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Old 17-11-2009, 09:15   #1
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Fuel Filtering / Polishing Question

Hi to all,

I am looking to build a simple/portable fuel filtering/polishing system that will allow me to pull fuel out of my main tank into Jerry cans and vis versa.

I also want to keep it inexpensive, can I use regular house hold water filtering parts to clean the fuel? Or do I have use specific fuel filters for good results?

Thanks for any feedback!

Cheers,
Meck
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Old 17-11-2009, 09:32   #2
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Household water filters won't remove water from the fuel.....hence their intended purpose. I'd also be suspect of a water filters housings abilty to withstand prolonged exposure to fuel.
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Old 17-11-2009, 09:35   #3
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Thanks, those were my initial concerns as well..
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Old 17-11-2009, 09:46   #4
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How much fuel do you have in your tank(s)? If you looking to put a polishing system aboard, it isn't going to be cheap. I just wrapped up a fuel project on my boat last weekend. I am in the Kemah area. If you are close to this location, pm me and I can make some recommendations.
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Old 17-11-2009, 09:56   #5
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I am hoping this is at least a diesel system we're talking about here. I'd not do anything like this with gasoline.

Get an inexpensive shurflo pump. Attach alligator clips and/or a switch to said pump for power. Get hoses and adapters for attaching the pump to your existing fuel pickup lines. Take free end of out put from pump and stick it in a baja filter that is siting on your jerry can. Pump to can is full. Put any liquid in the baja filter into a discard jug. repeat till tank is empty, or you run out of jerry cans.

The baja filter will do a good job at removing water and most sludge at the bottom of a tank. I always use one when putting fuel in my tanks.
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Old 17-11-2009, 11:37   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strygaldwir View Post
I am hoping this is at least a diesel system we're talking about here. I'd not do anything like this with gasoline.

Get an inexpensive shurflo pump. Attach alligator clips and/or a switch to said pump for power. Get hoses and adapters for attaching the pump to your existing fuel pickup lines. Take free end of out put from pump and stick it in a baja filter that is siting on your jerry can. Pump to can is full. Put any liquid in the baja filter into a discard jug. repeat till tank is empty, or you run out of jerry cans.

The baja filter will do a good job at removing water and most sludge at the bottom of a tank. I always use one when putting fuel in my tanks.
Did the same thing myself. Worked well. Emptied one tank into jugs then took the other tank and emptied it into the first and then poured the jugs into the second tank.
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Old 17-11-2009, 11:47   #7
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This may be crazy but....

Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper to use a tank of fuel every month,
Drain the Racor and change the filter as needed?
The engine will last longer and be more reliable too.
Run the engine at 80% load too.
I am sick of sailors that idle out the channel and then complain about bad fuel, failing motors etc. Use it or loose it!
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Old 17-11-2009, 12:30   #8
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Now how the hell is someone going to use a tank a month unless the boat is in use every day?!?!?!

I for one at full throttle burn less than a gallon an hour!!
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Old 17-11-2009, 12:59   #9
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It takes me two 12 hour days to empty my tank running almost wide open. This is an after market tank. This tank is not as large as the original in-keel located tank.

John
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Old 17-11-2009, 13:04   #10
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My point exactally, I got a sailboat so I wouldn't have to listen to the engine. Besides, having an ecosystem in the fuel has nothing to do with how much fuel you use, more importantly how you care for and where you got it.
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Old 17-11-2009, 14:31   #11
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How much fuel you use, is everything!

A. get a smaller tank like a day tank and keep the big one empty untill you need to use it.
Condensation and the break down of the fuel itself forming varnish and sludge are the product of how long it's been in the tank.

B. run fuel through the Racor on a regular basis with a small pump or the new Parker fuel polishing pump, it uses less than 2 watts and pumps 50 gallons per day. No more fuel problems. just recirculate fuel back to the tank. The same filter you already have is fine.

Power boats, like lobster boats that run every day DO NOT have these problems. Do you think sailors are buying bad fuel? NO, it goes bad in your tank.
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Old 17-11-2009, 14:38   #12
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I'm a marine engineer by education, I can promise you that diesel fuel does not break down like gasoline. An empty tank is a sure recepie for disaster. biocide and a full tank have served me well for quite some time. A half full tank, empty tank, or one that has other water in it is the source of problems.

The last large vessel I was employed on had just the same sort of problems that are being described here. We had day tanks, centrifuges, and burnt well over 5 tons of fuel an hour. If it were not for the centrifuge we'd never have kept the engine running.
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Old 17-11-2009, 14:49   #13
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We, since we are on the subject of fuel utilization and tanks...

I have never had a problem with sludge or other build up in my tanks. I have dual Racor filters on each engine. I change these filters about once a year. I have changed the engine filter twice in the 5 years I have had the boat. I always use my Baja filter when I am refueling. I have gone several months without moving the boat (Winter haul out).

I did however, pull my tanks and flush all the sludge from them when I first bought the boat in 2004. I did this again in 2007. The second time there was some slush, not as much as the first. I thought the polyprop, removable tanks were rather cheap when I first got the boat. I have since thanked my lucky stars they made them so accessible and serviceable.

I have friends with trawlers and they have VERY large tanks (200 to 400 gallons). Running them out every month would be a bit expensive for them to do. One of them uses a pump through a Racor filter to pump fuel between his two tanks. After he has let the boat sit for a while, he will change filters and circulate the fuel between the two tanks. He, like me, has never had a problem.

Another friend was living on his boat for 5 years without pretty much moving it. He was just adding an additive to his fuel every year. When he took the boat down from NC to Florida recently, he had no ends of problems. He was changing filters every day. He would have been better off to send his fuel through a polishing setup. He probably would have been better to just drain his tanks since he was not going to run the boat for such a long time. The additive was certainly no help!
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Old 17-11-2009, 15:01   #14
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Has anyone tried adding a small day tank with a permanent polishing system installed between the day tank and the main? I was planning on trying to rig that type of setup. Would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried it.
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Old 17-11-2009, 15:25   #15
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sitting for 5 years is a little different than using a tank every few months. I'm not saying the biocide is the end all be all solution. Just for those of us who have no desire to remove the mast from the boat there are other ways.

then need to polish the fuel will always be around, as most of us are not able to use hundreds of gallons of fuel a month. I only use on average 6 gallons a month, but every month there's 6 gallons of new fuel in the tank along with treatment. No problems.
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