Fuel tank cleaning must be done if ethanol attracts water to the fuel. This makes the fuel contaminated and not fit for use. The ethanol present in the gas tank cleaning makes the gasoline to separate. The tiniest amounts of water can make this problem appear and all measures must be taken to ensure this does not happen.
Fuel product is usually fed to the dispenser from the tank bottom. If phase separation has occurred, chances are high that this could be fed to it as well. As a result, a filter detects and prevents the bad fuel from feeding into the car. This is despite the fuel being brought to the dispenser over the bottom of the fuel tank cleaning because even any remaining layer of gasoline will be vastly reduced of octane and be unusable.
Most vehicles have a dispenser that contains a filter, which stops unwanted substances from reaching the engine. This is usually indicated by a slow flow which occurs because the filters narrow whenever they detect water or phase separation material. However, this does not stop the phase separation from actually occurring which means the damage is already done. Usually the bad fuel has already passed through the tank’s system by the time it reaches the filter which may mean the fuel tank cleaning already has 5-6 inches of polluted fuel. This is a disastrous condition and prolonged exposure to the fuel may only accelerate corrosion of the tank and piping system.
The effects of phase separation are awful. The first is poor engine performance whereby the fuel pump picks up the mixture of water/ethanol at the bottom of the tank and interrupts the flow of gas therein. The engine can then miss, be rough or stall completely. The next is rust and corrosion which is caused by the water at the bottom of the tank. The ethanol will continue to dislodge the bits of rust which may clog filters, fuel lines and the valves in the carburettor.
The problem is bad even for people who deal with fuel and not just vehicle owners e.g. gas station owners. Customers may find their vehicles pumped with phase separated fuel instead of the real thing. This product can cause the engine to stall and result in expensive damage. This will have other effects including loss of business and customer loyalty as well.
Phase separation also harms the octane combustion and other properties of the fuel. This may mean that the owner must discard the entire lot. Not to mention the considerable environmental damage that can also be caused by the failing pipes. Phase separation can be affected by a few factors. The weather, temperature, water and ethanol content can all quicken the process.
The best answers to this quandary are preventive ones. Especially the frequent examinations of the gas tank cleaning to see if anything untoward is forming. Any presence of water should be treated accordingly and immediately. A diary of how your fuel is being consumed can be handy for this. Similarly the use of high octane fuel can also ensure that your car performs to its optimum.