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Old 03-27-2014, 11:50 PM   #1
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custom diesel manifold

I came across this stainless gas flex manifold with pipe thread fittings. I have a persistent air leak or other gravity siphon issue and was thinking of using this for new supply and return manifolds. They are ul listed but I'm sure it is for gas use. My plumber says if it is good for gaseous fuel then it is also ok for liquid fuel. This is ahead of the lift pump so it is not pressurized. I want to eliminate a bunch of brass fittings and use this for selector valves. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:27 AM   #2
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Excellent. Where'd you get it? Does it have tapered threads for standard ball valves? I want one or more for my hurricane heater.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:14 AM   #3
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These were at Home Depot for $15. Made in Korea. The threads are 1/2 and 3/4 pipe thread so the valves should go right in.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:48 AM   #4
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Gas as used in most homes,, Natural gas or propane is at about 1psi when delivered to appliances.

You might pressure test it in a pail of water with an air compressor , at $15 it would be cheap to know the PSI it is useful for if it blows..

Most fuel returns , and hydronic heat pressures are low , but A bilge full of fuel could be a bummer.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:59 AM   #5
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I'm not sure a typical plumber would be qualified to give this advice. Diesel fuel is quite different than natural gas. I would look at the specifications or contact the manufacturer.

Also it's not under pressure it's under vacuum in use. It won't leak fuel out but it might leak air into your fuel supply.

BTW: Don't use Teflon tape to seal fuel system connections, use pipe dope that's rated for diesel fuel.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:14 AM   #6
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Many products used for one application are more than suitable for another....a little thought and checking will help cement your decision.

A quick check of the specifications on the Home Depot site...rather than pondering who is qualified to give advice or not since we are all giving some sort of advice and few of us are diesel engineers...shows it is rated to 20psi.

I would have no problem using it as a fuel manifold or other liquid applications under 20psi.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:38 AM   #7
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We use those in our propane systems I do in the custom homes I build. We pressure test them to 100psi and let them sit that way through the entire built. If a sub breaches the system they know it ..as it makes quite a sound. I would have no problem using this for a fuel manifold.look on ebay for ss ball valves..you can get them for under $20.00 to go along with the manifold.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:23 AM   #8
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Polyconn makes a wide variety of anodized aluminum manifolds with a choice of the number of ports, sizes and spacing. They are reasonably priced too.

Pneumatic Manifolds – In-Line Manifolds | Polyconn

Most are rated 1,000PSI for air and 3,000PSI for liquid so you should never have to worry about leaks.

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Old 03-28-2014, 10:53 AM   #9
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Good morning Brett

I have to say your boat, with its new paint job, sure looked good last week.

BTW, if you need water I have 300' of hose on my foredeck you can use to reach the running faucet at the end of our float.

Here's a thought...

Why not simplify things a bit.

I know there seems to be a preferance to supply and return fittings, along with a bank of valves but its not the only way.

You could run just one supply and return line from one (or a pair) of tanks to your engine(s).

Then to move fuel around you could have a permenantly installed diesel fuel transfer pump.

Thats the setup on my boat. Each engine draws from its own tank. There is a reversable fuel transfer pump between the two tanks with a rocker switch on the dash.

Something to think about. Simple works. Less stuff to go wrong.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:30 AM   #10
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I'm not sure why all the worry about leaks...it's on the suction side of the system and you have Racor fiters, it shouldn't exceed 10 in hg or you need a filter change anyway.

I think that's the equivalent to about 5psi differential.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:16 PM   #11
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Thanks, Ken. I'll be down tomorrow to water up and bunker fuel too. Looks like my first trip is mid month.

I appreciate the thoughts on this piece of hardware. Thanks for those. It is about what I expected too. I'm going to remove all of the threaded pieces, short nipples, and brass t connectors and insert these. I'm also waiting for pricing on the maretron fuel flow parts needed to get fuel usage to the n2k bus.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:54 PM   #12
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Ron says;
"BTW: Don't use Teflon tape to seal fuel system connections, use pipe dope that's rated for diesel fuel"

In this pic does this look like "pipe dope" sealed fittings? I've got a gremlin fuel delivery problem and think something is leaking air. This setup is what the yard did when I was in Alaska.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:02 PM   #13
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Yellow Teflon tape is rated for fuel. If you are using straight threads, surely there is no requirement for tape/dope? I thought you needed to tape for tapered threads?

Eric, try opening that square plug at the top of the upper manifold when you are under pressure and see if there is any air trapped in that high area. That might help you troubleshoot the plumbing? The lower manifold has a high spot too but it will be much harder to check. Presumably the lower one is the return and so it doesn't matter if there is air in there.

In fact, take that top fitting off and reconnect it with the square plug facing to the left and you will eliminate that air trap.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:11 PM   #14
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The reason not to use tape (any color) for fuel is that small pieces of the tape can break off and enter the fuel system. I didn't come up with this myself, it's a pretty common recommendation.

Air leaks on the vacuum side can drive you nuts because you don't see any drips.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:56 PM   #15
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True about the bits but that's why God invented filters!
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #16
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Looks like a nice manifold. It is worth checking the threads though. There are many different thread types which almost fit together.

The most common tapered thread is the US is NPT (national pipe thread) which is cut at a 60 degree angle.

Most other countries use BSP (British Standard Pipe) which is cut at 55 degrees. Both have 14 threads per inch for 1/2" pipe, so will screw together but will usually leak.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:42 PM   #17
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Eric,

I just purchased a Groco FV-65038-A to replace a similar collection of fittings. It reduces the number of joints and controls both supply and return with a single handle. It has positions for Port - Both - Stbd - Off.


It is UL and USCG approved. The supply fittings are 1/2" NPT and the return are 3/8" NPT. You will probably need 1/2" to 3/8" reducer bushings on the supply side.

It looks like it might reduce the number of threaded connections in your installation by at least 8 if I am counting correctly.

Use of Parker street t's in the supply outlet and return inlet could save two more connections.



Or maybe a barbed "T" to combine the returns.



Just some ideas for you.

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Old 03-28-2014, 11:44 PM   #18
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Wonderful information and advice. Thanks all.

Interesting about the BSP cut at 55 degrees. Don't think I'd be likely to buy that in a store.

At least now I've got a place to start.

Just saw your post Larry and that is now a "must do". Most of the time I change the draw from one tank to another by reaching down and over the running engine on the fly finding all 4 ball valves. Identifying which are which and changing them to the new position. Only got it wrong once. Engine quit right out in the Prince Rupert harbour.

So imagine how pleased I am to find your post.
Thanks big time.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:30 AM   #19
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Interesting about the BSP cut at 55 degrees. Don't think I'd be likely to buy that in a store.

About the only spot you will come across BSP is in imported shower and sink hardware.

The Groco FV-65038-A is a great unit , but be sure to paint a drawing of valve position for tank selection , so a sea sick crew member does not have to WONDER!
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:32 AM   #20
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Neither one of us ever gets seasick.

But good point Fred there must be 4 positions in 180 degrees. Probably w no de-tents so setting the handle in a half way point should be easy. Not good. Reaching blindly over a running engine could easily be folly.

Perhaps I should move the whole thing aft and assessable directly at the (smaller) aft hatch where I can see what I'm doing.
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