It’s no surprise that some boat owners have no idea their engines have fuel pumps, and if they do, they have little to no knowledge of how to take care of this important component. There’s another group of boat owners who have a firm understanding of how their marine fuel pumps works but don’t know how to tweak them to get the most out of the engine.
In this post, you’ll get to understand what exactly a marine fuel pump is and what you can do to your marine fuel pump to increase the performance of your engine. With the number of young people participating in jet skiing increasing, awareness of how marine fuel pumps work is necessary. In fact, in 2017, over 5.42 million people aged six years and above participated in jet skiing.
What Does a Marine Fuel Pump Do?
A fuel pump in boats, as with other engine operated machines, is a critical part of the entire system. Its role is moving fuel from the fuel tank into the injection system. A diaphragm attached to a rod creates a vacuum as it moves upwards, and sucks fuel from the fuel tank and distributes it to the injectors on the diaphragm’s down stroke.
Fuel pumps come in different style and designs. Each design determines how your engine burns fuel, which affects the overall performance of your boat engine.
Types of Marine Fuel Pumps?
Marine fuel pumps can be broadly categorized into two types depending on the mechanism the pump uses to deliver fuel to the injector system. The two types of fuel pumps are mechanical fuel pumps and electric fuel pumps.
Mechanical Fuel Pumps
These fuel pumps have been the standard for marine fuel pumps ever since the fuel pump was invented in the 1800s. Mechanical fuel pumps deliver fuel using the diaphragm and rod or lever from the camshaft to suck fuel into the injectors; hence, the name “mechanical.”
Electrical Fuel Pumps
Electrical fuel pumps have broad application in high-pressure engines like turbochargers. Unlike mechanical fuel pumps, electrical fuel pumps use electricity to create the suction that sucks fuel from the tank. Because the pumps use electricity, it allows for versatility in pressure settings and flow rates.
What is the Cost of a Marine Fuel Pump
As with most boat components, the cost will vary depending on the type, make, and model of the pump. It’s rather obvious that mechanical pumps will fetch a slightly lower price than electrical fuel pumps. Mechanical pumps can cost as low as $200. On the higher side of the spectrum, you have electrical pumps that could set you back as much as $1,100.
Marine fuel pump replacement parts cost way less when compared to buying an actual marine fuel pump. It will, however, cost you more for a complete marine fuel pump replacement; it’s like buying a new one with the extra installation costs added to the overall cost. Luckily, marine pump installation is relatively easy.
Installation of a Marine Fuel Pump
Anyone with a scant understanding of marine fuel pumps can install a marine fuel pump pretty easily. But again, the installation process is not the same for all types of marine fuel pumps. Depending on the motor and the specific model of the fuel pump, how you install the fuel pump will vary. Electrical pumps are more difficult to install because of the complex wiring and the electronic components in the pump which are absent in mechanical pumps.
Tips for caring for a Marine Fuel Pump for Maximum Engine Performance
- Never allow water into the fuel system. Since marine fuel pumps are submerged almost their entire life, water in your fuel tank is a pretty common occurrence. Water in your fuel should be detected quickly to prevent any damage to the system.
- Don’t use any fuel additives or fuel dryers since they contain hydrophilic compound like alcohol, which attracts water.
- Use an efficient fuel filter for your fuel system. You may be surprised what you may find contaminating your fuel.
Understanding and taking care of marine fuel pumps is not rocket science. Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of the basics of marine fuel pumps.