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Old 02-03-2015, 02:15 PM   #161
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I can change a Racor in about a minute with little mess and fully primed with clean fuel from manifold squeeze bulb fed by the other racor. Granted...draining would take longer because I haven't set up for draining yet....but with tubing and a drain cup...I think it would only take as long as it takes for the bowl to drain. It could be draining while you change the element.

I wonder how fast I could do it if I practiced and raced a spin on guy....
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:02 PM   #162
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I wonder how fast I could do it if I practiced and raced a spin on guy....
Get a shitload of water in your fuel and you will get very good at it!!! It took about 150 hours before my Racor bowl stopped getting water in it. The fuel polisher service(for lack of a better term) can only get so much water out. There is significant residual. I would have to stop in the middle of a passage just to empty the bowl and change the filter....less than 5 minutes.

I will repeat....put yourself in my situation and then tell me how NOT having sight bowls is an advantage???????????? I very likely would have messed some things up AGAIN had I not had a "continuous pulse" on what was going on with my fuel.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:07 PM   #163
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John

In your real work you burn tens of thousands of gallons of jet fuel per month. Where are the Racors sight bowls on the planes? In the private aircraft world where are the Racors. They certainly are not on the aircraft.

Airport fuel farms use a system such as I posted on Feb 1 to deal with water and crud. Incoming fuel is sampled to monitor and hopefully prevent dirty fuel from arriving in the first place.
A turbine engine is quite tolerant of water in the fuel. The biggest threat is that water freezing and blocking a filter(in which there is a bypass and still no engine stoppage). Like mentioned above, there are fuel heaters to keep water from freezing. The fuel is also treated(trade name Prist) to keep water from freezing in the fuel.

In smaller piston aircraft, while there are no sight bowls installed, you carry one during your preflight and you sample the fuel and inspect it right in your hand while holding it to the light. It is extremely easy to do this and quite effective as the sample place in the tank is purposely the lowest part of the tank. BUT, water still gets in fuel and causes engine stoppage likely due to improper vigilance during preflight.

As this relates to boats with spin ons???.....I would still much rather use my eyeballs to check the quality of my fuel than actually have to climb in and sample the fuel with a petcock and a sampling receptacle. Now if I had a boat with a stand up engine room where I am just walking around a taking a sample...it might be different. IOW, proper vigilance is significantly easier with a sight bowl. And maintenance that is easier is maintenance that is more likely to happen!!!!

As far as the condition of the fuel in the tank???....that really isn't the point....until it gets to the filter system....which a sight bowl will tell you. A spin on will not(until you take a sample). We could say a sight bowl has a passive system to alert you to fuel condition. A spin on is an intrusive system....only as effective as the motivation of the owner/operator.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:26 PM   #164
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.....

proper vigilance is significantly easier with a sight bowl. And maintenance that is easier is maintenance that is more likely to happen!!!!
I have to agree!! I have just replaced injector nozzles and had my injector pump reconditioned in the last 2 weeks due to water in the fuel. Not a cheap exercise or a lesson that I want to learn again. Cost aside, it happened during one of the best summers we have had in years and I lost 2 weeks of boating time and that was extremely frustrating. The only saving grace was that the engine stopped while we were back in port and I therefore did no need an expesive tow back in.

Our primary griffin filter (equivalent to Racor) was originally located in really hard place to inspect on a regular basis, as it required all floor coverings (3 layers) and then the floor panels to be lifted. As part of the repairs, I have now had the filter moved to a much more accessible position so that the bowl can be checked easily and drained if necessary without all of the previous hassles.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:30 PM   #165
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I have to agree!! I have just replaced injector nozzles and had my injector pump reconditioned in the last 2 weeks due to water in the fuel. Not a cheap exercise or a lesson that I want to learn again. Cost aside, it happened during one of the best summers we have had in years and I lost 2 weeks of boating time and that was extremely frustrating. The only saving grace was that the engine stopped while we were back in port and I therefore did no need an expesive tow back in.

Our primary griffin filter (equivalent to Racor) was originally located in really hard place to inspect on a regular basis, as it required all floor coverings (3 layers) and then the floor panels to be lifted. As part of the repairs, I have now had the filter moved to a much more accessible position so that the bowl can be checked easily and drained if necessary without all of the previous hassles.
How did the water get into the fuel???? My water incident trashed two injectors so I went ahead and replaced all of the injectors on that side.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:03 PM   #166
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How did the water get into the fuel???? My water incident trashed two injectors so I went ahead and replaced all of the injectors on that side.
We believe that the water was due to condensation and then stirred up due to some rough water boating.

I am guilty of leaving the tanks half full last winter. This is another practice that I will change, i.e. I will now refuel when I return to port to minimise the risk of condensation, particularly when the boat may not going to be be used for a period.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:04 PM   #167
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I can change a Racor in about a minute with little mess and fully primed with clean fuel from manifold squeeze bulb fed by the other racor. Granted...draining would take longer because I haven't set up for draining yet....but with tubing and a drain cup...I think it would only take as long as it takes for the bowl to drain. It could be draining while you change the element.

I wonder how fast I could do it if I practiced and raced a spin on guy....
The Racor on my Mainship had a 1/4 turn drain valve on the bottom for easy draining.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:22 PM   #168
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We believe that the water was due to condensation and then stirred up due to some rough water boating.

I am guilty of leaving the tanks half full last winter. This is another practice that I will change, i.e. I will now refuel when I return to port to minimise the risk of condensation, particularly when the boat may not going to be be used for a period.
While condensation might have been the source....many prominent experts dispute condensation in the average boat fuel tank in most cases....possible but improbable.

Compass Marine ran an independent test that doubts condensation...and I have read and experienced others.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:24 PM   #169
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The Racor on my Mainship had a 1/4 turn drain valve on the bottom for easy draining.
May get that far on projects to this summer...for sure when I start travelling farther....into less traveled areas...then again that's when multistage may sneak into my bilge too.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:34 PM   #170
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While condensation might have been the source....many prominent experts dispute condensation in the average boat fuel tank in most cases....possible but improbable.

Compass Marine ran an independent test that doubts condensation...and I have read and experienced others.
I was kind of thinking the same thing. MikeD, if I were you, I would not rest easy with that diagnosis. It is just too convenient for the amount of water in the fuel required to cause what happened. Simply my opinion.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:36 PM   #171
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While condensation might have been the source....many prominent experts dispute condensation in the average boat fuel tank in most cases....possible but improbable.

Compass Marine ran an independent test that doubts condensation...and I have read and experienced others.

My water in fuel problem actually goes back a couple of years as I first found water in the filter after a rough passage about 2 years ago. At that stage I had only owned the boat for about 6 months and prior to that it had basically sat at it's marina berth for about 3 years (since the PO died).

I believe that the majority of the water accumulated prior to my ownership as when I saw the photo of the inside of the injector pump (see below) I really doubt that this would have happened in the last 87 hours since I last changed the filters.

I have check all other possible sources such as the filler and and breathers and believe (hope) that these are not the source of the water.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:37 PM   #172
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While condensation might have been the source....many prominent experts dispute condensation in the average boat fuel tank in most cases....possible but improbable.

Compass Marine ran an independent test that doubts condensation...and I have read and experienced others.
I keep my two 160gal tanks at low level almost always. Usually like 40gal in each. Only carry a big load if I need it. So according to common wisdom, I should have water in my fuel. Middle of east coast with wild temp and humidity swings.

I have never seen a drop of water in my tank sumps. I can look into the tank fill and see the lowest corner of the tank. If it was there, I'd see it.

The difference is my tank fills are under a hatch directly on top of tanks, and my vents absolutely cannot pick up water.

So I'm with you, the condensation theory is seriously doubtful to me.

I think most of the water gets in through deck fills and hullside vents. Neither of which I have, intentionally.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:39 PM   #173
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I was kind of thinking the same thing. MikeD, if I were you, I would not rest easy with that diagnosis. It is just too convenient for the amount of water in the fuel required to cause what happened. Simply my opinion.
I agree, in terms of not resting easy. I am seriously considering getting another smaller tank made with a sump and drain. The plan would be to feed this tank from the 2 larger tanks and have a sump big enough to catch the water and hence eliminate the problem before it gets to the primary filter.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:45 PM   #174
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I agree, in terms of not resting easy. I am seriously considering getting another smaller tank made with a sump and drain. The plan would be to feed this tank from the 2 larger tanks and have a sump big enough to catch the water and hence eliminate the problem before it gets to the primary filter.
That set up would be referred to as a "day tank". Most day tank set ups have filtration(polishing system) on the way to that tank as well as after and then the on engine filters. The polishing system would rid the fuel of contaminants and also give you an idea of the condition of your fuel....IF YOU HAVE SIGHT BOWLS!!!!!!....hahahaha!!!!

Read post #59. While it sounds complicated, his second paragraph sums it up. It is basically simple.

In any event...I would still be suspicious and keep a close eye on your fuel supply....regardless of how you are able to do that.

On a completely different note....your boat is quite a handsome vessel!!!!
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:54 PM   #175
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MikeD
Are you finding salt water or fresh water in your fuel? Integral tanks?

John
I may have missed it, where did the water in you tanks come from?
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:59 PM   #176
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John
I may have missed it, where did the water in you tanks come from?
Fuel coolers.....Cummins 6BTAs
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:00 PM   #177
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That set up would be referred to as a "day tank". Most day tank set ups have filtration(polishing system) on the way to that tank as well as after and then the on engine filters. The polishing system would rid the fuel of contaminants and also give you an idea of the condition of your fuel....IF YOU HAVE SIGHT BOWLS!!!!!!....hahahaha!!!!
Not sure that it will be practical for me to add intermediate filtration between the main and 'day' tanks due to space constraints. I think if I add a day tank and with quite a large sump and then drain that regularly it will be a big step forward.

As a precaution, I will also change the o-ring on the filler cap when I am up at the boat this Friday, just to be sure. There is only one filler cap for both tanks. With regard to the breathers, these are in a recessed space well above the deck and I don't think these will be the cause.

Anyway, thanks for the input guys! Hopefully I will get this sorted and restore my confidence in my fuel supply. In the meantime, the site glass will be checked twice a day, minimum!!
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:02 PM   #178
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Fuel coolers.....Cummins 6BTAs
Hmmm..... will need to check that, but I don't think there is a fuel cooler on the engine.
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:16 PM   #179
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I still don't see how changing a spin on is faster or easier. It is certainly messier. Crack it loose and a few ounces are coming out. Then easy to spill more while handling the topped up filter. Then screw on new one. Going to prime that with the squeeze bulb? Where does the air go? Either need to fill it first, or vent while priming.

To change my racor, crack lid loose. Pump primer a few times on engine to draw fuel level down half inch. Swap out element, put lid back on. A few drips easy to manage. No need to reprime.

And adding a mud filter before a racor? I don't see the logic in that.

And that bowl is essential to me. Do an engine room check, if it is clear red, all's good. Water is obvious as it is NOT red.
ski you can keep the bowl after the spin on, as to the mess first drain some fuel from the spin on with stopcock take off dump in container spin on new filter and fill with closed loop OB bulb pump reopen fuel stop cocks ready to go. Where is the big mess?
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:49 PM   #180
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Condensation, no.

One pound of dry air = 13.15 cu feet. At 90% humidity and 22 degrees, there is about 0.4 cu inch water. Therefore an empty 400 gallon fuel tank, 64 cu feet, has about 12 cu inches of water in the air in there, or .3 Imperial pint. In a half full fuel tank, 200 gallons of air, there is about 0.15 Imperial pints of water in the air in that tank.

Ergo bingo, condensation not a problem. My head hurts now so I am going to take a nap.
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