Racor Fun Yesterday

Dec 16, 2011
239
Catalina 310 Atlantic Highlands
I changed the fuel filters yesterday on the hard, which is always a delightful job (note sarcasm) and had an issue I thought I'd share. After I was done, having used my last absorbent pad and most of my paper towels/rags, I ran the engine to ensure no problems. I did have an impeller issue I had to resolve, but that is for another post. As I was just about to pack everything up, I noticed the water drain seemed to be wet with a bit of diesel.

Racor.jpg

So I gave it a little bit of a twist to make sure it was fully closed, and the rubber seal on the inside of the water bowl popped off. Best I can guess, as I was wiping it out during the change I pulled it partially off the plastic "screw" thingy and an extra half-turn was enough to pop it the rest of the way off. So I grabbed the paper towels that were still within reach to staunch the flow of diesel out of the bottom of the water bowl. I was alone on the boat and didn't want to leave it while I crawled into the back to shut the fuel lines off at the tank, but luckily my phone was on the nav table so I was able to call my wife to come to the boat so she could hold the increasing number of paper towels under the bowl while I went and shut off the fuel. I know there isn't a huge amount of fuel in the racor, but I wasn't sure if gravity would just keep fuel flowing into it or not and didn't want to take that chance.

With an extra pair of hands I was able to disassemble the filter (now for the second time that day) and got it handled without too much of a mess, and had just enough paper towels and rags to clean up (for the second time). My lesson learned is to double-check that rubber seal thing the next time I change the filters.
 
Jan 19, 2010
947
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
Folger's may not be the best coffee but they have the best re-purposing containers....They cut easily with scissors so you can form fit around obstacles. When changing my fuel filter ( RACOR) I shut the fuel cock at the tank . Drain the separating bowl into the a coffee container, looses and ease the used filter into the container, wet the new O rings with container fuel and install the new element. Then it's clean out the bowl and attach to the filter element. NO spills.. I do place an absorbent pad below everything incase Murphy shows up....
 

JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,970
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Ugg what a pain, my PO replaced the spin on Racor with SNAPP. Makes it easy, fast, and no mess.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,079
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I crawled into the back to shut the fuel lines off at the tank
Perhaps an innovative owner could design a way to add a shutoff near the fuel filter to say “ease his pain” .
 
Dec 16, 2011
239
Catalina 310 Atlantic Highlands
Vice grips on the fuel line with padding between the jaws and the hose works as a temporary fix.
I did have a line clamp in reach and I put that on the “in” line, but I’m always hesitant to screw that thing too tightly down as I worry about damaging the hose.
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,562
Catalina 320 Dana Point
I use a disposable Aluminum loaf pan under the filter which makes the filter with bowl attached easily carried to the dock for filter change.
 
Feb 14, 2014
5,704
Hunter 430 Waveland, MS
I tore the whole thing out and cleaned it up making it easier to change out the filter element:
Top notch job too.:clap:

You even have 2 loops in the fuel lines.

Those loops allow you to remove/inspect the entire Filter unit without removing the hoses.;)

Jim...
 

rukidn

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Apr 23, 2012
158
Catalina 310 258 Sandusky, OH
Sorry Curt, I'm sure it was chaos for a while! You sure have troubles with stinky stuff.

Some of us have the filters on the bulkhead above the engine and some in the bilge opposite the muffler, as we do. Old Chipotle bowl lids work great to catch the drips from a normal filter change or bowl gunk drain. Not much clearance for anything else.

After an uneventful filter change a few years ago, the same seal Curt lost was apparently only dripping slightly on our boat. When we arrived at the boat next weekend, the bilge was loaded with diesel just short of being pumped out. Thankfully none escaped the boat, but it took all weekend to clean things up, and much longer to eliminate the odor.
 
Jan 19, 2010
947
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
Perhaps an innovative owner could design a way to add a shutoff near the fuel filter to say “ease his pain” .
Again thank you to Frank Butler.... my C34 has access to the fuel cock from the cockpit lazarette. Yeah, I do have to move fenders out of the way, but it is straight forward..
 
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Jun 8, 2004
2,562
Catalina 320 Dana Point
Again thank you to Frank Butler.... my C34 has access to the fuel cock from the cockpit lazarette. Yeah, I do have to move fenders out of the way, but it is straight forward..
I've got to go head first into the lazzarette and need the spare fenders to keep me from going ALL the way in.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,899
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
need the spare fenders to keep me from going ALL the way in.
I can just visualize it. Sorry for laughing :facepalm:.

Mine is close to that hence the insertion of the local shut off valve before the primary filter following the second filter element change.
 
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