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Old 11-20-2015, 07:14 AM   #21
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These can be at the helm , and assist in diagnosing fuel feed problems , not just the fuel filter condition.

Cost a bit more tho,,,

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Old 11-20-2015, 08:48 AM   #22
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Oooh, shiny! While we're in this part of the engine room, how many of you have it set up so you can circulate fuel out of various tanks through the filters? IE a permanent scrubbing system with it's own circulation pump, ie you can do this at the dock?
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:36 AM   #23
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The gauge is really useless at idle so unless you climb down to check it when running under a load the gauge will read low even when the primary is nearly clogged. Diesels use more fuel under a load then at the same RPM in natural (the governor does this to maintain RPM) so it is best to be able to view the gauge under normal operating conditions and note changes over time.

Rough seas mixing up the tank gunk, bad load of fuel, faulty primary fuel filter will all cause a rapid fuel starvation situation from a clogged filter (I have experienced all three) Murphy will see to it that this happens at a most inopportune time. On a non-inspected boat the line from the T to the gauge can be a 1/4" vacuum hose and can easily be snaked up to a visible location near the helm.

Just another tool in the tool box, I like mine and it works well, view-able at the helm and was not expensive.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:30 AM   #24
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question: fuel filter vacuum gauge

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Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
IMO they are a waste of money for a low fuel flow engine like a Lehman. You rarely see any significant vacuum reading until the filter element is completely clogged up. Even then you may not see that much vacuum on the gauge.
Yes. I never see my gauge move, even under load at cruising speed.

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Old 11-20-2015, 11:46 AM   #25
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Yes. I never see my gauge move, even under load at cruising speed.
What kind of engine do you have, and what is your cruising rpm?
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:50 AM   #26
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I have Racor mounted gages on both filters. They work fine. I usually see 0 on the large 30 micron unit, and 1-2 on the smaller 10 micron unit with new elements.
I'm running 10 micron on primarys and 2 micron on secondarys. Trying to play catch up with years of crud.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:50 AM   #27
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We have them on our polisher, main and genset filters. I never really see the gauge move on the genset filters which are higher micron filters. For the polisher and the main we use 2 micron filters and the gauges surely indicate the condition of the element inside. It's nice looking at them during routine engine checks and I make it a habit to check the vacuum level on the main filters before coming thru an inlet if we've been out.

I would suspect those that don't see the gauge move much are using larger micron filters just based on our experience.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:58 AM   #28
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The gauge is really useless at idle so unless you climb down to check it when running under a load . . . so it is best to be able to view the gauge under normal operating conditions and note changes over time.
That is where the drag needle comes in -- it stay set (until manually reset) at the highest reading the indicator needle reached. Very handy!
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:07 PM   #29
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Oooh, shiny! While we're in this part of the engine room, how many of you have it set up so you can circulate fuel out of various tanks through the filters? IE a permanent scrubbing system with it's own circulation pump, ie you can do this at the dock?
I built mine so I CAN do that by adding a piece of hose and a fitting, but I found that is not necessary with the system I installed.

Quote:
I'm running 10 micron on primarys and 2 micron on secondarys. Trying to play catch up with years of crud
I hear ya....been there also.
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:16 PM   #30
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A good read with plenty of great tips is here....


Marine Fuel Filtration - “The Seaboard Way”
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:22 PM   #31
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question: fuel filter vacuum gauge

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What kind of engine do you have, and what is your cruising rpm?

FL 135 and I cruise at 1800. I also have dual Racor 900's with 30 micron elements and the secondaries on the engine which I believe are 2 micron. I have brand new aluminum tanks and move fuel around between the tanks through a fuel polishing system with a 2 micron element so my particular situation may not be the same as other FL 135s that are in use.

There has been some debate about whether the primaries should be 30 micron or some thing less, but Bob Smith and Steve D'Antonio recommend 30 micron and that's what the PO used so I use those.

I should add that I am no expert on this. Others on this forum are more knowledgable.

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Old 11-20-2015, 12:23 PM   #32
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That is where the drag needle comes in -- it stay set (until manually reset) at the highest reading the indicator needle reached. Very handy!



Indeed, a requirement for a remote gauge, in my opinion. I scratch my head when I see an isolated vac. gauges without a drag needle. Won't help with a fast clogging situation but will at least let you know why your engine quit or won't develop full power. With hourly running checks you are good to go.
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:26 PM   #33
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Better to have a gauge to read when running the engine. You have to get all the air out of the line when installing. air is compressable. and alters readings.
You are forgetting one thing. Remote gauges require a significant amount of tubing. And that air you mention above not only alters readings, it also causes your diesel engine to quit!!! So remote gauges introduce another failure point to allow air into your engine. The only reason I bring this up is that it happened to me. I had gone thru(what I thought was) the entire fuel system and still could not figure out where the air was coming from. I hired it out and he found it. The remote gauge(or its plumbing) had an air leak. Just FYI
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:26 PM   #34
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question: fuel filter vacuum gauge

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Old 11-20-2015, 12:56 PM   #35
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For those that worry about fuel contamination the current issue of PBB has a great article.

Its mostly for the newest engines , but the filtering results effect us all.

Takeaway , use 3 filters in a row to catch the best majority of the gunk.

Nothing it seems will get it all.

As we are forced to use more bio diesel, the filtering problems will continue to increase.
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:39 PM   #36
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When remote mounting a pressure (or vacuum) gauge at a higher elevation , keep in mind that the reading will be lower than what is at the filter.

The hydrostatic weight of diesel is approximately 0.4 psi/foot of elevation, so if your sensing line is completely filled with diesel, a gauge at you flybridge will show 4 psi of vacuum without the engine running due to a 10 foot rise in elevation.

As mentioned earlier, air in the sensing line can be problematic as well (although the gauge will be more accurate). Bleeding all the air out of the line to ensure consistent readings would be a PITA.

If I was in need of a remote gauge, I'd consider a vacuum sensor at the filter and electronic gauge at the helm.
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Old 11-20-2015, 03:46 PM   #37
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What about these guys instead of a gauge?

Fuel Fixers - Filter Change Gauges
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Old 11-20-2015, 03:58 PM   #38
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Drag pointers are really great, but regular ER checks are better. One of my big specs in buying a boat was easy ER access. On the Hatt, you can do an ER check by opening a full sized door and walking in, one door on each end of each engine's ER. If you are merely checking the fuel vacuum, and taking a cursory look, listen and smell, the filters are right by the door. For those ER's accesses by hatch, you can get gauges that mount at a variety of angles, so can accomplish the same thing without diving in.
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Old 11-20-2015, 06:35 PM   #39
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Just to be a PIA stickler for terminology: I think we are talking inches of mercury here and not psi, The only thing that pushes fuel out of your tank and through the average primary filter is atmospheric pressure, about 14.6 psi. Vacuum is generally measured in inches of mercury -- remember those tall glass mercury barometers from high school chemistry class? A complete vacuum is about 30 in. Hg.
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Old 11-20-2015, 06:50 PM   #40
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Not mine...I have top feed tanks with anti-siphon valves.

Before my new tanks, my primary fuel filters were even with the fuel when down to 1/3 tanks. So the last 130 gallons or so had to be pulled up through the primaries.

So there is some vacuum created by pull from the lift pump...otherwise it wouln't be needed.

But I think you are correct in saying vacuum is usually measured in inches of mercury...but I guess it depends on the measuring device.
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