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Author Topic: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench  (Read 339 times)

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SV Pretty Lady

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Hello. I have the leak. It's leaking from the top of the unit at the gasket and also bottom at the valve. Tried to tighten valve. No luck. Tried to tighten unit, no luck. It's been leaking for awhile and I bought my boat in February 2018. So the fuel has had time to really penetrate everything on the boat.

The unit is short and is not like the longer, more expensive units I see online for our boats. It is compact and screws into a metal base mounted in the area under the head sink. The valve is plastic.

This has moved to the top of my list (even over all of the cabin leaks) and I am shopping for a replacement filter.

1. Suggestions on a replacement.
2. Do I need to relieve pressure in the system first? (I'm a lady with limited knowledge on diesels and sailboats, but I can do the job if correctly directed. Lol. )
3. What to use to clean out the fuel that has leaked and stagnated on the surface for who knows how long. Need something that will eliminate the odor.
Stayed overnight on the boat a couple days ago and could barely stand the odor.

Thanks for any help. :)
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1988 Catalina 34
Universal diesel

KWKloeber

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 11:10:30 AM »

Is it a Racor?

Pics!?!  We all carry a camera in our pocket!
That always helps us help owners - you’ll never find any marine manufacturer’s picture next to “standard” or “typical” in any dictionary.   Yikes!  :shock:

IIWMB, I’d try orange-based cleaners on the stench.

k

PS add boat Mk, engine, etc in your forum profile or signature to help us help you.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 11:11:57 AM by KWKloeber »
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.   -Mark Twain

SV Pretty Lady

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 04:43:23 PM »

1988 Catalina 34
Universal diesel

I don't see a name on the filter.
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1988 Catalina 34
Universal diesel

Dave Spencer

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 05:06:25 PM »

S/V PL,
I don't recognize that filter but others might.  You may wish to consider a "Racor" filter with a clear bowl at the bottom where you can see the water that has accumulated and drain it off.  It looks like that's what the knob is for that you are pointing at in your second picture.  Is that what is leaking?  For what it's worth, I've attached a picture of my Racor.  the tube on the bottom of my filter is a simple clear tube that I pressed onto the nipple of the drain valve so I can capture the water I drain without holding a bottle up to the filter.  Yours looks to be about the same size but without the clear bowl.
Ken is likely right about deodorizing.  If it has been that way for a while, the cushions have likely absorbed some odour.  I wouldn't deal with them until the leak is stopped and the interior is cleaned as well as you can.
There's lots of help here... keep asking questions.

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Dave Spencer
C34 #1279  "Good Idea"
Mk 1.5, Std Rig, Wing Keel, M35A Engine
Boat - Lion's Head, Ontario
People - London, Ontario

SV Pretty Lady

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 05:20:40 PM »

I have been looking at the Racor filters and read good reviews about them. Will probably order one tomorrow. Yes, the drain knob is leaking, as well as the upper portion of the filter around the seal, possibly the off white round unit right above the seal (sorry, I don't know what it is).

Sadly, I took the cushions out and cleaned them twice with an upholstery cleaner before I found the fuel leak. I'll have to take them out again for another cleaning once I sort out the leak and smell.
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1988 Catalina 34
Universal diesel

KWKloeber

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 07:09:35 PM »

SV

The Racor is pretty much the gold.   The Racor 120 is all I use and it's all that's needed for an M-25/XP.  If you're going to change a cartridge seasonally, a larger unit is overkill (JTSO.)

Note that the fuel sequence **should be**  tank > primary filter > fuel lift pump, some were plumbed backward.

Also, note that the marketing of the Racor spin-on is a reality, not actuality, show.
The "2 micron" (u) cartridge is actually rated 4u, the 10u is rated @ 20u, same as the  best secondary filters (the Universal secondary filter is rated 25u.)

Fuel filters   
Fleetguard   FF5226, FF42003; 65% efficient @ 2u - 82% efficient @ 10u; 98.67% efficient @ 20u
Fram   P7514    C6921  82% efficient @10u; 97% efficient @20u

Universal   298854   ? nom; 25u abs
WIX   33389 / NAPA 3389 - “10u nominal” – “We don’t supply beta ratios” (then I don't buy Wix!)
Purolator   F50262
AC   TP1200
Hastings    FF1119
CARQUEST   86390, 86582
Kubota    15221-43170

Racor 120 (rated 15 gph)
Racor R12S “2u” element - NOT! 99% or better @ 4 microns
“From what I understand, the 2 micron branding on our filters is a leftover from pre NIST counting standards (from before Wally started here in 1981) and is more of a marketing name than a designation based on test data.” –Parker Hannifin, Racor Division 8/8/2012 email.; ( i.e., truth in advertising doesnt exist.)




-k
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.   -Mark Twain

KWKloeber

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 07:38:41 PM »

Oh, BTW as far as cushions/foam, try OdoBan. 
Soak the foam and let it sun/air dry.  Also, oxygen cleaner spray may work.  You may have to treat them several times.  I used it for cushion/foam odors (not diesel) and was pleased with the results.  Other's mileage may vary.

At very last resort, you can wrap the offending foam tightly with cut-up lawn/leaf bags and duct tape the seams tightly, that should contain odors. I did that on my vee cushions because occasionally the hatch "was left open" and I got tired of drying out the foam!  JTSO.

-k
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.   -Mark Twain

Bobg

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2018, 09:16:39 PM »

for odor, try pure ayre, you can find it on line, and highly recommended by Peggie Hall, "the head mistress"  always works for me
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Bob Gatz, 1988 catalina 34, Hull#818, "Ghostrider" sail lake superior Apostle Islands

WTunnessen

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 09:15:09 AM »

RE: Stench I'll second the Pure Ayre. Works very well. I even use it on boat shoes if they start to get rank. You can buy it on-line.

If you don't have a fuel shut off value between the filter and the tank, consider installing one.
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Gaulois #579 C34 Tall Rig - CYC West River, MD

SV Pretty Lady

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2018, 07:10:03 PM »

Good idea on the fuel shut off valve, WT. I will put one in.

In a pinch, I bought some spray that claims to get rid of oil, gas and diesel from the local Auto Zone. So, today, I cleaned it up the best I could. Had some black mold growing way back up in there. Cleaned that up with Star Bright. Love that stuff! I ran my carbon filter with inline fan, too, to help scrub the air.

Off topic....I sprayed the areas around my bilge as far up as I could get with the Star Bright mildew remover. I had so much black, algae type stuff all over the place under there. The areas way up there were completely covered in black algae. I hope it helps my boat smell better, too. Moving on the boat FT end of June and don't want to live on a stinky boat.  :sick
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1988 Catalina 34
Universal diesel

KWKloeber

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 08:18:54 PM »

Again, which engine do you have?
If it hasn't already been, mod the crankcase breather hose over to the air intake to stop stinky diesel from dumping into the engine compartment.  The mod is on the techwiki.

-k
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.   -Mark Twain

Noah

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Re: Fuel water separator leak and getting rid of the stench
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 08:16:49 AM »

Get yourself a dehumidifier. I have an Eva dry 2000 that I keep on 24/7 while at the dock. Inexpensive and works great. I did a bit of a hack, tapping the water collection tray/drawer and adding a hose barb and 3 ft.  of aquarium hose/tubing, so the water now drains into the sink. That way I never need to empty and it can run all the time.

https://express.google.com/product/6448816425402161190_2578328265286159714_118724597?mall=WashingtonDC&directCheckout=1&utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=product_ads&utm_campaign=gsx
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 08:18:23 AM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
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