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Old 03-10-2010, 13:17   #1
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Priming Bulb - Will this Work ?

My fuel system consist of a Racor 900 feeding the main engine a Yanmar 54Hp
A Racor 500 feeding a Nanni 15hp which is a 12v generator.

Both filters have a fuel valve before and after the filter and a bypass valve to allow the main engine to run from the generator fuel supply via the Raycor 500.

I am thinking of adding a hand fuel bulb before the Raycor 500 to allow the priming of the Raycor 500 filter and assist in bleeding the generator (It is mounted above the main engine so it take a long time to bleed the system using the generators lift pump.)

I am hoping the fuel bulb on the generator can also be used to prime the Raycor 900 filter of the main engine by opening the bypass valves and forcing fuel into the Raycor 900 filter from its fuel outlet.
Will this work?
I believe the Raycor filters have a non return valve on the inlet, but to fill the Raycor 900 with fuel I would be forcing fuel back through the outlet.

I could simply add another fuel bulb before the main engines Raycor 900 filter, but this introduces some extra joints in the fuel system to the main engine and if the bulb should fail it disables the main engine and allows fuel to leak in the engine bay creating a possible fire hazard.
The 12v generator is run very little (solar provides power normally) so the fuel shut off valves to the generator are nearly always closed meaning a split in the fuel bulb on the generator circuit would be very unlikely to leak fuel. A split in a fuel bulb disabling the generator would be a minor inconvenience that could be fixed at leisure, a similar problem on the main engine fuel line could create more serious problems as the main engine could be required urgently.

I have never heard of someone priming a filter by forcing fuel back up the outlet or using a single priming bulb to prime 2 separate fuel systems, but it seems to be a good simple safe solution, but before I cut into my fuel hose I was hoping for some second opinions.
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Old 03-10-2010, 14:33   #2
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Keep in mind that there are no fuel bulbs that I know of that currently meet the standards for below deck applications. If you are comfortable with that, and you think your insurance company would also be comfortable, then they can certainly work. Parker/Racor makes and priming device that can be added to the turbine filters which may also be an option. Facet also makes some excellent fuel pumps that can be had for $35.00-$60.00 US.

I bought a spare Purolator/Facet Pro-42S (LINK) for just over $40.00... This is the SAME pump Westerbeke uses on my engine, part # 39275, and they sell for $196.68...
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Old 03-10-2010, 15:42   #3
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Standard fit on small French Peugeot cars, indeed I have one on mine.

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Old 03-10-2010, 15:43   #4
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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I bought a spare Purolator/Facet Pro-42S (LINK) for just over $40.00... This is the SAME pump Westerbeke uses on my engine, part # 39275, and they sell for $196.68...
Isn't that funny? I had a Universal engine (owned by Westerbeke) at one time and needed a new fuel pump. I saw what looked like the exact same pump in an autoparts store for $25 (Universal wanted $200) and called Facet about whether it was the same pump they supplied to Universal. Their response was "Our contract with Universal/Westerbeke forbids us from telling you that it is the exact same pump"!

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Old 03-10-2010, 15:58   #5
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How about an electrical fuel pump in the same place, perhaps with a bypass valve? The system will probably self bleed with that.

You have return lines too, right?

Add a fuel vacuum gauge at your fuel selector valving, too. Very handy diagnostic. Does not need to be at the engine panel, near the valve is fine.
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Old 03-10-2010, 16:23   #6
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Outboard type priming bulb

While there are no outboard priming bulbs that are avaible for diesel, it is a great solution. They pump gobs of fuel and will self prime from the sears tower pratically. I have this setup on my 1GM10. I keep a spare on board in case the materiel gets soft of spongy from diesel fuel. This hasnot happened in 2 years yet. The only problem is that the SSS crimp on the bulb to hose barb may weap diesel. You cannot tighten the clamp without the proper pliers. The solution is to replace this with a reliable hose clamp. This will adequetly seal the joint and not leak. There is nothing like having a fully mechanical priming pump that will quickly prime/bleed fuel
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Old 03-10-2010, 16:44   #7
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Isn't that funny? I had a Universal engine (owned by Westerbeke) at one time and needed a new fuel pump. I saw what looked like the exact same pump in an autoparts store for $25 (Universal wanted $200) and called Facet about whether it was the same pump they supplied to Universal. Their response was "Our contract with Universal/Westerbeke forbids us from telling you that it is the exact same pump"!

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On my engine it was easy. Westerbeke had out their own sticker right over the Purolator sticker.

The blue label, you can see it in the photo, on the pump says Purolator Pro 42S and this was under the Westerbeke sticker..

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Old 03-10-2010, 19:01   #8
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While there are no outboard priming bulbs that are avaible for diesel, it is a great solution. They pump gobs of fuel and will self prime from the sears tower pratically. I have this setup on my 1GM10. I keep a spare on board in case the materiel gets soft of spongy from diesel fuel. This hasnot happened in 2 years yet.
We have Tempo outboard bulbs in our diesel system and they are like new after 12 years. I called Tempo and asked about their use in a diesel system, and they told me that it would be perfectly fine - nothing about the bulb formulation that would be effected by diesel fuel.

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Old 03-10-2010, 19:17   #9
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:29   #10
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We have Tempo outboard bulbs in our diesel system and they are like new after 12 years. I called Tempo and asked about their use in a diesel system, and they told me that it would be perfectly fine - nothing about the bulb formulation that would be effected by diesel fuel.

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It is not about them not working, most of them will work fine. If however you had asked them about safety approvals & fire ratings for below deck use they would have given you a different answer. Hoses & bulbs used in below deck applications should ideally meet and have USCG Type A1-15 rating.

If someone finds a fuel bulb that meets A1-15 please let me know I would certainly use it on some applications. Using an unapproved fuel bulb in a below deck fuel system becomes a liability for any marine installer and is a risk I would not personally take. Again, they will work but lack safety and fire rating approvals to meet current safety standards.

If in a different country it would be a good idea to see what the fuel hose ratings and safety standards are for your area. I can only reference the current US standards.

It might also be worth a quick call to your insurer to see what their take is on the use of non safety rated products in a below deck application are just to be on the safe side. I have seen US surveyors flag them as "unsafe for application" and then insurance companies mandating the removal. Of course many surveyors can be sloppy and completely miss them altogether..

Just some thoughts around potential safety issues other than just "will it work"...
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:45   #11
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I bought mine from JC Whitney for about $10. It was a 6psi diesel rated pump and I installed it between the fuel tank and racor filters. With a couple valves I can refill the racors, change over from a clogged to clean filter, get the air out of the lines to the engine filter and have an emergency low pressure pump in case the engine one goes bad.

The electric pump made it easier and faster to change filters. I don't know how the price of these pumps compare to the manually operated bulb type but I'd highly recommend getting the electric one (and maybe have a bulb type in the kit as well - especially for the dinghy motor).
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:08   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
It is not about them not working, most of them will work fine. If however you had asked them about safety approvals & fire ratings for below deck use they would have given you a different answer. Hoses & bulbs used in below deck applications should ideally meet and have USCG Type A1-15 rating.

If someone finds a fuel bulb that meets A1-15 please let me know I would certainly use it on some applications. Using an unapproved fuel bulb in a below deck fuel system becomes a liability for any marine installer and is a risk I would not personally take. Again, they will work but lack safety and fire rating approvals to meet current safety standards.

If in a different country it would be a good idea to see what the fuel hose ratings and safety standards are for your area. I can only reference the current US standards.

It might also be worth a quick call to your insurer to see what their take is on the use of non safety rated products in a below deck application are just to be on the safe side. I have seen US surveyors flag them as "unsafe for application" and then insurance companies mandating the removal. Of course many surveyors can be sloppy and completely miss them altogether..

Just some thoughts around potential safety issues other than just "will it work"...
The comment I was responding to was "While there are no outboard priming bulbs that are avaible for diesel...", and didn't mean to imply anything about their suitability for below decks installation. I understand that they do not meet specific USCG ratings.

Having said that, our boat came from the factory with these installed in all three engine rooms. The boat has been surveyed by three different surveyors - two of them mine, and they specifically noted the presence of the bulbs and made no comment on suitability. The boat has had four different insurance carriers in its life. The bulbs are listed in the general description of the boat and none of them have had a problem with it.

We also have Racor filter housings without the metal bowl. I just installed B1-rated fuel hose on our generator because no one down here had A1. And there are probably a dozen other regulatory "wrong" things in the boat - risk is relative. Doesn't keep me up at night...

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Old 04-10-2010, 12:13   #13
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Many thanks for all the replies.
I will give the electric pump some thought. It may be a better solution.
No one has commented on a problem priming the filter from the outlet rather than the inlet so I assume this seems feasible.
Thanks again for the posts but any further opinions or thoughts would be welcome
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:45   #14
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... No one has commented on a problem priming the filter from the outlet rather than the inlet so I assume this seems feasible.
Thanks again for the posts but any further opinions or thoughts would be welcome
Oops, I missed that.

The filter being primed should be filled only through the inlet ports ...
Modern Diesel Technology: Diesel Engines - Google Books
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Old 04-10-2010, 13:31   #15
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Oops, I missed that.

The filter being primed should be filled only through the inlet ports ...
Modern Diesel Technology: Diesel Engines - Google Books
Thanks Gord.
That would indicate my idea of reducing the connections and complication in the main engine fuel line will not work.
Does the book explain why?
The only concern I can see is the problem of introducing unfiltered fuel, but in my system the fuel used to prime via the outlet has already passed through the Raycor 500 filter, which would remove this concern.
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