One of the most critical components of a vessel with an inboard engine is a flame arrestor. A flame arrestor is fundamental in keeping the operator and passengers safe. Unfortunately, each year, watercraft unexpectedly burn to the ground, but flame arrestors help prevent this from occurring. Follow these tips on how to clean flame arrestor. 

What Is A Boat Flame Arrestor

A flame arrestor on a boat motor is a critical component involved with safety. Safety, of course, is of the utmost importance. 

As the name implies, flame arrestors function by preventing flames emitted from a backfiring engine from reaching highly flammable gasoline fumes. 

As we all know, flames and fuel vapors do not mix. Fortunately, engineers created flame arrestors to stop explosions on boats and prevent vessels from catching fire. 

What Boat Engines Have A Flame Arrestor

All boats with an inboard engine run on gasoline contain flame arrestors. Outboard motors does not utilize flame arrestors because they cannot backfire from the carburetor.

Fuel vapors accumulate in confined spaces where inboard and inboard/outboard motors are mounted. As the gasoline vapor increases, the higher the likelihood an explosion will occur. Therefore, sparks and flames require suppression to avoid disaster.

Another consideration is blower fans. Blower fans, when in operation, assist in removing the accumulation of vapors. As a result, the chances of vapor ignition are further decreased. 

Where Are Flame Arrestors Located

The flame arrestors are most frequently located on the top of the engine extending from each carburetor.

Specific placement is essential for two reasons. The first is to trap the flames from an engine that backfired instead of allowing the fire to exit into the vapor-filled engine housing.

The second reason is to prevent the flames from entering the engine compartment. Flames which enter the engine compart are prone to cause an explosion.

A flame arrestor dispurses the backfire from the enclosed area to outside of the vessel. Therefore, the risk of explosion is significantly reduced. 

Follow These Steps On How To Clean Flam Arrestor

The key is to remove all debris that has become lodged in the flame arrestor. To do so, disconnect the flame arrestor from the carburetor.

Purchase a high-quality carburetor cleaner from a marine supplier or automotive shop. Utilizing a good quality cleaner will reduce the risk of long-term issues.

Remove the flame arrestor component from the carburetor without damaging engine parts within close proximity. Also, photograph the positioning to reinstall properly.

Thoroughly coat the flame arrestor with carburetor cleaner and allow the mixture to soak to assist in breaking down debris.

Once the recommended soaking period has ended, utilize a garden hose to spray the dislodged contaminants. Spray the outside in addition to the interior to the exterior.

Allow the flame arrestor to dry before reinstalling the component and operating the vessel. A premature operation of the motor can result in a poorly performing engine due to water inundation. 

Test the motor before running long distances to ensure it is operating correctly and all components are secured snugly. 

How Often Should You Clean Flame Arrestor

The answer to this question it is highly dependent on how frequently the boat is run. Remember, a flame arrestor cannot be overcleaned. 

The answer to how often should you clean flame arrestor is once a year minimum. Fortunately, there are clear signs when a flame arrestor becomes clogged.

Unfortunately, a clogged flame arrestor results in poor engine performance.  The poor engine performance is due to a lack of oxygen to produce ignition. 

Remember, the flame arrestor allows the backfire to escape from the engine compartment to the open-air preventing explosions. However, vice versa, the flame arrestor also allows for the ingestion of air to promote combustion. 

With frequent use of an inboard or inboard/outboard vessel, clean the flame arrestor at least once per year. 

Now It’s Time To Clean Your Flame Arrestor

Now that you know how to clean flame arrestor jump on your boat and get the job done. Delays in cleaning the critical component can result in injury to both yourself and your guests. Why delay the inevitable. Remember, there is no sense in the casualty of people or property.