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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Greenock
    Posts
    122

    Default Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    I've had some adventures dealing with the dreaded bug (fuel) this season so one of my winter projects will be to install a twin pre filter type system so if one clogs up without warning I can quickly switch over to the other clean one.

    My current setup up has a 30 cm copper pipe coming out of the tank and into the original pre filter. With the space I have, it will be easier replacing this copper pipe with hose.

    Is there any benefit between using either copper pipe or hose for fuel lines?

    Cheers
    Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    39,112

    Default Re: Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    Fuel companies seem to advise against using copper or other yellow metal in contact with diesel, it can cause breakdown and the formation of tar-like stuff.
    Metal pipe is of course more fire resistant.

    It seems to me that if you have enough water and crud in your tank to block one filter, there is very likely enough to block both.
    It's been suggested that the 'spare' filter could draw from higher up the tank.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    I don’t know if others but for me it is the risk of fire damage with plastic , all around my engine bays are copper

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Home East Lancashire boat Spain
    Posts
    4,744

    Default Re: Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    Unless you will be subject to 'British Waterways Regulations' I think opinion will suggest hose.
    I think the reasons given will be the potential for copper to fracture with vibration and corrosion.
    lets see what the experts have to say!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    262

    Default Re: Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    Totally agree with the need to fit flexi hose to stop damage because of vibration. Just ensure it is proper Fuel Hose to ISO 8402 (I think or something very similar) with a red stripe.

    Oh and double hose clips too.
    Last edited by Paul1962; 19-11-19 at 18:12. Reason: addition

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Greenock
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by pcatterall View Post
    Unless you will be subject to 'British Waterways Regulations' I think opinion will suggest hose.
    I think the reasons given will be the potential for copper to fracture with vibration and corrosion.
    lets see what the experts have to say!
    The vibration sounds a possibility. My current setup has only copper pipe from the tank to the pre filter and then it goes to hose into the engine. I thought it was strange that the original installer didn't use all hose! I'm hoping that I can just change it all to hose because I have plenty when I built my fuel polishing system along with a spare filter.
    My idea behind having a duel filter is just to get me to somewhere safe to anchor. I'm single handed and my engine clogged up this year just as I was coming out of the narrows at Kyles of Bute. No wind and a strong current! it would have been handy to be able to quickly switch over to a clean filter and get to some relative safety!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    7,619

    Default Re: Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    Mine is all copper except for a short section of hose to allow for the engine moving on its flexible mounts.
    "Brexit: like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    scotland
    Posts
    3,458

    Default Re: Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    Traditionally copper was the norm then braided nylon was used and now fuel specific is the default so perhaps it depends when you started working with it
    It would seem that nylon hard or soft has fallen out of favour due to it’s susceptibility to fire and discolouration and rightly so.
    Copper was never used for diesel tanks but seemed to cope when used for pipes but modern fuels it would appear not to go with it
    So now we have designated flex pipes

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,463

    Default Re: Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by pcatterall View Post
    Unless you will be subject to 'British Waterways Regulations' I think opinion will suggest hose.
    I think the reasons given will be the potential for copper to fracture with vibration and corrosion.
    lets see what the experts have to say!
    The Code permits (in fact some inspectors encourage) the use of flexible hose, provided of course that it is fuel hose and properly marked.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    8,199

    Default Re: Fuel lines... Copper pipe or hose?

    This forum really does make me laugh sometimes.

    You can't fit metal pipes to boats because they'll corrode, crack, turn your diesel to tar and make your testicles go black in the night. Hmmm

    My boat was built in 1980 and like pretty much all other boats of the era, it has copper fuel lines, not seen any of the above problems yet. Is 40 years to soon ? Should i expect doom and disaster soon ?

    That said, If i was installing a new setup, i would use flexible fuel hose these days, it's much quicker and easier to work with.
    Rainbow Marine.
    www.rainbowmarine.co.uk

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