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Old 09-27-2014, 05:01 PM   #1
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Is water removal from diesel always an issue?

In my diesel pusher, I don't seem to have a diesel fuel water removal device like I hear others have. Since I don't know if/where it is located, I have never done anything about the possibility of water in the fuel. I top off the diesel when 1/2 or 3/4 full, and I never let it get lower than 1/4. The 300hp diesel Cummins 5.8 works perfectly. Any ideas?

John
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Old 09-27-2014, 05:10 PM   #2
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Look for a canister style fuel filter, it will have a couple fuel lines going to it, usually in the area of the radiator, on the side near the bottom will be a lever, flip it up to drain the water.

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Old 09-27-2014, 05:12 PM   #3
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John, Do you have two fuel filters? If you do the first acts like a water separator, and as long as you maintain the regular maintenance schedul you should be OK. That said water can enter the fuel system in many ways, contamination from a fuel source; leaky fuel tank or fill hose; bacteria from bio-diesel if not corrected, especially when RV is stored for an extended period; etc.

Just remember to add some diesel fuel conditioner, possibly a biogard additive before storage and continue as you are doing now and should be good to go.
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Old 09-27-2014, 05:36 PM   #4
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I haven't been over to check this out yet. If there is a drain valve I assume it would be visible and fairly accessible without going under the MH. Is that correct?
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:09 PM   #5
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Mine is under the engine. It looks like a small oil filter with a clear plastic bottom. I have to wriggle under the coach on my back to get to it.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:12 PM   #6
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Mine is under the engine. It looks like a small oil filter with a clear plastic bottom. I have to wriggle under the coach on my back to get to it.
How often do you have to do that? With each fill up or at other times?
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:36 PM   #7
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Mine is not only under the coach, it is almost dead center under the rear axle. So, I have to crawl under the coach and wiggle forward to get to the fuel/water separator. The ones that have been installed recently at my CAT Service Center have a clear plastic view port that allows you to visually see if there is water to be drained. I also have a fuel filter ahead of the fuel/water filter. I seldom have much water to drain. Usually less than a quarter of a cup. I try to do it before every trip.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:42 PM   #8
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Our Cummins ISC has the fuel filter between the engine block and frame so it's hard to get to. There is a sensor in the filter and a drain cock on the bottom. I've never seen the warning dash light come on, nor have I ever gotten any water out of the drain in the 13 years we've owned the rig. Seems to be a non-issue for us so far.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:45 PM   #9
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As an aside, I always carry two spare fuel filters. Why? Though not as common now, in the past it was easy to get fuel with excess water. Once that happens it can clog a filter in quick order. Change filter and it may quickly clog. Hence I carry two spares! Easy source of bad fuel is any location which does not pump that much diesel. This includes some smaller truck stops on the back roads.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DieselTech39 View Post
John, Do you have two fuel filters? If you do the first acts like a water separator, and as long as you maintain the regular maintenance schedul you should be OK. That said water can enter the fuel system in many ways, contamination from a fuel source; leaky fuel tank or fill hose; bacteria from bio-diesel if not corrected, especially when RV is stored for an extended period; etc.

Just remember to add some diesel fuel conditioner, possibly a biogard additive before storage and continue as you are doing now and should be good to go.
i echo this - my cc put two fuel filters in last passenger side bay. one of them scts as water.deparator. there is a knub screw at.the bottom. periodically loose the screw water will come out.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:17 PM   #11
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Does you dash have an icon that says "Water in Fuel". Most fuel filters will have a wiring harness attached that will warn of water in fuel. I have 2 fuel filters on my Cummins 8.3 350HP. One has a plastic bowl on the bottom which will provide indication of algae, the other has a 2 wire harness attached which is the water separator. Both filters have a drain on the bottom.

When I know the coach will be parked for +1 month I will make sure it has a full tank which reduces condensation.

I will also treat ~2 times a year with BioBohr, a diesel algaecide that will kill the algae. You can buy this at a marine store. They also recommend using Startron, a diesel additive containing an enzyme which will eat up the dead algae.

About every 3rd tank full I will also use a Diesel additive to help clean the injectors and improve the octane content, I believe it is call Diesel Kleen, usually buy at Walmart, just bought a jug at ORileys on sale.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:27 PM   #12
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Truth be told: I haven't drained the water separator in the 2 years I've owned this coach. But a new one was installed when I had the chassis serviced at Gaffney in May. I can no longer do much DIY due to joint replacements and limited use of my hands. But I like to know as much as I can so I can instruct someone who can handle the physical part.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
Does you dash have an icon that says "Water in Fuel". Most fuel filters will have a wiring harness attached that will warn of water in fuel. I have 2 fuel filters on my Cummins 8.3 350HP. One has a plastic bowl on the bottom which will provide indication of algae, the other has a 2 wire harness attached which is the water separator. Both filters have a drain on the bottom.

When I know the coach will be parked for +1 month I will make sure it has a full tank which reduces condensation.

I will also treat ~2 times a year with BioBohr, a diesel algaecide that will kill the algae. You can buy this at a marine store. They also recommend using Startron, a diesel additive containing an enzyme which will eat up the dead algae.

About every 3rd tank full I will also use a Diesel additive to help clean the injectors and improve the octane content, I believe it is call Diesel Kleen, usually buy at Walmart, just bought a jug at ORileys on sale.
No, I do not have a dash indicator re. water in fuel.

This opens up another question regarding when to change fuel filters? How do I know when to do it once I find it? Also, I'm seeing discussions on fuel or oil additives to keep things clean i.e. Diesel Kleen or Seafoam. Any thoughts on these questions.

Thanks

John
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzjea View Post
This opens up another question regarding when to change fuel filters? How do I know when to do it once I find it? Also, I'm seeing discussions on fuel or oil additives to keep things clean i.e. Diesel Kleen or Seafoam. Any thoughts on these questions.
John IMO I would change them at least once a year, or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first. Usually done with your yearly service on engine, genny oil changes. If you aren't comfortable doing it may want to have a diesel tech do it. If you are somewhat handy with tools you can probably do it, just make sure you fill the filters and bleed the system of air before you start the engine. Using the additives mentioned, especially those for the algae that can develop from the bio-diesel, is an important part of keeping the water out.
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