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Old 06-03-2016, 14:28   #1
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Impeller Lube

I've just used up the last of the little sachets of impeller lube I got from Speedseal when I bought my last impeller cover from them.

What it says on the little packets is somewhat cryptic, but I gather it's silicon, and dielectric.

Wouldn't any silicone lube be ok for this? KY Jelly or Astroglide or something like that?

I imagine lubing them properly is important -- they will run dry the first half minute or so, and this could already start cracks going which will later prove fatal -- or at least, that's how I imagine it.

What say ye?
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Old 06-03-2016, 14:37   #2
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Re: Impeller Lube

I have always used silicone grease, never had any issues. It is a bit more viscous than the stuff in the little satchets, but seeems to work OK.

I did run an inpellor for 250hrs (with a speedseal), and re-lubed it twice in that period.
When I changed it out, could not find any sign of wear or damage on the impellor.

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Old 06-03-2016, 16:10   #3
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Re: Impeller Lube

Dish washing liquid is good too, silicone isn't water soluble would be my only question about it, where does it end up?

I've only changed my Yanmar impeller once, I put over 200 hours on it, and it came out looking perfect, maybe these things go fast once the begin to go?


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Old 06-03-2016, 17:38   #4
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Re: Impeller Lube

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Dish washing liquid is good too, silicone isn't water soluble would be my only question about it, where does it end up?

I've only changed my Yanmar impeller once, I put over 200 hours on it, and it came out looking perfect, maybe these things go fast once the begin to go?


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Yes, but I don't think we want it to dissolve.

My Yanmar impeller also seems to have preternaturally long life. I only change it every 200 or even 300 hours, and there is never the slightest sign of wear.

I believe that this is because it is below the waterline, so never runs dry while trying to prime.

I'm really worried about lubing that one. It's the generator impeller, and especially, the one I've been wrestling with tonight, the macerator pump impeller, I'm worried about.
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Old 06-03-2016, 17:46   #5
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Re: Impeller Lube

The lube is for the first startup only. The raw water hose on the inlet of the pump should rise up from the pump so that a water column floods the impeller for laters starts.
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Old 06-03-2016, 18:03   #6
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Re: Impeller Lube

If you don't want it to wash off, I believe silicone grease to be a good pick as I have never seen it hurt plastics or rubber.
Rubber parts on helicopters I have worked on we had to use surgical lube on as an installation lube, no petroleum lube allowed because it deteriorates rubber.
Surgical lube is apparently KY jelly.


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Old 06-03-2016, 18:56   #7
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Re: Impeller Lube

Glycerin is what you want for that, get at drug store cheap compared to marine store under a different label.
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Old 06-03-2016, 18:57   #8
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Re: Impeller Lube

I think it might be glycerine.
Oops - beat me to it!
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Old 06-03-2016, 19:25   #9
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Re: Impeller Lube

I used to use something, but it was so long ago I forget.

I've run one dry for too long, then opened the seacock. That one worked for another two years.

Change the impeller, open the seacock, start engine.

If you want to, open the seacock before you install the faceplate, get water to enter the pump body, close seacock, install faceplate, start engine.

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Old 06-03-2016, 21:07   #10
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Re: Impeller Lube

I think what comes from Speedseal,is white lithium grease. I have a tube of it and it works just fine. I'm getting many more hours out of impellers since using the Speedseal Life.


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Old 06-03-2016, 21:40   #11
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Re: Impeller Lube

Grab the Missus' tube of 'Starters' good for revolving & reciprocating Parts. LOL.
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:33   #12
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Re: Impeller Lube

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Originally Posted by J Clark H356 View Post
I think what comes from Speedseal,is white lithium grease. I have a tube of it and it works just fine. I'm getting many more hours out of impellers since using the Speedseal Life.


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I have the Speedseal Life on my main engine; unfortunately they don't make one for my generator so I have a normal Speedseal there.

The lube they give is definitely not lithium -- it's transparent, and says "silicone" on it. It's approximately the consistency of KY.

A bit of Googling shows that neither KY nor Astroglide is silicone based, which surprised me. So I've ordered a tube of silicone grease as suggested by someone else.
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:24   #13
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Re: Impeller Lube

On my little Yanmar 4jhe I have never had an impeller fail nor even show signs of wear. I change the impeller ever 100-120 hrs. When I've pulled it to check it I'd rather put in a new one (Yanmar part) for the same labor than put back the old one. And I use a small amount of silicon grease.


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Old 07-03-2016, 12:43   #14
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Re: Impeller Lube

Glycerin, surgical lube, KY jelly etc are all water soluble, and will be gone two seconds after water flow begins.
Which is what I though was desirable, but if your after something that isn't water soluble, yet isn't harmful to rubber and plastic, then silicone grease is a good alternative, besides you need silicone grease around for electrical connections anyway
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Old 07-03-2016, 19:24   #15
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Re: Impeller Lube

I probably just thought it was lithium because I think what was in my packets was white and not clear, and I don't remember seeing silicone on the packet. I put my Speedseal Life units on both my 3GM30F and my Northern Lights generator. I installed them both in the summer of 2011. I am getting much longer life on my impellers since changing. I attribute part of this to the nylon disc that the impeller rotates against. This decreases the heat on the impeller from friction.

I used the lithium grease last time and now have over 572 hours on my Northern Lights and 318 hours on my 3GM30F. This is the longest I have ever run on an impeller.


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