filtering water from diesel fuel

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:11
ThreadID: 96095 Views:5437 Replies:14 FollowUps:5
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Hi guys
After reading horror stories about the results of water getting into diesel fuel, I feel a bit too scared to use my jerrycans in case of condensation.
My question is, if I purchase a good quality funnel with a really fine mesh, will it stop the water?
Travelling at the moment so fitting a proper water removing gadget to the car isn't an option.
Thanks
Geoff
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:32

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:32
Geoff!! Do a search, there is a funnel type gizmo that will do exactly that, it comes in two sizes i think. Someone here might be able to tell you the name of it,, Michael

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Reply By: Member - wicket - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:32

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:32
there is a funnel specifically for this purpose i think it's called mr funnel and they are available from bcf and marine places
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:35

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:35
Hi Geoff,

It would depend on the finness of the filter.
Mate used to work as a refueller at mascot Airport and he used to give me a partially used filter assembly which had an extremely fine gauze filter around a perforated frame, much like a large oil filter.
He said it was for filtering out water from the aviation fuel and according to him it would seperate without any problems. Would have removed a lot more than water too I guess.

As you are not a member you cannot PM me, so, if you want to put up your email address I can send you an email and organise to send you some of it in the mail if you like.

Failing that if you call in to the refueler station at any major airport and speak to the guys they may be able to give you some from a used filter. They are plenty good enough for our use while being unservicable for aircraft refueling use.

I'll leave it up to you.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Follow Up By: walwffoeg - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:49

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:49
Thanks guys.
As I am travelling I will probably pass a BCF in the next day or so, I will try and grab one of those funnels.
hi, thanks, Bruce but I won't be home for another month or so.
If I don't get anything from the shops I'll give you a yell.
thanks again
Geoff
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Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:57

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 19:57
AS stated above Mr.Funnel is what you want - regarded as the best there is for filtering fuel (uses a non-stick stainless steel filter).
There are different sizes - I just purchased a F15C model which is large enough to accept flow from bowser pump (not high flow). To use in remote areas they are a worthy investment for any owner of a commonrail diesel.
I paid $99 for the F15C.
There are smaller ones available and cheaper if you are just filtering from a jerry can.
Available from proquip, BCF, Ebay etc. They are made in USA. BCF do not stock all sizes in all stores.

Cheers



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Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 20:32

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 20:32
Not the easiest of things to use when pouring fuel from a jerry into your tank. They require a particular action to get going and are a bit slow - two hands to hold the jerry and a couple to work the filter funnel.

Garry
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Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 20:24

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 20:24
Nice one Geoff - read the title and thought you were going to show us how to conjure up water from the fuel tank if we ran out after a breakdown in the Simmo.

;))
AnswerID: 487891

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 20:33

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 20:33
Water is heavier than diesel and ULP and always sits in the bottom of a jerry can. So if you pour it into any funnel, the water is the last thing to come out. So the trick is to use a funnel with a gauze filter and be very careful when you pour the last bit from the jerry can. If you're paranoid, then don't pour the last litre.

In my experience I've never had water in a jerry can, but I look after the jerry cans, store them fully empty.

Also I won't use a pump which draws from the bottom of a jerry.
AnswerID: 487892

Follow Up By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 21:19

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 21:19
I also never fill vehicle direct from jerry cans or even 44's
I always either pump or pour fuel into a bucket and then pour it into the vehile usually thru a fine filter to get rid of any floaties.
essentially I rely on what Phil has stated ,water sits at bottom of bucket under fuel and you can see it
tip out the last 1/2 a cup if in doubt and you wont have any worries.
the bucket is more important than the filter and costs less than a dollar.
even though our deisel tanks at the farm are now under cover the old man still fuels the 75 series using this method.
cheers
Howard
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 21:26

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 21:26
Gday Howard,
Thanks for reminding me. I've had water from using 44's - they are a bigger risk than jerries. That's the problem with using a pump which draws from the bottom of the jerry. I'd rather lie the 44 on its side and roll it so the fuel pours into a bucket like you do. But its very rare these days to need fuel from a 44 gallon drum.
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Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 22:26

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 22:26
All of the above is spot on.
There is also an inline water trap that can be installed between fuel tank and first main fuel filter. I have fitted one to mine and it is amazing what it picks up. Since installing it I have only used bowser fuel from the same outlet..and it has sorted a cuppla black looking floaty things that look a bit like dead ants ...and about half a teaspoon of water..n thats in about 3 months/5000 k.
I cant find a link ...but Google Cooma Diesel website in Canberra. They have all types for all budgets there.

HTH.

Cheers Keith
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Reply By: Member - Josh- Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 22:34

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 22:34
We used Mr Funnel as mentioned above when we travelled. Best thing for getting water and other crap out. The missus holds the funnel, I pour the fuel, that way if it splashes I don't get deisel on my hands lol.

Josh
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Reply By: Ross M - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 22:37

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 22:37
The water you can see and filter out with a Mr Funnel or similar, is important to get it out of the fuel chain BUT there is also a distinct possibility there is water in suspension in fine unseen droplets in the fuel itself.

This is what dewatering filters are for and are another essential step in making as sure as you can no water gets into the injection system.

These filters are far finer than the funnel gear and provide a time and area situation to allow water to be precipitated out of the fuel as much as possible. This is of paramount importance with CRD engines.

So don't get lulled into the idea that filtering the water you can see is the total solution.

Ross M
AnswerID: 487897

Reply By: SDG - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 22:42

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 22:42
I always thought the fuel filter on the vehicle also dealt with water issues?

Never had any issues with water in jerry cans, but i'm more worried about water from bowsers, especially when raining, as many do not have shelters over them.
AnswerID: 487898

Reply By: RL boys - Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 06:51

Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 06:51
hi Geoff
i have a mate who is a desiel mech I am pretty sure you can get a fuel conditioner to put in des fuel tanks to to help with this problem (i have used this for farm fuel ) , as some of the posts suggest the funnel filters may not get all the water out, so may want this as a back up
I have a mate who does a lot of out back travel and has picked up water in fuel some way or another

AnswerID: 487912

Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 12:31

Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 12:31
Geoff - A car wash chamois in a funnel, even a cheap one, works just fine at absorbing water from fuel. That's what they used for aircraft refuelling in the old days, when they refuelled by hand from drums off the back of trucks.

Refuelling from drums is your biggest source of water contamination. However, there's been a few servos that have got some bad rap from water contamination.
This happens when servo tanks go under water in floods, and water gets into the tanks via low vents (most modern underground tanks have raised vents, and one-way valves on vents, but a lot of older ones haven't).
You can also get water in underground tanks from pinholes caused by corrosion. This usually only happens with tanks that have been in place for a long time (20-25 yrs or more).

Water from condensation in the actual jerry cans would be of very little concern. You need air space and venting to develop condensation, and this comes from big tanks that aren't anywhere near full, and that have been warm and then cooled off.

That's why you refuel trucks, tractors and machinery with large tanks at the end of your working day.
If you leave a fuel tank empty in the afternoon/evening, and it's vented, and it cools substantially overnight, you will then get water in the tank from condensation.
You can also get condensation in tanks from high humidity conditions.

The other factor with water in fuel is bacteriological growth. If you have water in diesel, you will get microbial growth, and a biocide is needed to prevent this. The microbial growth develops at the water/fuel interface, at the bottom of the fuel.

Ross is right about the newer common rail diesels being very sensitive to contamination in fuel. They need perfectly clean fuel or you'll be up for a lot of $$'s. The very high pressures the CRD diesels work at, means that any water contamination will create fuel pump damage rapidly.

Cheers - Ron.
AnswerID: 487941

Reply By: olcoolone - Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 13:17

Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 13:17
"After reading horror stories about the results of water getting into diesel fuel, I feel a bit too scared to use my jerrycans in case of condensation."

To get condensation you have to have the same amount of water as a vapour in a given area.

If you get condensation it means there is water already present in the fuel or in the container.

Condensation is caused by the temperature inside the container becoming lower then the temperature out side where by the liquid inside can not hold the vapour turning it into water..... if the temperature inside the container was warmer then the outside temperature the water in the liquid would turn to vapour........ but you have to have water in there in the first place.

If the fuel is clean and the container dry you can't get condensation.

If you have a container half full of fuel and your in a very humid tropical area, condensation may form from the air that has filled to void but I don't think it would cause an issue..... no different to having a fuel tank half full.

Older diesel engines can handle a bit of water in the fuel and even the modern common rails can, when the get a good dose that's when problems happen.

Most water issue is from where they filled up, a fuel place may have contaminated tanks.

A lot of places run water the fuel separators on their pumps.
AnswerID: 487951

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Jun 09, 2012 at 08:44

Saturday, Jun 09, 2012 at 08:44
Using fuel direct from jerries is no different from using fuel from your fuel tank, if sealed when filled, no moisture can enter. The worst thing is to use a bowser that the ground tanks have been filled up to a few hours earlier as i did. Normally its ok as long as the tank already had a reasonable amount of fuel in it before the tank was filled so it is not stirred up and the water and rubbish is not in suspension. I filled up from a BP servo some years ago just after the tanker left and had to have the tanks removed and lines flushed and filter replaced. Fortunately BP was wonderful and paid for the entire cost. Apparently in this case, the ground tank was very low on diesel fuel and myself and others got the water and crap suspended in the fuel.. Michael


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Reply By: walwffoeg - Saturday, Jun 09, 2012 at 17:27

Saturday, Jun 09, 2012 at 17:27
It sounds like $500 on an inline filter will be money well spent.
I'll get one when I return home.
Until then I'll go with a cheap bucket and a Mr Filter for when I use the jerries.
In fact the bucket idea is just one of those really good old fashioned ideas, so simple you wonder why you didn't already think of it!
Geoff
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