How To Detect Water In Boat Gas Tank? (Symptoms Explained)

Boat engines are generally not designed to handle a heavy amount of water. That’s why when water gets in the boat gas tank, it can cause severe damage to your boat engine.

Today’s article will help you to learn and understand how to detect when there is water in your boat gas tank and how to fix that problem-

What Sign You Should Look For To detect Water In Boat Gas Tank?

Since boat engines only run with gas or fuel and when a vast amount of water gets into the gas tank, it will cause some visible abnormality in your engine.

The most common and easiest sign to notice when water gets in your boat engine is if the boat engine is having a hard time starting or stops responding promptly.

What Are The Symptoms Of Water In Boat Gas Tank?

The symptoms of water in boat gas tank or fuel tank are usually similar to these following indications:

Erratic Idling, Hard Or Rough Starting:

It is the initial sign that you can easily notice because when water mixes with gas in the gas tank, it creates disbalance and makes your boat engine less responsive.

As a result, when you try to start, it starts stalling or takes a rough start. It also causes the poor or low performance of the boat engine such as idles erratically.

Hesitating During Acceleration:

Another visible abnormality that you can point out is when your boat engine struggles or hesitates, especially when you put it in acceleration. Because the heavy amount of water in the gas tank leads the engine to cut out.

Though this particular symptom does not only cause when water gets in the gas tank, still, to make sure that is not the issue you should inspect your gas tank and confirm whether water is the reason or not.

Engine Cranks Over But Does Not Begin:

Well, this happens very commonly when water exists in the fuel or gas tank.

This symptom is a little confusing as the engine cranks over just like regular, which will let you think it is not a big deal and wait a bit to try again.

But eventually, after several tries, you will see the same result. That’s why the smart move is to inspect your gas tank first, whenever you encounter this situation.

White/Black Smoke Coming Out From The motor:

Mainly, smokes come out from the boat engine when the fuel mixture, which consists of oil and gasoline gets imbalanced.

And when water accidentally gets in your gas tank, it can gradually cause the exhaust port to release a heavy amount of white, blue, or black smoke.

If you ever notice any of the above-discussed symptoms with your boat engine, inspect your gas tank for water existence, which can be the prime reason for the engine performance disturbance. 

How Should You React If You Detect Water In Boat Gas Tank?

Now that you have successfully detected that the problem occurred because water accidentally poured into your gas tank, it is time to act quickly to fix it.

Therefore, follow the instructions explained below and solve the problem –

Investigate Your Gas Tank:

The first and foremost task is to investigate your gas or fuel whether there is any water existence that may have accidentally poured into the gas tank.

Now, for inspecting that you will require an empty glass jar so, bring that and dump your fuel filter’s contents into that jar. Then you have to wait for few minutes so that the contents can settle in the jar.

Now, observe whether the color of the contents has changed or remained the same as before.

If you see that the color remained the same, it means no extra water in your gas tank. If the gas is floating on water and you can also see bubbles popping up at the jar’s bottom, it means water is in your gas tank.

Remove The Water With An Oil Change Pump:

After determining that your gas tank is filled with an unwanted amount of water, instant action should be removing the water from your gas tank.

You can even use an oil change pump, which is the easiest way to remove water from the gas tank.

All you need to do with the pump is simply entering your gas tank through the fuel gauge sender. Then, penetrate that down to the bottom of your gas tank.

Be patient While Removing The Water:

You have to stay calm and determined during the water removing task. Since you have to remove all water and some gas as well, so it will be a long job to do.

Those pumps can hold a maximum of two gallons, so you may have to empty the pump several times.

Besides, water tends to resettle into the gas tank’s bottom, which means you may have to pump off the water several times too.

Is Removing Water From Boat Gas Tank Typically Expensive?

No, it is a non-expensive fixing maintenance task. If water gets into your gas tank by any chance, all you have to do is draining the water from your tank.

However, if you want to use an oil change pump, water removing additive, or other advanced tools for removing water, those will cost you a moderate expense.

The process may take a couple of days, but you do not need to hire an expert or professional’s help unless you are concerned about more than one damage or have no idea how to do such technical tasks. However, professional servicing can be a little expensive.

How Often Should You Check The Boat Gas Tank?

A proper investigation into the boat gas tank is required whenever you encounter any major engine disturbance.

Technically, doing a thorough check-up or inspection inside your gas tank every three years is enough for most boats.

But you should always follow your servicing manual to do the required maintenance on time.

The Verdict

When water goes into the boat gas tank, it can cause severe engine damage that’s why detecting water in the boat gas tank before the damage becomes the worst nightmare is essential.

Besides that, you should always maintain the precautions so that water cannot get in your fuel tank.

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