When water combines with ethanol-blended gasoline, a separate layer of water and ethanol forms. This layer is commonly known as phase separation. Once you have water in your fuel system, you are set for an invasion of microorganisms which can significantly damage your fuel system.
Water Damage Can Lead To
- Hazy fuel
- Leaking tanks
- Tank failure
- Tank corrosion
- Plugged fuel filters & Clogged injectors
- Engine Failure
Today, over 80% of U.S. stations are blending their gasoline with ethanol so chances are good that this issue affects you. It is very important that the system is inspected regularly to limit exposure of the fuel tank to excess water. If phase separation has occurred, it is necessary to completely remove all free water from the system and replace the fuel before continuing operation.
Current tank gauges do not easily detect phase separation (they are made to detect water at the bottom of a tank). Fortunately, some tank gauging systems can be retrofitted. In some cases (depending on your system) it may be as easy as the installation of a new water float which can detect Phase Separation.
To Prevent Water/Phase Separation
- Use Clean Fuel
- Monitor Your Tank
- Add Biocide To Fuel Tank
- Use Fuel Stabilizer (if fuel sitting for long periods of time)
- Consider a Filter / Fuel Polisher
- Retrofit Gauging System