December 1, 2019

What Is A Fuel Water Separator?

What Is A Fuel Water Separator?

Whether it is for business use or personal use, choosing and buying a new vehicle is stressful enough, especially if you are a novice. But then needing to learn about the intricate systems put into place in the vehicle can drive you crazy. However, learning what a fuel water separator is and what it does, is not as difficult as it might initially seem, according to a company that handles fuel water seperators, SWA Water Australia.  You just have to take it one step at a time.

In Simple Words…

To dispel your confusion, I will get straight to the point: a fuel water separator is a piece of equipment, a filter, that makes sure that clean fuel, free of water, will flow into your vehicle’s engine.

By having this device securely put into place, you will not have to worry too much about letting possibly polluted fuel entering your vehicle. 

According to Buckingham, pollution of water and other contaminants in fuel can stem from the wrong placement of “fuel tank breathers and tank fillers”, allowing condensation to form in the fuel tank or just in general purchasing polluted fuel. 

Although interestingly, a little water entering your fuel tank might not cause a lot of damage as you might think but if the water levels start rising a bit too high then most separators tend to have a sensor in place which immediately warns about the current water status.

It is always best to make sure that you are draining your separator on a regular basis and not letting it pile up, so it continues to function properly. 

Also, though separators are usually the primary filtration system in a machine, other times they might be the secondary filtration system instead which further ensures all the waste and contaminants have been removed.

Not to mention, fuel water separators are not only used in the engines of various types of vehicles but also in different kinds of industrial machines.

Type of vehicles with separators

Although most vehicles have separators in place, fuel water separators are thought to primarily or mostly be installed in marine-related machinery such as, boats and other marine vessels.

But depending on the type of vehicle (e.g. land-operated, cars, etc.), the filtration system can vary as it has its own different types. 

Problems of having water in your fuel

  • It can cause irreversible damage to your engine.
  • Water can cause rust to develop and essentially lead to machine failure.
  • It can lead grime to develop in your fuel tank.
  • It can become home to various types of bacteria and fungus
  • If water is allowed to seep further through, then it would not only damage the fuel tank and engine but other pieces of equipment in the vehicle.
  • It can make operating your vehicle a really arduous task.
  • Your engine will not be able to start if the water has managed to severely affect it.

Two Common Types

This filtration system will help to prevent any serious mishaps that might happen to your fuel. However, if you are not sure which fuel water separator system to have installed in your vehicle, then I suggest you go through the two most commonly employed ones and see which best suits your vehicle’s engine. 

Tiondi mentions the two most common fuel water separators as being, diesel fuel water separator and marine fuel water separator.

Diesel Fuel Water Separator:

  • It is made of aluminum.
  • They are available in many different sizes, depending on what your vehicle might need.
  • Diesel fuel water separators are able to collect water aside which can then be drained out from the engine at a later date. This is can all be done without any damage coming to the engine.

Marine Fuel Water Separator:

  • It might be made of plastic or aluminum.
  • Mostly used in marine vessels e.g. boats and help filter out the water that might have seeped into the motor.
  • In a marine vehicle, if too much water enters the motor then it could potentially lead to a motor explosion.
  • Interestingly, unlike the diesel separators, marine separators are capable of also cleaning out the exhaust system of the boat while simultaneously taking care of the motor.

How to drain water without a filter

According to Perth Petroleum Services, although the simplest way of extracting water from your fuel tank is to just drain water, using a tap, from the bottom of the tank, this is in fact not possible in most instances due to which a filter, fuel water separator, is needed to be installed.

Final Words

  • A fuel water separator is a filtration device that removes water and various kinds of contaminants from the fuel tank and engine in order to keep the machine running smoothly.
  • Separators are installed in not only automotive and marine vehicles but also in industrial machines.
  • Water can cause a number of problems for your vehicle’s engine such as, rust, grime, bacteria, fungus, and ultimately destroying the functionality of your engine.
  • There are two common types of fuel separators known as, diesel fuel water separator and marine fuel water separator.

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