Water/Fuel Filter Separator

Well, after inadvertently leaving the gas tank lid open overnight in the pouring rain, I figured it was time to install a proper filter system in the boat!  It was one of those things where I was doing one thing and started another, forgot I left the lid open and then of course it had to pour all night and I had the making of a disaster.  While carbureted motors can sometimes get away with having water pass through them, these new fuel injected ones can wind up with some expensive repairs if water goes through the injectors.

The first thing I tried to do was to determine not if water went into the tank but rather how much went in.  This is pretty tough on any gas tank that's mounted right in the hull and under the floorboards, short of tearing everything apart.  The fact that water is heavier than gas and separates from it can help when looking for the stuff, which is what I did first.  On my boat the pickup tube is right at the rear of the gas tank (stern of the boat) so by taking that out I could have a peek inside the tank to look for the water.  With my gas tank only half full I "should" be able to see the water if in fact there was any large amount in there.  I even raised the bow of the boat and extra couple feet in the air to get any water in the tank to "roll" down to the stern area.  This might sound goofy but put a bit of gas in a clear jar and then put some water into it, you'll see how it can easily move around in the gas!  I couldn't see any water at all in the gas, so that was actually disheartening!  I was hoping to see a big glob of it, because I could then just siphon it out, but, not that easy.  My next task was to actually put the boat in the water and run it.  Now, I could do this because the motor has a built in water/fuel separator on it, albeit a pretty Mickey mouse one for the cost of the motor!  I headed out on the lake, stopping every 5 minutes or so and checked the separator on the motor (its clear so you can see if there's water in it), still nothing.  Oh, I should mention that I put in some gasline antifreeze in the gas before I headed out. It will actually mix with water and allow it to pass through your system and "burn" it up.

After over an hour of dicking around hoping for water in the gas, nothing!  So, back to the launch and plan C, install a proper fuel/water separator filter, something I've been meaning to do for a couple years now.  These come in different sizes and hookups but, the basics of it is simple, a filter to clean your gas and a lower portion of the filter that collects water or, a special kind of media (paper) in the filter that absorbs and holds the water.  Sameo system as what was already on the big motor but, the aftermarket setup has a way bigger filter and larger area to hold water. Now, this filter isn't clear to see if there's water in it but, all I have to do is take the filter off and pour the contents into a clear container and I'll be able to see if there's any water in it, this applying to the filter that actually "collects" the water.  I also put a bottle of what's called "fuel drier" into a full tank of gas, does the same trick as the gas line antifreeze.  Total cost of the setup?  About 70 bucks, which included the heavy walled marine gas hose and all the fittings.  Another "near disaster" averted by the Captain!