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Old 01-05-2015, 08:20   #1
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Clean thru-hull from the inside?

I think I'm seeing reduced flow in the cooling water coming out of the air conditioning compressor cooling loop. The boat's been at the dock for months, and I wonder about marine fouling in the intake. I've wiggled a wire coat hanger in the little slotted grill cover before to clean out some barnacles, but we were on the hook then. I don't like swimming in marinas.

I am thinking of closing the thru hull fitting, removing the hose, getting some kind of cleaning tool ready, opening the valve and trying to clean it from the inside. I know some water will come in, but I'm guessing not much and I could help minimize it by using a rag around the cleaning rod or bottle brush or whatever I use. I was thinking that the inflush of water would wash all the little shell fragments etc out after I broke them up. Instead of going into the water pump and hoses.

I don't worry about a little water in that bilge. I'm in the process of scrubbing it all down anyhow and will be pressure washing it.

Have any of you guys poked a bottle brush or other implement out of a thru-hull from the inside while the boat's in the water?
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:29   #2
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

If you leave the hose on the thruhull and disconnect the other end you can orientate it above the water line. That way you can use a cleaning rod, brush or wire to clean it out. When done close the thru hull and drain the hose to bilge.

I avoid anything sharp. You want to avoid scratching or nicking the ball or seat in the thruhull. A stiff tube brush and a dowel to rod it in and out works well.



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Old 01-05-2015, 08:29   #3
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

when the water flow in my air conditioning slows down, I find it is usually the sea strainer
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:29   #4
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

I've done it and the boat didn't sink. Getting the hose off is the hardest part.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:03   #5
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

I just did an installation this week that addresses this issue. The customer wanted to be able to clear the intake for his bait tank circulation pump, should it get fouled by some kelp or a plastic bag. I installed a 3/4" Groco bronze nipple into the output side of the seacock, installed a bronze tee with nipple and ninety degree elbow to mount the bait pump off to the side, then added some bronze pipe, bronze connector and a bronze pipe cap to make an old fashioned "sea chest". Since the top of the sea chest is at sea level, very little water enters the boat when the cap is removed (I didn't want a long tube standing in that location). The owner needs only to unscrew (by hand) the pipe cap, ram a wooden dowel down the pipe and the sea cock opening, and bingo. I should have taken a picture, sorry. Maybe today I'll get one.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:12   #6
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
If you leave the hose on the thruhull and disconnect the other end you can orientate it above the water line. That way you can use a cleaning rod, brush or wire to clean it out. When done close the thru hull and drain the hose to bilge.

I avoid anything sharp. You want to avoid scratching or nicking the ball or seat in the thruhull. A stiff tube brush and a dowel to rod it in and out works well.



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Or add a piece of hose to above w/l,open s/cock,dump some chlorine bleach in it,wait 1/2 hr.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:27   #7
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

We do the chlorine bit for our refrigeration - same problem.

However, for downstream stuff, we have a small filter into which spa chlorine tablets fit just fine. During extremely foul growth weather, we use that about every 15 days.

We get so clogged in vegetation that I have to ream the hoses to the filter as well...
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:29   #8
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

You can take the hose off from the sea strainer to the actual thru hull.. and very carefully pour Muratic acid in it... Let it eat the barnacles inside etc. and flush it.. Also you could take the hose off and pour the acid directly in the thru hull.. There is also a flush kit that hooks up to your air conditioner coils that has a decalcifier to clean those pipes that will clog over time...
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:36   #9
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

disconnect the hose from the unit and hold it vertical above the water line and connect it to your ah down hose on the dock, tru the water on and blow it clear
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:46   #10
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

That is exactly why I have left the scoops and external strainers off my thru-hulls...one long thick dowel and insta clean.

Beore the naysayers chime in...I have over 7000 miles of ICW travel with no clogging issues except once when 3 finger mullet managed to swim up the thru-hull and partially clog the entry into the inner strainer. That I will take as a freak.


My older boats used to routinely clog or have reduced low on the outer grate.


With no external grate..the through hull is easy to clear for bigger stuff from inside and if the little stuff is getting through the basket catches it..but as I have said..not real problems in the last 7000 miles of grass, weed and trash filled waters.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:25   #11
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

On my boat there are two air conditioners sharing a common strainer, through hull, seacock, strainer and pump, w/ a wye right after the pump feeding both A/C units.

The method I use to clean the raw water circuit is to jam one of these high pressure hose nozzles alternately into each output w/ a soapy water mixer until it comes out clean.



My boat has been reworked to add these bronze Groco APHS strainers w/ the trap door, to make it "easy" to clean the inside of the screen and the through hull.



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Old 01-05-2015, 10:35   #12
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

You can connect the hose to a vacuum cleaner that has reverse flow and blow pressure air Down the through hull
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:29   #13
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

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My boat has been reworked to add these bronze Groco APHS strainers w/ the trap door, to make it "easy" to clean the inside of the screen and the through hull.



The strainer screen has been painted w/ Pettit Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier to resist underwater growth.

This coating has not been in-water for long yet on my boat, so I don't yet know about the performance, but this was recommended highly to me for this application.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:31   #14
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

A lot of people in my area are using Cam Lock fittings to attach hoses to seacocks.
This allows them to easily remove the hose to clean the inlet.

Link: Polypropylene Fittings

The Groco strainers that Wingless mentioned are also very popular down here because you can almost always dive over the side to clean them.
This is the round version often used on AC and Toilet inlets.

Groco Round Strainers (RSC series)
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:56   #15
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Re: clean thru-hull from the inside?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
A lot of people in my area are using Cam Lock fittings to attach hoses to seacocks.
This allows them to easily remove the hose to clean the inlet.

Link: Polypropylene Fittings

The Groco strainers that Wingless mentioned are also very popular down here because you can almost always dive over the side to clean them.
This is the round version often used on AC and Toilet inlets.

Groco Round Strainers (RSC series)
Wow...that is a great idea with the quick connects.

Wonder if anyone has run them through the ABYC gauntlet yet.
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