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Old 14-08-2013, 19:40   #1
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Seacock/thruhull help needed

There should be a picture attached to this post (sorry its blurry)

This seacock has a white canister attached to it with a 2" hose off the top and a 1" hose off the bottom. They are connected to deck and cockpit scuppers.

The 2" hose is double clamped. The 1" hose is single clamped. The white things looks like it is 30 years old.

What is the white thing that is connected to the seacock? Is is simply a junction point or does it likely have any other properties (like not allowing back flow). I'd like to replace it with a newer part that allows me to double clamp both hoses.

I don't like the fact that my deck and cockpit drains come into the boat where I can't close the seacock while I'm away but it is what it is. My next best option, without relocating the outlet is to make sure the connections are as bullet proof as I can make them.
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Old 14-08-2013, 20:03   #2
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

Looks like a PVC tee with a PVC hose connection at the top, and a nylon reducer and pvc Elbow at the bottom. As PVC gets very brittle with age, I would replace them with bronze fittings ASAP.
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Old 14-08-2013, 21:06   #3
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

Thanks for your help. I know nothing about plumbing. All of the seacocks use PVC, unfortunately.

How do I determine the threading on the existing seacock? I don't see a manufacturer name on it anywhere. Once I know that can I just go to the chandlery and find the parts I need in bronze to replicate the setup I have in PVC?
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Old 14-08-2013, 21:57   #4
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

I think Sailorchic nailed it, as usual. Close the seacock, remove everything on top, take it to your friendly neighborhood marine store and they will sell you bronze replacements.
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Old 19-08-2013, 15:07   #5
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

Seasloth - Before you go out and buy anything I hope you will read and consider the following information.

Sailorchic and Hopcar are spot on in identifying the plastic material used in the components that are concerning you, and like them, my first reaction was suggest that you immediately replace the PVC and nylon with bronze. But then I reread your post and took a second look at the picture. It was only then that I realized that you might have an equally important second problem that you need to be addressed. My concern is, that by simply replacing the plastic for bronze, you will have lulled yourself into thinking you've addressed the full problem.

An additional and equally critical issue that you should concern you is the inadequacy of your cockpit and deck drainage system.

1. If I understood you correctly, ALL your cockpit and deck drains go trough this one seacock. This is woefully inadequate for even the smallest cruising sailboat. Are you sure there isn't another sister seacock that services on the other side of the boat, or any scuppers that discharge above the waterline? My Shannon 28 had two 1 1/2" forward cockpit drains with seacocks and two 1 1/4" rear above the waterline aft drains. All the deck drains were above the water line.

2. If this is the only discharge point then you do have a serious second problem, discharge potential. It's potentially as serious as the first, but, sadly, not as easily corrected.

3. There is no ABYC standard for tail pieces or components coming off a seacock, none. However, it is generally accepted that a material like PVC and nylon are a serious liability when used below the water line and surveyors frown on it's use. The ABYC theory I guess is if the seacock is working you can at least shut it off, even if the tailpiece is broken. Let's say it's not a theory I subscribe.

Here are a few options for your consideration.

A. Leave well enough alone, I'm not an advocate of the "I've never had a problem" approach to solving potential problems, but the bronze solution (not an inexpensive one and doesn't solve the second issue) may lull you into not addressing the the larger issue. Also, as you said all of your boats seacocks have PVC fittings.

If it were my boat I'd take a deep breath, get out the check book, get it up on the hard as soon as possible and check every seacock, thru-hull. hose, and system, then come up with a plan to address the plumbing issues and implement it.

B. If you want to keep it in the water for the short term, you can address the plastic issue, especially the age and strength issues by buying new and better plastic components. Sadly, there has been very little consistency in the marine plastic plumbing fitting world, as your picture suggests.

Ocean Link in RI (they're on the internet) has a fairly complete line of plastic plumbing fittings that exceed the ABYC material tensile strength and flexural modulus standards for seacocks and thru-hulls. I know of no other company that has this complete a line of fittings that both meet the ABYC standard and are capable of addressing your needs.

This isn't a product I'd normally recommend for below the waterline, it would at least give you a higher level of short term security, especially with regard to strength and age. More importantly it would also keep you thinking that you needed to address the longer term issues.

C. Go with the all bronze solution. Before you do that, make sure your seacock is functional. I'm guessing, but I believe you have a Groco 1 1/2 FBV series flanged seacock, the white plastic handle cover suggests that's the case. Groco recalled some of these valves not to long ago. If the seacock is smaller than 1 1/2" then your drainage problem is worst than I thought.

The other thing that caught my eye and prompted this long response was the 1 1/2" to 2"coupler/reducer (the reverse bell shaped object that sits atop the seacock.) My guess it's bronze but the nipple fitting that attaches the seacock to the reducer may well be brass, and depending on the environment and length of time in use may be more tender than the plastic.

If the coupler/reducer and seacock are in good shape you'll need a 1 1/2" nipple, a 2" nipple, a 2" tee, a 2" barbed fitting, a 2" to 1 1/4" bushing reducer, a 1 1/4" to 1" bushing reducer and a 1" barbed adaptor (I haven't been able to find a 2" to 1" coupler/reducer). These will cost close to the $150.

The best source of these parts is, I believe, Hamilton Marine. I don't know of any marine supplier that has a better selection of bronze plumbing products. If anyone has any better sources of a better and complete lines of either plastic or bronze plumbing components, please mention them. These are the best I've found.

The fittings on top of the seacock utilize NPT threads. The only NPS threads are the thru-hull and lower seacock threads.

I'll leave the seacock tree issue for some else to bring up.

Hope this is of some help.

Fair winds
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Old 19-08-2013, 15:18   #6
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

Quote:
If it were my boat I'd take a deep breath, get out the check book, get it up on the hard as soon as possible and check every seacock, thru-hull. hose, and system, then come up with a plan to address the plumbing issues and implement it.
What he said.

As far as being concerned about the shutoff point, I'd say your seacock shutoff is where you'd want it to be; where the ocean is going to try to get in.

Ditch the plastic parts if/when/where you can. A friend's nearly new Island Packet had a plastic bit fail on their water system. Not sure I'd like the odds on 30-year-old parts. :/
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Old 19-08-2013, 15:21   #7
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

There are options (disregarding the size and adequacy) Bronze tees, 3 way valves, Bronze Y's (1.5 dia only?) etc. But yea, that white plastic is scary in that application.
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Old 19-08-2013, 15:55   #8
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

Cheechako - Agreed that there are other options. Was trying to match his current configuration and hose setup in bronze at a least cost option. Haven't yet seen a bronze threaded y fitting it would be useful on many occasions. Do you know where one could be had?

Sadly, you realize there is nothing I can find in the ABYC H-27 or UL 1121 that addresses tailpieces made of materials like PVC.

Fair winds
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Old 19-08-2013, 18:34   #9
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

Watercolor, Good spot on the white handle. I agree it looks like a Groco.
The recall you refer to was actually more than ten years ago. It's easy to see if the seacock was part of the recall. The stem was stainless steel on the recalled seacocks. Just look in the middle of the stem nut. If the stem is yellow, you're good. If it's silver you've got one of the recalled ones.

I think I've got a pretty good selection of bronze and glass reinforced polypro fittings.
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Old 19-08-2013, 18:48   #10
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

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Originally Posted by Watercolor View Post
Cheechako - Agreed that there are other options. Was trying to match his current configuration and hose setup in bronze at a least cost option. Haven't yet seen a bronze threaded y fitting it would be useful on many occasions. Do you know where one could be had?

Sadly, you realize there is nothing I can find in the ABYC H-27 or UL 1121 that addresses tailpieces made of materials like PVC.

Fair winds
I had one in my parts bin until a year ago... female though... I think it was a toilet type item. No idea where to get one now. Although I havent looked. When Doc Freeman's closed the doors a few years back up here in Seattle we lost one of the best sources for all that hardware stuff, it was a really "old school" marine store, big bins with tons of bronze fittings etc.... I think I only ever saw 3/4" and 1.5" Y's.
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Old 19-08-2013, 19:05   #11
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

Watercolor,
Thanks for the detail response. That is some good information. This isn't the only cockpit drain.

There are two other seacocks for cockpit drains, both of them are 2". This pictured one is actually a 1". I finally found the marking on it telling its size. Together these three drain the cockpit and the decks. After doing some more research this one appears to drain the starboard side deck and maybe the builtin cockpit cooler (I need to trace it a bit further to make sure).

I find it very irritating that they take the water from the outside and not just drain it inside the boat but below the water line. This means that if I want my cockpit to drain while I'm away I have to leave them open.

For the short term I'm going to replace the aforementioned three with bronze. The pictured seacock is watertight. I tested it by closing it and filling the side deck with water. No drainage at all. This is the only one requiring an intersection. The other two are straight tailpieces so that should limit the expense somewhat. If the 1" hose on this one goes to the cooler I may close that drain off and make this one a straight tailpiece as well.

In the near-short term I'll be replacing all plastic fittings with bronze

In the long term I'll probably reroute these three to drain above the waterline and have the below water seacocks removed.

Now that I've decided what sort of fix I want I need to figure out how to do it. I expect the threads to be NPT but I don't know for sure. I don't think I can order anything online without knowing what I need. I could order an NPT and NPS set so I have both ready to go and hopefully return the other. I may have to remove the plastic and run all over town looking for the place that carries the right parts. My problem here is that if they don't I have to hope it doesn't rain until I do get the right part. Or I have to figure out where to route the drain to in the meantime. I have an idea for this as well and if I can make this happen I can take some time figuring out what I need.

And finally the pipe dope used doesn't appear to be your normal dope. I fear whoever did this may have used 4200 or something like that which will just make this a lot more fun. But I'm not sure what was actually used.

Thank all for your help and advice. Any words of wisdom will be appreciated.
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Old 19-08-2013, 19:30   #12
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

Well the PVC fittings will all be NPT, so if you replace with brass they should be NPT too. Most are BTW. so that is easy. With NPT theads the tapered threads form a metal to metal seal. All you need for NPT is pipe dope or teflon tape.
For NPS having a sealent will help to keep the threads from leaking.

Many seacocks have a straight thread for the thru-hull fittings. Some have a straight thread for the dry side too. Think Groco makes theirs with NPT on the inside/ dry side.

Through Hull fittings are generally NPS, though some plastic ones come with hose fittings
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Old 19-08-2013, 20:14   #13
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

Glad to hear that you have at least 2, 2" additional scupper/seacocks for the cockpit. It would be ideal to have two additional, above the waterline, scuppers going out the stern. I'm having trouble understanding how anyone could attach a 2" deck drain hose to a 1 thru-hull. How is the other deck drain plumbed?

But first, check all the Groco seacocks and check with Groco to see if there is a way to identify the bad ones.

Also, I know of no US made bronze or SS flanged, ball valve type, seacock that aren't configured with anything but an NPT top thread and an NPS bottom thread. The thru-hulls are all NPS. The only US made "ball valve type" flanged seacocks that don't have an NPT top tread are Forespar, their top thread is NPS.

As Sailorchic said, the PVC tailpiece threads will all be NPS, so go with the same size NPT threads in bronze. And if the seacocks are standard sizes most chandleries will have what you need. also, use a non-hardening pipe dope (paste) to provide a water tight sea. The metal threads can sometimes cut the teflon tape and cause some leakage and there is no need to use anything like 4200, etc.

Again, fair winds.
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Old 20-08-2013, 10:44   #14
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

4200 or even 5200 on pipe fittings comes right loose... no problems... I kinda like the teflon pipe dope. not liking the tape much anymore after having tons of problems with it over the years...
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Old 20-08-2013, 10:56   #15
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Re: Seacock/thruhull help needed

By the way with NPT fittings, the pipe dope / teflon tapes only purpose is to lubricate the threads so you get a good metal to metal or metal to plastic seal. In a pinch you can use a dab of cooking oil and it will serve the same purpose.

The trick with teflon tape is to wrap it tight in the direction the threads tighten. Using wide teflon tape helps too..
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