Boat Fuel System Lines & Connectors

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Boating Know How
Article on the proper way to boat fuel line to fuel tank.

Connecting the Boat Fuel Line Assembly to the Fuel Tank

If you own a boat and feel proud of taking it out into the ocean or river every weekend, then you should also know how to take care of its various parts when the time comes. Suppose you are in the middle of the ocean and your boat breaks down, and ... read more then you will be the only one ready to repair the boat quickly. You can call people for help, but they may take a long time to arrive. One of the most important parts of a boat that every boat owner should know about is the boat fuel system lines and connectors. The fuel line assembly is a special fuel line with a primer bulb in the center that connects the fuel tank with the boat engine.

Outboard Motor Fuel LineThe fuel line assembly can get old after some years of use, may deteriorate, get cracked and can start leaking the fuel. One of the symptoms of leaky fuel line is that the engine does not start as soon and may stop in the middle. Also, you may smell the gas leaking from such a cracked fuel line. If the crack is not so prominent and visible, you can inspect it by holding the fuel line in your hands, and if your hands get stained by fuel, then you know there is some leak.

What Tools and Parts do I Need?

In the case of fuel leakage, it becomes crucial to change the fuel line assembly for your boat as soon as possible. For this, you will need some basic tools such as an ike 5/8” wrench, new fuel line assembly (with a primer bulb fitted in), Teflon tape and fuel tank fittings. You can use either the Teflon tape or liquid Teflon – both are good sealants. In general, there are two types of fuel line assemblies – one for overboard use and another one for using in the boats with enclosed engine room. The fuel line assembly and fuel tank fittings vary for different boats, so you should ask your local boat repair shop for the parts that are suitable for your boat.

Fuel Tank

Change the Fuel Tank Fitting

First of all, you will have to replace the fuel tank fitting. You can use the 5/8” wrench to unscrew the old fitting out quickly. If the fitting is jammed, then you should not use excessive force on it, but instead drop some mineral alcohol on the fitting threads, wait some time and then try again. Once your old fitting is out, you can wrap a little Teflon tape on the threads of the new fuel tank fitting before screwing it back. Make sure you tighten the fitting using the 5/8” wrench, but not too much as it may crack the plastic fuel tank portion.

Change the Fuel Line

The first thing you should check on the new fuel line is the arrow on the primer bulb. The arrow on the bulb should always point towards the boat motor (engine). This is because when you use the bulb to pump the fuel, it goes into the direction of the arrow. Take the fuel tank end of the fuel line and firmly plug it into the fuel tank fitting. Similarly, you have to take the motor end of the fuel line and then plug it into the motor fitting securely.

Dispose off the Old Fuel Line and Fittings

Now that you have installed new boat fuel system lines and connectors in your boat, make sure that you dispose of the old fuel line responsibly. Do not fling it into the ocean or river or dump it into your waste bin as it can be hazardous to small children and other animals. The fuel line still has oil in it, and it is inflammable. You should wrap it inside a plastic bag and then take it to a particular bin called hazardous material bin to dump it there.

You should always wear protective eye, hand and foot gear for safety reasons. Because you are working with the fuel tank and fuel lines, you should also keep a fire extinguisher with you for emergencies. It is also advisable that you work in a well-ventilated area as the fumes from the fuel can make you drowsy pretty quick.
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