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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions about Signal Filters

Below are some common Questions and Answers on our Signal Filters Smart Fuel Filter system.

Q:
Where can I buy the filter?

A:
See our Where to Buy page.

Q:
What does the alert say? What does it mean?

A:
labelWhen the MFD on your helm signals that you have water in your fuel it will display a fuel filter number that is matched to the label on the specific fuel filter that has detected a high level of water in your separator.
For example, if your display says “NMEASig 2000 Engine 11, water in fuel” this means that the silver and black filter labeled on the front of the filter head marked “default alert on MFD, NMEASig 2000 Engine 11” requires service.
See instructions in box or "Installation Sheets" on our Downloads page. for more information.

Q:
How often should I change the filter?

A:
Typically a marine fuel filter is changed yearly unless you have water or dirt contamination. Signal filter provides your early water warning.

Q:
Does the hole pattern match existing filters?

A:
Yes, our filter head is designed to match most existing filter heads.

Q:
What material is the head made out of?

A:
316 stainless steel investment casting.

Q:
How long can you boat after an alert?

A:
It depends on how much water you have in your fuel tanks, you should service your Signal Filter ASAP.

Q:
What is phase separation and will your sensor detect it?

A:
Phase separation occurs when water enters a tank that contains an ethanol/ gasoline blended fuel. When gasoline becomes saturated, a layer of ethanol and water, known as phase separation, can form in the tank. The Signal Filter sensor has been tested to detect the phase separated liquid that lays in the bottom of the filter.

Q:
After an alert can I drain the water out of the filter and put it back on or do I need to replace the filter?

A:
Yes, but be cautious where you dump the contaminated water/fuel. NOTE: the filter media can become saturated with water over time and the filter performance and water removal will become compromised. Best to replace the filter ASAP.

Q:
What engines does it fit?

A:
Most engines used in today’s marine market.

Q:
My outboards have a filter why do I need the Signal Filter?

A:
When you’re on-engine filter senses water it may shut down or depower making your trip back to the dock longer and more dangerous. On engine filters are relatively small and hold small amounts of water so limp mode can happen very fast. With a SF off engine primary filter you will have an alert and should be able to return to your dock before the water bypasses your Signal Filter and reaches your on engine filter.

Q:
I have 4 outboards, how many filters do I need?

A:
This depends on how the manufacturer built your boat. If you are adding new Signal Filters we suggest using one separate filter for each engine unless they are smaller, under 100 HP then you could use one filter for two engines. However having a separate filter for each engine provides another layer of reliability and safety.

Q:
Do you install filters?

A:
No, Signal Filter systems are either installed by an approved dealer or in some cases by the boat owner. We offer only two preprogramed models for the NMEA 2000 bus to accommodate two engines. If you have more than two engines a NMEA 2000 programing tool is required and these are typically used by a approved dealer. See our Where to Buy page for Dealers.

Q:
Where is the filter manufactured?

A:
Like most things today Signal Filters have components that are manufactured in the USA and other countries. The Signal Filter system is assembled and programed in Sandusky, Ohio USA.

Q:
How do I install?

A:
Installation instructions are supplied inside ever Signal Filter head kit and can be viewed on the Signal Filters website. See "Signal Filters Installation Sheets" on our Downloads page.

Q:
Where can I mount the head/bracket?

A:
Signal Filters heads have been ABYC certified to the H-24 fire test so they can be installed almost anywhere on a boat, including areas where there is a generator in use.

Q:
How long is your warranty?

A:
We offer a 3-year limited warranty.

Q:
Do you have any filters other than 10 micron?

A:
Currently 10 micron is the chosen partial size for most off engine primary filters. You can consult with your boat dealer or engine manufacturer about the micron size.

Q:
How is the filter head connected?

A:
The Signal Filter head uses an industry standard four port configuration. It has two ports on each side one is for fuel in and the other fuel out. This provides a variety of installation options. We also supply two pipe plugs that have a factory pre-applied thread sealant on them to plug unused ports. See "Signal Filters Installation Sheets" on our Downloads page.

Q:
Is your system connected to my engine system?

A:
The Signal Filter system runs on the NMEA 2000 CAN bus (this is typically separate from engine manufacturers engine and engine display bus). This provides isolation and redundancy for those with off engine fuel filter water-in-fuel issues.

Q:
Can I install the unit myself?

A:
Yes, the installation instructions are included in every box and are also located on the Signal Filters web site. See "Signal Filters Installation Sheets" on our Downloads page.

Q:
What do I do when out on the water and I receive an alert?

A:
Every situation is different, you can continue or head back to the dock for service. Your safety is the most important and you do not want to lose power out on the open water. We recommend to head back to the dock for service.


Have a question?
Send your question to , and we will email back your answer and possibly add to our FAQ.
Signal Filters Fuel Flow AnimationCutaway animation of Fuel flow
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Signal Filters 202 East Fox Rd., Sandusky OH 44870
PH: 419-433-7683
FAX: 419-433-8293
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Signal Filters™ Is a registered trademark of and manufactured by Entratech Systems LLC | www.entratech.com