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Old 24-05-2012, 15:04   #1
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Fuel Funnel Screens Removing Water?

I ran my new diesel today for the first time, and had to lug a can of diesel down to the boat. I used a funnel with the built in screen, which I understand is supposed to remove any water. Direct from the pump at fuel station I slowly filled the can through the funnel, and also into the tank on the boat. I just has an inspection hatch installed in my on board fuel tank and had the tank cleaned, so I am keen to keep as much water out as possible.

My question - do these screens in the funnel actually do anything? It was not visually apparent to me. Appologies if this is a dumb question - but I don't want to waste my time for the next 20 years if I can just dump it in.
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Old 24-05-2012, 15:25   #2
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Re: Fuel Funnel screens removing water?

I don't know if there's a funnel that removes water, but I can't see how that would work unless you poured impracticably slowly.

Fine mesh fuel filter funnels like the "Baja" type keep out dirt and the larger particulates. Your Racor or Fram-style fuel filters in the engine space should capture any water, which you can drain off via a petcock.
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Old 24-05-2012, 15:41   #3
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Re: Fuel Funnel screens removing water?

Yes Baja filters and those filters with the screen do keep out water. There's a simple test. Just pour a cup of water in them and see if it drains through.
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Old 24-05-2012, 15:43   #4
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Re: Fuel Funnel screens removing water?

Isn't there some sort of a material, I seem to recall it was chamois-like in texture, thru which you poured the fuel.
It held the water, but allowed the hydrocarbon thru.
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Old 24-05-2012, 15:46   #5
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Re: Fuel Funnel screens removing water?

When it comes to an expensive Diesel, I would not trust anything other than a real water trap that come built into fuel filter systems. Why risk ruining your Diesels fuel system with something like that?
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Old 24-05-2012, 15:55   #6
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Re: Fuel Funnel screens removing water?

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Yes Baja filters and those filters with the screen do keep out water. There's a simple test. Just pour a cup of water in them and see if it drains through.

Agreed! Baja filters are good for particulates as well as preventing water. The water will not pass through, so if your source has a lot of water in it, the fuel floats on it, and eventually will not pass either. This water / diesel mix has to be poured off into a waste container, then you look for another source.

Marinas hate these filters, because they're so slow. What we do is fill our two 5 gal jugs, and either take off with that in reserve, or move to the far end of the fuel dock to filter the fuel into our boat's tanks. It is easier to pour slowly from a jug, than pump it slowly. Fuel pumps also foam up the fuel, making the filter even SLOWER!

The next challenge is keeping water from forming in the tanks, by keeping them both treated AND full in the off season.

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Old 24-05-2012, 15:59   #7
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Re: Fuel Funnel screens removing water?

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Old 24-05-2012, 16:02   #8
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Re: Fuel Funnel screens removing water?

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
When it comes to an expensive Diesel, I would not trust anything other than a real water trap that come built into fuel filter systems. Why risk ruining your Diesels fuel system with something like that?
These are of coarse required as well, and standard on all boats. The thing is that the engine will shut down when the water fills the small bowl, and unless you inspect it every few hours, you never know when. If they held say, 5 gallons of water, VS half a pint, THEN you would not need as much "prior knowledge" about your fuel's water content.

The advantage of Baja filtering the fuel going in, is that you know BEFORE filling your tanks, that this is a bad source, AND it makes the primary as well as secondary engine filters last about 10X as long!

For power boaters, getting 500 gallons, a Baja filter is just too slow, but for sailors getting 25, they do the trick.

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Old 24-05-2012, 16:03   #9
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Re: Fuel Funnel screens removing water?

Thanks all. I'm going to look into the Mr. Funnell, and continue to fill from 5 gallon tanks at my leisure.
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Old 24-05-2012, 16:23   #10
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Re: Fuel Funnel screens removing water?

A guy who worked for HP was a buddy boater friend of mine in Mexico. He gave me a piece of fine green mesh that wouldnt pass water... unfortunately, it made fueling up take forever! I said screw it.... put a little fuel from your source in a glass jar and see what it looks like if it's suspect.
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Old 24-05-2012, 16:57   #11
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Re: Fuel Funnel Screens Removing Water?

When you remove all three filter baskets on the Baha filter you'll note that the outlet at the bottom is raised from the bottom of the cannister. As water is heavier than the fuel it suggest that the water is trapped in the bottom of the cannister. If you don't remove this small amount of accumulated water from time to time it stops trapping the water.

My experience with fuel bought in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, forced me to take the following steps!

Install a Racor filter, use the finest mesh Racor filters sold, and plan on changing the filter at least every fifty gallons. Before beginning each cruising season, dismantle the Racor unit and clean.

At least twice a cruising season replace the secondary fuel filter.

Every three years plan on cleaning the interior of your tanks.

I always used jerry cans and a Baha filter to fuel my boat.

When, not if, you can see chunks of crud in the bottom of your jerry cans, clean the filters on your Baha filter..

Even then I've had to change the Racor filter and bleed the engine to start, while underway, usually at night in a shipping lane.
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Old 24-05-2012, 17:10   #12
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Re: Fuel Funnel Screens Removing Water?

West marine sells a plastic filter that in tests was shown to be at least as effective as the Baja Filter. I have two, they work great (Get the big one, not the little one).

Water is heavier than Diesel oil so it will stay at the bottom.

The question is what do you do with the leftover crud at the bottom of the filter when you're done fueling. I dump mine back into the can then eventually dump in an oil recycling bin.

I use Racor filters in series. A 20 micron filter first then 3 micron. I change the 20 micron about twice a year. the 3 micron about once a year. I did have one 20 micron clog on me once, but that was when I was cruising and had not changed it since starting the trip (5 months continuous cruising).
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Old 24-05-2012, 18:14   #13
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Re: Fuel Funnel Screens Removing Water?

I always jug fuel and filter it when I pour it into my tank. The "leftovers" in the filter I pour back into a jug. Eventually when I haul the boat I get rid of the leftovers but during the season I continue using the jugs even the one with the leftovers in it. So far there has been surprising little water or crud in the fuel I've been getting in the Bahamas.
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Old 24-05-2012, 22:28   #14
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Re: Fuel Funnel Screens Removing Water?

I've used the Mr. Funnel filter funnels for years. They really work. You can fill them half full of water and nothing comes through. I have a prototype Mr. Funnel that the inventor gave me twenty or thirty years ago. It's a big galvanized steel funnel with four of the water screens mounted in it. I had complained to him about how slow his small funnels were. I don't think he ever put them into production.
The Shur Hold brush company is selling one that will pass 3.5 gallons per minute. Shurhold Fuel Filter Funnel, 3.5 GPM - SIF3C
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Old 25-05-2012, 00:34   #15
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Re: Fuel Funnel Screens Removing Water?

Diesel engines need clean fuel.
I use a Mr funnel at every fill up. When using a pump nozzle I have my doubt how much water it removes, but the first line of filtration does help.
I also always decant some fuel into a glass jar. Look for water and for the clarity of the fuel. If it is no good I stop and buy fuel from somewhere else.
Try not to hold up other users. I choose a quiet time and get my wife to check the glass jar for clarity, then as it settles for water, while I am filling up. Our fuel capacity is 1000 L so not much in percentage terms has gone in if the fuel is bad.

A final tip is be careful where and when you buy. Choose a high volume fuel retailer, not at the beginning of the season, and not when just had a fuel delivery, which stirs up the muck at the bottom of fuel stations tanks.
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