ABYC doesn't specifically call for metal bowl fuel filters. It states that all individual components of the fuel system shall be capable of withstanding a 2-1/2 minute fire test when tested in accordance with the Title 33 CFR, Section 183.590 fire test. This includes components outside the engine compartment if a break at any point will result in the discharge of more than five ounces of fuel in 2-1/2 minutes.
Fuel filters with the plastic see-thru bowls apparently will not meet the fire test requirement so if installed inside the engine compartment, they must have the metal heat shield installed. If you've ever seen this heat shield, you might wonder as I do if it really does much good at all.
In the argument I was in regarding a diesel fuel filter with plastic bowl, it was claimed that Coast Guard regulations
required the metal heat shield. In my research
, I found that the rules they were refering to, part 183 subpart J Fuel Systems, applied only to gasoline engines.
I was to install a water
in fuel sensor into the bottom of the bowl of a diesel fuel filter that had the heat shield. I wanted to use the sensor that had the built-in electronics
that would simply and directly connect to the existing Yanmar
engine gauge panel that already has the alarm
buzzer and indicator lamp for this. The sensor was too long to fit between the shield and the fitting for the sensor. I wanted to punch a hole just large enough for the sensor into the bottom of the shield. They were afraid this would violate CG rules. I proved to them that it was not part of the CG rules. They didn't buy it so I ended up installing the standard sensor which does fit, and then having to install the gauge which goes with the sensor and then internally modifying the gauge to provide output to the Yanmar
ABYC rules are not law, just established recommendations. Funny
that they reference part 183.590 fire test which only applies to gasoline engines in their H-33 Diesel Fuel Systems standards.
It is quite apparent that most people who are supposed to be "in the know" (including me who had a memory lapse) about the rules, including surveyors that I've questioned, are unaware that subparts of the part 183 regulations
only apply to gasoline engines. It doesn't make sense to me why subpart I, Electrical
Systems only applies to boats with gasoline engines
In ABYC rules E-11 Electrical
Systems, it notes; The United States Coast Guard has promulgated mandatory requirements for electrical systems in Title 33, CFR 183 Subpart I
Sounds like even ABYC is unaware that these requirements are only for boats with gasoline engines.