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Old 20-06-2016, 09:23   #1
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Broken Seacock handle

Hi All,

A very knowledgeable instructor I hired told me I should close the seacock for the raw water intake when I am done for the day. So when I went to turn it back on the handle broke off in mostly the closed position. Marlon seacock. I was able to move the hose to an adjacent seacock that supplies to galley sink hand pump, It doesn't work anyway so no loss. Now I can at least run the engine.

Now I have the raw water intake with no strainer attached, clearly not a long term fix. I will have the boat hauled at the end of the season and make a permanent fix, but for now what are my options? Is there an inline strainer available that I can install in the water line? Any thoughts for an easy fix so I can finish the season?

Thanks all!
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Old 20-06-2016, 10:33   #2
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

Do I understand correctly that you have a seacock that is partially open with no hose connected to it? How are you keeping the water from coming in?

You should have an internal strainer already. It will look something like this Groco Raw Water Strainers ARG500-ARG2000

A broken seacock is a high priority repair. You should deal with it right away. You might be able to fix it without hauling the boat. Did the handle break or did the stem that connects the handle to the ball break? Either way, replace both. They're not expensive and you can order them from Forespar.

I'm not a big fan of Forespar seacocks because it's not unusual for the handles or stems to break. When you haul, I suggest you replace it with a good bronze seacock.
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Old 20-06-2016, 10:54   #3
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Do I understand correctly that you have a seacock that is partially open with no hose connected to it? How are you keeping the water from coming in?

You should have an internal strainer already. It will look something like this Groco Raw Water Strainers ARG500-ARG2000

A broken seacock is a high priority repair. You should deal with it right away. You might be able to fix it without hauling the boat. Did the handle break or did the stem that connects the handle to the ball break? Either way, replace both. They're not expensive and you can order them from Forespar.

I'm not a big fan of Forespar seacocks because it's not unusual for the handles or stems to break. When you haul, I suggest you replace it with a good bronze seacock.
Thank you. Yes, I have a similar strainer installed directly to the broken seacock.

I attached the hose to the sink pump to the broken seacock to stop the very slow leak. It looks like the square key ( stem) on the seacock broke off inside the handle, so that cannot be repaired with a new handle. I intend to replace the seacock with a bronze unit at the end of the season regardless, but looking for a temp fix that will not overheat the engine or sink the boat.

Could I just splice this type of strainer into the line? SHURFLO Raw Water Strainers | West Marine


Can you explain how I can do this repair properly without hauling the boat?
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:06   #4
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

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Originally Posted by sagablu View Post
Could I just splice this type of strainer into the line? SHURFLO Raw Water Strainers | West Marine
2 comments

1 The mesh on this type of filter, is too fine for a engine inlet

2 I use this filter on my sea water cooled fridge and I find the "Stainless" Steel mesh is NOT and the filter mesh rusts out and falls apart every 3 months.

Look at the Vetus ones they are much better and have a coarse plastic mesh

See Strainers

And it is possible (but scary) to change out the sea cock whilst you are afloat (if you have no other choice) by blocking the hole from the outside.

I am sure there are threads around about it but given the choice I would haul and do it
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:13   #5
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

Something easy to fix!

I had the same thing happen a few years ago involving a Marlon seacock. It was an easy fix, here's what I did:

You can obtain a new handle or transfer a handle from one of your other seacocks, they're held on by a set screw, or use a spanner/wrench. Then plug the hose from above with one of those big foam bungs. Put on a mask, fins and weight belt and head under the boat with a paintbrush with a glob of silicon/marlon lubricant on it. Stick the brush up the outside opening and lubricate the partially closed seacock, then gently work the new handle or wrench substitute from the inside back and forth to close the fitting. It should then open back up fairly easy.

If it puts up a fight, then take a large screwdriver under the boat, put it up through the partially closed valve and gently help to open it using leverage from below while someone above works the handle.

I went under our boat to do this in Palma, Mallorca harbor on a toilet discharge fitting, your situation couldn't possibly be any worse. It only took 10 minutes to fix.

Good luck.
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:27   #6
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triumphant View Post
2 comments

1 The mesh on this type of filter, is too fine for a engine inlet

2 I use this filter on my sea water cooled fridge and I find the "Stainless" Steel mesh is NOT and the filter mesh rusts out and falls apart every 3 months.

Look at the Vetus ones they are much better and have a coarse plastic mesh

See Strainers

And it is possible (but scary) to change out the sea cock whilst you are afloat (if you have no other choice) by blocking the hole from the outside.

I am sure there are threads around about it but given the choice I would haul and do it
Thanks! I will use one of those strainers if I end up going that way.

Problem is if I try to replace now isthat this boat is from 1976, afraid that the thru-hull is fragile and may not survive being twisted and I will end up with a bigger problem. Is that over-cautious?
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:29   #7
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Something easy to fix!

I had the same thing happen a few years ago involving a Marlon seacock. It was an easy fix, here's what I did:

You can obtain a new handle or transfer a handle from one of your other seacocks, they're held on by a set screw, or use a spanner/wrench. Then plug the hose from above with one of those big foam bungs. Put on a mask, fins and weight belt and head under the boat with a paintbrush with a glob of silicon/marlon lubricant on it. Stick the brush up the outside opening and lubricate the partially closed seacock, then gently work the new handle or wrench substitute from the inside back and forth to close the fitting. It should then open back up fairly easy.

If it puts up a fight, then take a large screwdriver under the boat, put it up through the partially closed valve and gently help to open it using leverage from below while someone above works the handle.

I went under our boat to do this in Palma, Mallorca harbor on a toilet discharge fitting, your situation couldn't possibly be any worse. It only took 10 minutes to fix.

Good luck.
Appreciate the out of the box solution, but there is nothing to grab onto . The stem is broken inside the body of the seacock.
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Old 20-06-2016, 12:33   #8
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagablu View Post
Appreciate the out of the box solution, but there is nothing to grab onto . The stem is broken inside the body of the seacock.
OK, there's still a way. A large screw driver can be used from under the boat to force open the valve. It's not like you need to worry about harming it, since it's broken. Or, if the seacock can be unscrewed from the through hull fitting, then you can make a quick swap for a new one. Not that much water will come in during the swap, but if you're concerned, just have someome go under the boat and plug the hole with a large foam bung. I'd probably plug the hole to give myself plenty of time to make the inside swap and use plenty of teflon tape.

Unlike bronze fittings, the Marlon type aren't on as tight. You Should be able to easily remove the broken valve by holding the through hull with a channel lock plyers and turning the seacock almost by hand. It's important to use plenty of teflon tape and avoid overtightening the fittings, or the seacock will crack.
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Old 20-06-2016, 12:57   #9
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
OK, there's still a way. A large screw driver can be used from under the boat to force open the valve. It's not like you need to worry about harming it, since it's broken. Or, if the seacock can be unscrewed from the through hull fitting, then you can make a quick swap for a new one. Not that much water will come in during the swap, but if you're concerned, just have someome go under the boat and plug the hole with a large foam bung. I'd probably plug the hole to give myself plenty of time to make the inside swap and use plenty of teflon tape.

Unlike bronze fittings, the Marlon type aren't on as tight. You Should be able to easily remove the broken valve by holding the through hull with a channel lock plyers and turning the seacock almost by hand. It's important to use plenty of teflon tape and avoid overtightening the fittings, or the seacock will crack.
Got it, sounds like the way forward. Thanks!
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Old 20-06-2016, 13:19   #10
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

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Originally Posted by sagablu View Post
Got it, sounds like the way forward. Thanks!
Just be careful not to squeeze the through hull threads too much with the channel locks just in case theres some corrosion in the fitting assuming it's made of bronze or brass. If marlon, you're ok. Just enough to get a grip so the fitting doesnt turn, and it's best to have a backup plan to plug the hole if it breaks off. Plugging the hole beforehand from the outside is best in order to give yourself plenty of time.
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Old 20-06-2016, 16:49   #11
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

You should be able to get the broken stem out with needle nose pliers, dig it out with an ice pick, or run a screw into the stub and pull it out by the screw head.

If the valve was fully opened or closed little or no water would cone in. With it partially open I would expect some water. Don't panic, you've got a long time before the boat sinks. Try to get some lubricant on the ball. Replace the stem. Attach the handle. Work the valve a few times and you should be good to go.

Here is the contact info for Forspar. Talk to them first and order the parts.
Contacting Customer Service

Here is a neat gadget that takes a lot of the scary out of changing seacocks in the water.
Seabung Breach Control
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Old 20-06-2016, 16:58   #12
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

I've always heard you shouldn't mix a Marlon seacock with a bronze thru hull as they have different rates of expansion and contraction. Is this true or is it common practice? To me one of the benefits of going with the Marlon seacock and Marlon thru hull is the lack of metal underwater.
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Old 20-06-2016, 17:17   #13
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

I also have Maralon seacocks and broke the handle from the body of the valve. My thruhulls are a bit awkward to work, so over the years, extra stress was placed on the handle each time I opened/closed. In my opinion, the older ones are a terrible design. One the smaller valves, the handle is held on by a small 3/8" long threaded screw into the plastic valve body. In my case, the screw stripped out and wouldn't hold the handle. When mine broke, it was in the open position. It was pretty stressful trying to find the o-rings that flowed into the bilge and replace the handle to close the valve with water pouring into the boat.

I obtained the new design seacocks from Forespar. The body and valve assemblies are the same. The new seacock has a threaded nut holding the handle -- a much better design.

On the handle is a small white cover about 1/2" in diameter. This cover fits in the outside of the thruhull. Dive down, plug the thruhull. Then unscrew the 4 bolts holdling the body to the base. Replace with the new one.

The Forespar customer support is very helpful and can walk you through this process. Good luck,
Don
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Old 20-06-2016, 21:48   #14
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

I agree with you Don, the new ones they're selling to boat builders now are a lot better than the old design they're still selling to retailers.
I also like the looks of the Tru-Design valves and fittings that Raritan is importing from New Zeland.
TruDesign Composite Fittings Marine Products | Macerating Toilets | Marine Sanitation Devices | Raritan Engineering
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Old 20-06-2016, 23:12   #15
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Re: Broken Seacock handle

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
You should be able to get the broken stem out with needle nose pliers, dig it out with an ice pick, or run a screw into the stub and pull it out by the screw head.

If the valve was fully opened or closed little or no water would cone in. With it partially open I would expect some water. Don't panic, you've got a long time before the boat sinks. Try to get some lubricant on the ball. Replace the stem. Attach the handle. Work the valve a few times and you should be good to go.

Here is the contact info for Forspar. Talk to them first and order the parts.
Contacting Customer Service

Here is a neat gadget that takes a lot of the scary out of changing seacocks in the water.
Seabung Breach Control
Seabung

What a handy tool, I just bought one.

Thanks

Ken
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