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Water separators can remove water from the fuel supplied to the boat engines. They are usually combined with a fuel filter, which frees the fuel from further impurities. The goal of using these devices is to remove moisture. The valves and other components in the engine can corrode, disrupting the engine's combustion process and causing engine performance problems. Denser fuels such as diesel are less likely to be affected by water than lighter fuels such as gasoline. There are different filters and water separators for diesel and gasoline engines, as well as separator and filter units that are suitable for both types of fuel.
The fuel flow rate per hour is also given for each filter and water separator unit. So fuel consumption at maximum output should be known.
How often the water separator and filter need to be changed depends on the design and usage. It is important to keep track of the operating hours so as not to miss the correct interval. Signs of a spent fuel filter include difficulty accelerating as well as difficulty maintaining idle speed.
Water separators and fuel system filters become especially important in boats that keep fuel in the tank even when lying on the water, or are used for longer trips and carry correspondingly large fuel supplies.