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Old 10-22-2014, 10:37 AM   #21
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Looking at my set-up a believe Capt Bill is correct.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:24 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
For some reason, people on boat forums this morning seem to be in a pretty crappy mood.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:34 AM   #23
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As capt Bill points out a vacuum gauge would need to be between the filter and the lift pump to measure the flow resistance of the filter ... or past the filter element .. like the T handle.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:41 PM   #24
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Good info folks and thank you for the responses, crumpy mood or not...
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Old 10-22-2014, 07:01 PM   #25
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One more comment, the fuel fixer vacuum indicators are viewable from any side, so you don't have to worry about getting a gage lined up facing the proper way. It may not matter in your installation but it did in mine.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:57 PM   #26
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I know the company owner and I have one of these on my generator Racor. I like it a lot.

I'm not sure if one point about them has been made - and it's a major point. When it records suction, it keeps the level reading at that largest suction value until the reset button is pressed. That's a really nice feature especially for a generator. It allows me to start up the generator and look at the gauge the next day and see how much suction it generated during the last run. This is much different from the normal Racor "live" gauges that show the instantaneous suction. Turn off the engine and the gauges return to 0 never showing that the filter might be clogging up.

The Fuel-Fixer products are well made. I think they can easily pay for themselves in a couple of years. I never replace Racor filter elements on a schedule any longer. I replace them when the suction indication tells you to replace them. In the last year, that was an 18 month interval.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:45 AM   #27
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What are the advantages of a Fuel Fixer over a drag pointer gauge? Can they be adjusted for different manufacturer specs?

Seems to me that if one is doing regular engine room checks, even a drag pointer gauge is more of a "nice to have" item vs a non-drag pointer gauge.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:00 AM   #28
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I have to agree with George. To me the drag down pointer style of gauge makes the most sense. Between the price and being very easy to read/use you really can't beat them.

And if you get one with the right threads you can replace the gauge that comes on the dual RACOR filter body.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:44 AM   #29
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To date, my Racor vacuum gauges have never indicated a "fouled" filter. The niceties of civilized fuel depots I guess. I have no on board fuel polisher but do enjoy fuel stops where spin on filters are located at the dock tanks/pumps. Lots of on board fuel capacity on the DeFever allows some discretion on where I fuel up.

I change the Racor 900s every year or at 1500 gallons per engine dependent upon the cruising schedule. They generally come out pretty clean looking. The on engines get changed every other Racor change.

This discussion seems to be more related to the PITA Racor filter changes than gauge readings. If and when the Racors on my vessel ever start to load up where changeout is required because gauge readings are creeping up, it is time to join the 21st let alone 20th century and go with a 3 stage spin on setup like the big boys do. Then the filter changes become quick and easy with my absorbent towel usage dropping way off.

As George mentioned, access to and frequent ER checks allow one to look at the gauges. When switching tanks on the go I watch the vacuum gauges for a minute or so to be sure I didn't close the wrong valves.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:37 AM   #30
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Any sort of vacuum indicator would be useless unless it retains the highest vacuum recorded until reset. A gauge is nice but numbers mean little. The one with the green, yellow and red seems to work fine for me. As pointed out above, there's no need now to throw away good filters, just look at your gauge. If it's in the yellow it would be a good time to replace them. Or you could wait until your engine starves for fuel, check the gauge and write down the reading. That would be "calibrating" them for your boat.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:01 AM   #31
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The gauges on my boat had yellow and red zones, as well as numbers. You want to know the max reading? Go look when the engines are at their highest load. Having the max reading well after the fact doesn't do you much good if you are quickly headed to a clogged filter underway. Also, my engines were set up to run with a little more vacuum since the fuel tanks were molded into the bottom of the hull, so there was about 3 feet of lift. 1 foot of lift equals .89"hg. So the yellow/red really didn't mean a lot other than a quick visual.

One of my important specs when selecting the boat was high ease of access to the engines and generator, my being big and clumsy. A full size door in each ER (the Hatteras has split ERs) opened and the filters an gauges were right there by the door. The generator was in a separate utility room under the galley, and a quick opening of the hatch gave a quick look at that.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:18 PM   #32
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I have had both types, remote and on the filter. My only objection to the T handle gauges are that to get an accurate reading the engines have to be ginnin' up to a pretty good rpm when you look at it. In my case that meant crawling forward in the engine room with a screaming Detroit Diesel on each side of me. I didn't like doing that so I took them off an sold them.

Now I have remote gauges mounted in the salon and a wife that keeps an eye on them as we travel. I also have two filters per engine so I can switch on the run.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:25 PM   #33
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I have had both types, remote and on the filter. My only objection to the T handle gauges are that to get an accurate reading the engines have to be ginnin' up to a pretty good rpm when you look at it. .................
Obviously you didn't have the type that holds the highest reading since being reset. I can open the hatch with the engine off and see how high the vacuum has gotten since I pushed the reset button months ago. No need to be near a running engine.
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Old 10-23-2014, 04:02 PM   #34
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No need to be near a running engine.
Until it stops running due to a suddenly rapidly clogging filter....
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:26 PM   #35
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Until it stops running due to a suddenly rapidly clogging filter....
I don't think you understand what I posted. Run the boat, at WOT if you want, then shut down the engine and check the indicator. You will see the maximum restriction and can then decide if the filter needs to be changed.

No matter what system you have or don't have there's no guarantee against a sudden filter clogging due to a load of contaminated fuel or even some deposits breaking loose from the tank walls or bottom.

The system that came on my boat is nice in that there's a lever to switch between two filters so you can have an unused one in reserve.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:55 PM   #36
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No matter what system you have or don't have there's no guarantee against a sudden filter clogging due to a load of contaminated fuel or even some deposits breaking loose from the tank walls or bottom.
... especially if you don't like to do regular ER checks while underway....or don't have remote mounted gauges....
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:30 AM   #37
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We simply installed the filters outside the ER.

No hazards crawling next to an operating engine ,to look at a dial, and easy and neat to throw the valve to operate off the second bank and change out the first filter .

I believe both fuel filters and batt sets do not belong inside the Engine Room.
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:11 AM   #38
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We simply installed the filters outside the ER.

No hazards crawling next to an operating engine ,to look at a dial, and easy and neat to throw the valve to operate off the second bank and change out the first filter .

I believe both fuel filters and batt sets do not belong inside the Engine Room.
We all look at things from our own perspective. My boat is a bit small to have an "engine room" so everything is in the same space. What works for your boat won't work for mine.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:22 AM   #39
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I believe both fuel filters and batt sets do not belong inside the Engine Room.
I'll bite, why not?
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:31 AM   #40
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I'll bite, why not?
Batteries because of the heat. Filters, I can't see much advantage. Unless they are in a space that is out of the engine room but isolated from the rest of the interior of the vessel.
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