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Old 16-02-2010, 00:18   #1
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Forespar Marelon 1 1/2" Valve Leaking

Our aluminum boat came with eight Forespar Marelon OEM Series 93 valves fitted to welded aluminum standpipes and we have not experienced the freezing problems and broken handles described on other threads.

One problem that we can't seem to fix is a dribble of water that one of the valves emits whenever the handle is turned - the water is coming out at the handle. We replaced this valve with a new one (supplied at no charge by Forespar) at our first haul out but now the replacement valve is starting to display the same symptoms. The differences between this valve and the other seven are (a) it is on the main water inlet and is turned much more frequently, and (b) it is a foot deeper in the water and (c) it might get a bit more stress as the water strainer sits on top of it although that is supported by a bracket.

Forespar is suggesting replacing the O ring on the handle. Has anyone had a similar experience? Would lubrication or tightening or loosening the bolts holding it together help?

Thanks for your comments,
Ian
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Old 17-02-2010, 21:07   #2
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I have the same type of valve in 2". Most of the time when I turn it, it drips. But it doesn't drip when it's open or closed... or does it keep dripping in your case?

I think it's dirt or what have you growing in there. Sometimes it stops dripping for a year and then it returns again. My valve is 15 years old now and as strong as ever .The stories are about different valves.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 17-02-2010, 21:37   #3
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I have the exact same issue. Trouble is, the "drip", when closed, is from my holding tank! No, I'm not happy. Changing the O-ring is not a solution. I'm currently waiting for a replacement valve (two) and keeping my fingers crossed, but your story is not encouraging. Unfortunately, I do not have sufficient hose length to install a 2nd valve to add another line of defense.
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Old 18-02-2010, 15:09   #4
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I have one of these valves on each of our holding tanks as well but fortunately, this one is the only that has this particular problem. Yes, it only pulses water out of the handle when being opened or closed, it does not leak all the time and neither did its predecessor. Still it does not inspire confidence. Two Forespar valves in 18 months. Our builder has suggested replacing it with an industrial polypropylene valve from McMaster-Carr (item # 9771K34) and I am tempted despite the lower strength of polypropylene and possible insurance problems (Forespar is UL approved). As the boat is aluminium, my options are limited.

Ian

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Old 18-02-2010, 16:32   #5
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I'd be suspicious of that water strainer. If the hose between the strainer and the seacock is short and stiff (which is likely), it could quite easily set up a odd torque loading on the valve that could distort the valve ever so slightly. Even sea water temperature changes could matter.

What if you refasten the strainer on some sort of flexible mounting (maybe through some washers made of neoprene scraps in oversize mounting holes) so that the strainer has about 1/4" of travel? Make sure that the strainer is never at the limit of it's travel.

Carl
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Old 18-02-2010, 16:57   #6
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Thanks Carl. I think you may be correct as the sea strainer is quite large and is directly connected by piping (not hose). It could be transmitting a force to the plastic valve which over time, could deform it. I recall that there was some difficulty getting all the plumbing in this area to seal when the boat was first launched in 2008, probably reaulting in some heavier torques being applied to these components. It does seem odd that there are repeated failures in this application where all the other Forespar valves are holding up fine.

Perhaps we can retrofit some hose or flexible mounts as you describe - will discuss with the builder.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:07   #7
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When the boat is hauled later this week, the builder is planning to replace the leaking Forespar Marelon 93 series valve (it's 2" not 1 1/2") with a SS one. The SS valve will be insulated with a plastic coupling on the aluminum stand pipe and the solid plumbing on the other side will be replaced with flexible hose. They (Dearden Marine) have used SS valves in commercial boat applications in which Marelon can't be used due to more stringent regulations regarding fire resistance. This should fix the problem however, I am still pondering Nick's comments that he has had this problem (drips when turned but not when in open or closed orientation) for years and it has not grown worse.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:56   #8
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Indeed, it's by design, not fault. The cap that you can remove there allows you to clean and lube it. Before you replace it, you should contact Forespar for info and investigate it thoroughly when you're on the hard (or plug the fitting from outside when you want to do it in the water). This is all assuming that it doesn't leak when fully open or fully closed.

cheers,
Nick.
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