Low Restriction Flame Arresters

Written by Dina Kayed
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Coast guard safety regulations demand that each boat has a flame arrester to prevent the occurrence of back flash. This can cause the engine to ignite, and as a result, jeopardize human life. The reason marine engines are so prone to back flash, and hence explosions, is because once the boat is switched off, fuel vapor is carried into the engine as a result of the heat. This applies particularly when the boat was traveling at high speed before being switched off, because the fuel vapor would have been extremely hot.

Once the boat is switched on again, a simple electronic spark could ignite the whole thing in a fraction of a second. A flame arrester will allow fuel vapor to disperse harmlessly, and if a flame should ignite, will prevent it from traveling backwards into the engine, and closer to the fuel supply.

Using Flame Arresters

It is against regulations to run any marine engine without a flame arrester for each carburetor. It isn't sufficient to merely check that a flame arrester is present though. A damaged or badly functioning flame arrester is no better than none at all. They should be carefully inspected from time to time, to ensure complete compliance with safety regulations.

Some boat owners are tempted to remove the flame arrester. It seems amazing that anyone would do this to gain a measly one tenth of a mile per hour, but it happens. A low restriction flame arrester will allow your engine to run at its most efficient because it does not restrict your engine. A flame arrester that is too small for your engine will be highly restrictive.


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