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Old 31-03-2010, 07:14   #1
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Is this Fuel Filter Safe ?

Someone told me that the current fuel filter I had was incorrect. I have a Racor R 12 T filter with the plastic bowl. It is mounted under our settee near the fuel tank. (see pic below). It is used for my diesel engine, Yanmar 3GM30.

They said that the plastic bowl was a fire hazard in its current position and that this model was meant for outboard moters. They also said it would fail a Coast Guard inspection. They recommened I get the Racor 500 Fuel Filter.

So is this correct? or how can I find out. I plan to have the Coast Guard do their complimentary check in a month but I'd like to have things right the first time.

Thanks
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Old 31-03-2010, 07:38   #2
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That is correct. The plastic bowls are only to be used for outboard engines. This is a frequent question. The coast guard says U got to have the metal bowl model for inboard engines. I don't know the reason. I am sure the Brains Trust will tell us both.
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Old 31-03-2010, 07:48   #3
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my guess is that in the event of a fire, the plastic bowl will melt asap adding fuel to the fire and the metal bowl will buy some time, but will eventually melt if the fire is hot enough. I suspect the hoses will last longer than the plastic bowl, but not as long as the metal bowl.
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Old 31-03-2010, 07:52   #4
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The plastic bowl does not pass the 2 1/2 minute burn test, required by ABYC 33.5.6 in the event of fire. The clear bowl is very nice to see the conditon of you fuel. You can relocate it out of engine compartment or maybe insulate it from fire exposure.
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Old 31-03-2010, 08:09   #5
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I believe you can also replace just the bowl, since this filter comes in 2 versions.

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Old 31-03-2010, 15:16   #6
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CFR 33 Section 183 Subpart J applies to Gasoline engines.

either that or most all Racor Filters do not meet the rule?
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Old 31-03-2010, 15:31   #7
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Plastic bowls are perfectly fine for uninspected diesel vessels. Fire shields are required for inspected diesel vessels, but there can be a plastic bowl behind it if I remember correctly. Thats the diff between the Racor 500FE and the 500MA. The MA has a metal fire shield but STILL has a plastic bowl. Fact check people!
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Old 31-03-2010, 15:52   #8
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Plastic bowls are perfectly fine for uninspected diesel vessels. Fire shields are required for inspected diesel vessels, but there can be a plastic bowl behind it if I remember correctly. Thats the diff between the Racor 500FE and the 500MA. The MA has a metal fire shield but STILL has a plastic bowl. Fact check people!
that is correct. The key is the private yacht Vs. commercial
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Old 31-03-2010, 16:06   #9
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go to the store and buy a s.s. mixing bowl ( about $6 - $69 from Racor) and drill a hole in the bottom the size of your drain petcock. get a seal kit from Racor for the drain system (you need 2 gaskets for plug/drain 1 for top 1 for under put it back together and you conform to regs. already checked this out at chandleries( not about cheaper bowls but the refit, and if you go the a chandlery you will see the Racor version hanging on wall just match size for size and you're done
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Old 31-03-2010, 19:54   #10
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Do you drill one or two holes in the bowl?
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Old 01-04-2010, 00:43   #11
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The pictured filter is legal but unsafe for another reason: I had the spin-on element fall off with massive diesel leak. The shaft that it screws onto is a hollow pipe (diesel flows through it) and that broke; part of it was still in the filter element.
So, with those filters, replace at least that part every 10 years (mine failed at 12 years). I switched to the 500 filters instead plus the elements are cheaper.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:39   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveller1 View Post
The plastic bowl does not pass the 2 1/2 minute burn test, required by ABYC 33.5.6 in the event of fire. The clear bowl is very nice to see the conditon of you fuel. You can relocate it out of engine compartment or maybe insulate it from fire exposure.
"ABYC 33.5.6 EXCEPTIONS 1) Portions of fuel distribution systems located outside the engine compartment if a break at any point in this system will result in the discharge of no more than five ounces of fuel...."

ie: the 2 1/2 minute test doesn't really apply to components of a fuel distribution system that are located OUTSIDE the engine compartment. If the above fuel filter is not inside the engine space and plumbed above the top of the tank (so as not to allow the tank to empty if the filter fails), then the pictured filter complies with ABYC standards.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:00   #13
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"ABYC 33.5.6 EXCEPTIONS 1) Portions of fuel distribution systems located outside the engine compartment if a break at any point in this system will result in the discharge of no more than five ounces of fuel...."

ie: the 2 1/2 minute test doesn't really apply to components of a fuel distribution system that are located OUTSIDE the engine compartment. If the above fuel filter is not inside the engine space and plumbed above the top of the tank (so as not to allow the tank to empty if the filter fails), then the pictured filter complies with ABYC standards.
keep in mind. ABYC standards are recommendations, not laws. The USCG and CFR are laws. Most do not apply to private vessels.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:54   #14
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you would only drill the hole for the drain. from pic yours appears off-center so you may have a problem in that sense. and you would have to put in a spacer block to give room on the bulk head side of your filter. can't tell how big your filter is but on my 500 series i bought a 6 inch s.s. bowl. from pic your filter doesn't appear to be in the engine compartment and if that is the case then all this is moot anyway
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
Plastic bowls are perfectly fine for uninspected diesel vessels. Fire shields are required for inspected diesel vessels, but there can be a plastic bowl behind it if I remember correctly. Thats the diff between the Racor 500FE and the 500MA. The MA has a metal fire shield but STILL has a plastic bowl. Fact check people!
Christian nailed it. I used to run a Subchapter T vessel. The CFR's required a metal heat shield which guarded the plastic bowl.

The shield buys you time to pull your engine spaces fixed fire suppression system. I'm sure everyone here has one of those onboard....right? Along with remote cable pulls to close your fuel valves at the fuel tank(s)...right?
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