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Old 19-01-2020, 06:30   #1
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Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

First, does anyone know of an electric fuel pump designed to pull fuel uphill about 4 feet? That can pull fuel up through an unprimed line like a water pump does? If so, the next part is unnecessary since I already have the fuel system setup for that.




If there is no pull type fuel pump and there is only the push kind, I have a mess to figure out.


I have 3x 50 gallon below decks gasoline tanks. The fuel level in these tanks is about 4 ft below the "pump/fuel fitting/filtering or fuel management compartment" which is a box on deck with overboard ventilation/discharge in the event of a fuel emergency. Picture it like a propane locker. Holes to drain any malfunction away from the boat.

The locker on deck contains all fuel hose junctions/fittings. It contains a Parker fuel/water separator and filter. It contains a manifold of ball valves to select which of the 3 tanks supplies the fuel filter. After the manifold is the fuel filter. After the fuel filter is the standard automotive electric push fuel pump. It kind of works, but I'd like it to work a lot better. Loses prime badly.

On the other side of the fuel pump are direct fuel lines to both outboards and an outside generator. I should also mention the fuel lines from the tanks to the manifold are all direct. There are no fittings or ways for any fuel lines to leak except inside the "fuel management" compartment on deck and vented overboard.

Sticking to a "push only" fuel pump, I have to get 3 of them and introduce dangerous connections down in the hull as far as I can tell because they are supposed to push fuel from below the tank level. I want to keep all connections in the fuel management box for safety, which is 4ft above the tanks.

How can I achieve this?
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Old 19-01-2020, 06:41   #2
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

I've got a small 12v displacement fuel pump mounted beside my engine, in case the mechanical pump on the engine fails. I think it came from an auto parts store, and was cheap. It's generic. Try your friendly local auto parts store and see if they can help you.

For larger fuel transfer (200 gallon reserves into 300 gallon mains) I use an ordinary Harbor Freight pump and a filter mounted on a board. Note I am talking about diesel, I wouldn't use the second pump with gasoline.
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Old 19-01-2020, 06:47   #3
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

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I've got a small 12v displacement fuel pump mounted beside my engine, in case the mechanical pump on the engine fails. I think it came from an auto parts store, and was cheap. It's generic. Try your friendly local auto parts store and see if they can help you.

For larger fuel transfer (200 gallon reserves into 300 gallon mains) I use an ordinary Harbor Freight pump and a filter mounted on a board. Note I am talking about diesel, I wouldn't use the second pump with gasoline.
So I need a diaphragm pump, right? Is that what a displacement pump is?

Currently using one of these but what's inside it is a mystery.


https://m.autozone.com/fuel-systems/...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 19-01-2020, 07:00   #4
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

Displacement pumps have pistons, diaphrams, or neoprene impellers that dispace air or fuel as they move, therefore being able to lift fuel by pumping air and self prime (assuming they don't overheat on air before hitting fuel) and push.

Non-displacement pumps are usually centrifugal "fans" which have to be immersed in the fluid to prime, and will not lift to prime. The usual example of a centrifugal pump is a bilge pump, mounted in the water. Centrifugal pumps don't burn out if left running with no fluid, neither do diaphram pumps, but piston and impeller pumps do.
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Old 19-01-2020, 07:06   #5
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

The pump in your picture is virtually identical to mine. Given that it is not designed to be immersed, I think it is a displacement pump of some sort. Try running a tube from it's intake down into a cup of fuel and see if it primes and squirts. Then you'll be sure that it is displacement. I would say that it is, but there's a tiny nagging doubt in my mind because mine is below the level of my fuel. It's probably a diaphram pump.
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Old 19-01-2020, 07:27   #6
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

In cars they have submerged fuel pumps. I think they must exist for petrol as well. Does this solve your safety concers?
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Old 19-01-2020, 07:43   #7
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

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In cars they have submerged fuel pumps. I think they must exist for petrol as well. Does this solve your safety concers?
No, that doesn’t work at all, unfortunately. I have three different tanks already installed and they are meeting all standards.

Can’t cut them open or they fail to meet standards. They have pickups already built in. They are poly tanks.
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Old 19-01-2020, 08:14   #8
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

My new diesel tanks are 34” deep at the pickup end. They’re located down in a deep bilge with the top about 6” below the cabin sole. In the engine room, I have a small generic fuel pump sold in auto parts stores for about $50 here in Panama. It’s an electric pump which appears to have a small reciprocating piston driven by a magnetic coil. It doesn’t move a lot of fuel, perhaps a liter/minute, but it has no trouble pulling up fuel from the bottom of the tank.
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Old 19-01-2020, 08:33   #9
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

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My new diesel tanks are 34” deep at the pickup end. They’re located down in a deep bilge with the top about 6” below the cabin sole. In the engine room, I have a small generic fuel pump sold in auto parts stores for about $50 here in Panama. It’s an electric pump which appears to have a small reciprocating piston driven by a magnetic coil. It doesn’t move a lot of fuel, perhaps a liter/minute, but it has no trouble pulling up fuel from the bottom of the tank.

Hmmm. Maybe this pump is starting to go. They sure don't last long.

I've already went through a couple of them.

I'll disconnect, test on some water to see if it was bad and put a spare in. I carry a spare of these because they are terribly unreliable and just quit risking the boat.

Ideally, I should probably put 2 of them inline. That way if one fails, the other can be brought online quickly.

I wish there was a more reliable pump.

Also, I wish my generator had a diaphragm fuel pump on it and wish the outboards could pull this fuel themselves too.

It's been annoying since day 1
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Old 19-01-2020, 09:29   #10
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

Like you I found the small impulse "cube" pumps convenient, but short lived. Keeping a stash of them was needed to keep running.

I (eventually) found these pumps by Facet to be much more reliable. Facet Cylindrical Fuel pump.

Facet-Purolator make a wide range of models, I'll bet you can find one that works for you.
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Old 19-01-2020, 09:46   #11
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

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Like you I found the small impulse "cube" pumps convenient, but short lived. Keeping a stash of them was needed to keep running.

I (eventually) found these pumps by Facet to be much more reliable. Facet Cylindrical Fuel pump.

Facet-Purolator make a wide range of models, I'll bet you can find one that works for you.
Indeed, we use a Facet to run the fuel tank filtration, all be it diesel but I don't think that matters. Never had a problem priming the system.

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Old 19-01-2020, 10:13   #12
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

I am using a cheap Facet pump I found on EB from a Spanish supplier. Not sure it will pull from several feet, mine is installed at tank level.
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Old 19-01-2020, 10:13   #13
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

The Facet cylindrical (that's the shape, not the means of operation) pumps are a good generic electrical pump if you need a permanent solution rather than a backup. I use one on my M25 diesel genset.
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Old 19-01-2020, 10:20   #14
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

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So I need a diaphragm pump, right? Is that what a displacement pump is?

Currently using one of these but what's inside it is a mystery.


https://m.autozone.com/fuel-systems/...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
I use one of these pumps and it pulls diesel fine every time. I has never failed to self prime but I only have lift diesel about a foot and a half. Not sure of its duty cycle life expectancy given its reasonable price.
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Old 19-01-2020, 10:40   #15
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Re: Proper Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Gasoline/Petrol

great info Captains
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