Sea Water Strainer Clean Frequency for Diesel - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-20-2007
DrB DrB is offline
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Sea Water Strainer Clean Frequency for Diesel

My diesel (Yanmar 3 cyl) uses sea water to help cool it. Stardard procedure of it being suck in through the prestrainer on the hull underneath, through the seacock, then hose to a sea water strainer (interanl), before heading into the engine, and then out the exhaust. I understand that you are supposed to frequently inspect/clean this trap out.

How often do you clean it out, what are the signs it needs cleaning, and is it straight forward? By straigth forward I mean, close the seacock, lossen the strainer top, remove and clean, reseal top, open seacok, done.

I only use the engine to go in and out of the harbor, about 10 - 15 minutes. I leave in the New England area and the boat is on a mooring.

Thanks.

DrB.
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Old 07-20-2007
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DrB,

Just clean it when it needs it. Usually you can see when it starts getting clogged. If you use your engine pretty infrequently, you may find it hardly ever needs cleaning.

Watch for barnacles.

Also, yes, assuming a bonze strainer, you unscrew the top and pull the strainer and I spray it off with the water hose and use an old toothbrush (careful not to let it fly into the water... nah.. I have never done that... smile).

You may also need to use the toothbrush to clean the sight glass whch always seems to attract the growth.

- CD

PS SHould you not have a toothbrush handy, or do not have the money for one, you have my permission to find the closest Sea Ray and sneak aboard and take his. If you do this act, make sure you return it back to the Sea Ray when done and put it right back where you found it (smile).
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Old 07-20-2007
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My strainers have either been totally clean 99% of the time.... or totally clogged with steam out the exhaust. If the sides are clear shine a flashlight through it and you should be able to see if it is clear or not. When mine clogged it was eel grass from anchorages or some type of floating sea weed. Yes it is that simple to clean it out.
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Old 07-20-2007
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I have in the old boat the black plastic strainer between the raw water pump and the block, the one with the clear screw on lid. I have this to keep crap out of the block...crap fouling the impeller I can deal with.

I have on the new boat a Perko "glass jar and cheese grater" filter. This is mounted on the bulkhead just below the waterline...good thinking on someone's part. I look in here frequently and see...nothing, nothing, nothing...holy crap, two feet of weed!

That's how it goes. Your methodology is correct: you just have to keep an eye on it. When I threw the V-belt a couple of weeks ago, I "knew" it was that, and that alone, that caused the overheat situation (no pumpee, no coolee...), but to make *absolutely* sure, I pulled apart the pre-pump raw-water circuit and gave everything a good going-over. I found some goo, a few zebra mussels and a finger-length chunk of aquarium weed...obviously not the issue, but chalk it up to preventative maintenance...
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