain and maybe call the manufacturer to see where they placed it.

Other solutions as indicated will also work.

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#10

Re: Water Content in Diesel Fuel

03/17/2011 7:57 PM

Water will always go down the bottom of the tank when allowed to settle for some time.When it has settled,open the drain valve or plug and drain off the water into a container until you find out that only diesel is flowing out,then close the valve immediately and go ahead to use your diesel.

This method has been helpful each time we get a 33000 litres of diesel with water in it.

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