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Old 23-06-2013, 08:44   #76
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
If I were you, I would call in professional fuel polishers/tank cleaners. 1.5" is pretty tough -- they use bigger hoses than that. But I don't know why you wouldn't just cut a bigger hole. I don't think it's that hard.
I think what I should do is just take out the fuel level sender and have a peek; If all is well, well then just put it back. If I can't see to the bottom well then I suppose I'll have to consider making a bigger hole. But here are various reasons why I wouldn't like to do that:
1)Cutting (sawing and drilling) would introduce metal chips and crap into the tank. I suppose I might be able to get most of them out, but what if I can't?
2) Never done this before so don't feel so confident about it. But I suppose empty the tank, fill up with water, drill & cut (is a regular home DIU jigsaw ok for the job?), clean the mess? And its a learning curve? Something along those lines?
3) Its very difficult to find anything boat related here in Penang, Malaysia, just about everything should be ordered from abroad.

There are no professionals here although there are many who say they can do just about anything. Mostly the "professionals" here just cause more damage than what they repair. Thats why its best to do just about everything yourself.
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:47   #77
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Did not review the whole thread but you mention a 1989 engine so assume your boat is a 1989. I have a 1984 boat and from what I found I highly recommend a careful inspection of the inside of the tank. Take a look at these photos I took of a piece I cut out of the bottom of my tank.

The inside of a fuel tank
Holy crap!
Makes me wonder if I should just adhere to the "out of sight, out of mind" - attitude here...
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Old 23-06-2013, 09:00   #78
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
1. Professional fuel polishing. This uses a high capacity pump to stir up the tank debris. The fuel is filtered over an hour or so.

2. As above but DIY. The components pump and filter are quite simple.
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Originally Posted by Delfin View Post
I religiously use our polishing system on each of Delfin's 5 bulk storage tanks when there is only 20 or so gallons of a few hundred left, and then when in a seaway. By circulating 3 gallons a minute through the tank, I presume I'm picking up whatever is there to pick up. The filters stay remarkably clean, so I guess it's working. As remarked above, the key to effective polishing is pumping volume.
I will get a larger Racor double unit soon (I hope within the next two weeks) and install it as my primary, and I have this plan to use the old filters (2 x CAV296 filter/separator and my old Jabsco 12V diesel transfer pump and first make a portable fuel polishing system and then maybe later make a permanent installation.
What would you guys think was the ideal flow rate of the pump for the job? I think if too big it might foam the diesel, if too small not enough cleaning action. The tanks are 170L and 140L (about 45G & 40G).
Also anyone used a 240V/110V pump? they might be a lot cheaper.
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Old 23-06-2013, 09:23   #79
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
I will get a larger Racor double unit soon (I hope within the next two weeks) and install it as my primary, and I have this plan to use the old filters (2 x CAV296 filter/separator and my old Jabsco 12V diesel transfer pump and first make a portable fuel polishing system and then maybe later make a permanent installation.
What would you guys think was the ideal flow rate of the pump for the job? I think if too big it might foam the diesel, if too small not enough cleaning action. The tanks are 170L and 140L (about 45G & 40G).
Also anyone used a 240V/110V pump? they might be a lot cheaper.
I don't think the pump capacity is too critical, small pumps use less power and are quieter so can be run longer.

A small pump tends to give slightly better water separation. A larger pump is better at stirring he tank contents up, but unless you go very large I don't think there is much effect. Boat motion in a seaway stirs the tank up much better.

My pump is only small (about 50l an hour) but I am at a very rolly anchorage at the moment so its been on 24 hours a day for most of the last week. That is about 8000l of fuel that has passed through the filter, this week alone.

On average the polishing is running 8 hours or so a day, but I run it longer whenever I feel the tank contents are getting stirred up, or just when I have excess solar power.

Note this is for a permanent polishing system. If you want to use a temporary system, once a year, while at dock you need a large capacity pump to agitate the tank with a mobile pickup that can moved around to pick up debris. In this case the pump and filter need to be high capacity to ensure the fuel contents are filtered many times in the short time it will be operated.
This sort of system of system is usually a professional service, but you can make your own.
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Old 23-06-2013, 09:39   #80
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

If you log on to ASAP supplies.com and go to the fuel section you can buy a 'spin on' conversion to replace the old 'sandwich' CAV type and fit a push button pump to the inlet side of the filter head, it's very cheap, effective and fits all Perkins engines fuel systems. For a primary filter go to a truck/agricultural store and buy one with a water alarm, mine is a Caterpillar and the system's worked perfectly for years, you simply undo 2 bolts,2 pipes to fit the unit. Racor systems are very expensive and frankly not worth the money, you can easily make a double head with changeover valves if you want to spend your money but you would be better employed starting with the cause, not the effect, so clean your tanks out first and foremost and amazingly your problem will go away.
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Old 23-06-2013, 10:08   #81
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
Holy crap!
Makes me wonder if I should just adhere to the "out of sight, out of mind" - attitude here...
Well I was going with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude and that kind of worked for a while.

But, when I first bought the boat the bilge was a horror. The PO had an engine oil leak (that he didn't even know about) and the bilge was filled with oil, the old holding "tanks" (25 year old bladders" smelled like a sewer and there was mold and mildew everywhere. So a little diesel odor wasn't noticeable (the smell was so bad that a little diesel might have been an improvement )

Then I cleaned the bilge and cleaned the crude out of the bottom of the fuel tanks (through the 1 1/2" sender hole ). Only then did I find a spot damp with diesel. Thought it was a spill from cleaning the tanks so wiped the spot but next day it was back. That's when I pulled the tanks and cut out the bottom and found what I posted on the other thread. Since I didn't see any diesel in the bilge before I'm 99% sure that cleaning the caked on crud actually opened the tiny pinhole leaks and started the leak. Of course it would have started on its own sooner or later and certainly a worse leak and at the most inopportune time and place.

Fortunately pulling the tanks on my boat was very easy and they actually fit through the companionway so the repair was relatively painless. Plus it let me have them steam cleaned while they were out.

What I did to clean the tanks through the sender hole was to stick the nozzle of my pressure washer in the tank (obviously drained and dried them first). The worst places in the tanks were in the lowest spots which were almost directly under the hole so I felt pretty good about the cleaning results from that technique (until the leak )

Regarding the idea to cut a larger inspection hole in the tank, it wouldn't be as bad as you think. Yes you would get filings in the tank but if the tank is totally drained first they will pretty much stay where they fall under the hole you cut so easy to clean out. If you miss any they will be caught by your filters anyway so no worries about killing the engine (easy for me to say since it wouldn't be my engine ).

Also not difficult to make a round cover and gasket to cover the hole. I think you can even buy them ready made. If you have any doubts about your tanks it's worth doing.
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Old 23-06-2013, 10:09   #82
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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Originally Posted by Irish rambler View Post
If you log on to ASAP supplies.com and go to the fuel section you can buy a 'spin on' conversion to replace the old 'sandwich' CAV type and fit a push button pump to the inlet side of the filter head, it's very cheap, effective and fits all Perkins engines fuel systems. For a primary filter go to a truck/agricultural store and buy one with a water alarm, mine is a Caterpillar and the system's worked perfectly for years, you simply undo 2 bolts,2 pipes to fit the unit. Racor systems are very expensive and frankly not worth the money, you can easily make a double head with changeover valves if you want to spend your money but you would be better employed starting with the cause, not the effect, so clean your tanks out first and foremost and amazingly your problem will go away.
Thanks for the tips Irish rambler!
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Old 23-06-2013, 10:38   #83
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

I apologize if I seemed abrupt Erik but so many people waste so much time fannying around instead of going straight to the cause of the problem and eliminating it.
When I refitted my boat I had the same problem with a 'wet' patch. Being the sort of guy I am I had to remove the whole cockpit floor and move the engine back to get my tank out. I built a new larger one and made the floor slope in a gentle Vee to a sump and drain valve. Now all I have to do is crack the valve every 2 months or so to remove any water and sediment.
Fortunately I didn't have to suffer the crap you had with the waste tanks. Yugh ! personally I'd have the tanks out and plumb the toilets for sea and 'bucket n chuck it' if caught out in the night in a marina.
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Old 23-06-2013, 11:11   #84
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
I will get a larger Racor double unit soon (I hope within the next two weeks) and install it as my primary, and I have this plan to use the old filters (2 x CAV296 filter/separator and my old Jabsco 12V diesel transfer pump and first make a portable fuel polishing system and then maybe later make a permanent installation.
What would you guys think was the ideal flow rate of the pump for the job? I think if too big it might foam the diesel, if too small not enough cleaning action. The tanks are 170L and 140L (about 45G & 40G).
Also anyone used a 240V/110V pump? they might be a lot cheaper.
If you can manage the 120 vac, the ideal pump/motor combination is a 1/4 or 1/3 hp electric motor and carbonator pump. The Grainger part numbers are listed on Delfin's web site below. This setup is extremely quiet and you match the carbonator pump to the max flow rate of your filter. For a Racor 1000, that is 3 gpm, which is no problem. We polish when underway, so 120 vac through the inverter is always available. I have sump drains, but there is never anything to drain because the system effectively removes all water and precipitates before they can collect.

You'll find the Jabsco pump will be extremely noisy, and notwithstanding that it may be rated for continuous duty, it isn't. They burn out. As the two I had did so (thankfully), I replaced them with the pumps and motors described above and they system is now perfect, at least for me. I know one other party who built a system based on these components and he feels the same way and is getting the same results.

Now, having said all that, because your tankage is quite small (Delfin carries 2400 gallons), other advice on this thread may be more appropriate.
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Old 24-06-2013, 00:58   #85
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Not sure this warrants a new thread - so will add here. Been watching forum advice on Fuel Polishing.
Planning to build my own parallel circuit.
I dont have any additional feeds to use from fuel tank and will not be adding any. Already have a Separ filter in main fuel line.

Polisher - Consists of - Tee'd spur draw from main engine feed line (near tank), Solenoid 2 way valve (opens spur when pump switched on) + 12v fuel pump (max 6PSI), into Racor filter unit & return into Tee'd engine fuel return line. Engine is a Yanmar 4JH4-TE.

Have couple of Noob questions - appreciate advice .. clarity..
1. Currently, the Yanmar uses only the standard mechanical fuel pump to draw fuel from tank. Are there any consequences to adding an additional 12v pump to this line, which I guess, would increase pressure of fuel reaching the Yanmar pump ? Can the Yanmar mech pump deal with a positive pressure on the input?

2. if I run the polishing circuit whilst the engine is running - with the 12v pump in the spur - I am assuming I could starve the engine of fuel (8mm fuel line) - hence question on placing 12v pump in main line.

3. If I am pumping the polished fuel back into the existing engine fuel return line - is that OK ? Is there a problem of this line being under pressure and fuel being pushed back up towards the engine and into wherever the excess fuel comes from ?

hope thats clear and thanks for any friendly advice or comments ...
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Old 24-06-2013, 01:37   #86
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

Sorry guys I don't get this at all. This fuel polishing business is all smoke and mirrors. Clean out your fuel tanks ! !and you won't need any other fuel polishing You already have a polishing system, when you run your engine excess filtered fuel is returned to the tank why do you need all the cost/hassle and mental masturbation of duplicating it.
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Old 24-06-2013, 07:34   #87
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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Originally Posted by Irish rambler View Post
Sorry guys I don't get this at all. This fuel polishing business is all smoke and mirrors. Clean out your fuel tanks ! !and you won't need any other fuel polishing You already have a polishing system, when you run your engine excess filtered fuel is returned to the tank why do you need all the cost/hassle and mental masturbation of duplicating it.
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Apologies for seeming abrupt but common sense must prevail. Fix the cause and the problem will disappear.
Just a short answer to your reply;

Older boats that have been in service a long time tend to collect debris and moisture, especially power boats. And as well, the tanks are either hard to access or are not removable w/o major construction work.

So, in these cases it makes sense to over filter the tanks to make sure one gets good fuel.
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Old 24-06-2013, 07:41   #88
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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Originally Posted by Irish rambler View Post
Sorry guys I don't get this at all. This fuel polishing business is all smoke and mirrors. Clean out your fuel tanks ! !and you won't need any other fuel polishing You already have a polishing system, when you run your engine excess filtered fuel is returned to the tank why do you need all the cost/hassle and mental masturbation of duplicating it.
K.I.S.S
Apologies for seeming abrupt but common sense must prevail. Fix the cause and the problem will disappear.
Kind of like why bother to housebreak the dog since you can always clean the carpet?
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Old 24-06-2013, 09:57   #89
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

delmarrey, I agree with you but a little ingenuity doesn't mean the tanks have to come out. Mine took a lot of work, but a damn sight less than breaking down 50 miles offshore in the middle of the Irish sea. If the tanks are hard to reach, careen the boat so that the access for the float sender is on the low side, connect a compressor hose to a lance and insert it in the hole and move it around to agitate any crud and get it in suspension, suck out the dirty fuel, put in 5 gallons of paraffin and repeat if necessary.
Not to be smart but I've done several big barges and motor boats and none have had problems afterwards. A little time saves a lot of hassle.
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Old 24-06-2013, 10:50   #90
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Re: Primary Diesel Filter/Water Separator Recommendation

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delmarrey, I agree with you but a little ingenuity doesn't mean the tanks have to come out. Mine took a lot of work, but a damn sight less than breaking down 50 miles offshore in the middle of the Irish sea. If the tanks are hard to reach, careen the boat so that the access for the float sender is on the low side, connect a compressor hose to a lance and insert it in the hole and move it around to agitate any crud and get it in suspension, suck out the dirty fuel, put in 5 gallons of paraffin and repeat if necessary.
Not to be smart but I've done several big barges and motor boats and none have had problems afterwards. A little time saves a lot of hassle.
Or, install a polishing system and don't bother. KISS.
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