Fuel/Water Separator Drain - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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6.4L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 6.4L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 2008-Up Super Duty trucks. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 6.4L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 02-15-2012, 02:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fuel/Water Separator Drain

How long does it usually take for the fuel/water separator to drain? It used to stop, but not it just seems to keep going. I'm not sure if it's just extra full for some reason, or if I'm supposed t stop it at some point. It's done this twice now.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I could be mistaken, but I remember reading in the manual that you drain it unitl you see/smell fuel and there is no more water draining out.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rmzsuzuki89 View Post
How long does it usually take for the fuel/water separator to drain?
My 2010 6.4L pretty consistently drains off right at 2 cups and then stops. I always drain off the entire amount, and it doesn't take too long. Normally it's a constant stream, but sometimes it seems like it drains 1/2 cup then gurgles a bit, and then continues.

I use a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup as a dedicated drain container. After letting it sit for a couple minutes, I note any water and/or black bits settled at the bottom - always clear and clean, not cloudy - and then pour almost all of the clean fuel back off the top into the tank.

BTW: don't see much, if any water, normally if so in total as it settles to the bottom, it's the size of a "BB" or two.

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Old 02-21-2012, 10:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I drain mine until I smell that it is fuel coming out, which is very quickly, then let it run a bit longer before I close it. I usually get about a cup of fluid, practically no water.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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it seems to depend on two things at least as far as i have noticed.

Fuel level in the tank. I don't usually drain my separator unless the tank is below 1/2 full. It seems to really keep the fuel coming when the tank is full.

Also I have seen it when the motor is hot from just shutting it off cause it to expel more fuel than normal.

Just my 2cents,
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Unhappy I don't get anything out of mine

I have regularly "drained" the fuel separator but nothing ever has come out, only a few drops of liquid. Is it clogged? I open the fuel cap, tried leaving the ignition in on position... I get nothing.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have regularly "drained" the fuel separator but nothing ever has come out, only a few drops of liquid. Is it clogged? I open the fuel cap, tried leaving the ignition in on position... I get nothing.
Most likely it's clogged. I had the same problem and had to take mine apart and clean it. Replace the sensor and the gaskets. Some people have gotten it to unclog by putting a Q- up in the drain, others have used a small amount of compressed air. Neither worked for me so I just took it apart. Glad I did. Got about 2 tablespoons worth of gunk out of it. Found out on here it was probably some kind of bacterial growth so I treated the fuel tank. All is back to normal. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have regularly "drained" the fuel separator but nothing ever has come out, only a few drops of liquid. Is it clogged? I open the fuel cap, tried leaving the ignition in on position... I get nothing.
Had this happen recently also. I thought I was going to have to take it apart but instead I was able to unclog it by hooking a section of clear tubing to the port on the valve, opened the valve and sucked it through the valve. Make sure it's about 4 ft long so you don't get a mouth full of diesel. What came out looked like a bugger of wax and grit. No more problems since. Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Had this happen recently also. I thought I was going to have to take it apart but instead I was able to unclog it by hooking a section of clear tubing to the port on the valve, opened the valve and sucked it through the valve. Make sure it's about 4 ft long so you don't get a mouth full of diesel. What came out looked like a bugger of wax and grit. No more problems since. Good luck!
I see how this could get it unclogged and it probably would have worked on mine but I think it would just be a temporary fix. If yours is as dirty as mine was it would have to be taken apart to clean out the rest. I was pulling that stuff out by the finger full. There was another post a few posts back with a similar title...check it out. I posted pictures of my bucket that I drained into along with all the gunk that came out. when I pulled the sensor out, it was cakes with that waxy stuff causing it to fail so it had to be changed out.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I see how this could get it unclogged and it probably would have worked on mine but I think it would just be a temporary fix. If yours is as dirty as mine was it would have to be taken apart to clean out the rest. I was pulling that stuff out by the finger full. There was another post a few posts back with a similar title...check it out. I posted pictures of my bucket that I drained into along with all the gunk that came out. when I pulled the sensor out, it was cakes with that waxy stuff causing it to fail so it had to be changed out.
I just saw your bucket pic in that other post. Man, that's nasty! I hope mine isn't that bad, but if so I'm sure it will clog again and I'll then do the same as you. Makes ya wonder what the bottom of our fuel tanks look like doesn't it?
When I do my future filter changes, I'm going to take a close look inside the seperator with a mirror to make sure it's clean. In the past I just ran my fingers inside and felt for spare parts.
I wonder if this is a normal attribute of diesel or we just both got a bad batch. Here in Vegas, the temperatures never dip low unough to gel fuel.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I just saw your bucket pic in that other post. Man, that's nasty! I hope mine isn't that bad, but if so I'm sure it will clog again and I'll then do the same as you. Makes ya wonder what the bottom of our fuel tanks look like doesn't it?
When I do my future filter changes, I'm going to take a close look inside the seperator with a mirror to make sure it's clean. In the past I just ran my fingers inside and felt for spare parts.
I wonder if this is a normal attribute of diesel or we just both got a bad batch. Here in Vegas, the temperatures never dip low unough to gel fuel.
Haha. I bet you could scoop it out of the tank with a shovel! Thats why i went ahead and treated the tank and hopefully get rid of anything in there. Well I went through 3 sensors before deciding to take it apart and cleaning. I've came across a few other pics on here showing how dirty the inside of the HCFM was so that's why I went ahead and did it. I usually fill up at high volume stations but it's possible I could have gotten some bad fuel. As far as fuel gelling, im near Houston so that's not an issue here either.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I just saw your bucket pic in that other post. Man, that's nasty! I hope mine isn't that bad, but if so I'm sure it will clog again and I'll then do the same as you. Makes ya wonder what the bottom of our fuel tanks look like doesn't it?
When I do my future filter changes, I'm going to take a close look inside the seperator with a mirror to make sure it's clean. In the past I just ran my fingers inside and felt for spare parts.
I wonder if this is a normal attribute of diesel or we just both got a bad batch. Here in Vegas, the temperatures never dip low unough to gel fuel.
Your parafin blob and the bucket of bacterial snot are two different problems.

It's unclear what causes the parafin blob formation, but it seems to vary widely. I had an HFCM drain clog and when I opened the HFCM I found a total of three pea sized parafin blobs. I've seen pictures of HFCMs just about full of parafin as well. It would be nice to know what the trigger for it is.

The bucket of bacterial snot is bacteria eating your expensive fuel. You have to buy expensive biocide to kill it. You also have to watch out for the dead bacteria potentially clogging your fuel filter after treating.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I used the compressed air method and made a huge mess. Turns out fuel DOES come rushing out of the port. The compressed air made for a nice spray pattern on me and the garage floor. It did drain, first time ever. After reading this post, am I doomed to open and clean? Should I take it to the dealer if it gets clogged again? (still under warranty)
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You also have to watch out for the dead bacteria potentially clogging your fuel filter after treating.
Done and done.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I used the compressed air method and made a huge mess. Turns out fuel DOES come rushing out of the port. The compressed air made for a nice spray pattern on me and the garage floor. It did drain, first time ever. After reading this post, am I doomed to open and clean? Should I take it to the dealer if it gets clogged again? (still under warranty)
There are two ports into the HFCM from the drain valve and the top of the valve stem is open to allow air into the HFCM so it will actually drain. In most cases compressed air or vacuum applied to the drain valve will not clear anything.

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