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Old 07-23-2015, 07:22 AM   #1
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Another source for diesel polish filters

I couldnt accept paying $500+ for a gulfcoast F-1 filter, and I couldn't imagine how many filters it would take for my raycor filter to get the diesel cleaned back up. So I found something that works pretty good at a much lower cost.

For now I just have them hooked in at the engine so the fuel feed line goes to the filter and the filter goes to the walbro pump which then just pushes the fuel back to the tank via the engine return line. I took the filter out of the racor until I get the fuel clean again.

I decided to run clear tubing from the filter to the fuel pump so I could see how much gunk the filter removed from the fuel (if at all). The stuff is so gunked up that it plugged the racor up completely after 2 hours run time, the boat has sat for 8 years at the dock. It's black crude with lots of debris of some sort going into the filter and clear red tinted diesel coming out. I am really surprised at how clean the fuel looks.

Now the question is how many passes and how many filters will it take...

A week ago, the cost for the canister was $129, and the filters were $3.50. The place in the links is where I got them but the prices have jumped surprisingly higher so I would look around.

For the filter canister I bought one of these...
Pentek ST-1 Water Filter Housing - Stainless Steel



and for the filters I bought 10 of these...
P5-10 Tier1 Sediment Water Filter - DiscountFilterStore.com
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:56 AM   #2
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Flywright on this forum had a great thread on diesel tank cleaning. Sounds like you are ready for the pros to come in and remove the fuel, discard same and clean the tanks similarly to his experience.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:43 AM   #3
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I would be curious if what you get after filtering is still safe to run. Will it still have the required lubricity and cetane to run safely in your motor. How many gallons of old fuel are you talking about?
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:40 AM   #4
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I just filtered all my fuel. I ran my starboard tank dry, so I set the fuel return to the starboard tank and the pickup to the port tank. I then ran the engine until it transferred all the fuel to the starboard tank. When that was done, I changed the racor filters and the on-engine fuel filter. Finally I filled the port tank with new fuel. Good to go.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:13 AM   #5
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IMO fuel polishing systems like this don't do much good. If all you have is a little bit of loose sediment that gets stirred up underway, the Racor will take care of this fairly easily. Most diesels return 2-3 times as much as they burn, so after going through a half a tank of fuel, most of it has passed through the Racor.


But if you have significant sludge, algae gel, etc, a fuel polisher won't get it out. You need to empty the tank, maybe cut an access hole or two and get inside and spray behind the baffles and around the pickup tube to remove the gunk.


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Old 07-23-2015, 11:21 AM   #6
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First of all, filters will not get all that accumulated crud out of your fuel.

Secondly, you are using water filters - are you sure the fuel will not deteriorate the filter media and carry particles to your injector pump?

If you have discovered a cheap replacement for fuel filters more power to you but I'm glad you have agreed to be the guinea pig.

Bite the bullet and have the fuel professionally polished. Better than having a failure at sea.
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:40 PM   #7
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Not to go all Marin on you, but this isn't polishing, this is filtering. Fuel filtering, as you're doing, will remove solids from the fuel. However, in doing so it may also degrade the fuel making it out of specification and not good to be used. Without a centrifuge you really can't restore the fuel to a recommended usable state when it's in the condition you describe.

So, the answer is that there is no number of passes through filters alone that will get it cleaned up.
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:31 PM   #8
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So if this isnt fuel polishing, what is?

It's the same thing gulfcoast is doing, and they are filtering to sub-micron. I would expect their fuel to be even less usable based on the comments?
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:42 PM   #9
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Filtering solids out of diesel has no effect on the fuel.
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:10 PM   #10
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I should add that I left the racor (minus the filter cartridge) in the circuit so it would remove the water from the fuel, so that should address the "coalescing" part.

Of the 6 or 7 polishing kits for boats that I could find on the web, none used centrifuges. A couple used magnets to "charm" the microbes into dying. But I consider them more of a snake oil system looking for a sucker. The rest either used racors or gulfcoast filters to do the polishing.
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by what_barnacles View Post
So if this isnt fuel polishing, what is?
Here's a link to my fuel polishing report.

Fuel Contamination (and Racor Filter Help)
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by what_barnacles View Post
So if this isnt fuel polishing, what is?

It's the same thing gulfcoast is doing, and they are filtering to sub-micron. I would expect their fuel to be even less usable based on the comments?
Centrifuge and coalescers plus filters.

Fuel Polishing is defined as the removal of water, sediment, non-combustible particulate matter and microbial contamination below levels stated in ASTM D975 (Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils) while resuspending combustible particulate matter to maintain ASTM standards for BTU value, lubricity, and cetane.

Fuel polishing uses centrifuges, coalescers, and – yes – filters to remove non-combustible particulate matter (sand, dust, cigarette wrappers, lady bugs, and – our personal record – a dead rat) from fuel. In short, everything that wasn’t really supposed to be there in the first place.

Because water is heavier than fuel, the centrifuges and coalescers do a good job of removing that, too. We then use water blocking filters to pick up the last little bit of suspended – or “entrained” – water available.

The primary difference between fuel polishing and fuel filtration is that fuel polishing acknowledges that fuel itself can degrade and cause solids. Fuel filters will simply pull the solids out because they plug up filters whereas fuel polishers break down the combustible solids so that the fuel stays within the industry specifications.


Filtering will filter solids. It can help with water but is not necessarily successful at that. It picks up suspended water more than the settled water. But filtering does not keep the fuel in it's original condition meeting standards. In essence it removes good solids in addition to bad ones and so running fuel over and over through filters can degrade the fuel significantly.

This is without even considering the aspect of really cleaning the tank. If you don't have a polishing system, then I'd strongly recommend having someone with one come in. Otherwise you are likely to have continuing problems. Most areas have such services and they aren't as costly as you might think. Often times the recovered fuel pays for their services.
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Old 07-23-2015, 03:23 PM   #13
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BandB,

I saw the UK? Website that you pasted the info from. While they say it's needed, no one other than them sells a fuel polisher with a centrifuge. Do you know of one?
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Old 07-23-2015, 04:11 PM   #14
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WB...A true polisher is very expensive and takes up valuable space on a small craft. What B&B is suggesting (I presume) is to have a service with a portable polishing system pump out/polish/return fuel to your tanks...not install a true polishing system. Typically, you will only find that on much larger pleasurecraft but mainly on large commercial vessels. The best bet, as suggested, is to pump out your tanks into drums or some storage vessel, open and clean the interior of your tanks well, and have your fuel polished and returned to clean tanks. At that point if you maintain your filters (racor type etc.)and use furel from reputable sources you won't need anything else to keep your engines happy. I think the confusion comes in when companies like Gulf Coast sell high capacity fuel filtration systems and call them "polishers". While their systems are good at filtration they are NOT true polishers.
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by what_barnacles View Post
BandB,

I saw the UK? Website that you pasted the info from. While they say it's needed, no one other than them sells a fuel polisher with a centrifuge. Do you know of one?
Yes, what I was recommending was a service but as to polishers with centrifuge.

The most popular ones in larger boats are Alfa Laval and that's the only one I've personally used. Carl Gustav de Laval is the inventor. But others include

Dieselcraft

Fueltec Systems

Separfiltre

RCI Technologies

Sharpies (Decanters)

And here is a good write up of polishing. Better and more complete than the section I quoted earlier.

The Spin On Centrifugal Separation | | PassageMaker
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:17 PM   #16
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WB...A true polisher is very expensive and takes up valuable space on a small craft. What B&B is suggesting (I presume) is to have a service with a portable polishing system pump out/polish/return fuel to your tanks...not install a true polishing system. Typically, you will only find that on much larger pleasurecraft but mainly on large commercial vessels. The best bet, as suggested, is to pump out your tanks into drums or some storage vessel, open and clean the interior of your tanks well, and have your fuel polished and returned to clean tanks. At that point if you maintain your filters (racor type etc.)and use furel from reputable sources you won't need anything else to keep your engines happy. I think the confusion comes in when companies like Gulf Coast sell high capacity fuel filtration systems and call them "polishers". While their systems are good at filtration they are NOT true polishers.
It's likely that your tank itself is a problem at this point. And you can filter all the fuel you want but then if you're just dumping it back into the same tank, it will repeat. Yes GC, mentioned above does claim polisher and truly isn't. But there are a lot of companies capable of polishing for you. Boats aren't the only place this problem exists so it's a fairly big business. Any fuel supplier either does it or knows someone who does.
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:22 PM   #17
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The centrifuge was put on vessels running bunker oil, after it was heated so it would flow it was then spun in the centrifuge to remove sand and other crud before it was sent to the engine.

Diesel is clean. It does, however, contain a small amount of water right from the refinery. If you don't use the fuel, the water settles out. If you use it, which few recreational boaters do, it sinks to the bottom of the tank (most of it) where it provides a medium for the growth of bacteria (don't bring up that old chestnut about condensation, please!). There is other stuff that happens with old fuel too, but unless you have a strong flow that stirs up all the crud on the bottom, you are wasting your time and filters just filtering.

I almost spat out my tea over that Marin comment - good one!
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:10 PM   #18
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I would start a new thread...maybe in a different forum.


What is good info and bad info here would take more time than its worth to sort out in a post.


Most of it is conjecture by amateurs.


I'm no expert to be able to tell you without a doubt what is right...


Filtering out (no pun intended) what experts have posted here and many other places puts some serious doubts on a lot of what has been posted.


Clean fuel...no matter how you get there and stay there is the key. There are lots of ways to do that...and lots of myths and snake oil to confuse you.


Sift through it...see the basics and stick with those.


Many have valid points...just connect the dots.


For the record...some people have used water filter systems to remove much of the crud...they have reported good results....but I have no primary intel to help.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:41 PM   #19
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The filter body, which appears to have no means of draining the water and muck it might collect, is like the ones(probably OEM) on my boat when I bought it. We chucked them for Racors.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:47 AM   #20
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Instead of installing a doubtful "polishing" system, it might be worth while to convert the fuel box into a genuine fuel tank

Add a sump that can be pumped or bailed so the water/gunk has a place to drop to.

If it can be bailed from deck you can cure a 50% water mix , with a bit of time , no filters , no electric.

IF the engine feed pipe is large enough to not clog from internal gunk, the centrifuge is the best way to assure a running engine.

Offshore on a world cruise , its expense could be justified , inshore it would take multiple cases of filters to pay for it.

I have looked at truck lube oil filter centrifuges that would have enough volume to do our 5-10gph engines , but the mfg does not sanction it.

Probably fears the unemployed Liars for Hire .
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