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Filter water separator, what is it and what is it used for?

In gasoline engines it is mandatory to install a filter according to international regulations, which is more restrictive with diesel fuel engines. In these last ones, the function of the filter is double, on one hand it must prevent the access of solid particles to the engine and, on another hand, it should avoid that the water passes to the combustion chamber. This dual function is developed by the water and fuel separator filter.


What is it?

A water separator filter is a diesel engine and injectors protection system. This device is not exclusive to recreational boats and commercials ships, but is also installed in large motor vehicles of road vehicles.

How does it work?

The filter has several parts, depending on whether it fulfills the dual function of filtering the solid particles or only decants the water contained in the fuel. Usually the same device runs both tasks. Thus a filter of paper or similar material with a minimum porosity is different to capture the solid particles that barely measure a few microns and a second chamber where the water separates.


The process by which the fuel is separated from the water differs according to the manufacturer. Some choose to subject the liquid to centrifugal pressure and others are based on decantation. Whatever is achieved is that the water, denser than the fuel, is placed on a lower bowl (opaque or transparent) where you can drain the liquid through a key.

The probability of water in the fuel is actually minimal, but it can be caused by contamination during transport, storage in port or in the tanks of the ship itself due to condensation.

Do you need a water separator filter? Visit our Griffin Fuel Filters section at the Baitra Store.

Inspection and maintenance of the pumps

The bilge pump is one of the most important safety elements on board. The mission is not only to keep the bilge area free of water, also the boat dry. Avoiding also the bad odors coming from standing waters. 

untitledThe number of pumps and the flow needed is determined by the length of the boat and the size of the different separated areas around. At bow, center, engine room, showers, holding tanks... places where a bilge pump in perfect condition is required in order to avoid non-welcome risks.

The correct situation of the pumps is the first step for proper operation. There are submersible and remote mounting pumps. Non-submersibles have impellers with an easy replacement in case of breakage or wear. We have to put them out of any contact with liquid, even with the heel of the boat.

It is also important to have a drawing with the pumps situation for the crew to find them easily when revised.

Each pump should have a power and flow rate adjusted to the needs of the ship. If we check power drop in a bomb, before replacing review the installation if there is any elbow, blocked or another reason that makes the pump does not work properly.

The water inlet must be protected by a strainer to prevent the entry of solids that clog the pump or even break the internal turbine. We will have to check state and no elements that clogged. No matter how good the pump is, it will not work properly with poor suction.


If we notice engine overheating, can be by a malfunction, continuous use higher than specified by the manufacturer or poor contact between electrical devices such as bearings and brushes.

There are some accessories for pumps such as magneto-thermal and vacuum switches in addition to alarms and signal panels. Vacuum switches allow the pump to be always wet and in the best conditions, preventing breakage of membranes and warm in the absence of refrigeration. We must be careful not to leave it plugged at the harbour because is forbidden pouring liquids such as oils and fuels, present in the bilge.

The turbine is the most important part inside the pump because it is responsible for aspirate and expel the liquid with its rotation. If submersible pumps broke, we must replace the entire pump. The remote mounting have rubber impellers which are more effective and also enable replacement.

Electric wires and its dangers

Water and electricity have never been good combination, and less on the marine environment. This creates many accidents that could be avoided with simple measures such as proper installation of outlets to dock.


In many boats can be seen, embedded in the transom or nearby, making port with the cap, there plugging the cable from the dock. The problem is when the female is installed on the boat and the male on cable because, take it with your hand from the dock to connect it to the boat, we can touch the terminals unintentionally and have a serious accident.

The solution is simple: Just switch socket eliminate any possibility of touching the connectors, even when connected to the mains.


riesgo eléctrico

Another circumstance that creates serious problems of our input port is the tightness of the connection box, having, in most cases, only a degree of protection IP44, not safety enough for electricity and water. In Baitra have the latest models in regards to wires. Our wires and ports also have degree of protection IP56 (Protected against water jets and dirt).

Loose powercords on the dock can create hazardous situations. The most critical point is that where the boat is connected
to the dock as the continuous movement can lead to the cord breaking or falling into the water. Don’t forget that high
voltage together with salt water is a dangerous mix.

proteflex ingles

Proteflex is a solution to increase safety by maintaining the cables always in place, especially in that point between the
dock and the boat. It keeps powercords out of the water, avoids magnetic fields of coils when rolled on dock bollards,
and prevents the unplugging or breaking of the wires.foto_099896-1
Proteflex is a SC Polypropilene spiral cord coil with stainless steel inserts on the ends designed to carry the powercord

through. This spiral has two swivel hooks on both ends to attach to the boat and the dock; and two stop-blocks for the
cable. Easy to install, Proteflex is the only way to guaranty keeping power-cords safely, organized and out of the water.