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Old 02-16-2016, 12:37 PM   #21
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I installed a multi stage filtration system. I don't polish fuel.
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:08 PM   #22
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Same here.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:05 PM   #23
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Me too. And the idea of leaving a fuel pump running while away from the boat scares the hell out of me.

IMHO Draw your fuel from the lowest point on the bottom of the tank (no dip tube almost to the bottom), decant the water off w/ a drip leg, filter it good, and forget the polishing.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:04 PM   #24
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I did the same thing with the multi-stage filtration system last summer on my boat. I have a polisher and have used it for years and have never picked up much debris. Don't know for sure if the fuel is just clean or more likely stuff on the bottom remains there. I feel more confidant with the multi-stage filtration set up. I also really appreciate the squeeze bulb for priming that I installed before the filters.

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Old 02-16-2016, 04:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by No Mast View Post
I don't think thats generally it. We polish the fuel at the beginning of each season, then try to do it once every month or two. If we do take on fuel, we'll polish it. Its as easy as turning three valves and a switch on our boat. I look at it more as easy prevent maintenance than anything else. The big filter for the polisher sometimes gets clogged up after 5000 or 6000 gallons polishes, sometimes it lasts much longer. So thats all crud that would otherwise be building up inside the tank or could clog the primary filter when things are a bit bouncy.
That's right twice a year, never really concerned with that issue. USAF :PMI's. Just providing info.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:24 PM   #26
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Question Is extra fuel polishing really needed?

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I have been doing some fuel tank cleaning and was considering adding/making a fuel polishing system.
In doing so, I would like to use the lowest tank fitting where the valve is normally used for the fuel level sight tube. This will be the intake side to the fuel pump and filter. Then, the return side after the filter will be returned through the uppermost fitting where the top of the sight tube was. With 2 added valves, I can retain the sight tube.
Any problems in doing this?
I have a question. My Cummins QSB 5.9 typically runs between 2.5 and 6.0 GPH. It returns at least 20 GPH to the fuel tank. I have 2 - 200 gallon tanks. At 25 GPH going through the filters, the whole tank goes through the filter every 8 hours. Isn't that enough? What am I missing?
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:41 PM   #27
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At 25 GPH going through the filters, the whole tank goes through the filter every 8 hours. Isn't that enough? What am I missing?
Don't see that you're missing anything. IMHO you understand the issue and concept very well.

Remember too, your vessel is reasonably new and fuel in your area quite good out of the dock nozzle. As vessels age, the opportunity for tanks gunking up increases, especially on lightly used vessels. Pulling a sample from the tank bottoms now and then is generally easy and probably wise.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:50 PM   #28
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Running the fuel through a polishing system or multiple filters (pretty much the same thing) is normally done when your not running your main or mains. At least that's what we do.
I like to think that by running the fuel from the tank through additional filters that are separate from your main fuel filters, will hopefully prevent the main filters from plugging up while running the main engine. That's the theory anyway.
Anything that you can do to keep the fuel as clean as possible can only help. As I mentioned above, if your running your main a lot, and burning up your fuel, the fuel dosent sit in the tanks long enough to grow stuff, assuming your tanks are clean in the first place.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:02 PM   #29
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Most boat owners dont have a clue how dirty there tanks are. Mostly because they have never been in a situation that stirs up the crud. I have been ,done that, not fun. The problem being when you absolutely need it the most is when it happens, clogged filters, engine (s) shut down. Try changing filters, repriming, restarting, etc while your blowing towards the rocks. The pucker factor is very high. I choose to not do that again so I keep my fuel and tanks clean. My tanks all have access ports in every chamber and can be easily (sorta) inspected/cleaned. Circulating the fuel thru filters helps to keep the crud from settling on the tank bottom. I guess if you will never be in a situation that positively requires your engines to keep running for you, your passengers and the boats safety then polishing may be a waste of time.
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:26 PM   #30
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Kulas

The assumption that all fuel polishing systems are good is not valid. As noted, how and where tanks are plumbed, volume recirculated, pipeline sizes and actual system performance remains a mystery to most. The various setups shown on TF are not all created equal. But, they do no harm so a balm is ok.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:23 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
I installed a multi stage filtration system. I don't polish fuel.

What you meant to say was, "I installed a multi stage filtration system. I polish my fuel everytime I run my boat."

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Old 02-16-2016, 09:35 PM   #32
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What you meant to say was, "I installed a multi stage filtration system. I polish my fuel everytime I run my boat."

Perfectly stated.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:45 PM   #33
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I agree that not all polishing systems are "good". Most are inadequate in terms of fuel flow and turn over rates. Most filtering setups are to small and dont have enough flow capacity to "polish" the fuel and the pumps used are just automotive style 12 volt fuel feed pumps that cant move enough volume. That being said, any fuel moving thru the filter system is an improvement over nothing at all. The best preventative is to actually, physically clean the tanks. The only way to be sure they are clean is to visually inspect them. This requires access to every inch of the tank. Then, with a clean tank, its fairly easy to keep them clean with a good polishing system.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:00 AM   #34
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What you meant to say was, "I installed a multi stage filtration system. I polish my fuel everytime I run my boat."

No. I meant I don't polish. I have a Lehman which for all intents and purposes doesn't return fuel. So I am only filtering what I use when I use it.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:29 AM   #35
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"Isn't that enough? What am I missing?

Smooth water inshore its great.

The dream is somehow by simply filtering the fuel a bit somehow the fuel tank will in time become clean.

When the sea state gets interesting and the fuel tank has internal room , even with baffles fuel will slosh enough to loosen goop stuck to the tank walls.

Sadly the goop is thicker nearer the tank bottom so as the fuel gets lower , the more is loosened and in the fuel.

This can block filters .
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:25 AM   #36
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In the 80s and early 90s, I had gunk clog my filters on my sailboats. I bought my trawler in 94, and in the first 10 yrs I changed out my racor 500s and the on engine Volvo secondaries frequently. They were generally full of crud. But in the last 15 years the frequency of changing out the filters has decreased as the quality of fuel I can get at the marine stations has gone way up. My last filter change was a year or two ago, and my log shows that it had been 4 years on the racor 500s and 10 years on the secondaries.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:44 AM   #37
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My last filter change was a year or two ago, and my log shows that it had been 4 years on the racor 500s and 10 years on the secondaries.
If you're talking about racor filters, you should change them on a yearly basis regardless of condition. They are paper filters and are designed for 1 year of being submerged.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:00 AM   #38
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"If you're talking about racor filters, you should change them on a yearly basis regardless of condition. They are paper filters and are designed for 1 year of being submerged."

Maybe the filter manufacturer has a design criteria that they are willing to warranty that theirs are good for one year. That doesn't mean that I need to change mine before they need it. I will continue to change them when they get cruddy. If that is 4 years, 1 year, less or more.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:26 AM   #39
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How often do you with inspection hatches on your tanks open them up and access the interior?
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:16 PM   #40
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I believe the one year longevity on Racors is based on the aqua bloc chemical that helps separate water.
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