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Old 13-03-2011, 00:38   #1
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Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

Here I am with another problem that is causing me some sleepless nights....

1.: Situation
My boat (steel) is equiped with 6 drainage pipes (steel, 3 on each side) that lead from the deck to just above the waterline.
The boat has been lying alongside a jetty that is being populated each weekend by literally up to 35.000 (!) "kids" excercising "battle-drinking".
For some reason they think my boat makes a better wastebasket than those provided by the city and throw (to smash) empty bottles (and bubble gum and anything else they want to discard) on the boat.
The boat has been neglected for some 3 years - and you would not believe the amount of glass of any size that I have removed from the deck since buying her.
But:

2.: Problem 1
Some of that glass, + bubble gum + "natural environmental dirt" + flakes of old varnish have washed into these drainage pipes, clogging them up effectively.
The pipes - for some reason unknown to me - are only of approx 1" diameter (even so there would have been plenty of room for twice that size!).
I have tried poking through the blokage with some strong steel-rods: invane.
I have tried to wash it out with a hose from top or bottom: invane
I managed that the water does "trickle out" again, but am far away from "free flow".
So I now baught a special tube-cleaner for my pressure washer and will try that out today. Wish me luck! .... If that does not work, I really am out of ideas.

3.: Problem 2
The pipes being steel, having been sitting with water standing in them for a while, it is no surprise that they have started rosting.
This not only makes for ugly brown streaks flowing down from the bottom hole, but obviously includes the danger that eventually they will rost through, spilling water INTO the boat.
So I am also looking for a possibility / idea how to get a decent amount of rost converter into these pipes (after freeing them of the blockage) to stop the rosting ... and ... how to best follow this with some possibiity to apply protective paint to all of the pipe's inside!
Any ideas?!

Problem is, that I can not access these pipes from the inside. There is lots of interior built which I would have to rip out first (naturally: I do NOT want to go that road!)
I am also not sure if it would be possible to weld new pipes as replacement (twice the diameter) from the "outside" without setting the insulation and furniture on fire (?!) ... But, even if that would be possible, it's not an option because for some reasons we will not be able to drydock her until next spring. So I have to find a solution that lasts at least one year.

Am grateful for any and all tips and advice!
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Old 13-03-2011, 00:51   #2
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes blocked & rosting!

Since you've tried everything I would have tried - here's an idea I have never tried - and don't do it just yet - I want opinions on how sensible this would be...

What about drain cleaner? You know the really strong, caustic stuff that kids can't buy, and it gets the drains unblocked by apparently dissolving everything that's stuck down there...

But I don't want you to dissolve the whole boat! So... would this work?
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Old 13-03-2011, 01:16   #3
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Major surgery...

The best long term solution may be some kind of major surgery.

As a short term solution it may be possible to measure the outside diameter of the pipes and to find reinforced tubing with that internal diameter, buy suitably sized hose clamps and then to remove the boat from the water, cut the pipes at suitable distances from the hull and deck, remove the now hopefully small obstructions and then to fit the flexible hose onto the pipes and to secure them with the hose clamps.

At the same time you could check the extent of the rust and treat it rather more seriously, though I doubt if it could be done properly. If the tubes are good and thick (gal. pipe?) there may be sufficient metal thickness to last a while, though the repair would always be suspect.

A better solution could be to have the pipes completely removed while the boat is out of the water and replaced with suitably sized lengths of thick 316 stainless steel tubing welded professionally in place. A decent strainer on top would be an added bonus.
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Old 13-03-2011, 01:17   #4
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes blocked & rosting!

Use an air compressor to blow out the liquid.Not high pressure,just enough to force the liquid through.Then seal the pipes off with plumbers putty or epoxy.Install new drains.
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Old 14-03-2011, 20:43   #5
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

1. Put boat on hard
2. Replace all pipes with new thru Hulls.
3. Get back to sailing.
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Old 14-03-2011, 21:03   #6
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

Nomenclature police here..."scuppers". I will let you off without a citation this time.

Buy a piece of flexible or rigid tubing (depending on if your scuppers tubing is bent or straight) whose OD is no greater than 3/4 of an inch and suck the debris out a bit at a time with a ShopVac. Yes, some debris will stick to the end of the tubing so keep pulling the hose in and out until all of it is gone.

After that get a long flexible or straight stick with a circular wire brush on one end and a drill motor on the other end and get the loose rust out this way.

Then buy some barrier coat epoxy like Interlux 2000 and put a small rag on the end of a stick and put it down there. Put three coats in there. Put a temporary plug in the downside end so you do not pollute the harbor and remove it after the epoxy dries but before the epoxy cures. Trim away the excess epoxy at the scuppers outlet by using the side of a very sharp drill bit...just like it's a giant Dremel.

Give your epoxy a few days to completely harden and then buy yourself some stainless steel mesh, bend it into a hemispherical shape (visualize a very small colander for mice, (actually for the rats on the dock)) and put it inside the scupper just far down enough where it is not visible.

This hopefully will stop the oxidation and the juvenile delinquents from putting more stuff down your scuppers.
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Old 14-03-2011, 23:04   #7
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

Here is a product I use around my home pool to clean out drains. It attaches to a garden hose and one the pressure is turn on the exterior portion expands to fit the drain and high pressure water then proceeds to clean out the drain. In mineral and oil exploration we called them "packers".

Amazon.com: drain cleaning water bladder Home Improvement


This will take care of cleaning them out but I don't have a clue besides replacement to stop them from leaking.

Rich
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Old 15-03-2011, 00:10   #8
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

Your scupper tubing is probably sanded up in the bend, These kinds of plugages are very hard to open. You can't force it down it only packs tighter. As David M said you have to suck it out unless you have a device we used to call a Go Devil. Haven't seen one of these since I left the mining Industry but I am sure they are around. Gord probably knows about them. They are a rotating brass nozzle which washes backwards as it sucks itself through the pipe. However if you can get to the scupper tubes from below the deck and as they go outjust above the water I would do as Boracay indicated. Cut them off and replace with good strong non-colaspable hose.
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Old 15-03-2011, 00:22   #9
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

Go devil may have been an industry slang name. Check this out. Lemmer - air spray equipment, hvlp, pressure pots, airless paint sprayer, rustproofing spray system, line striper, air assist pneumatic pump, electrostatic
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Old 15-03-2011, 00:26   #10
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

Here is an update of the situation:
SUCCESS!
:-)
Turned out that these drainage pipes really ARE a "mis-construction" since they do go straight down from the deck just to end in what seems to be a regular "L-shaped" plumbers piece for the through-hull above the waterline.
The radius of that "L" is so narrow, that no hose will fit through.
But digging in from the dinghy with a screw-driver it was possible to remove lots of glass, varnish-flakes, plastic-ice-cream-sticks, chewing-gum (yaiki!) etc. to eventually free all 6 drains.
The remainder of the job did that special pipe-cleaning-extension I bought for my Kärcher (Karcher / Kaercher?) but even that did not manage to "navigate" the bend.
But, most importantly the drains now are free, and I will just keep flushing them regularily while alongside this dock to keep them that way.

Part 2:
Particularily grateful I am for the idea with blocking the "exits" and filling the pipes with rost-converter, draining it off after a while (anyone any suggestion on how long to leave that "liquid" in there?) and repeating the process with paint.... carefully making sure that no water will flow through these drains until the paint has dried. The humidity rising from the sea hopefully will have no adverse effects on the drying-time.

Next occasion I'll have while on the dry (next year, the soonest) I'll try to somehow gain access to these pipes from the inside, remove the straight-piece + L-shaped "knie" and replace them with (a) larger diameter pipes and (b) pipes that will run completely straight (which means that they need to be cut in an angle as well where they meet the deck as where they end at the hull. I hope that this will put an end to the drainage-pipe-problem for ever!
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Old 15-03-2011, 00:44   #11
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
.....get a long flexible or straight stick with a circular wire brush on one end and a drill motor on the other end and get the loose rust out this way.
Yup! Something like that I'd love to have!
Unfortunately they only company specialized in "tube-Stuff" here in Mallorca (Tubosa) have never heard of something like that.

Any idea where I could find (search terms?) or order something like that on a flexible rod which does not need to be longer than 2m (~7' )?
I am not sure if rust-converter alone, poured down them drains, will do the trick? First any loose rust surely has to come off?

Again, I am aware that this is a temp-solution only, but due to "certain circumstances" (I got screwed big time with the purchase and now am running very low on funding!) I wont be able to afford drydock until next year.
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Old 15-03-2011, 02:09   #12
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String?

If you want to run something through to clean them further I'd suggest a piece of string with a scourer tied to the end.
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Old 15-03-2011, 03:59   #13
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

A knitting needle might be stiffer....
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Old 15-03-2011, 05:22   #14
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

I would be inclined to not use paint down the tube. Rust converter could help but you'll never get paint to stick without a clean primed surface. It would then become something to trap grit and build up over time as it peels. You might get venturi brushes to work from either end. There are hard steel wire corkscrew shaped brushes that will score the inside of the tube. If fed from both ends you might be able to clean the tubes to some fine degree. Chunks of glass wedged seems like a doomsday situation.

You might try to make some screens to insert into the deck holes while in port and can easily be removed. They tend to clog up at the surface if you leave them too long (I have 6 myself) but it would keep the chunky stuff on deck. I don't have the public trash can problem but do get the seeds from bird poop that can build up with other fun things to clog the surface. A large mesh would help with the big stuff and allow the little stuff to flow in and out in between your times on the boat. It would allow it to be cleaned with a hose flushing and not the extraordinary mess you had this time.
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Old 15-03-2011, 10:10   #15
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Re: Deck-Drainage Pipes Blocked and Rusting !

I like the idea of the scourer! Even if it "looses" a bit of its "grain" it mostly will remove any loose rust and thats the objective. After rinsing it I should have maybe not the smoothest surface but good enough to accept some anti-oxydiser .. which actually comes as a "paint" as well which claims that you can apply it directly to the rusted surface. Well, worth a try, no?

Pblais: The chunks of glass are history imho, so I will procced to the scourer-part (even so I had to look that term up! LOL) since I could not get a translation for your suggestion: "venturi brushes" :-)

The idea with the "mesh-plus" is excellent! That I'll tend to tomorrow because next Friday is just around the corner, the weather is supposed to hold which means huge crowds of "Juvenile Delinquents" (what a suiting term!)
Should be enough to bend them in a way so that the "cap" is slightly bigger than the hole and will form it somewhat in a way like a plug.
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