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Old 10-18-2019, 05:22 AM   #1
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Racor filter shelf life

Do Racor Aquablock filters have a storage shelf life? Does the filter media or the Aquablock treatment deteriorate aver time?
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:40 AM   #2
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That's a good question. As far as I can tell there are no date codes on them and I went to their website and read all the literature and there's no mention of it either way. Absent any documented info, the only way to be sure would be to ask them directly.

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Old 10-18-2019, 09:49 AM   #3
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I have heard/read one year...

Whether that's a guide or hard number, not sure.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:34 AM   #4
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I have heard/read one year...

Whether that's a guide or hard number, not sure.
Is that a shelf life in it's wrapping or life in the filter housing with diesel fuel?

Ted
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:39 AM   #5
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I understood it to be 1 year after put in service.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:47 PM   #6
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I just got this back from Racor Technical Service.

"There is no maximum shelf life as long as the filter is still in the original packaging. Filters out of their packaging should be used as soon as possible."

Racor Products Technical Service
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:51 PM   #7
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I just got this back from Racor Technical Service.

"There is no maximum shelf life as long as the filter is still in the original packaging. Filters out of their packaging should be used as soon as possible."

Racor Products Technical Service
Sounds reasonable.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:58 PM   #8
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Next visit to the boat includes replacement of a Racor filter. Last time out, fuel-flow was insufficient to exceed cruise speed.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:35 PM   #9
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I am going to change mine at the beginning of next season, been 4 years so I should probably change them...
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:13 AM   #10
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Is that a shelf life in it's wrapping or life in the filter housing with diesel fuel?

Ted
In use.....but because of aquabloc, sitting around for too long probably isn't advisable though the packaging is supposed to help. I think in the past, one year shelf life was the guide because of the uncertainty of how long aquabloc would be OK.

I would think storage for several years would be no big deal.....factory says so too.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:09 AM   #11
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I run 30 micron Raycors and change them at the end of every season. There is sometimes a bit of sediment in the bowl but the filters always look clean, never a elevated suction issue.

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Old 10-19-2019, 12:30 PM   #12
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I run 30 micron Raycors and change them at the end of every season. There is sometimes a bit of sediment in the bowl but the filters always look clean, never a elevated suction issue.

pete


That is good practice and conforms to most conservative recommendations. I used to replace both my Racors yearly as well. My engine calls for 10 micron primaries instead of 30 however.

Having said that, I have been changing one Racor each year. My experience, like yours, has been that I never have gotten a vacuum rise and since I run on one of the dual filters, the unused filter was always spotless. Now I replace the in use filter and then change to the filter that has not been in use for the past year. The only negative is that I’m not sure how long the aquablock is effective while sitting in diesel fuel for a year.
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:30 PM   #13
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I just received an email update from the local (to me) Racor rep.

"The Racor Self life for Aquabloc depends on how it’s in storage, if the paper wrapping (I'm assuming this is a typo and they mean plastic wrapper) on the element was removed or damaged they say one year.
In Testing its unofficially said the self-life is two years if wrapping in its original package, but the warrantee remains one year from the manufactured date.
Don’t exposed elements to high heat and direct sunlight they recommend storage in a cool atmosphere.
There isn’t a good way to test the elements just don’t use them if they look old, damaged and they should smell a little like fish."

BTW - I originally said they didn't have a date code on them but I'm pretty sure they do. I definitely have some that are older than 2 years. I'm going to have to start marking them and practicing stock rotation.

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Old 12-14-2019, 01:11 AM   #14
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I found the following on Tony Athen's website and it is a quote from him regarding fuel filter life:
"For all intents and purposes, they DO NOT degrade with time (10+ years with clean #2 in them?) . If “stuff is growing inside the bowl, then that is a different story. Definitely a clear bowl can speed that up, as “light” is an ingredient for some types of this growth. With a RACOR, a visual can give you a a decent indication, but only a vac gauge will tell you for sure. 8-10″ Hg is a good number to change at."
He seems to think that they have a great life and basically (within reason) do not degrade much over time.
As many of you know, he is a very highly regarded marine engine expert, with over 35 years of experience!
Just additional info from what I consider to be a "trusted source".
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
I found the following on Tony Athen's website and it is a quote from him regarding fuel filter life:
"For all intents and purposes, they DO NOT degrade with time (10+ years with clean #2 in them?) . If “stuff is growing inside the bowl, then that is a different story. Definitely a clear bowl can speed that up, as “light” is an ingredient for some types of this growth. With a RACOR, a visual can give you a a decent indication, but only a vac gauge will tell you for sure. 8-10″ Hg is a good number to change at."
He seems to think that they have a great life and basically (within reason) do not degrade much over time.
As many of you know, he is a very highly regarded marine engine expert, with over 35 years of experience!
Just additional info from what I consider to be a "trusted source".
2 points:
Tony markets his own system, so he has some bias.

The bowl's advantage is to see water and crud accumulating before it becomes a problem. Without the bowl you have no way of knowing until it becomes bad enough to register on the vacuum gauge. If I were to have significant water in my fuel, I would want to know when it started collecting in the first filter (bowl).

While Tony is very well regarded, Racor is part of Parker Hannaifin, one of the acknowledged world leaders in the science of fuel filtration. For Tony to imply that he has a better understanding of Racor's filter media than the scientists who invented it, is laughable. Maybe Tony could post a picture of his science lab where he evaluates the life expectancy of filter media.

In the relative scheme of boating costs, a Racor filter element costs absolutely nothing. For the catastrophic cost a plugged fuel filter could lead to (power limited or disabled engine at the worst possible time), why would you risk it.

Ted
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:04 AM   #16
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2 points:
Tony markets his own system, so he has some bias.

The bowl's advantage is to see water and crud accumulating before it becomes a problem. Without the bowl you have no way of knowing until it becomes bad enough to register on the vacuum gauge. If I were to have significant water in my fuel, I would want to know when it started collecting in the first filter (bowl).

While Tony is very well regarded, Racor is part of Parker Hannaifin, one of the acknowledged world leaders in the science of fuel filtration. For Tony to imply that he has a better understanding of Racor's filter media than the scientists who invented it, is laughable. Maybe Tony could post a picture of his science lab where he evaluates the life expectancy of filter media.

In the relative scheme of boating costs, a Racor filter element costs absolutely nothing. For the catastrophic cost a plugged fuel filter could lead to (power limited or disabled engine at the worst possible time), why would you risk it.

Ted
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:23 AM   #17
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" There isn’t a good way to test the elements just don’t use them if they look old, damaged and they should smell a little like fish.""

To be clear are you saying that they should smell like fish?
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Old 12-14-2019, 11:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
2 points:
Tony markets his own system, so he has some bias.

The bowl's advantage is to see water and crud accumulating before it becomes a problem. Without the bowl you have no way of knowing until it becomes bad enough to register on the vacuum gauge. If I were to have significant water in my fuel, I would want to know when it started collecting in the first filter (bowl).

While Tony is very well regarded, Racor is part of Parker Hannaifin, one of the acknowledged world leaders in the science of fuel filtration. For Tony to imply that he has a better understanding of Racor's filter media than the scientists who invented it, is laughable. Maybe Tony could post a picture of his science lab where he evaluates the life expectancy of filter media.

In the relative scheme of boating costs, a Racor filter element costs absolutely nothing. For the catastrophic cost a plugged fuel filter could lead to (power limited or disabled engine at the worst possible time), why would you risk it.

Ted
Ted: with respect, as far as Racor stating that their filters have a shelf life, well, Racor markets filters. Meanwhile, Tony Athens does not market a product he makes. The filters are Fleetguards. The vacuum gauges are off the shelf as are the filter heads he sells, all of which can be had from other suppliers. I do agree that a sight bowl is handy but a simple opening of the bottom drain valve on a Fleetguard filter will give the same info re water and/or debris.

I have Lehman 120s which flow two gallons per hour and return almost nothing at a fuel pressure of around 7psi. I question whether Racor's vaunted whirlpool effect has anything but a marginal effect.

Bottom line is I don't like Racors but I don't have an Athens setup either. I have Davco heads which are used extensively in the trucking industry, much easier to change filters and the user may visually determine when changing a filter is required.
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Old 12-14-2019, 12:02 PM   #19
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Ted: with respect, as far as Racor stating that their filters have a shelf life, well, Racor markets filters. Meanwhile, Tony Athens does not market a product he makes. The filters are Fleetguards. The vacuum gauges are off the shelf as are the filter heads he sells, all of which can be had from other suppliers. I do agree that a sight bowl is handy but a simple opening of the bottom drain valve on a Fleetguard filter will give the same info re water and/or debris.

I have Lehman 120s which flow two gallons per hour and return almost nothing at a fuel pressure of around 7psi. I question whether Racor's vaunted whirlpool effect has anything but a marginal effect.

Bottom line is I don't like Racors but I don't have an Athens setup either. I have Davco heads which are used extensively in the trucking industry, much easier to change filters and the user may visually determine when changing a filter is required.
With regard to Tony, my point was that he had no scientific basis to comment on Racor's "in use time life expectancy".

Maybe you could explain your technique for an underway sampling for water in fuel. On long days (>6 hours) I do an engine room inspection every 4 hours which includes shining a light in the Racor bowl. A number of forum members do it more frequently.

With a fuel flow of 2 to 6 GPH with your Lehman in either the Racor 900 or 1000 series filters, I would imagine the whirlpool would have no effect. With my 135 HP JD, it probably has some effect as the underway flow rate is 10 to 32 GPH. In my Racor 1000 fuel polisher with a 150 GPH flow rate, the whirlpool effect is undeniable. Clearly the whirlpool requires a minimum flow rate to be effective.

Ted
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:49 PM   #20
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I do not check for water while underway. Why would I not know before I got underway that there was water in the tank? Or debris. As for Tone Athens' opinion on Racor housings, educated or not, it matters not to me. I still like all metal filters with a bottom drain. In my opinion his sequential filtering regimen with vacuum gauges makes eminent sense to me.
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With regard to Tony, my point was that he had no scientific basis to comment on Racor's "in use time life expectancy".

Maybe you could explain your technique for an underway sampling for water in fuel. On long days (>6 hours) I do an engine room inspection every 4 hours which includes shining a light in the Racor bowl. A number of forum members do it more frequently.

With a fuel flow of 2 to 6 GPH with your Lehman in either the Racor 900 or 1000 series filters, I would imagine the whirlpool would have no effect. With my 135 HP JD, it probably has some effect as the underway flow rate is 10 to 32 GPH. In my Racor 1000 fuel polisher with a 150 GPH flow rate, the whirlpool effect is undeniable. Clearly the whirlpool requires a minimum flow rate to be effective.

Ted
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