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Old 09-13-2010, 09:24 AM   #1
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RCI fuel purifier?

My mechanic reccomended installation of an RCI fuel purifier.*
http://rcitechnologies.thomasnet.com...fuel-purifiers?

I currently have an Algae-X unit from the PO, and his opinion of this item was that it doesn't hurt, but doesn't help either.* I was thinking of replacing the Algae-X with one of these, but I've never heard of it.* Anyone know about these?* Are they worth looking into?
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:28 AM   #2
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RCI fuel purifier?

Don't know anything about them but I questioned this statement from their website....

...the RCI Technologies purifier performs this function without the use of a replaceable, changeable, or cleanable filter element, cartridge, or bowl...


From the operators manual on their website it appears it uses heat as part of the purifying process and that the body of the unit has to be purged periodically to remove the water and contaminants which then have to be disposed of as hazardous waste.* So it's still using a bowl of sorts to collect stuff.

I seem to recall someone on this forum having a unit like this--- a pretty big one--- on their boat.* I don't know if it's the same unit as your link but IIRC it uses heat as part of the purifying process.* An archive search might turn this up for you as their was some discussion over its effectiveness.* I believe the boater with the unit was "Delfin"* ( I may have that avatar name somewhat wrong)



-- Edited by Marin on Monday 13th of September 2010 11:40:26 AM
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:30 PM   #3
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

What problems are you having with the existing setup? For the best filter setup go to boatdiesel.com and read the articles on fuel filtration using a 3 stage setup. Sounds like your mechanic*would enjoy reading it too. Any mechanic recommending doing away with filters I'd not listen to, ever again.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:

What problems are you having with the existing setup? For the best filter setup go to boatdiesel.com and read the articles on fuel filtration using a 3 stage setup. Sounds like your mechanic*would enjoy reading it too. Any mechanic recommending doing away with filters I'd not listen to, ever again.
I'm not having any problems, I'm trying to prevent them.* My mechanic never reccomended I get rid of any filters.* He reccomended adding the RCI unit before the primary filter.* Since it is his belief that the Algae-X is only taking up space my thought was replacing it.

The conversation started when I asked him what the best setup was and he replied "well, there are two schools of thought..." and I think everyone who reads this forum knows about what they are.** Then he suggested I look up the RCI unit and that it would remove most water and particles before they even got to my primary/secondary filters.

The heater they refer to is to help melt parafin/reduce gelling.* The heater is an optional accessory and I guess is appropriate for certain climates.

*
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:18 PM   #5
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RCI fuel purifier?

Does the fuel in your area have a reputation for having problems? Water, particles, contaminants, etc?

The reason I ask is that despite all the discussions on boating forums about fuel filtration and special setups and so on, the vast majority of boaters seem to go along for decades with basic two-stage filtration, a primary and secondary, with zero, zip, nada problems. I know a fair number of boaters in our marina now and none of them are running anything other than the "normal" filter setup.

Now the fuel in our marina, and I gather in most of them in this region, is very good. There's a high turnover of fuel so it doesn't sit around very long, the fuel docks all have newish tanks due to the tightening restrictions on underground fuel tanks in this area that has caused many of them, including our supplier, to install new tanks. Given the huge number of boaters in this region, I'm sure there are some who have experienced fuel problems. But of all the causes of breakdowns, tows, etc. I've heard or read about, none of them quoted bad fuel as being the cause. I mean bad fuel from the pump.

A boat with a ton of gunk built up in its tanks that manages to get into the lines and clog things is another matter, of course. But if one's tanks are in good shape, engine stoppage due to bad fuel seems to be a non-issue in this area.

So unless your area has problems with bad fuel from the pump, or your boat has old fuel tanks or tanks in which fuel sat for a few years or has managed to get a lot of gunc and crud and water in the tanks, I would think the standard primary-secondary filter setup would work as well for you as it does for most everyone else.

The Algae-X unit you have does nothing, so the boat has been operating with whatever primary-secondary filter setup it's got now. There's nothing wrong with extra protection, but since there are enough expenses associated with owning a boat already, adding another one that may not be needed might be worth re-thinking.


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 13th of September 2010 02:25:21 PM
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:20 PM   #6
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Never had any problems and the PO didn't either.* I guess I am more curious than anything.* It is true, I have enough expenses right now with other stuff without getting into something new but I'd consider this unit some day in the*future*if it really*does work as advertised.* The fuel in my marina has low turnover so I go to a more visited gas dock to get my fuel.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:32 PM   #7
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Quote:
Marin wrote:"the vast majority of boaters seem to go along for decades with basic two-stage filtration, a primary and secondary, with zero, zip, nada problems..."
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I have owned boats up to 54' feet since 1995 (not as long as some) and that has been my experience. At the beginning, however, due to reading too many horror stories about bad fuel, I had a Baja filter on board and a Algea-X FP 500 fuel polishing system (still have it but haven't used it the last two years) and drained the Racor daily. I was obsessed with having super clean fuel! (Single Engine Syndrome) I believe that two stage filtration is more than adequate if one buys his fuel from a reputable source.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:37 PM   #8
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Walt,

What kind of camera do you have watching over everything?* Is it a 12V system?
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:42 PM   #9
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Pardon me Woody, I made the mistake of reading the RCI website It clearly states that doing away with all filters except the on-engine is recommended. They are nuts. On a new boat with a Tier II engine, following RCI's recommendations would lead to disaster. If you want to add anything, add a 30u*"bulk" fleetguard filter in front of your other two filters, You will sleep soundly.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:39 PM   #10
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Marketing at it's finest! The sellers of these systems haunt the boards.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:11 PM   #11
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RCI fuel purifier?

JD:

I do have a camera that works on 12v. I can't remember the manufacturer but the next time I'm on the boat I'll check it out. I do remember it was $195. Ralph, a member of this Forum, also has cameras. Maybe he'll answer if he reads this.

The camera is just above the top step on the right.



-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Monday 13th of September 2010 10:13:18 PM
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:45 AM   #12
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Thanks Walt.

I'll post under Electronics.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:49 AM   #13
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:

Pardon me Woody, I made the mistake of reading the RCI website It clearly states that doing away with all filters except the on-engine is recommended. They are nuts. On a new boat with a Tier II engine, following RCI's recommendations would lead to disaster. If you want to add anything, add a 30u*"bulk" fleetguard filter in front of your other two filters, You will sleep soundly.
Wow, I did read the stuff on their web site but I didn't see that part!* I agree, I don't think replacing my current primary with this is a good idea!* Like Seahorse, I have read the stories and have been told my many that "bad fuel is the leading source of problems on Diesel engines" and so I've spent many hours lying awake pondering the best filtration setup.

I think in the end what I'll do is leave the setup the same, and pull a sample from the bottom of both tanks to see what is down there, and go from there.

*
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:16 AM   #14
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RCI fuel purifier?

Woody

With a good filtering setup and assuming you go to high turnover branded fuel stops, bad fuel will not be*a diesel bugaboo. If you read boatdiesel.com you'd be hard pressed to find any problems raised due to bad fuel from the pump - old fuel tanks in a boat that set for years and then a new owner, yes. My read on all this "bad fuel' stuff is a self perpetuating old wives tale. Most water in diesel is due to leaky tank tops, bad vent lines*and bad O rings on the fuel filler. Everybody knows somebody who has a friend who*got a load of*bad fuel ---yada yada.

For the past many decades, I have been involved with the purchase of* millions of gallons of diesel. My remembrance of bad fuel - NADA. Of course I never bought it from an old tank farm in the Bahamas following a hurricane.

By the way, the Monk 36 is an icon, enjoy it.

-- Edited by sunchaser on Tuesday 14th of September 2010 10:18:22 AM
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:35 AM   #15
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RCI fuel purifier?

I actually did get a bad load of fuel once. The debris looked like large coffee grounds. The chuncks were so large they clogged my 3/8 copper lines and shut my old Perkins down*2 times before I got it under control. I knew it was a bad load because several weeks later another guy at the dock was tearing his filters down and removing the same looking particles. We talked and realized we both took on fuel that same day close to the same time. He found out the fuel dock's filter system let go and the tanks were low so we got infected.
This was a fuel dock that did lots of volume.
After the first two incidents I would drain my Racor bowl every trip or so and get a teaspoon full of "grounds". Finally after 6 or 7 years the fuel cleaned up.
But that was once in 20 years of diesel boating so that isn't too bad.

I got water one time...because the guy next to me in winter storage built a "hut" so he could strip down his boat. My theory is that that side of the boat and fuel tank got warmed with the sun then instantly got chilled when the sun ducked behind the hut.
As I was idling at the dock before my trip to the summer slip I saw the Racor bowl full of water. I shut down and drained the racor. Then made up a suction rig with a squeezeball, listed the boat so the water would settle in a corner, and sucked out water until the fuel was clear. Got about half gallon of water.
Never had another drop, so again I was lucky.



-- Edited by jleonard on Tuesday 14th of September 2010 10:41:05 AM

-- Edited by jleonard on Tuesday 14th of September 2010 10:42:10 AM
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:40 AM   #16
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Quote:
Egregious wrote:
I have read the stories and have been told my many that "bad fuel is the leading source of problems on Diesel engines" and so I've spent many hours lying awake pondering the best filtration setup.

I don't know where you read this but I've never seen anything like it in any of the boating forums I read.* On-board tank problems are a whole other deal as sunchaser says.* There are lots of problems with old tanks, tanks that have had fuel sit unused in them for long periods of time, tanks that allow moisture to get into them, tanks that are rusting, and so on.* A tank that has a layer of gunk on the bottom can feed clean fuel to the engine just fine until the day the boater encounters rough water.* The fuel starts sloshing around, the gunk starts getting stirred up, and worst case scenario is it can clog the filter system in minutes and starve the engine.

I don't know if you've read The Perfect Storm but IIRC there is a passage in there that describes what happens when a boat gets into a storm and the tank crud gets stirred up.* They put a crewman in the engine room and he's changing and cleaning filters on a non-stop basis to keep the engine going (commerical boats often have a parallel filtration system so you can send fuel through one filter while you're cleaning or changing the other one, then valve over when the first filter clogs up so you can change or clean that one).

So THAT kind of dirty fuel problem can be a real headache.* But I don't think even it is the leading cause of diesel engine problems.* I think most problems are cooling problems, injector problems, exhaust problems, and heat exchanger problems.* If you lie awake worrying about everything that can happen to a diesel you won't get any sleep

*
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:43 PM   #17
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RE: RCI fuel purifier?

Yeah guys, when I said "bad fuel" I wasn't talking specifically about "taking on bad fuel."* I mean fuel that is bad in general from sitting too long and condensation, and bad tanks etc.* Maybe that was misleading the way it was expressed...

I just bought Polly P. back in June.* I've put maybe 40 hours on her before blowing up a transmission, so I've been laid up getting repairs done for a month.* During that time I've gone through the PO's logs and I've been disturbed to find that my 40 hours are more than the PO used the boat in the last 2 years.* Therefore, I'm concerned about some junk in the tanks but I've been too busy dealing with the repairs and other tasks that need doing.* Pulled a Racor from the starboard engine a few weeks ago and it was dark but by no means clogged.* I will worry if I get into any type of lumpy seas though until I either inspect or clean the tanks.

BTW, the original '84 tanks were replaced so I have that going for me.
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