Water separator clogged?

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richter372001
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Water separator clogged?

Post by richter372001 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:33 am

Hi, all

So, my Suzuki DF60 had been shutting down due to the lack of fuel.
I tried locating the problem, and it seemed that the water separator was the culprit.
However, changing the filter did not do anything. Next stop - the filter holder, i.e. the cap.
Has anyone had any experience with the actual cap or lid, whatever it is called, being clogged and impeding the fuel flow?
Meantime, I have connected the fuel line/bulb part directly into the fuel tank (a Sceptre/Tempo replacement unit) and the problem is gone.
Seems like the water separator is the problem. Or, could it be something else?
Could it be that the fuel pump in the DF60 is too weak to pull a steady stream of fuel? I admit a have no idea how the mechanics of pulling the fuel into the fuel injectors functions.

Thanks in advance!

Srdjan

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Russ
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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by Russ » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:19 am

The Suzuki fuel pump seems to fairly strong. You are probably on track looking at the filter.

Take the whole filter off and blast it with carburetor cleaner. Also make sure the seals are good that hold the filter on. It could be sucking air. In fact, I would check the seal first.
My guess is that you have an air leak. The filter draws from the top so sediment drops to the bottom.

Also check all the fittings from the filter to the engine. Look for cracks or something that could be allowing air in.

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richter372001
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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by richter372001 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:02 pm

Thank you, will test and retest. Something must be fishy with the filter holder, i.e. the cap.
New filter did not help, so my guess is that the flow through the cap is not going through to the engine fuel line.

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richter372001
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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by richter372001 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:16 am

Ok, here is an update:
after some claustrophobic minutes spent with my arm deep in the bowels (somewhere between the transom wall and the hull) of Mac,
I managed to swap the water separator, while dropping only one washer.
That was the good news.
The bad news is that, once I reconnected the fuel line (the one with the bulb) to the output of the water separator and the incoming hose from the tank,
NOTHING happened. The fuel simply does not flow from the tank.

Since it draws fuel when I connect the bulb hose directly to the tank (so same fittings as with the other connection), I am at a loss what else to try.
Someone mentioned air leaks, but everything seems to be fitting very tightly.
Also, should there not be at least some flow?
The little container at the bottom of the separator assembly is completely dry, so I am not getting ANY flow at all.
Any ideas what else might be causing this?

Some additional info - I had to buy new tanks, and I found the replacement tanks for the old Tempos. At least, they advertised them as such.
Of course, they are not completely identical - the cap on the new has been moved, so it is a little awkward to reach it from the old hole in the cockpit seat. Also, the fittings in the front obscure the fuel level gauge.
All that aside, it did look like the old tank and the fittings openings are same size, so I reused the old fittings - the one that screws into the tank and the fitting from the hose that connects it to the water separator. Could one of them be the culprit?

Regards,
Srdjan

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by K9Kampers » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:58 am

I've had to install new fuel tank and / or fuel line fittings when experiencing fuel delivery issues. The o-ring around the springed-ball of the tank fitting had cracked & swollen.

Is the fuel filter / water seperator a new install, or have you been using it for a while? The filter head mount should have arrows cast in showing fuel flow IN / OUT direction. Make sure the previous filters' o-ring is not sandwiched between filter and filter head.

Did the fuel line with the primer ball get reversed at some point?

Simple things to recheck before looking the complex stuff

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by richter372001 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:00 am

Alright, all valid points.

The problem must be in the separator unit - when I connect the bulb hose to it and pump, there is no vacuum created.
That tells me (am I wrong?) that the leak takes place someplace in the separator assembly.
I tightened the closed holes (still some space for tightening, but not without a proper tool - did not have it handy)
and also the in and out pieces - whatever they're called, but still no luck.
The primer does not pull at all and no fuel is coming from the tank.
The next would be the filter and the water bowl, but both seem very tight, with no space for leaks.
I am slowly running out of options here.

If this worked and the problem ocurred once I connected the other hose that runs to the tank, I would test the other fittings, including the one with the spring ball, etc, but I am still downstream from that.

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by Tomfoolery » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:22 am

Perhaps you could connect a small hand pump, like for a bike tire or basketball, plug the other end, and put slight pressure on it and check for air leaks. If it's empty of fuel, you can turn it every which way and use soap water to look for bubbles.

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by K9Kampers » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:28 am

I tightened the closed holes (still some space for tightening, but not without a proper tool - did not have it handy)
First, eliminate this variable from the equation. No sense looking downstream for something else if this is the problem.
The problem must be in the separator unit - when I connect the bulb hose to it and pump, there is no vacuum created.
That tells me (am I wrong?) that the leak takes place someplace in the separator assembly.
Try filling the filter with fuel before installing it... this will help it prime and you would have to spend some much energy to draw fuel into it squeezing the primer ball.

Easy test for the filter head... remove filter, hoses, fittings , plugs, and blow into each hole to confirm open passages or clogs.

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by Sloop John B » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:44 am

I had the same problem. Turned out the drain hole on the bottom was not air tight. Take it apart and see how it works. It didn't leak gas, but a sliver opening kept it from building the necessary vacuum.

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richter372001
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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by richter372001 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:12 am

"Perhaps you could connect a small hand pump, like for a bike tire or basketball, plug the other end, and put slight pressure on it and check for air leaks. If it's empty of fuel, you can turn it every which way and use soap water to look for bubbles."

I like this idea, as long as the air flow will be noticable. Bubbles would be better, but am I ok putting soapy water in the water separator?

It is comforting to know I am not the only one with this kind of a problem. Had no idea it can get so bad that the fuel does not flow AT ALL.
So, I will check the little outlet valve at the bottom of the separator assembly, too. Although it seemed pretty tight...

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by K9Kampers » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:55 am

richter372001 wrote: I like this idea, as long as the air flow will be noticable. Bubbles would be better, but am I ok putting soapy water in the water separator?.
Do NOT put soapy water in the filter! The soapy water is to be sprayed on the fittings that are suspect of leaking. Pressure in the filter will find a way to escape, and the soapy water will indicate that by bubbling. No bubbles = no leak.

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by richter372001 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:26 am

Thank you for the warning.
Have not gotten around to doing it, so it was timely.
Not that I would do that, haha.

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by Tomfoolery » Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:43 am

Soapy water sprayed or dripped onto the gasketed joints, plugs, and fittings is what I meant. It shouldn't take much pressure (a couple of psi), with a little patience. If it's waterproof, which it should be for marine use ( :P ), put a few psi in it and dunk it in clean water to look for bubbles.

But if it's mounted, I'd be inclined to gently tighten connections and plugs and see if the primer bulb will draw fuel before doing that. It might just be a matter of a loose plug, as already suggested.

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by richter372001 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:45 am

Ok, glad to report that the problem has been fixed.
It took wrapping every single in and out plug on the separator with thread seal tape and tightening the crap out of it.
Same thing with the fuel hoses leading into and out of the separator.
Apparently, it does not take a big ole hole to inhibit the pump from sucking on the gas, just loose connections. And not obviously loose, either!
I tested it at WOT and it worked fine.
It was practically the end of the season, but it will be one less thing to worry about over the winter : )
Coming up next: the replacement of the ballast valve...

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Re: Water separator clogged?

Post by richter372001 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:46 am

By the way, soapy bubble test did not work out.
Either my soapy mixture was not rich enough, or I was not doing it properly - applying the soapy water while pumping the air into the separator.
Unless the culprit was exactly the hole through which I was pumping the air in.

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