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Old 13-08-2014, 20:59   #1
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diesel lift pump - manual or electric?

My new 33' yacht has a lister 3 cyl. There is a 250 litre diesel tank down in the keel. The connection to the engine has never been completed: All the pipe work is in place, the only item missing is the fuel pump. At present, the ( gravity ) header tank is filled by hand, contains 10 ltres. If needed , this tank is topped up via spare fuel, kept in 5 litre plastic container. This has been enough for the previous owner, who did not ever travel very far from home. He suggested to me that it would be very simple to buy and fit EITHER an electric fuel pump or a hand fuel pump. Question(s) How easy do we think such a task? And ... given the choice, do we have any definite preference for either * hand* or * electric * fuel pumping?
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Old 13-08-2014, 21:06   #2
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Re: diesel lift pump - manual or electric?

Hand = near zero maintenance. Your consumption is low.

Another alternative is to go big. Add a lift pump and a polishing filter so that the header (day tank) is filled constantly and overflows back to the keel tank. Run it any time you are motoring and the energy cost is born by the alternator.
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Old 13-08-2014, 21:09   #3
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Re: diesel lift pump - manual or electric?

electric=easier to prime engine when necessary. much easier.
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Old 14-08-2014, 04:54   #4
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Re: diesel lift pump - manual or electric?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Hand = near zero maintenance. Your consumption is low.

Another alternative is to go big. Add a lift pump and a polishing filter so that the header (day tank) is filled constantly and overflows back to the keel tank. Run it any time you are motoring and the energy cost is born by the alternator.
I like this idea, especially the overflow back to the tank. A small electric pump is likely to be much cheaper than a decent hand pump. The one on Snow petrel was just a small automotive one from a car I think? It never gave any proplems and was plumbed directly into the fuel line, with the power wired through the ignition. They are cheap enough that a spare can be carried and thd worst case would be back to jerry cans to fill.

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Old 14-08-2014, 06:06   #5
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Re: diesel lift pump - manual or electric?

I think you have a confusion of terms that is tripping up some of the advice. Maybe it is we are just used to American English?

1. I assume you already have a diesel return line to the day tank. No need to run a return line to the keel tanks. Yes you are continually cleaning the fuel, but the heavy sediment will likely still lay on the bottom. Maybe wrong, I just don't like the complexity of having the pump run all the time.

2. I also suggest fitting a Racor filter between you keel tanks and day/header tank to assure clean fuel into that tank.

3. If you fit an electric pump make sure to put on a timer. You Will Turn it on and forget to turn it off. Trust me, I know.

4. By filling the keel tanks with diesel you are protecting the from rust. GOOD IDEA.

5. Hand pumps break too, and hand pumping can divert you attention to a needless task. Go electric. I am trying to standardize on Whale 220 pumps where I can. They can be bought with nitril diaphragms which make them suitable as diesel transfer pumps. Real good and easily rebuilt bits of kit. Very reliable. Call Whale to find the local distributor for the ones with the NITRIL bits. Just my preference.

6. Before filling with diesel make sure a) inspection ports are big enough to get in for fuel polishing and b) you have a fuel level sensor arrangement. You can drill diesel tanks when full, but now is a better time. If you don't have level gauges then you may want to consider Tank Tender. Simple and can measure fuel and water levels on a single gauge. A bit pricy though.

Sorry for the preachy nature. Been down this path twice.
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Old 14-08-2014, 08:56   #6
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Re: diesel lift pump - manual or electric?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
I think you have a confusion of terms that is tripping up some of the advice. Maybe it is we are just used to American English?

1. I assume you already have a diesel return line to the day tank. No need to run a return line to the keel tanks. Yes you are continually cleaning the fuel, but the heavy sediment will likely still lay on the bottom. Maybe wrong, I just don't like the complexity of having the pump run all the time.

2. I also suggest fitting a Racor filter between you keel tanks and day/header tank to assure clean fuel into that tank.

3. If you fit an electric pump make sure to put on a timer. You Will Turn it on and forget to turn it off. Trust me, I know.

4. By filling the keel tanks with diesel you are protecting the from rust. GOOD IDEA.

5. Hand pumps break too, and hand pumping can divert you attention to a needless task. Go electric. I am trying to standardize on Whale 220 pumps where I can. They can be bought with nitril diaphragms which make them suitable as diesel transfer pumps. Real good and easily rebuilt bits of kit. Very reliable. Call Whale to find the local distributor for the ones with the NITRIL bits. Just my preference.

6. Before filling with diesel make sure a) inspection ports are big enough to get in for fuel polishing and b) you have a fuel level sensor arrangement. You can drill diesel tanks when full, but now is a better time. If you don't have level gauges then you may want to consider Tank Tender. Simple and can measure fuel and water levels on a single gauge. A bit pricy though.

Sorry for the preachy nature. Been down this path twice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
I like this idea, especially the overflow back to the tank. A small electric pump is likely to be much cheaper than a decent hand pump. The one on Snow petrel was just a small automotive one from a car I think? It never gave any proplems and was plumbed directly into the fuel line, with the power wired through the ignition. They are cheap enough that a spare can be carried and thd worst case would be back to jerry cans to fill.

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ok. here is what happened here... as the injector pump ws failing in my boat, as the engine started showing signs f this problem in failing performance going ignored by a fail mekanik, as we were constantly using the lil cute electric pump from napa and autozone...lol he changed outthe electric assist pump as he was stoopit and thunk the lil cute pump that can and does was a fail, whereas it was th elift pump losing diaphragmatic integrity(ripped) and the injector pump failing and th e injectors failing...lol led up to a lovely runaway situation .... only took 3000miles to disimprove into a runaway situation.
we only had to burn out one starter and lose one engine to realize the lil citee electrical pump prolly blew out the delicate by that time diaphragm in th elift pump. the fail injectors were failing in delivery of fuel to engine, and the irregularity in song tha ti noticed was not noticed by the failmekanik. guess what--i has a real one now--no english spoken, and no monkey business. if a note is off, he hears it. if something aint right, he know it and catches it in advance. good mechanic.
place the priming, aka assist pump on switch near the pump so ye dont have to riun somewhere eelse and forget to tuee=rn it off..lol
use it only for priming.
check the performance of your manual lift pump and keep the p erformance of your engine monitored.
avoid runaway and fail.
if you are in mexico and have fail of engine, i can find ye a mechanic par excellence. .awesome non englishspeaking, non fraudulent , non scamming low priced and worth much more magic engine guys.
i only had to prime my engine 21 times between ensenada and cedros island where my starter burned out. (2011, may)
we were told the tank was 80 gal, i figgered it to be 60, and found it to be 44 gallon with a bad pick up.
ok.
dirty also, but that not until after mazatlan.
we had to bleed for air mostly.
things are being changed as we typo here (aka, why i have been here most of my life this past year...lol).


btw--if ye dont like my answers, dont have my same problems....lol i btdt mucho....rodlmffao. have fun with it. the hint that helps is to have the assist pump's switch near to the pump so ye dont forget to turn it off after priming.
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Old 14-08-2014, 11:35   #7
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Re: diesel lift pump - manual or electric?

Zee,

I think you missed the point about his header tank being ABOVE the engine. He could probably remove the lift/priming pump and still be OK because he has a pressure head to the engine.

Kinda like lifting the feet when you lay down to improve circulation.
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Old 14-08-2014, 18:50   #8
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Re: diesel lift pump - manual or electric?

Interesting about the electric lift pump damaging the engine driven lift pump. Doesn't apply in this case but something to consider if you are fitting one inline into a normal system, thanks zee.

I looked up the one I had. It was a solid state low pressure lift pump for cars with carbureters. It provided the boost to get the fuel up from the keel tank to the engines pump. It ran continuesly. Pumped about 100lt/hr in open flow, but in my case just worked as a demand pump. Which was much quieter and probability used less power and wear. About $60-100 from repco or such. There are a few other ideas I have, but I'm on my mobile so want go into them now. Cheers
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