Racor FPM-50 Fuel Polish pump

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Mar 31, 2011
Anyone have any experience or comments about new Racor FPM-50 low rate continuous fuel polisher? I'm thinking about installing and let run for 1 week at a time to clean 150 gallon tanks. Issue is keeping cool moist Pacific NW Moisture out of the diesel and use treatment as well (Solitron or other). Very simple installation and will use existing 500 series filters. I have a dual racor filter - can use one for polish when I'm away and 1 to use for cruising. I'm only on the water for 300 - 350 hours a year so the low use requires some way to keep out water besides full tanks at all times.
Have quite a bit of recent experience with the whole fuel polishing thing ( http://www.trawlerforum.com/forum.spark?aBID=115492&topicID=41132459&p=3 ), For $500+ dollars, you can build more that one dedicated units that will turn over your fuel in hours, not weeks. It's a little pump... for $500... a little pump... and it's $500... for a pump... $500. There are better solutions.

I am putting off a full blown parts list of what I did (with a TON of help from the people here) because I am just lazy and got my eyes crossed looking at the Grainger catolog for weeks. But I swear I'll get to it and put it on Bess' blog soon. Still, my loss can be your gain because for about the same amount of money, you won't need but a few valves and fittings, a motor and a pump. If you can do some homework and have some patience, it won't be a big deal. And with your two filters dedicate one to full-time 60 gph duty! Technically, mine was closer to $800, but I made some mistakes and bought a few things twice, but it was totally worth it.

HOWEVER, there are some different opinions on the need to polish fuel at all, so be aware of that. But don't discount their advice when it comes to plumbing.

I see the FPM-50 as a waste of cash. (if the whole $500 pump thing wasn't enough
) If you want a polisher, do it right and get a honkin' AC pump and really move through some liquid

**Look everybody... y'all learned me sumptin'!!**

-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Thursday 31st of March 2011 08:50:35 PM
Ya done good.
It is making me revisit my polishing system and tidy it up.
Unless you have a way to remove the water , a dedicated sump to pump from , its a waste of time.

Really old hot fuel may ashphalt but your primary fuel has no problem with that, if its normal size.

ONLY by rewmoving all the water , all the time , can the TANK be kept clean, which is the desired result.

-- Edited by FF on Friday 1st of April 2011 03:37:54 AM
Thanks guys. The literature from Parker is pretty specific about the entire task is to get rid of the water and do it nearly continuously if the boat is going to sit. They advise using the Racor 500 series water / fuel separator as a major part of things. So that seems to align with your thinking. Just for the record, Defender has the pump on sale for closer to $350 if I recall correctly - I did see it listed for as much as $700 at some places. I think what I will do is give this a try and report on my findings in detail. If the little pump is a mistake I'll give the specifics. At least I will have the fittings in place for a more serious pump if it turns out I'm proven wrong and this knowledgable bunch is proven right one more time. At least we'll have evidence and details to compare. I'll also check the link you provided - thanks!
The size and capacity of the pump has zero to do with the clean tank concept.

ONLY the ability to find the water will allow any system to function.

Water sinks to the bottom , with a sump you can get the water below the tank bottom .

Otherwise you only clean the fuel above the pick up , and could be leaving multiple inches of water .

No patch or rig lashup will make up for a poor tank design.


There are bags of stuff that sometimes can be dropped into the tank, that claim to absorb water and are pulled with a string after working.


Great ,but condensation , water production starts again at sunset , or the next fuel fill.

-- Edited by FF on Monday 4th of April 2011 04:31:34 AM
Just looked at the pump in Defender's site. If it can only filter 50 gallons a day that is a pretty slow pump. One could do much better with a Walbro or Carter or going the route Gonzo did.

Pump is now on sale at Defender for $314.

I use an electric fuel pump for transfer and polishing that cost about $45.

It pumps 36gal/hour not much but more than 50/day.



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DaveV* -- What problems are you having that indicate a need for fuel polishing? If you want to spend some money, just because, check out the boat diesel website fuel filtering articles. On*a*boat as new as yours, you will gain much more from*3 stage fitration*than* a fuel polishing setup. Also, diesel will not degrade like alcohol laced gasoline.

I too boat in the PNW - no signs of water in fuel, ever. Most if not all water comes from leaks in tanks tops or bad fill opeings, provided you buy from a reputable dealer.*The people who sell fuel polishing stuff will scare you to death with doom. Additives - no harm but a lot less money to blow than fuel polishing to salve your needs. Check out the latest issues of PMM with articles on additives - not very supportive of the additive suppliers.*

Now if you are a serious blue water cruiser traveling the seven seas, by all means, polish. You never know what was last in the fuel truck* on the beach.
Dave, I'm with Tom on this one.* I have never seen a drop of water in my tanks show up in any of 3 Racors.* My tanks are steel, which should condensate water if it's going to happen.* To make sure I am getting the bottom of the tank cleaned, I like to polish continuously the last 20 gallons while underway in a slop.* That way I know everything is really stirred up.* Water - never there.* Crud - plenty.* I polish because I would rather have the asphaltine removed than settle out in the tanks, but if water is your only concern, I personally wouldn't bother with the Racor pump.* If crud is the issue, 50 gpd is going to cut it.
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