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Old 13-06-2009, 12:07   #1
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Electric Fuel Pump Location?

I wish to add an electric fuel pump in the fuel line to make bleeding the system easier and quicker. My question is about location of the pump. I have had one experienced sailors suggest locating the pump between the fuel tank and the primary filter (Racor 500MA) while others have indicated that it must be located between the primary filter and the engine. What are advantages/disadvantages of each?

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Old 13-06-2009, 14:53   #2
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There are actually federal regulations about fuel pump placement. It must be either mounted on the engine or within 12 inches of the engine. You should also know that running an electric fuel pump in series with a mechanical fuel pump presents some hazards. First, you must wire it to only run when the engine is either running or cranking. I suppose if you are only using it to bleed the fuel system, you could get around that with a manual switch. Second, if your mechanical fuel pump's diaphragm fails, you'd have a chance of pumping raw fuel where you don't want it. As for placement before or after filters, I believe the fuel pump manufacturers generally recommend after a filter, but check your pump's documentation.


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Old 13-06-2009, 15:02   #3
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After primary filter?

I put an electric fuel pump into Boracay for much the same reasons as you give.

I put it after the filter (Racor 500) as they do need to get clean fuel. The first one that I put in failed, possibly due to blockage. There might have been something to that effect in the instructions.

Mine has had very little use.
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Old 13-06-2009, 17:07   #4
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Ditto Boracays answer...between the Racor and the engine. I did it the other way on an old boat and had nothing but fuel clogs and failed pumps until I read the warranty which said the fuel had to be pre-filtered. Two years of problem fuel solved by moving the pump. It really does help on filter changes too.
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Old 13-06-2009, 18:21   #5
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On Mobetah, we installed a manual bulb pump (the type you use to prime an outboard motor) between the tank and the Raycor on both the engine and the genset about 15 years ago. No fuses, no switches and no problems so far. By installing it between the tank and the Racor filter you don't have any problems bleeding air from the raycor after installing a new filter element.

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Old 13-06-2009, 18:36   #6
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If the filter is empty when you change it the electric pump will only displace enough fuel to get the filter level up to the level of exit of the filter. It will not "Fill " the racor to the top.

On the average racor this is about an inch on the small ones and several on the 900 FG + units. Racors are prone to air intrusion unless the gaskets are perfect and there are no paint chips etc on the sealing serfaces. (Those of you with older units know this)

An electric pump helps greatly to bleed the items on the pressure side (Secondary filters, Low side of the injection pumps) but it will not "Bleed" the filter on the suction side (Before the pump) as it should be "Bled". That is to say fill the unit to the top, eleminating as much air as possible.

You wat to fill the first filter? Put an OB fuel bulb in line or valve it so it can be used to properly fill the first filter.

Racors are not perfect filters IMHO. They have their issues. However no one makes a better one.
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Old 14-06-2009, 07:33   #7
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Slightly off topic but relevant I think, is problem concerning Separ fuel filters. They make a 500 series of similar design to the equivalent Racor.

You can use the more commonly available Racor paper filter elements in these. Other parts are interchangeable as well. I use a Racor filter bowl with mine. Beware though that the small T handle "O" ring supplied with Racor filter & fitted inside the cover is much smaller than the Separ one. This can allow air into the system which in my case caused starting problems & took a long time to trace.


If in doubt RTFM
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Old 22-09-2009, 16:00   #8
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I have a perkins 4-107 with a leak at the throttle lever. Is there suposed to be a gasket or O-ring there. I see no evidence.

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Old 22-09-2009, 16:29   #9
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Electric fuel pump in system

There is no federal regulation preventing us from installing an electric fuel pump on a diesel fuel system wherever we desire.

Locate the electric pump at a level equal to or below the bottom of the fuel tank else, as previously mentioned, the pump may not pull fuel through an air lock in a line from the tank. The pump will not pull fuel through a clogged fuel filter yet it will push fuel through one that is why the pump should go before all filters and just after a tank shut-off valve below any fuel level. Use a screen (not a filter) between the tank shut-off valve and before the pump. You can find them at Shucks, etc. You can see the screen to tell if it is gunked up.

Use a fuse in line with the pump and double clamp the fittings on the fuel lines. Install a simple toggle switch nearby so that when you periodically inspect the engine space when running (as you should) you can quickly put the pump into play when starting to foul a filter (which happens just at the most inopportune times when you cannot change the filter or sit there pumping a manual one).

I view an electric pump as a safety item on boats going to sea with diesel engines. They can make the difference between disaster and a good time! Good installation practices make them safe.
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Old 22-09-2009, 16:33   #10
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Electric diesel pump

I am thinking of putting in an electric fuel pump also...

What sort of pumps do you guys use ??


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Old 22-09-2009, 20:51   #11
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Racors are not meant to be pressurised.

Tank-Primary Filter-Pump-Secondary Filter-Injection Pump.

There are ABYC "rules" on this.

It is best to keep fuel systems as simple as possible

I have seen some real plumbing nightmares and some very innovative ways of filling filters.

You do not want to use an electrical pump AND an mechanical leaky diaphragm and you have filled your engine w/diesel.
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Old 22-09-2009, 21:44   #12
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Chief - do you have documentation on the not running racors pressurised? I thought they could take a small amount of pressure.
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Old 23-09-2009, 01:51   #13
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Testing the retailer relationship...

The first electric pump I installed I put before the filter. It failed in very short order so I took it back and got another one.
The second one I put after the filter. I only use it to prime the engine (invaluable) and so far it's working fine.
I understand there are some very fine parts in it which can jam up with quite small particles.
It has been installed below the top but above the bottom of my tank (space constraints) and it seems alright.
Mine has some sort of vibrator between two one way valves so it goes OK turned off.
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Old 23-09-2009, 04:55   #14
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Excerpted from Transport CanadaConstruction Standards for Small Vessels” Section 7.0 Fuel Systems (gasoline and diesel, except as noted otherwise).

Section 7.0 - TP1332E - Construction Standards for Small Vessels - Marine Safety Publications - Marine Safety - Marine Transportation - Transport Canada

“... 7.8 Fuel Pumps

7.8.1 Every fuel pump shall be installed on the engine or within 305 mm (12 in) of the engine, with a maximum delivery hose length of 1220 mm (48 in) unless it is a fuel pump used to transfer fuel

7.8.2 A diaphragm pump shall not leak fuel if the primary diaphragm fails.

7.8.3 Every electric fuel pump shall incorporate an automatic cutoff designed to eliminate fuel pressure at the outlet when the engine stops for any cause.

7.8.4 The outlet pressure of electrically operated fuel pumps, except for electric fuel pumps used to transfer fuel between tanks, shall be rated or controlled to the maximum carburetor fuel inlet pressure specified by the engine manufacturer.

7.8.5 A momentary type switch may override the automatic cutoff for the purpose of priming or starting the engine...”

I believe that the objective of these requirements is to limit the amount of pressurized fuel hose in the boat. Any pressurized fuel hose that develops a leak can cause a significant fire and explosion hazard by spraying fuel into the compartment - all of which seems to imply GASOLINE.

Both ABYC H-24, Gasoline Fuel Systems, and the Code of Federal Regulations (33 CFR 183) do, within certain parameters, permit the use of a remote fuel pump. The parameters are: the pump must be located within 12 inches of the engine that it supplies, and the hose from the pump output to the engine cannot exceed 48 inches.
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Old 23-09-2009, 14:36   #15
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electric pump, fuel, fuel pump

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