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Old 01-05-2020, 11:45   #31
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

I haven't read all the posts, but my engine came with a priming pump. Part of the engine.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:52   #32
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

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Originally Posted by fred4936 View Post
As I work through everything to get the boat ready, I spotted an outboard-motor style primer bulb in the fuel line between the tank and the Racor filter. Since the boat has a Yanmar diesel, I was surprised. On the surface it looks like a good idea, but it looks more like a leak hazard, although it is dry.I just changed both fuel filters (Racor and Yanmar), and cleaned the tank. Before I put fresh fuel in it, should I get rid of the bulb? Thank you in advance!
I have had a fuel primer bulb on my boat for 11 years without a single problem. It is located immediately below the galley sole between the fuel manifold (two fuel tanks) and the Racor filter. It doesn't require power and is so much easier to use than the fuel pump lever on the engine fuel pump and makes engine bleeding faster and less messy. I have been very happy with the fuel primer bulb.

I had purchased an electric pump for priming purposes but never used it for concern of a runaway fuel issue should a line leak/break, fueling a fire, or electrical failure rendering it useless.

Regarding the possibility of a split bulb, I would think that any significant opening in the bulb would immediately inject air into the fuel line and very shortly give indication of an issue by the engine running poorly if at all. This would be particularly true if the bulb is placed above the tank as mine is which I recommend.

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Old 01-05-2020, 12:10   #33
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

Thank you all! Lots of good points pro and con. It will be useful to have right now since the entire system is empty. Maybe I will use it for now, then remove it, but hang onto it for future use, and replace when suspect. As always, input is much appreciated!
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Old 01-05-2020, 13:23   #34
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

I removed the outboard type bulb from my fuel line when I bought my NEW TO ME 1987 boat... I replaced the Racor with one that had an internal manual pump. After changing the fuel filter, I can fill up the on engine filter with a few pumps and pressurize the system enough to bleed it out through the injectors.

I think the new Racor filter cost about $140. Well worth it.

I did have concerns though that it had a plastic see through bowl.... thought that might be a no no in an engine compartment.

It seems its not allow on INSPECTED VESSELS but ok for Recreational Vessels.
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Old 01-05-2020, 13:41   #35
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

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Originally Posted by doog View Post
...Tons of regulations against great stuff, and there is totally approved material which will melt and soften and fail in many conditions. You dont want the list!
Yes, I do (want the list).
IMO, Most regulations are formulated to prevent things that DON'T always work.
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Old 01-05-2020, 13:56   #36
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
SAE & ISO

The U.S. Coast Guard addresses fuel line requirements in the code of federal regulations (CFR) that applies to recreational boats: CFR Title 33, Type A1-15....
Except that the requirements for recreational vessels in 33 CFR 183.501 et. seq. (where the fuel hose requirements are found) apply only to gasoline powered vessels:

Quote:
33 CFR 183.501 - Applicability.
183.501 Applicability.
(a) This subpart applies to all boats that have gasoline engines, except outboard engines, for electrical generation, mechanical power, or propulsion.
ABYC certainly has a different stance. Fuel hose ratings with regard to flammability don't care much about which fuel, with regard to permeation the specifications are all written around gasoline and really don't speak much to diesel.
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Old 01-05-2020, 13:56   #37
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

The bulbs work great. But I found some get soft and spongy. So I'm not sure which ones are ok. I had one that seemed to stay fine. Another that didn't.
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Old 01-05-2020, 14:50   #38
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

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Originally Posted by Zoidislander View Post
The split bulb in the photo looks exactly like the one I purchased from Harbor Freight. I was attempting to make a device to transfer small amounts of fuel. Worked great for a while, and then it didn't. The bulb body split, the internal check ball dissolved, and the inside surface was sticky. And yes it was advertised for fuel (gasoline, and diesel use) on the actual product packaging. I didn't return it for credit, as it would have meant a two hour drive each way. I however reported the incident by telephone to the store. It was replaced by a similar item from Sierra, which is still working.
There is your answer. Harbor Freight sells the cheapest products which almost by definition means the lowest quality.

Why condemn all priming bulbs because of one cheap brand? Would you condemn Mercedes Benz because Lada is also a car?
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Old 01-05-2020, 14:56   #39
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
That would be an extremely rare occurrence, odds of that happening are vanishingly small, happening twice?
To illustrate it, all automobiles that I know of are fuel injected, at lest the ones made in the last 30 or more years anyway, and as such that all have electric fuel pumps, vast majority of these pumps are actually located in the fuel tank.
I have never heard of a failure, which almost certainly would be an explosion and almost instantaneous SERIOUS fire
i would think that the atmosphere inside the fuel tank would be too rich to support combustion so actually quite a safe location i think...o'wise completely agree with you re electric fuel pumps (which we hv on our yanmars)

cheers,
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Old 01-05-2020, 14:57   #40
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

It is not gasoline specific, Thai is Diesel, In particularly the hose section has a link to it
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/46/182.455
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Old 01-05-2020, 15:00   #41
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

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Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
i would think that the atmosphere inside the fuel tank would be too rich to support combustion so actually quite a safe location i think...o'wise completely agree with you re electric fuel pumps (which we hv on our yanmars)

cheers,
It would almost always be to rich to support combustion.
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Old 01-05-2020, 15:11   #42
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
It is not gasoline specific, Thai is Diesel, In particularly the hose section has a link to it
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/46/182.455
46 CFR 182.455 is part of Subchapter T which applies to small passenger vessels (< 100 Tons) i.e. commercial vessels, not recreational vessels.

Quote:
175.110 General applicability.
(a) Except as in paragraph (b) of this section, this subchapter applies to each vessel of less than 100 gross tons that carries 150 or less passengers, or has overnight accommodations for 49 or less passengers, and that -

(1) Carries more than six passengers, including at least one for hire;

(2) Is chartered with a crew provided or specified by the owner or the owner's representative and is carrying more than six passengers;

(3) Is chartered with no crew provided or specified by the owner or the owner's representative and is carrying more than 12 passengers; or

(4) If a submersible vessel, carries at least one passenger for hire; or

(5) Is a ferry carrying more than six passengers.
Doesn't apply to my sailboat, your sailboat, or John Doe's powerboat unless those are inspected, commercial vessels.

In fact, if you follow your link to the regulatory end, normal USCG A1/A1-15 hose is only allowed in 30" maximum sections, any remaining hose must be wire-reinforced.

Quote:
(3) Flexible nonmetallic hose may be used in lube oil, fuel oil and fluid power systems, subject to the following requirements:

(i) Flexible hose may only be used at a pressure not to exceed the manufacturer's rating and must have a high resistance to saltwater, petroleum oils, and vibration;

(ii) Flexible hose runs must be visible, easily accessible, protected from mechanical damage, and must not penetrate watertight decks or bulkheads;

(iii) Flexible hose must be fabricated with an inner tube and a cover of synthetic rubber or other suitable material reinforced with wire braid;

(iv) Flexible hose used for alcohol-gasoline blend fuels must meet the permeability requirements specified in 33 CFR part 183, subpart J; and

(v) For the purpose of flexibility only, flexible hose installed in lengths of not more than 760 millimeters (30 inches) and subject to pressures of not more than 35 kPa (5 psig), may meet the following requirements:

(A) Suitable compression type connection fittings may be accepted;

(B) Flexible hose designed for use with hose clamps may be installed with two clamps, at both ends of the hose, which:

(1) Do not rely on the spring tension of the clamp for compressive force; and

(2) Are installed beyond the bead or flare or over the serrations of the mating spud, pipe, or hose fitting; and

(C) USCG Type A1, A2, B1, or B2 flexible hose may be accepted in accordance with 33 CFR part 183, subpart J.
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Old 01-05-2020, 15:15   #43
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

I've installed them on several boats but always with two three way valves to provide a bypass around the bulb and take it out of the loop unless being used.
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Old 01-05-2020, 18:02   #44
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

From a Regulatory perspective, I have to agree with Dsanduril.

Sorry, but the specs that GordMay and a64pilot have cited do not apply to Diesel systems in a recreational boat.

Having a bulb in your fuel line does NOT violate any laws... HOWEVER, The law doesn't matter to insurance companies who often require a survey, which typically is done to meet ABYC standards. I don't have a membership, so I can't be sure, But I'd guess the bulb does violate some ABYC requirement.

I see very little risk in having a bulb in your line provided it is above the tank level. Even if it does split, it will not cause much of a leak... Your insurance company may have issues with it though.
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Old 01-05-2020, 19:17   #45
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Re: Is a fuel primer bulb legit?

Quote:
I see very little risk in having a bulb in your line provided it is above the tank level. Even if it does split, it will not cause much of a leak...
Yep, that's the way I see it too. In our boat, the bulb is higher than the fuel tanks, lower than the lift pump on the engine and on the suction side of the pump. In the unlikely event of a split, only the fuel in the hose going from the bulb to the lift pump, (5/16 " diameter x ~18 " long) would leak out. If the engine was running, air would be sucked into the fuel stream and obvious running issues would emerge, alerting us to a problem.

Not totally risk free, but considering the many years of split-free service, I'm not too worried.

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