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Old 09-08-2012, 05:14 PM   #21
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #22
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The fuel in the standby filter is not being used and does not change so any growth is from something that came in with the fuel. To me, that means your fuel (in the tank) is contaminated regardless of any fuel polishing system on board.

For a practical work around that doesn't fix the problem but allows you to have a clean filter ready to switch in when needed, remove the spare filter, dump the fuel, clean the bowl, reinstall the filter (or better yet, install a new one), then fill the filter and bowl with clean fuel from a known good source (a high volume roadside station is a good bet). Reinstall the filter and it is ready for service, but with known clean fuel. You should have no growth.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:22 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=markpierce;102447]My JD has two secondaries on the engine - the last level of protection.{/QUOTE]

Mark: Do you use a biocide?
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:25 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=Larry M;102454]
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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
My JD has two secondaries on the engine - the last level of protection.{/QUOTE]

Mark: Do you use a biocide?
Not regularly, but bought some more a couple of weeks but haven't added it to the fuel yet. Haven't noticed any water in the fuel, however.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:34 PM   #25
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The growth is black mold like, it is only on the top of the white centrifugal disk in the bowl.

Yes there is a drain but the growth doesn't come out with the fuel when I drain it.

The fuel in the tanks has been polished several times and is clean.

The fuel going the the filters being used is clean and there is no growth in these. The growth only started to accumulate in the standby filters when I changed and switched sides being used.

I have dual filters on both engines and both gensets and the growth is in all 4 standby filters.

I use 30 micron filters in the Racors and have two filters on the engines, a 10 and than 2 micron.

From seeing what is happening, my suspicion is that if I clean and switch sides the growth will begin again on the "new" standby side.

I am not keeping a biocide in the fuel during the summer because we are using the boat and circulating fuel but maybe I should be.

Thank you all for the feedback!
Seems like a lot of people might have missed this to say his tanks are contaminated...

I have seen plenty of times where the tank and fuel is pristine and the filters are a mess...while never good to have goopy filter bowls...it's also not a big deal if the filter elements themselves aren't covered in goop...thus assuring good fuel flow when you need it.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:28 PM   #26
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Thank you all for the additional thoughts and suggestions. My fix was to disassemble the bowls and clean exactly as suggested and re-fill with new (hopefully clean) fuel. The filters on this side had just been changed when I shut these down to go to the other side. I checked them anyway and they were like new.

My fuel may have developed some growth as I was not polishing it regularly. O/A did not put an adequate pump in the polishing system so it was not used much. Last week I installed a larger and better pump and have run all of the fuel once and am doing it again this weekend. We currently have about 1600 gallons on board so it takes about 18 hours to do it all. I will do it a few more times then change the fuel polishing filter and do it a few more. The last 800 gallons I took on in June was from a very high volume marina, so I trust it was good. The previous fill was 1000 gallons in January, but from a good marina.

These are JD's as well and have a 10 and 2 micron on board.

I'm also going to start keeping a biocide in as well

Thank you again all.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:18 PM   #27
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We have no polishing system on our boat and have never had any water, dirt, growth, etc. in our fuel. None of the people we know and boat with have fuel polishing systems and none of them have had any problems with fuel, either. If a boat needs to have a polishing system run on a regular basis to prevent growth in the fuel I would suspect a problem with the boat's fuel system.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:42 PM   #28
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Bob Wrote,

"The growth is black mold like, it is only on the top of the white centrifugal disk in the bowl."

I get this build up on the same place on my filters after a while. I do not think it is a growth at all but some thing in the fuel, maybe asphaltanes?, (Google Diesel asphaltanes for information) that settles there after being separated by the "centrifugal" flow of the filter.
Mine won't drain out either, to get it clean I need to pull that portion of the filter and wipe and rise in clean fuel. Right or wrong I don't worry much about it. To me it is an indication the filter is performing. I clean it whenever the filter element is changed.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:39 AM   #29
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The previous reply is helpful to no one!
It should be very helpful to anyone planning to buy a Chinese built boat from a yard that does not have a solid reputation for quality and a resident representative for the importer. PAE has Nordhavns built in China but oversees the project and supports the boat with an American infrastructure. If you don't have that then you have no idea of what you are going to get and no support once you get it.

Buyer beware is not just a cliche' with respect to Chinese built boats.


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First to establish perspective, I fly the the stars and strips proudly off the stern of this vessel.
Does that have some impact on the quality of build or is it just a bit of gratuitous nationalism?
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:12 AM   #30
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My fix was to disassemble the bowls and clean exactly as suggested and re-fill with new (hopefully clean) fuel.
There you go.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:15 AM   #31
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We have no polishing system on our boat and have never had any water, dirt, growth, etc. in our fuel. None of the people we know and boat with have fuel polishing systems and none of them have had any problems with fuel, either. If a boat needs to have a polishing system run on a regular basis to prevent growth in the fuel I would suspect a problem with the boat's fuel system.
Or the fuel source.

Like you, I have never had water, dirt, growth, etc. in my fuel. I keep the tanks topped off to minimize condensation and I add a treatment that's supposed to take care of water and any growth.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:18 AM   #32
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Seems like a lot of people might have missed this to say his tanks are contaminated....
There is only one way for contaminates to get into the filter and that is from the fuel source (the tanks).
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:36 AM   #33
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I'm clueless. Some of the fuel was from China. The filter lasted about 1.5 years of use.

Mark, I am with Marin on this one I can't believe the condition of that filter on a basically new boat. I put a few hundred hours a year on my IG and the filters I take out look new.

Does the Coot have a fuel polishing system? You might want to run all your fuel thru it a few times.

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Old 09-09-2012, 08:02 AM   #34
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There is only one way for contaminates to get into the filter and that is from the fuel source (the tanks).
They may be in the fuel but the conditions aren't right for the issue to form...especially the filter that is sitting unused.

I've run a lot of boats with clean tanks, clean fuel (by sight and engine performance but maybe at the microscopic level not perfect) and dirty filters...never a problem....

There's a BIG difference between crap forming on the inside of the filter bowl and what is being picked up in the filter element.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:11 AM   #35
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There is only one way for contaminates to get into the filter and that is from the fuel source (the tanks).
I will second that. If the filter is full of rust and crud and biologicals, it came from rusty, cruddy, biologically infected tanks.

A new boat should have perfectly clean fuel tanks. Part of the process of building is flushing and cleaning of tank interiors and all associated plumbing. There should not be a speck of dirt or a grain of grinding dust or weld slag in the tank or anywhere else. Are the steel fuel tanks coated internally?
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:27 AM   #36
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Quote:
...I can't believe the condition of that filter on a basically new boat...

Does the .... have a fuel polishing system? You might want to run all your fuel thru it a few times.
Fuel polishing systems are great and changing the Racors when they get clogged or look dirty is easy, but how often do we change the filter (s) on the engine?
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:43 AM   #37
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A few thoughts concerning fuel polishing might be relevant?

I assume that when you polish you are pumping fuel through a large depth type filter (eg Gulf Coast Filter) back into the tank whence it came. If you are recirculating fuel in this way you need many passes to obtain "clean" fuel. Statistically you can never polish all the fuel because you are always diluting the "clean" fuel with "dirty" fuel remaining in the tank. You need to calculate your fuel polishing rate (gph) and figure on recirculating your fuel about 10 times in total (10 x fuel volume / gph = time to polish) to get relatively clean fuel. A single pass will not achieve much of anything!!
Another approach that might be possible depending on your filter set-up would be to pass the "dirty" fuel through the polisher then feed directly through your Racor en route to the engine. Then a single pass should remove the dirt before it hits the Racor.

If you have the ability (half empty tanks) to pump from one tank to the other, then you can simply pump fuel into one tank then back into the other via the polisher before redistributing evenly to both tanks, though I would only do this while at the dock -- with your amount of fuel it will certainly tip your boat to one side.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:45 AM   #38
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Rick, I didn't do a very good job of telling you I agree with you, my issues are just limiting it to Chinese builds, and by claiming that only oversight by an "American" will assure quality. Your premise is correct, only it applies to boats built anywhere. And quality oversight could by anyone with the right abilities looking out for the buyer's interest.

Your caution to a new buyer is good. A boat is a complicated assembly of materials and systems, and it's best to have a qualified advocate involved in the build process.

My comment about the flag was "prideful" nationalism with the economic motive to buy local whenever I can, we just unfortunately don't have many choices when it comes to the kinds of boats most of us enjoy.

I owe you a beer on the aft deck some day.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:04 AM   #39
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What is interesting is that the Racors on the side I'm using are a pretty pink after 200 hours having taken the same fuel that is currently sitting in the standby filters. That is what originally lead me to believe what growth I was seeing was developing in the standbys and not coming from the tank. If it was coming from the tanks, wouldn't the filters being used show that same growth trapped?

We do have a Gulf Coast filter, but unfortunately we are sitting almost full. It is plumbed to independently pump from tank to tank, but as you said we can only do that when we can create an empty tank in which to pump the clean fuel. I can separate it to draw from center and send to one side, then draw from center again and send to the other side.

The polishing system is plumbed independent of the fuel/ engine delivery plumbing, so I cannot polish in-line to engine delivery. Generally I like this set up as it allows us isolate and to polish while underway.

I have learned much from this group, thank you for your willingness to help!
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #40
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Racors

I would not be concerned about the build up on the top of the racor cone, it is most likely asphaltines, also keep in mind that the fuel in the bowl is just in the first stage of the filters process.. the turbine effect that spins water and large debris out of the fuel... if there is no water in the bowl and the element is clean on removal you dont have a issue. If it looks like Mark's element you have a issue ( especially on a boat as new as his ). I ran a double racor setup and always changed the main filter once a year.. and switched to use the secondary filter for the next year. My filters never looked as bad as Mark's... but they would have SOME build up on them. The statement that contaminants only get in with bad fuel is incorrect, remember that air is also drawn into our tanks as fuel is drawn out...and if that air is humid ... we get moisture into our fuel.
So there are really only two concerns:
1- water in bowl
2- clogging of the Primary element

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