Is a water block filter enough to dewater?

Collecting, filtering and dewatering of WVO SVO vegetable oil. For Biodiesel producers too.

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Is a water block filter enough to dewater?

Postby SunWizard » Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:20 pm

Probably not enough to dewater. I haven't tested water block filters but there are those who have and report they are not effective in VO. They are designed to remove free water in diesel which is much thinner viscosity. VO gets microscopic suspended water droplets that show up in a hot pan test, and diesel doesn't.

The other reason you wouldn't want to use one in your vehicle is that the way they work to block water is the element swells up and stops the flow when there is water present, leaving you stranded on the side of the road, wondering what the problem is.
Last edited by SunWizard on Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
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Postby David » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:31 am

Lets just say for a moment that these filters de water with absolute certainty. What is all the water in your tank and lines doing to your fuel system before it gets up the front of your vehicle to the filter where it is removed? You sure wouldn't want to fill a car that had an in tank electric lift pump ( a la Range Rover and others) and then park it for a month or two would you? Every car pretty much runs steel fuel lines and I don't think anyone would debate the outcome of steel and water, even water droplets.

IMHO the vehicle on board filter is the defense of last resort only.
To pour anything in your tank other that what you believe to be fuel that is up to standard is asking for trouble and in what I have read, trouble is exactly what people who try to take short cuts on their fuel quality get.

On a local forum a while back there was a guy that made a big fuss because he had fitted some expensive filter to his car and then was pumping oil direct from the dumpster into his tank. Despite his vehicle breaking down due to the fuel tank and lines being completely blocked with crap he had to cut the tank open to shovel the stuff out with a trowel, he was indignant and defended what he was doing as being nothing wrong because he had spent so much money on this filter to clean the oil for him!!! :roll:
If that is a person's attitude, good luck to them. They sure as hell will need it!

Some people argue these filters are effective and others argue they are not.
Either way, My practice is to make my on board filters last as long as possible. Not because I am cheap ( which I am) but rather as an ego trip as to how clever I am at getting the oil clean before it even hits the tank and renders the filters as un-needed as possible.
I think we are already pushing our luck somewhat and imposing on our vehicles "good Nature" by running them on a fuel they were not designed for. I reckon lest I can do for my poor old girl is give her fuel which is as clean as possible to not impose on my luck any more than I need to! :oops:

Most sensible people would not dream of putting oil in their car without first filtering it to whatever standard they think necessary. Proportionally, few think it is necessary to de-water their oil however.
Looking at the worst case scenario of both practices, heres what I think:

If you don't filter your oil but DO dry it, sooner or later it will stop through the filter becoming blocked with rubbish. Getting it back on the road will require 5 minutes and $20-30 and the vehicle is fixed and off you go again till the same thing happens.

If you do filter but DON'T dewater, the car will keep going along for some time till it finally stops due to water damage to the IP, injectors or engine components. Getting it back on the road again when this happens is going to take days to weeks in a mechanical workshop and likely many thousands of Dollars to get it fixed and running again.

The outcomes of neglecting one of the 2 basic WVO processing procedures would seem to me to heavily favor paying attention to the very opposite one to what most people bother with!
To me, Most people have their oil processing priorities completely Arse up!
If they are going to neglect any part of proper oil processing, they would do a whole lot better to dry the oil and not filter it!

Even if you do believe these filters are enough to de-water ( which I don't!) you would have to be crazy to rely on them and leave only them to do it. At 0.5% water content, an average ( Closer to half size on a Pickup style Vehicle) Fuel tank of 60L will contain 300Ml ( a large drinking glass) of Water. I know these filters are big but how many tankfulls of water at that rate could they hold before they blocked and required what I believe is very expensive replacement.?

At least then with dry oil, you would know when the thing stopped the solution to getting it going again was not something to even spoil your day, let alone the alternative of spoiling a week or two and likely beyond!

Then again, if you are prepared to knowingly put something detrimental into your vehicle without rendering it safe first, then the fuel would be just one of many problems such an attitude will create.
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Postby jordanmills » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:28 pm

I'm going to have to second David. When filling up, you should pretend your onboard filters are not there. Don't put anything in your fuel tanks that you don't want going straight to the injectors.

Think of it like a seatbelt. You don't drive crazy and risk getting into wrecks just because you think you won't be killed if you have it on.
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Postby SunWizard » Sat May 24, 2008 7:32 pm

More info directly from a Racor tech who says that the water block filters won't work with VO:
http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/159605551/m/3441050442?r=9711060742#9711060742
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby WD8CDH » Fri May 30, 2008 11:01 am

I use water block filters sometimes, but only because Racor 1000 elements only come in water block versions. My testing showed that they do absorb some water but they let a lot thru too. My upflow settling removes the watter so well that the water block function is neither needed nor causes me any problems.

When I tried the element before settling, it both plugged up and let too much water thru. :(

I really agree about the onboard filter being a last defense. Once when I cut open a filter, about the only thing on the element was tree pollen that had got in the tank during refueling. :shock:
Ron Schroeder
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Postby John Galt » Fri May 30, 2008 11:40 am

Once when I cut open a filter

Any suggestions on a clean, easy way to cut open a fuel filter for inspection?
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Postby SunWizard » Fri May 30, 2008 11:47 am

I use a 10" chop saw with a metal cutting blade.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
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Postby John Galt » Fri May 30, 2008 12:57 pm

I want to avoid creating small metal particles
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Postby WD8CDH » Fri May 30, 2008 2:31 pm

huge pipe cutter.
Ron Schroeder
WD8CDH
'85 MB 300DT 2 Tank
Since '81 former WVO conversions:
'83 240D
'80 Audi 4000D
'83 Isuzu Pup
'86 Golf
'76 Honda Civic with Kubota engine
Prior to the cars, several generators
Kubota Tractor
WD8CDH
 
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Postby Burbarian » Fri May 30, 2008 9:00 pm

If it's a standard spin-on metal can fuel filter, you should be able to use a regular can opener.
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Postby John Galt » Fri May 30, 2008 9:12 pm

Have YOU done that with a can opener?
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Postby Burbarian » Fri May 30, 2008 9:23 pm

Opening up fuel filters? Not for a long time, no. I've once opened up a Cat engine oil filter using a P38 from old style '70s combat rations. The trick is cutting the side, not the top. I suppose it would depend entirely on the make and model of filter and how thick the shell was.
1987 GMC Suburban 6.2L V8 IDI
1985 Merc 300TD
1968 CAT D4D 3304 dozer
1971 Waldon 4100 loader
1981 IHI 30F excavator
1995 Changfa 195 w/ ST 10kw genset
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