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Old 25-09-2011, 09:24   #1
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Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks ?

My new old boat has large bronze ball valve seacocks. The surveyor said they are all good except they are stuck in the open position. I don't plan to haul out until spring but I want to free these up ASAP. I sprayed them with penetrating lubricant but I still can't moce them. Is there anyway to free them without breaking the thru hull? I thinking a bigger hammer is not the answer
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Old 25-09-2011, 09:35   #2
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

Pictures would help
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Old 25-09-2011, 09:50   #3
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

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Pictures would help
I can get pics later today.

Thanks
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Old 25-09-2011, 09:51   #4
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

There is no sure fire cure. Torquing harder on the handles might bend them or break them off.

Warming the valves up might help. Not with a torch but with something like a heat gun. You obviously don't want to start melting hose or the internal plastic seal around the ball.

I would imagine you know this but for the benefit of others, valves need to be exercised once every few months so this does not happen.
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Old 25-09-2011, 09:55   #5
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

Thanks, David. I do have a heat gun but hadn't considered that. In my defense, I just bought the boat. The PO hadn't used it much in the past three years. I will exercise them monthy once they are freed up.

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Old 25-09-2011, 09:59   #6
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

If they are the tapered type you could back off the nut (not remove) and tap lightly. This may move the taper back slightly.

However, if they are stuck and are the tapered kind there may be no grease left in there. They will likely leak if you get em unstuck.
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Old 25-09-2011, 10:33   #7
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

keep trying .. if they are ball valves they will probably come free. heat will help. if they are 20 or 30 years old then be careful.
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Old 25-09-2011, 10:42   #8
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

Since you are in warm water, go over the side and put a wooden plug, cut short so as not to enter the valve, in the hole before you mess with the inside.

We have actually changed the internal mechanism in the water in this way but discretion might be the better part of valor and wait for the haul out.
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Old 25-09-2011, 10:48   #9
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

Surprised this would happen with a ball valve. I suppose it's due more to growth/ calcium buildup on the inside blocking the ball from turning...(?) I wonder if some kind of wire bottle brush used from in the water would clean it enough? Have you actually held the valve body to support it and given it all your strength on one to see if it breaks free? (wood plug handy recommended!)
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Old 25-09-2011, 10:52   #10
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

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Surprised this would happen with a ball valve. I suppose it's due more to growth/ calcium buildup on the inside blocking the ball from turning...(?) I wonder if some kind of wire bottle brush used from in the water would clean it enough? Have you actually held the valve body to support it and given it all your strength on one to see if it breaks free? (wood plug handy recommended!)
Nigel Calder recommends greasing them once a year which surprised me. He also says don't force them because they will break.
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Old 25-09-2011, 10:59   #11
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

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Since you are in warm water, go over the side and put a wooden plug, cut short so as not to enter the valve, in the hole before you mess with the inside.

We have actually changed the internal mechanism in the water in this way but discretion might be the better part of valor and wait for the haul out.
I agree. if you have faith that you can effectively secure (plug) the inlet from outside, do this. Then disconnect the hose and apply penetrating oil inside the valve. I had a couple on my boat that were stuck pretty badly and this worked
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Old 25-09-2011, 15:05   #12
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

Here's what you need: Seacock Helper
Or just get a piece of pipe to extend the handle. Though I wouldn't mind a bit if you sent me the 14 bucks!
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Old 25-09-2011, 15:36   #13
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

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Here's what you need: Seacock Helper
Or just get a piece of pipe to extend the handle. Though I wouldn't mind a bit if you sent me the 14 bucks!
Do the instructions say what to do when the fitting snaps off the thru hull when you use that cheater bar on the handle? I've seen old "bronze" (probably brass) valves disintingrate inti green powder when force was applied to them.
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Old 25-09-2011, 18:37   #14
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

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Do the instructions say what to do when the fitting snaps off the thru hull when you use that cheater bar on the handle? I've seen old "bronze" (probably brass) valves disintingrate inti green powder when force was applied to them.
I'm working on the assumption that the OP told the truth when he said he had "large bronze ball valve seacocks". If he really has Bronze Ball Valve Seacocks the only damage he can do with the cheater bar is break off the handle. If he has a thru-hull fitting with a regular ball valve screwed on to it, he could break the thru-hull and be in a world of hurt.
A ball valve screwed onto a thru-hull is not a seacock. A real seacock has a flange that is fastened to the hull. Even if it is a ball valve screwed onto a thru-hull, if it is larger than about 1-1/4 he's pretty unlikely to break the thru-hull before the handle breaks. I do like the idea of warming it with a heat gun and having a plug handy. A photo of what we're dealing with would be useful.
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Old 25-09-2011, 19:02   #15
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Re: Help! How to Free Stuck Seacocks

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
Since you are in warm water, go over the side and put a wooden plug, cut short so as not to enter the valve, in the hole before you mess with the inside.

We have actually changed the internal mechanism in the water in this way but discretion might be the better part of valor and wait for the haul out.
We did that not long ago with a Marelon valve. The diver tried using the wood plugs, but there as some kind of high spot or groove in the thru-hull that still let water in. He then used his finger, and it worked perfect. I had everything all ready to go before the diver got there, and it only took a minute to remove the old valve and get the new one on.
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