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How to Remove Water From Boat Gas Tank

If you own a boat, you may encounter the common issue of water accumulating in your gas tank. This can lead to engine problems and even damage to your boat if not addressed promptly. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to remove water from your boat gas tank and keep your engine running smoothly.

Step 1: Identify the presence of water in the tank
The first step in removing water from your boat gas tank is to identify its presence. Some common signs include engine misfires, difficulty starting the engine, or sputtering while running. You may also notice condensation on the fuel gauge or water droplets in the fuel filter. If you suspect water in your tank, it is crucial to address the issue promptly.

Step 2: Prepare the necessary tools and materials
Before attempting to remove water from your boat gas tank, gather the following tools and materials:

1. Fuel/water separator filter
2. Plastic tubing or a siphon pump
3. Empty gas can
4. Safety goggles and gloves

Step 3: Drain the gas tank
To begin the process, ensure your boat is in a well-ventilated area away from any open flames or sparks. Start by disconnecting the fuel line from the engine to prevent fuel from flowing during the process. Next, locate the drain plug on your gas tank, usually located at the lowest point. Place the empty gas can beneath the drain plug and carefully remove it, allowing the water and fuel mixture to drain out completely.

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Step 4: Install a fuel/water separator filter
Once the tank is drained, it is recommended to install a fuel/water separator filter to prevent future water accumulation. These filters are specifically designed to separate water from the fuel and can be easily installed in the fuel line between the tank and the engine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper installation.

Step 5: Remove any remaining water
To remove any remaining water from the tank, use either plastic tubing or a siphon pump. Insert one end of the tubing or pump into the tank, making sure it reaches the bottom. Place the other end into a separate container and begin suctioning out the remaining water. Take your time, ensuring all water is removed completely.

Step 6: Refill the tank with fresh fuel
Once all the water has been removed, it’s time to refill the gas tank with fresh fuel. This will help dilute any remaining water and prevent further issues. Be sure to use a high-quality fuel suitable for your boat’s engine, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.


Q: Can I use a water-absorbing additive instead of draining the tank?
A: While there are water-absorbing additives available on the market, draining the tank is the most effective method to remove water. Additives may help in small amounts of water, but if the water accumulation is significant, it is best to drain the tank.

Q: How often should I check for water in my boat gas tank?
A: It is recommended to check for water in your boat gas tank regularly, especially if you store your boat for extended periods or use ethanol-blended fuel. Inspect the fuel filter and look for any signs of water accumulation before each outing.

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Q: Can I prevent water accumulation in my gas tank?
A: While it may be challenging to completely prevent water accumulation, there are a few preventive measures you can take. Always use high-quality fuel, avoid storing your boat with a partially filled tank, and install a fuel/water separator filter to minimize water entering the engine.

Q: What should I do if I suspect water in my boat gas tank but I’m unsure how to proceed?
A: If you are unsure or uncomfortable with removing water from your boat gas tank, it is best to seek professional assistance. A marine mechanic or boat service center will have the expertise and tools to address the issue effectively.

In conclusion, by following the step-by-step guide provided, you can successfully remove water from your boat gas tank and prevent engine issues. Regular maintenance and preventive measures will ensure your boat’s fuel system remains free from water accumulation, allowing for a smooth and enjoyable boating experience.