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How to Check for Water in Your Boat’s Fuel

Just because your boat is constantly immersed in water doesn’t mean that it likes to eat water as its source of energy! Think of it like this – just because you rely on a chair to sit on doesn’t mean you eat it for dinner. Water that makes its way into your boat’s interior can be incredibly damaging, in a number of ways. In particular, water that seeps into your fuel supply and oil supply can be quite harmful to your engine and your boat’s performance. Water that seeps into your fuel or oil supply can wipe away any lubrication that may be in place to keep things running smoothly. Water can cause chemical abrasion in the interior of your engine, which can detract from its overall function. Eventually, water can stop your engine from working. With respect to your boat’s fuel, water can start a reaction with certain types of gas that creates a muddy material in your engine’s tank. Does any of this sound alarming to you? It certainly should, and you should check your fuel for water contamination religiously.

The Easiest Checking Method

(Note: This method applies ONLY to fuel that contains ethanol) If you have a mason jar or a water bottle that you don’t care for, you can easily check your fuel tank for the substance that occurs when water reacts with ethanol-based boat fuel. Remove your boat’s fuel filter and let the substance that drains out of it flow into the jar or bottle.

Give the substance a few minutes to settle. After you’ve done this, it comes down to simple observation. Does the substance retain a universally amber color? If it does, this means that water hasn’t entered your boat’s fuel tank. If, after the three minutes are up, a white substance settles at the bottom of the solution, this is bad news. This substance indicates that water has entered your boat’s fuel tank and that you need to take the appropriate action to get the water removed.

boat maintenance

Water can be quite damaging to your boat’s interior parts, particularly your boat’s fuel tank. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to check for water-contaminated, ethanol-based fuel!