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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When ethanol blends were introduced, I started adding an additive to my gasoline engines. Does anyone routinely run a fuel additive?
 

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Absolutely, I routinely run fuel injection cleaner.
 

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No. Why would you want to.
I infrequently use my small gasoline engines (many will sit for 2-4 weeks between use, hooked to battery tenders, etc.), so I have added gasoline additives for many years and to date, not experience a fuel related issue. My use of additives is consistent with this description here POLARIS LUBRICANTS, and curious how others are handling fuels.
 

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I do not run that ethanol crap in anything except cars that do not sit for long. Easy to get non ethanol where I live and that is all my Ranger gets put in it.
 

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Yes, before I would run an ethanol specific treatment in all my toys and equipment due to how long the fuel would sit in the tanks. Since then I have found a station locally that sells 0 ethanol fuel which I have been running in everthing. If i think the fuel may sit for a extended period (generator for example) I will also treat that fuel with some Sta-Bil or Sea-Foam.
 

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We can get ethanol free fuel easily. I run it my Ranger and small engines. Most of my small engine shop customers bring their equipment here due to the damage of ethanol based fuel. Several of the lawnmower fuel tanks tested have 5 to 15% water in them, which is what happens over time and exposure to air. As recommended by STIHL, if you have to use ethanol based fuels, get higher octane fuel (generally less ethanol) and use a stabilizer such as Startron.

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I do in all my gas I use star tron or sta- bal hard to find none ethanol gas.
 

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It's extremely hard to get non-ethanol gas and even if the station is telling you it's not, I'd say about 75% chance it still has some in it. About the only way to know for sure outside of getting it tested is if you know the owner very well and/or they control the buying and delivery. We have that and have been told by out of town friends it's the only one for 200miles. As for the additives, a little Sea Foam from time to time never hurts anything, Sta-bil is also good and when it gets cold some Iso-Heet in the red bottle.
 

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Hummm... Been thinking about this for awhile (yeah, I know, I need to get a life!), and I think we need to apply some "Bill Nye the Science Guy" stuff to this topic. OK, so I may be WAAAAAY out in left field - so anyone with a modicum of knowledge on the subject is encouraged to chime in, especially if I'm wrong.

Let's start with the premise that ALL gasoline contains water. The problem arises when that water separates from the gasoline and settles to the bottom of the tank (phase separation) where it gets sucked up by the fuel pump and introduced into your carburetor or fuel injectors. Water don't burn so good...

First - what if your ethanol-free gas isn't really ethanol-free as Larry states? There is a very easy way to tell.
and many others, do a Google search for "test for ethanol."

Do fuel stabilizers (Sta-Bil, Star Tron, Sea Foam, etc) really prevent phase separation? Some "experts" contend that they don't, that they actually just increase the volatility of your gas/water mixture - especially Sea Foam (the one I use) because it may contain alcohol, which is essentially the same as ethanol. Should be easy enough to test, do the same test as above after adding one of the products. If someone doesn't beat me to it, I'll run those tests when I get suitable containers.

Another thought crossed my mind - what if (after phase separation) you siphoned the water portion of your fuel out by jacking up the alternate rear corner of your machine (left or right rear depending on what side your fuel tank is on) so that all the water is in outboard, front corner of your fuel tank - gas floats on top of water so a weighted siphon tube should work. I have read that after phase separation, the octane of the fuel is lower - question is, how much lower and would it make a significant difference? Would an octane booster restore the octane (and how much to use?)? Would the chemical makeup of the gas after loosing that much natural water be changed enough to matter? I'm not going let fuel sit in my tank long enough (hopefully) to test that out that scenario.

One other thought crossed my mind (back to me getting a life...). Our gas tanks are vented and that venting allows more moisture to enter our tanks. What if we were to clamp off or plug the vent tube during long periods of inactivity? Would probably be OK if the machine were fairly temperature controlled - ie, an unvented gas can left in the sun expands significantly! Or better yet, instead of the lawnmower filters we use, is there such thing a filter with desiccant (water absorbing material like in a medicine bottle) in it?

That hurt - time for a nap...
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hummm... Been thinking about this for awhile (yeah, I know, I need to get a life!), and I think we need to apply some "Bill Nye the Science Guy" stuff to this topic. OK, so I may be WAAAAAY out in left field - so anyone with a modicum of knowledge on the subject is encouraged to chime in, especially if I'm wrong.

Let's start with the premise that ALL gasoline contains water. The problem arises when that water separates from the gasoline and settles to the bottom of the tank (phase separation) where it gets sucked up by the fuel pump and introduced into your carburetor or fuel injectors. Water don't burn so good...

First - what if your ethanol-free gas isn't really ethanol-free as Larry states? There is a very easy way to tell.
and many others, do a Google search for "test for ethanol."

Do fuel stabilizers (Sta-Bil, Star Tron, Sea Foam, etc) really prevent phase separation? Some "experts" contend that they don't, that they actually just increase the volatility of your gas/water mixture - especially Sea Foam (the one I use) because it may contain alcohol, which is essentially the same as ethanol. Should be easy enough to test, do the same test as above after adding one of the products. If someone doesn't beat me to it, I'll run those tests when I get suitable containers.

Another thought crossed my mind - what if (after phase separation) you siphoned the water portion of your fuel out by jacking up the alternate rear corner of your machine (left or right rear depending on what side your fuel tank is on) so that all the water is in outboard, front corner of your fuel tank - gas floats on top of water so a weighted siphon tube should work. I have read that after phase separation, the octane of the fuel is lower - question is, how much lower and would it make a significant difference? Would an octane booster restore the octane (and how much to use?)? Would the chemical makeup of the gas after loosing that much natural water be changed enough to matter? I'm not going let fuel sit in my tank long enough (hopefully) to test that out that scenario.

One other thought crossed my mind (back to me getting a life...). Our gas tanks are vented and that venting allows more moisture to enter our tanks. What if we were to clamp off or plug the vent tube during long periods of inactivity? Would probably be OK if the machine were fairly temperature controlled - ie, an unvented gas can left in the sun expands significantly! Or better yet, instead of the lawnmower filters we use, is there such thing a filter with desiccant (water absorbing material like in a medicine bottle) in it?

That hurt - time for a nap...
Pulling water off the bottom is something I have thought of many times, similar to diesel tractors, something simple like https://www.google.com/search?q=water+separator+on+diesel+tractor&biw=1097&bih=559&tbm=isch&imgil=KZWcdO19Hj1HoM%253A%253BtMqH7ek5ZFe_SM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.aliexpress.com%25252Fpromotion%25252Fpromotion_racor-diesel-fuel-water-separator-promotion.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=KZWcdO19Hj1HoM%253A%252CtMqH7ek5ZFe_SM%252C_&usg=__XyOXcZczqK6emi_vNTquzHrOl_U%3D&ved=0CDkQyjc&ei=S7HKVPTDE4WiyATg54HYCg#imgdii=_&imgrc=PAPamROQip1-lM%253A%3BLTXdWwwcedqEqM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fi01.i.aliimg.com%252Fwsphoto%252Fv1%252F1267684373_1%252FValtra-tractors-Racor-parker-900FG-turbocharger-Turbine-diesel-engine-fuel-water-separator-filter-MAN-scania-truck.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.aliexpress.com%252Fstore%252Fgroup%252FDiesel-engine-fuel-water-separator-filter%252F234760_253294370.html%3B229%3B328
 

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The only way for water to get in gasoline is tank condensation, vapor absorption, leaks or someone adding it. Gasoline contains zero water! I manage a facility that produces, processes and sells well over a million gallons of the stuff each day. Almost all states require labeling if fuel contains Ethanol but most of these mandates begin around 1% or more. A simple test kit will tell you.

Be careful with additives. I know many swear by them but if adding one to E-10 gas make sure it is for fuels containing ethanol. Most are clearly marked on the label. You do not want to add an additive containing alcohol to ethanol gas! The alcohol in E-10 is the problem and adding more only makes it worse by lessening the time for the phase separation to occur. The huge problem with ethanol gas is the the alcohol easily adsorbs water vapor and once enough is absorbed phase separation will occur and the water will drop out on bottom. Yes you can drain the water from the bottom but the stuff you are left with is not good gas anymore and the best thing is to completely drain it and start over.

Most cars do not have an issue with ethanol because the fuel does not sit in the tanks long enough to absorb enough water vapor to cause the separation. Anything with ethanol that may sit longer than a couple of weeks needs a proper additive added. You can also tilt the table by leaving the tank almost empty or completely full, which reduces the amount the tank can breathe and draw in more water vapor.

Hummm... Been thinking about this for awhile (yeah, I know, I need to get a life!), and I think we need to apply some "Bill Nye the Science Guy" stuff to this topic. OK, so I may be WAAAAAY out in left field - so anyone with a modicum of knowledge on the subject is encouraged to chime in, especially if I'm wrong.

Let's start with the premise that ALL gasoline contains water. The problem arises when that water separates from the gasoline and settles to the bottom of the tank (phase separation) where it gets sucked up by the fuel pump and introduced into your carburetor or fuel injectors. Water don't burn so good...

First - what if your ethanol-free gas isn't really ethanol-free as Larry states? There is a very easy way to tell.
and many others, do a Google search for "test for ethanol."

Do fuel stabilizers (Sta-Bil, Star Tron, Sea Foam, etc) really prevent phase separation? Some "experts" contend that they don't, that they actually just increase the volatility of your gas/water mixture - especially Sea Foam (the one I use) because it may contain alcohol, which is essentially the same as ethanol. Should be easy enough to test, do the same test as above after adding one of the products. If someone doesn't beat me to it, I'll run those tests when I get suitable containers.

Another thought crossed my mind - what if (after phase separation) you siphoned the water portion of your fuel out by jacking up the alternate rear corner of your machine (left or right rear depending on what side your fuel tank is on) so that all the water is in outboard, front corner of your fuel tank - gas floats on top of water so a weighted siphon tube should work. I have read that after phase separation, the octane of the fuel is lower - question is, how much lower and would it make a significant difference? Would an octane booster restore the octane (and how much to use?)? Would the chemical makeup of the gas after loosing that much natural water be changed enough to matter? I'm not going let fuel sit in my tank long enough (hopefully) to test that out that scenario.

One other thought crossed my mind (back to me getting a life...). Our gas tanks are vented and that venting allows more moisture to enter our tanks. What if we were to clamp off or plug the vent tube during long periods of inactivity? Would probably be OK if the machine were fairly temperature controlled - ie, an unvented gas can left in the sun expands significantly! Or better yet, instead of the lawnmower filters we use, is there such thing a filter with desiccant (water absorbing material like in a medicine bottle) in it?

That hurt - time for a nap...
 

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You are somewhat correct about blocking off the vent but that may create more issues than it helped, you forget to unplug, tank expansions and contractions by temperature swings alone would not be healthy for the tanks either.

Yes there are tons of filters that either separate free water or the media will not allow water to pass through it. Most boat filters of any size are designed to do this.

As I stated above, if the ethanol fuel absorbs enough water vapor to cause phase separation then you cannot fix the gas with more additives. You can fight with it and dilute it and get it to burn but the best way is to dispose of it and start over. My boat has an 80 gallon gas tank and I learned the hard way after a half full tank of E-10 sat in it over winter one time. I had almost 5 gallons of water on the bottom of the tank and I eventually got it drained/diluted etc and got it to burn through but on hind-site, and after tons of ethanol reading and research, I would have been time and money ahead just to drain it all and start over.

One other thought crossed my mind (back to me getting a life...). Our gas tanks are vented and that venting allows more moisture to enter our tanks. What if we were to clamp off or plug the vent tube during long periods of inactivity? Would probably be OK if the machine were fairly temperature controlled - ie, an unvented gas can left in the sun expands significantly! Or better yet, instead of the lawnmower filters we use, is there such thing a filter with desiccant (water absorbing material like in a medicine bottle) in it?
 

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Isopropyl alcohol is used to keep water in suspension and prevent phase separation in the northern states, thus preventing freezing (HEET Gas Line Antifreeze) I would suspect that most if not all ethanol treatments use this in conjunction with some other additives. I use Stabil Marine (blue) and Chevron Techron concentrate in everything other than the wife's car. Own a genset and don't use additives once..................
 

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I am a firm believer in premium fuel 91 and up is best for small engines. I think most of us use such a little amount that financially it is painless. The other rule is not to keep anymore that what you,can use in 30 days. Day one you have 91 octane day 30 I will guess 85 if we are lucky. I speculate that there is a floor that it will drop to eventually. I run premium in my two strokes as well. I have never ever had a problem, carbs or injectors. The plastic carbs are only good for a couple of years and I have had some last for ten.

For seasonal storage I either run it out, siphon or fill it up now and drain it and refill for next season. I don't use stabil but I do fog a little... TRANS fluid is my fogging oil. I have operated this way for nearly 30 years and have excellent results. By boat for example is a 2003 and carbureted. You won't find many out there that are that old and haven't had some kind of fuel problem. I just got rid of my jet skis 2001 and the same thing and the list goes on.

DO NOT PLUG THE VENT LINE or try and seal the tank "Air tight".Take a bottle of water, drink half, recap at room temperature and put in the freezer, for an hour. you will find the bottle collapsing on itself. The exact opposite happens when it is cold and warmed up 30 degrees. Ever leave a half empty bottle of soda in the car over night in the winter? As the air warms up the bottle comes back to shape.

For what it's worth a friend was hired a couple of years back to do an independent fuel quality study for a client. He couldn't tell me the client but did say you won't find the results in the public. Shell Premium tested as the highest quality fuel available on the open market. He tried to explain it to me but it was a waste of time. He is a chemist guy and I.... Well.... am not.

I just don't buy into the hype of additives least of all the fuel additives on the market. I do believe in some additives: Sea-foam in high concentration occasionally, Power Service for diesels in the winter, friction modifier for clutch packs(non-fuel) and Vodka or Rum in a watermelon and lemonade in the summertime;-).

"1 pint treats 10-30 gallons". Anything with that wide of a specification is pretty weak. If you think about it the price of one tank of premium will likely even out what a bottle of additive costs. I do try and run one tank a month of premium in my cars and trucks also.

Du
 

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Now we're getting somewhere! So there are filters that block water vapor - now to find one that would be practical for our gas vent lines. Larry, one thing I don't understand, in the You Tube video above, where did the extra water come from at the end of his test? Was it just water vapor that was accumulated out of the atmosphere and held in suspension since the gas and ethanol were originally mixed?
 
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