Often Missed Maintenance Item - Fuel Pump Filter - SailNet Community

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Old 02-10-2012
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Often Missed Maintenance Item - Fuel Pump Filter

Changing The Internal Filter in A Facet Interrupter/Gold-Flo Fuel Pump

This is a Facet "Interrupter" or Gold-Flo fuel pump. They are found on many vessels especially those that shipped with Westerbeke or Universal engines.

The Facet "round" pumps are reliable, this one is over 27 years old, but many owners miss a key maintenance item, the pumps internal filter.

Open The Base
To access the pumps internal filter a 7/8" wrench is used. The pumps base twists off in a counter clock wise rotation.

Base Off
In this photo you can see the sealing gasket, still in the base, and the filter still in the pump housing.

The Gasket Is Usually The Weak Link
As you can see this gasket should have been replaced long ago. Owners who do know about these filters often assume that because most of these pumps were installed after the primary fuel filter that changing the internal filter is not necessary.

This pump leaked due to a failed gasket and made a mess of the boat it had been in. It was also badly rusted and as such a decision was made to install a new one due to age and condition.

I cleaned it and painted it and now use it as a portable fuel transfer pump. If it fails I will know about it and it won't fill an owners bilge with fuel...

Clean The Base
Here's the base with the gasket removed. Clean all the "varnish" and sludge out and get the surface as smooth as can be. This picture is after I wiped it out but before I cleaned with the some wet sand paper..

The Filter
With the base removed the filter will come out with some wiggling.

This was actually the end that faced the gasket and we can see evidence of water infiltration. The previous pictures show the filter inserted for illustrative purposes only and it was upside down from the way it actually came out. Despite being down stream from a Racor primary fuel filter the pump still had some water in it. This was likely due to a failed 0-ring on the boats fuel fill.

Facet no longer uses metal/paper filters in these pumps, this one was 27 years old, and they are now just a simple 74 micron screen.

Top Of Filter
The top of the filter shows no water damage and no rusting.

Filter Not Too Bad
For 27 Years of use the filter is not too bad. This means the Racor, that was down stream, did a decent job of protecting it. This is a very large particle capture rate at 74 micron so you would not expect it to be too bad as the primary filter should be getting most of it.

If it had been located on the fuel tank side of the primary filter it would likely look considerably worse.

As I mentioned it is often the gasket the is the weak link.

The Check Valve
Many of these pumps use a check valve to prevent drain back if the pump is located higher than the tank..

Don't forget to clean the inside of the pump too..

The Filter & Gasket Kit
Here's an insider tip. You DO NOT need to pay $50.00+ dollars for this filter and gasket from a "marine" supplier.

NAPA sells this Facet filter and gasket kit, under their own part number, as a 610-1086, as seen, for under $10.00. Cheap insurance.

Coat The Gasket
Before installing the gasket coat it lightly with some motor oil on both sides so that it closes nicely without "binding" between the base and pump body.

Insert The Filter
Slide the new filter into the housing as shown. The new filters are asymmetrical and the small hole end faces AWAY from the gasket.

Re-Install The Base
Once the gasket is coated and the filter in place simply re-install the base in the opposite manner you removed it..

You should be done in under 10 minutes, even with poor access... Easy!!!!
-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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Old 02-10-2012
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Yes, there was a post some time ago where the owner couldn't find a blockage. I mentioned the possibility of a filter in the pump. He replied later that there was one and that it was the problem. Great post!!, as always good detail and pictures, Many thanks.

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