Ask the Experts | New EPA-Required Marine Fuel System Components
Article courtesy of Yamaha Motors
[Editor’s Note: Though the following article is directed to how Yamaha has complied with the new EPA regulations for their engines and fuel systems, other manufacturers of fuel tanks and fuel system components have made similar changes. iboats.com offers the products that will work with your fuel system.]
As a result of new EPA regulations, changes to portable marine fuel tanks, fuel hoses and primer bulbs will soon affect many boaters. If you use portable marine fuel tanks during your boating expeditions, you need to understand these changes in the fuel system components, and you need to learn how to operate them properly.
EPA Regulations for Portable Tanks, Fuel Hoses and Primer Bulbs
In 2009, the EPA mandated the use of low-permeation fuel hoses, and effective January 1, 2011, new boats will also have to use low-permeation primer bulbs as well. In addition, all new portable fuel tanks must now meet low-permeation and evaporative emission standards. To meet these standards, the fuel system itself (including the tank, lines and components) must be sealed, which may cause the fuel tanks to become pressurized.
Pressurization in the New Portable Fuel Tanks
The fuel filler cap on the new fuel tanks will no longer allow fuel vapor to vent uncontrolled to the atmosphere. That fuel vapor, when unable to vent, can build pressure inside the tank. The fuel cap itself is designed to remain sealed up to five psi before allowing the vent to open and release the internal pressure.
In addition, new, low-permeation tank material is now used in the construction of the fuel tank and cap. The material is certified to reduce hydrocarbon loss that can happen during daily temperature swings. Hydrocarbon gas can no longer escape through the material of the tank.
How Do I Know if My Portable Fuel Tank is Affected by these Regulations?
Portable fuel tanks that are affected by these regulations include 3.1-gallon (12L) and 6.6-gallon (25L) tanks, which are applicable to all Yamaha F4A through F70LA models. EPA regulations allow manufacturers and dealers to deplete existing inventories of non-compliant portable fuel tanks. Yamaha will change from the original-style engine and fuel hose connectors to the new-style connectors as the inventory of non-compliant fuel tanks is depleted.
It’s important to note that tampering with new compliant products to limit their abilities to reduce emissions as designed, is against federal and anti-tampering regulations and subject to penalties. Yamaha strongly discourages retrofitting new components with old-style components.
Yamaha’s New Fuel Connectors: Designed to Reduce Fuel Spills and Spray Caused by Pressurization
To help reduce potential fuel spills and spray that can result from the build up of pressure in the new, regulation-compliant fuel tanks, Yamaha has engineered new features into its fuel line connectors. With ease of use and security in mind, these new fuel line connectors now found on Yamaha outboards, portable fuel tanks and hoses are different from those traditionally used in the industry.
Specifically, they employ a twist-on locking design to create a seal before permitting fuel flow when connecting or disconnecting. This feature greatly helps reduce the possibilities of fuel spray or leakage when the fuel line is removed or installed. The Yamaha-specific connectors are found on both the outboard side and the tank side of the new Yamaha fuel lines. They are available at all Yamaha dealerships and are accompanied by instructions that outline correct methods of tank operation. Make sure you are familiar with these instructions so that you can ensure your components are compatible and matched correctly.
New Brochure Available Explaining New Portable Fuel System Components and Connectors
In an effort to help educate consumers about the new EPA-regulated fuel system components and the new Yamaha connectors, Yamaha Marine Group has produced a brochure entitled: What Consumers Need to Know — Changes in Fuel System Components and Yamaha’s New Fuel System Connectors.
The brochure explains in detail the regulations, how the new components work, and how the new Yamaha fuel line connector can help reduce fuel spray due to pressure build up in the new portable tanks. It also contains a list of commonly asked questions and answers that will help you understand how to ensure your new components are installed correctly, and how to operate the new fuel system.
Hard copies of the brochure are available free of charge at Yamaha dealerships nationwide.
Article courtesy of Yamaha motors. For additional information on Yamaha boating, visit http://www.yamaha-motor.com/boat/products/lifestylehome/home.aspx.