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Old 04-29-2006, 05:22 PM
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Default Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

The brand new boat that I bought about 1-year ago has a spin-on filter type fuel-water separator. How often should the filter be replaced? I can't seem to find any documentation on this.

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Old 04-29-2006, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

On my old boat I always changed mine every six months. I installed two RACORs (with the clear strainer bottom) on my new boat and I'm gonna do them once a season... I would definitely replace them whenever you do your motor maintenance at least..
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:30 PM
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Default RE: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

I'd replace it now since its a year old. What really matters is how clean or dirty/water contaminated, the fuel is that you use and how many gallons you think your filter can "clean". Filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to change. You will regret running a filter too long
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

Yep, twice a year.

Works for me!
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

Thanks for the replies.

I have 62 hours on my boat/motor at this point and am running a 2-stroke carburated Yamaha 150.

Its just amazing to me that this type of maintenance isn't documented anywhere. Just like decarbonizing, everyone seems to have their own schedule for doing it.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

I screwed a small brass ball valve (home depot....8 bucks) into the base of my racor. Now I strain a small sample into a glass jar every other time i run the boat or so. It's amazing how much crud is in my fuel. I thread a brass cap into the valve for extra safety.

Two years ago I neglected to change my filter element and it filled with enough water overh the summer to render it usuless. The water eventually reached high enough and sloshed into the fuel line to the carb with BAD results. The water and crud collect in the bottom of the carb and start to ruin it from the bottom up. Don't let ANY water into your carb if you can help it.

I now change my filter element every 50 hours with the oil change. It may be overkill, but the money-time and aggravation fixing my carb problem is worth it to me. Not to mention time lost at the dock.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

Quote:
Bestred1 - 4/30/2006 9:30 AM

Its just amazing to me that this type of maintenance isn't documented anywhere. Just like decarbonizing, everyone seems to have their own schedule for doing it.
I think the reason for this is that no one operates their boats the same. Someone operating a boat 300 hours a year is going to have a different maintenance schedule than someone operating their boat 50 hours per year. That is why you see some maintenance intervals based on operating hours and some on a calendar basis. Also, if you use crappy Wally World oil like I do you might want to decarbon more frequently than someone that uses great quality oil like Merc Premium Plus.

Here is one more filter change procedure. Install a vacuum gauge in the outlet port to your fuel filter and then change the filter when it gets dirty. Might take 50 hours and might take a thousand hours, it depends on the quality of the fuel. How will you know when the filter needs changing? When the filter is new the gauge will register zero or very little vacuum at all. As the filter progressively gets clogged with debris, the gauge will indicate an increasing vacuum. Once the gauge registers five or so inches of mercury you know that it is clogged to the point that it needs to be changed.

Whatever you do, it is a good idea to have the Racor transparent bowl installed and check it regularly for the presence of water. Drain the water each time you see some in the bowl. If you see a lot of water quite often you might want to determine how the water is getting into the tank, as this is not normal. As noted above, you don't want water getting to the engine.
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

An addendum to the advice from Jethro. The see thru bowl is ONLY for outboard motors!
Al
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Old 04-30-2006, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

I went to the Racor site and there is no specific area on the site telling you when to change the filters or any maintenance schedule at all. I personally think since they are an added item that protects the quality of your boats fuel you should change them often or as little as 2 times per year. In addition to that keep 2 or more extras filters around for each engine in the event you get bad fuel and need extra fuel filters around. I have the Racor Units Andy at SIMS sells. Shipyard Island Marina Service, Andy is a sponsor on the Forum site and has these BAD A$$ S/S units that will never corrode and look great.
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

You're motor service manual will tell you when to change filters. I change oil filters every hundred hours and fuel/water separators at two hundred hours. Or every other oil filter change.
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

I have an I/O and my fuel/water sep is in a horrible spot with poor access. I tried changing it the first year and it was stuck solid. I fear we will have to pull the engine out of the boat. Since this is not a trivial undertaking, I have put it off for longer than I should. I'm now on year 7 with the same one, and I know it's overdue. I realize this will come around and bite me sooner or later, but I'm going to try and make it through the season.
Once a new one gets on there, I plan on changing it every year and hopefully not having one get stuck on there. The same thing happened with the original oil filter (very difficult to remove) but the accessibility was marginally better and I was able to get it off the first year. All subsequent oil filters come off fine. I am guessing they put the originals on dry.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Fuel Water Separator - when to change filter?

I'll take a simple crack at your answer: Once per year.

That should cover 90% of boaters.
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