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Old 29 January 2009, 04:14   #1
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Water Separator Question.

I disregarded my fuel-water separator late last season as it had developed a leaking seal that I could not fix very easily. In the couple of years that it was fitted to my ride I never saw a drop of water in the collection trap once, this leads me too asking two questions:

Have any of you Ribster’s out there actually seen water in your separator?

Are they totally necessary or just for piece of mind and “nice to have one”?

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Old 29 January 2009, 04:50   #2
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I am of the opinion that a water separator is very cheap "insurance". Whether it is absolutely necessary depends on many conditions, e.g.
fuel source (tatty tank on quayside or proper petrol station), metal or plastic fuel tanks (condensation) etc,etc.
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Old 29 January 2009, 05:10   #3
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Have you ever heard about "Water Warning System" ?

It's a water separator that works on gasoline and diesel. It' made in Greece and it's patented in Europe & USA, take a look and if you need more information or to come in contact with manufacturer i can help you since we are friends. We can also arrange an order.

http://www.warningsa.gr/
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Old 29 January 2009, 05:15   #4
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Yep, on my outboard rigs I always had a small amount of water build up over a period of time. It may be that the water would pass through the engine unnoticed but the filter will be a general crap catcher too so probably worth having. However, on my present system I had a separator which used a stainless mesh. I've seen water pass through this, I guess because of the agitation it gets. I've swapped the mesh for a normal paper element and that works fine.

Because diesel carries water and because of the risk of diesel bug, on a diesel rig I think it's essential and I run two in series using the paper elements. I suppose this also makes them primary filters as well as water traps. They both have clear bowls so they can be monitored. I did modify one of them to have a water sensor but there is so little water gets into the system it's been sufficient to give them a glance occasionally.

On a similar topic and kinda liking this thread to the one last week about the position of a squeeze bulb in the fuel system. I fit the bulb before the filter/separators. I had a situation a while ago where the fuel system functioned fine but when the bulb was squeezed, the seal around the top of the filter bowl gently leaked fuel. It turned out to be manufacturing tolerances on the filter housing. The bowl was held in place by a nut which passed into the bottom of the bowl and screwed onto a central stud. The nut was applying just enough pressure to seal the bowl but it was bottoming out on the thread of the stud. Pressurizing the squeeze bulb was sufficient to spring the bowl away from the seal to allow a leak. The fix was to remove a millimeter of thread from the top of the nut.
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Old 29 January 2009, 05:42   #5
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Originally Posted by jwalker View Post
On a similar topic and kinda liking this thread to the one last week about the position of a squeeze bulb in the fuel system. I fit the bulb before the filter/separators. I had a situation a while ago where the fuel system functioned fine but when the bulb was squeezed, the seal around the top of the filter bowl gently leaked fuel. It turned out to be manufacturing tolerances on the filter housing. The bowl was held in place by a nut which passed into the bottom of the bowl and screwed onto a central stud. The nut was applying just enough pressure to seal the bowl but it was bottoming out on the thread of the stud. Pressurizing the squeeze bulb was sufficient to spring the bowl away from the seal to allow a leak. The fix was to remove a millimeter of thread from the top of the nut.
Oohhhh lets not start that one again, people will start pointing out the bulb should be after the filter because a manual somewhere said so
The bulb before the filter saved you a potential breakdown
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Old 29 January 2009, 10:54   #6
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Originally Posted by yoyo View Post
I disregarded my fuel-water separator late last season as it had developed a leaking seal that I could not fix very easily.
Umm, replace the filter unit? I do mine once a year anyway.

Quote:
Have any of you Ribster’s out there actually seen water in your separator?
Not in mine, but a friend had one pack up with water. He was a half hour into tearing apart the fuel system and ignition harness, when I noticed the line in the inspection bowl. Drained teh bowl, and it was good.

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Are they totally necessary or just for piece of mind and “nice to have one”?
Well, they're completely unnecessary until you need them...

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Old 29 January 2009, 11:08   #7
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My water separator has collected a fair amount of water over the years and I'm pleased it's there. Mind you, it couldn't cope when I poured 5 ltrs of water into the tank from a can that was being cleaned out. That stopped the engine. It did allow me to drain it all away and know when fuel was back in the pipes though.
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