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Old 07-29-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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Water fuel separator

How often do you crack open the water fuel separator on your diesel engine? I have checked mine a couple times and it never seems to have any water in it.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:33 AM   #2
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Depends on the situation, usually before and after a long trip , 5/6 tanks of fuel, and at oil changes. But if there is any kind of performance issue , that's the first thing I do, catch every thing I drain out in a clean container , if anything but water is apparent , time for a filter change.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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Hi greatlakes,
The short answer is never. Mine has a monitor feature that will alert me to drain separator. Also, it is changed once a year.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:06 AM   #4
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Rob,
Have to agree with above. You should make it a habit of changing all your fuel/oil filters every year. As long as your coach has a fuel/water monitor you should be good. If you don't have a monitor the safest thing would be to drain it once a month. You don't need to take much out if no water is present, maybe a quart or so. Don't forget that we (RV'ers) don't use our equipment for what it was designed for. Diesels like to run and most of our engines only get a fraction of the miles that the same plant in a truck would get. So don't go by miles, but by time when figuring when to replace fluids and filters.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:32 AM   #5
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Yes I do have a water monitor light on the dash and change the filter every year. I cracked open the drain twice so far and got nothing but fuel. So just wasn't sure how often I should expect too see any water. Seems like some guys here do it religiously.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:23 PM   #6
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Interesting as my certified cummins tech center says NOT to change the water sep filter unless I encountered a water problem which caused a need to be drained. If that does not occur then change it on a two year interval.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
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I must be sitting on a lucky charm. I went about 5 years on my fuel filters. I check the water separator from time to time and drain a small amount into a can. I have never had water in the can. It would show as bubbles or beads under the fuel. I have seen this with the generators I used to maintain.

Getting fuel at active and reputable stations helps to prevent contamination. I also use about 1 oz of cheap 2 cycle motor oil per gallon of fuel. This helps lub the fuel train internal parts. I have done this for several years and have seen cooler running in the mountains and a bit better fuel milage and power. I'm certain many will disagree with this practice for a variety of reasons.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:11 AM   #8
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I have two W/S's. The secondary has a clear bowl to see the water. I've never had any. I see no value in extending filter life beyond a year. The cost of a single water eroded injector would keep you in filters for the rest of your life, not to mention a water eroded injector pump.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:17 AM   #9
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I wont dissagree with that practice Rick, At a Cummins dealership I was told that many freight companies will run 5 or 10 gallons of hi octane GAS in a full tank of fuel at least every 6 mths.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbmsu View Post
I wont dissagree with that practice Rick, At a Cummins dealership I was told that many freight companies will run 5 or 10 gallons of hi octane GAS in a full tank of fuel at least every 6 mths.
Something's not right about that info you received from a cummins "dealership". Can't imagine putting any gasoline in a Diesel engine fuel tank. What "dealership" told you that?
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:37 AM   #11
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I am with the last guy...I drove truck 21 years, I personally never put gas in the fuel tanks for any reason, we did on occasion put tranny fluid in to clean injectors...now before I get jumped on here, we did that before the computer driven engines came out.
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:42 AM   #12
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I can understand the 2 cycle oil to lube moving parts within the fuel system. Not sure what the purpose of adding gas would be. Other than the construction company I drove truck for would occasional throw a few gallons of gas into the tank also. But I figured they did it to empty the holding tank quicker to prevent stale gas. They always said it was to give the trucks a little boost in power which it did but never ran more than about 5 or 10 gal mixed in a 55 gal tank.
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #13
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I have heard of putting gas in diesel but the owners manual for my cummins says that is a no no. I just don't see the value of blowing a hole in a piston because the cetane rating. Besides, what does this all have to do with water separators??

On my first coach I had a 3 fuel filters: water separator, pre-filter and fuel filter. The coach had been in some cold climates and I changed them all. It was an older rig with many miles when I got it.
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