Can diesel fuel clog my filter?

Written by Capt. Jeff Werner
Written by Captain Jeff Werner

Yes, it can. The stuff that clogs your filter is actually fuel in some way, shape or form. In excess of 90% of this organic debris is fuel breakdown products. It is not sand, dust, stones, rust or inorganic matter that blocks your filter.

The inorganic material like sand, dust and other particles will not cause your filter to clog. In fact, a lot of sand in a fuel filter would act as extra filtration. The pores between the sand particles are much larger than the pores in a standard fuel filter element. Sand filters are commonly used to filter water. A hair is approximately 80 microns in diameter, and fuel filter elements range all the way from 30 microns for a prefilter to 2 microns for a fine filter.

Capt. Jeff Werner, a Licensed USCG Master, has sailed professionally throughout the world. He is also the Diesel Doctor, helping to keep your boat’s fuel clean and bright.

If you have additional questions for Capt. Jeff Werner, please email him