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I don't think you can just ground the sensor to tell if it's good. The sensor can tell the difference between water and diesel since they each have their own resistance (not the same). I'm assuming since it is a one-wire sensor, it's "measuring the resistance between the sensor tip, through the liquid, and ground (the bowl). I guess you could always see what happens if you put the sensor tip in a cup of water that also had a grounded wire in it. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 · (Edited)
Yeah Bugman I agree. That fuel looks like some bad drink that we used to mix up for parties in collage! Just for fun I put a jug of it in the freezer to see what happens overnight. Bad thing is I have about 15 gallons of it sitting on the flatbed right now and at least another 15-18 or so in the rear tank. I had about 2-3 ounces of Power Service white bottle in that tank, and I did put a bottle of ISO HEET in there too after finding the ice. However, it still looks weird to me. State called me today and said that the sample had been pulled and was on its way to be tested. Unfortunately, as she told me it may have been to long since I got my fuel to see the real results of what I got. Lesson learned for me on that.
Patrick, thanks again I did not think about it that way. At least I know that it lights up. I think that the reason it did not light up on my test drive the other night is because I had been draining the bowl every few minutes of running just seeing what I had going on. So in 10 minutes of driving maybe the bowl did not fill up with water enough to trip the switch. To be honest I am totally guessing at this point. Between the weak pump, bad switch, and possible bad fuel it kinda turned into a perfect storm.
 

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I don't think you can just ground the sensor to tell if it's good.
...
I'm assuming since it is a one-wire sensor, it's "measuring the resistance between the sensor tip, through the liquid, and ground (the bowl).
Yes, grounding is all the WIF does, so that's a valid test for it.
...water and diesel since they each have their own resistance (not the same).
Diesel has no resistance because it doesn't conduct electricity. Diesel is a hydrocarbon, and like plastic, it can't ionize. Natural water (as opposed to purified, de-ionized laboratory water) does.

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Thank you Steve! I was still thinking about that idea. So the switch was most likely the problem in not seeing the WIF light. Guess I will have a spare sensor now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 · (Edited)
Replaced the pump and supply lines today (diesel o-rings), Truck runs great (always did). Still only reads 10 p.s.i. with a stick gauge while running? I do not know what gives, it must be the regulator? The screen was cleaned the other day but it did not look to dirty to begin with. I am going take it to my buddy with a good gauge in the next couple of days and see what it says. As I said earlier it was time to replace the pump anyway because it was starting to weep so no loss by doing it, the lines were pretty dry rotted too. Still have to drain the rear tank, but I am going to do that on the lift when the weather brakes.
If anything can be learned out of this. " Always look at the idiot lights while cranking!"
 

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I think that I would plumb in a actual gauge to read the prrssure.

I've had two or three pencil type gauges quit reading accurately with them just being used for tires

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Thanks bugman! The "good" gauge ended up having a broken tip to engage the valve to get a good pressure reading( good old Harbor freight) , and I did not have the right fittings to plumb in several of the random gauges I have laying around. The messed up thing is that the stick gauge read 10 on the fuel then 50 on my font tire. I will be looking into this further in the next couple of days.
As far as the old fuel goes, 24 hours in my chest freezer and this is what it looks like. I will say that I have been told buy some fuel retailers in my area that they do not get "winter" diesel. And in reality it does not very often get to 0 around here. Hard to tell in the picture but the is a definite settlement in the bottom of the jug. It looks milky white.
bad fuel.jpg
 

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If you decide to go with a gauge make sure that it is a glycerin filled one. Then the needle won't bounce all over the place.

You could also get some hose and run it to where you can see it as you drive down the road.

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
UPDATE:
I have driven the truck problem free for around 150 miles on the front tank after pulling as much of the bad fuel out as I could through the pickup. I am still draining out a good amount of water every time I hit the bowl drain (makes sense to me because the water is at the bottom of the tank and even though I have a new tank and pickup foot draining the tank trough the pickup is still not going to get the very bottom where all the water is). I think it is gong to take many tanks of fuel to get it out. I pulled as much as i could out of the rear tank the other day and will be starting the process all over again with it once I get the front tank to a point i feel comfortable with. I still have had no WIF light show up (it does flash on test mode while cranking), but I am not giving it a chance to light up either as i am draining the bowl almost daily .
Everyone I have shown that bad fuel to ( several mechanics as well) have never quit seen anything like it, we all have our own ideas of what it is and might be( reprocessed Vegetable oil, water emulsified Diesel, Diesel mixed with gasoline). The State of VA has never gotten back to me about their finding either, go figure.
 

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Bad fuel is a hell of a mess. I went through that with a former fuel supplier. Froze up a farm tractor as well as mom's Duramax. Other customers had trucks dead on the highway and so forth. At least the tractor has a drain cock on tank; I made them pull the pickup fuel tank, clean it, let me inspect, then had them reinstall and NOT fuel it. When they asked why, I gave them the dumbest look I could muster as I said "this is where the whole problem began!"
 
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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
State of VA got back to me yesterday. The fuel did have higher than allowable water contamination. I cant remember the exact PPM. I am not going to go after the fuel station, would probably end up more hassle then worth. I will let it be a lesson to learn from. Still draining the bowl after every drive and still getting water, going to still be awhile. Then move to the rear tank!
 

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I only use my F250 for hauling a travel trailer around the country, and I HATE being broke-down. So I have a lot of gauges and techniques to try to prevent that.

One of my techniques is testing diesel fuel before pumping it into my truck. I do this via an old, heavy one-gallon glass jar that years ago they used for milk deliveries. I squirt about a half-gallon of fuel from the filling station into that jar. Then I look at that sample. If it's suspiciously dark, or if a water bubble forms at the bottom, or if it looks like there's anything but clear, clean diesel in that sample, I put the nozzle back, pay a couple bucks for the suspicious half-gallon and drive away to find a station with better fuel.

It only takes a few seconds for problems to show up in the fuel sample, including and especially enough water to form bubbles at the bottom.

Very rarely is there a problem with diesel fuel. But when there is, it can cause an enormous amount of headaches and damage. I don't want to deal with that on what is supposed to be a fun trip somewhere down the road.
 
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