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Old 18-12-2014, 07:32   #1
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Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

Replacement of six 33 year old Wilcox Crittenden Tapered Bronze seacocks in Bristol 32' due to dripping and general deterioration after lapping and good care and use. (4 )1-1/2" and (2) 3/4" raw water & head seawater.

First considered Spartan Tapered Bronze - very expensive. Prices S701 1-1/2" Seacock $300 plus thruhull and flange.
Like all bronze metal to metal because barnacles and growth are reduced and when the seacock is turned the barnacles are scraped off cleanly.
Can Seacock be left closed or open for longer than ball valves? - I have no experience with the difference. Maintenance and Care: Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

Groco Seacocks
Groco BV (Integral Flange and Valve) - Servieable out of the water. Stainless steel ball valve and teflon. There are 4 set screws which loosen and the top threaded fitting will give access to replace the ball valve. Groco Engineering has not found it necessary to provide a repair kit because so few have been repaired. - Most expensive Groco valve.

Groco FBV (Integral Flange and Valve) - Not serviceable in the water, repair requires removal and replacement. The chromed brass ball in teflon seat is not replacable because the top threaded fitting has been permanently secured with epoxy or something (I tried to twist it off with large pipe wrench and bench vice, impossible). Groco later advised you can't undo these valves. Just replace them. --This does not work for me.

Groco IBVF + IBV (Flange + Valve) - Meets ABYC standards. IBV has chromed brass ball permanently secured like BVF but can screw off the base IBVF. "Far Reach" decided to replace older Spartans and here are his reasons. Further down read his reasons for selecting IBVF + IBV which apparently exceed ABYC break off standards and allow for removal and replacement of the valve in the water. Far Reach Voyages Home Page
-- Currently favoring this valve. Has anyone used them?

Seacock Primer
Seacock Backing Plates
Seacock Replacement and Installation
Thruhull Installation Sikaflex 291 shown.
Seacock Failure Testing

I have several questions:
  1. If small barnacles grow on a closed valves chrome, when the valve is opened does the teflon seal get damaged and will the teflon be strong enough to remove the barnacle base?
  2. What is the general experience with growth and barnacles on stainless steel or chromed brass ball valves?
  3. I have heard of pumping trailer grease into the ball cavity by removing the drain plugs and temporarily inserting a zerc fitting. Is this effective at preventing growth and barnacles?
  4. If a seacock is left open (cockpit drain), would barnacles grow faster on the inside of the chromed brass ball than the existing tapered bronze seacocks? [These 33 year old WC Tapered seacocks are hardly ever turned, and are serviced and greased every other year. Should I just keep them as long as possible? --Replacement would be the next project.]
  5. For seating the thruhull/valve should I use 5200 or Sikaflex 291?
  6. What sealant should I use between the IBVF and IBV to prevent it from unscrewing? [Will be making 1/2" threaded backing plates and bolting IBVF as suggested by Groco]
Thanks



Good Forum Seacock Thread here.
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Old 18-12-2014, 08:22   #2
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Re: Seacock Replacement - ball valves

rgleason - excellent questions and I am eagerly awaiting the answers as well.
I have an associated question - how do I remove some stuck ball valves from 25 year old bronze thru hulls? When I try to turn them, the thru-hull spins as well (I am afraid to even try the ones below the waterline). Even trying to get some fitting off the ball valves with a large pipe wrench is not going well.
Ed
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Old 18-12-2014, 08:26   #3
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Re: Seacock Replacement - ball valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
I have an associated question - how do I remove some stuck ball valves from 25 year old bronze thru hulls? When I try to turn them, the thru-hull spins as well (I am afraid to even try the ones below the waterline). Even trying to get some fitting off the ball valves with a large pipe wrench is not going well.
Ed
Get someone else to hold a stepwrench in the through hull from outside.

Your problem is the reason a flanged, bolt through base is a good idea.
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Old 18-12-2014, 09:16   #4
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

Any of the seacocks you mentioned will last 20 plus years without maintenance beyond regular exercise. If you're really worried about it, go with the Groco Flanged Adapter and ball valve. Makes it easy to change out the valve and it's very strong.

Barnacles will grow on any of them including plain bronze ones like your Wilcox or the Spartan ones. The Teflon seals in the ball valve style should easily wipe small barnacles from the polished surface of the ball. Exercise the valves and don't give the critters a chance to get big.

Groco makes some nice fiberglass mounting pads that are drilled to fit both their seacocks and the Apollo seacocks. These are a lot easier than making your own. If you don't already have a piece of 1/2" fiberglass laying around, they may well be cheaper than making your own.


Groco Seacock Backing Block

"I have heard of pumping trailer grease into the ball cavity by removing the drain plugs and temporarily inserting a zerc fitting. Is this effective at preventing growth and barnacles?"

All of the ball valve seacock manufactures warn against this practice as the pressure of the grease can blow out the seals. I guess if you remove both plugs before you pump in grease this wouldn't happen. If you plan to try this , be sure to get a seacock with two drain plugs.

If you decide to go ahead with this project, I'd really appreciate it if you consider buying what you need from me.
Seacocks by Groco and Apollo Conbraco
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Old 18-12-2014, 14:33   #5
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

I called Groco and spoke with John who was very patient and helpful. Below is my interpretation of the answers I received as I did not record and I may misunderstand.
  1. If small barnacles grow on a closed valves chrome, when the valve is opened does the teflon seal get damaged and will the teflon be strong enough to remove the barnacle base? - Barnacles can damage the teflon seal, particularly after leaving the valve closed for a long time, however I was advised that our use (exercising the valve weekly by opening or closing, and at most 3 weeks on occasion) is far better than most use, and consequently the valves will last a lot longer.
  2. What is the general experience with growth and barnacles on stainless steel or chromed brass ball valves? - Similar growth. Nothing will stop barnacles except treatments that are now banned by EPA.
  3. I have heard of pumping trailer grease into the ball cavity by removing the drain plugs and temporarily inserting a zerc fitting. Is this effective at preventing growth and barnacles? - The lubricant used at Groco is Down Corning 111 Silicone which is a very heavy silicone available in a toothpaste tube or grease gun tube, at Grainger or Napa. John actually suggested using this with a zerc fitting temporarily attached to the drain plug opening when the valve is open to provide lubricant (any seacock). He prefers Dow 111 Silcone to grease.
  4. Molycote 111 Compound http://www.amazon.com/Dow-Corning-Si.../dp/B002WDU1J8
  5. If a seacock is left open (cockpit drain), would barnacles grow faster on the inside of the chromed brass ball than the existing tapered bronze seacocks? [These 33 year old WC Tapered seacocks are hardly ever turned, and are serviced and greased every other year. Should I just keep them as long as possible? --Replacement would be the next project.] - Don't replace them until it is necessary. Then purchase the best quality you can. Also with new Ball valves we will want to close and immediately open them along with all other valves. John suggested the BV Series as the best maintainable seacock with the boat out of the water.
  6. For seating the thruhull/valve should I use 5200 or Sikaflex 291? - We did not discuss the sealant product, except John suggested the best way to remove a seacock like the FBV embedded in 5200. Since you just have to break the seal, wrap towels around the seacock, open the valve 1/2 way to allow the boiling water you pour in to get into the inner channel of the ball. Let it sit until it is warm and you can break the seal.
  7. What sealant should I use between the IBVF and IBV to prevent it from unscrewing? [Will be making 1/2" threaded backing plates and bolting IBVF as suggested by Groco] - This joint is no different than any of the other tapered NPT connections in a valve, and this connection is accepted by ABYC. The IBVF male thread is tapered and the IBV female thread is tapered, they are mated and are tightened to "refusal". A lubricant that becomes adhesive at "refusal" is needed, and Teflon tape or Teflon thread lock is appropriate. If 5200 is used in the threads the adhesion is easily broken with the technique above. The IBVF and IBV can be SS safety wired if desired (similar to air craft industry with threaded connections), however this is not required by ABYC. The joint and the IBVF+IBV meet ABYC standards.
Many thanks to John and Patrick at Groco for their patience with my questions.
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Old 18-12-2014, 14:48   #6
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post

I have several questions:
  1. If small barnacles grow on a closed valves chrome, when the valve is opened does the teflon seal get damaged and will the teflon be strong enough to remove the barnacle base?
Yes it can be damaged. Answer is exercise your valves regularly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
  1. What is the general experience with growth and barnacles on stainless steel or chromed brass ball valves?
It can happen IF you don't exercise them regularly. No ball valve I know of will outlast a good quality tapered cone. With the IBVF this is not a big deal just thread on new valves........


Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
  1. I have heard of pumping trailer grease into the ball cavity by removing the drain plugs and temporarily inserting a zerc fitting. Is this effective at preventing growth and barnacles?
Just another urban myth. The Teflon seat wipes the grease clean just as it will do with light marine growth with regular exercising...


Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
  1. If a seacock is left open (cockpit drain), would barnacles grow faster on the inside of the chromed brass ball than the existing tapered bronze seacocks? [These 33 year old WC Tapered seacocks are hardly ever turned, and are serviced and greased every other year. Should I just keep them as long as possible? --Replacement would be the next project.
Until the tapered cones can no longer be lapped I'd strongly suggest keeping them. Growth occurs similarly in both chrome balls and bronze tapered..


Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
  1. For seating the thruhull/valve should I use 5200 or Sikaflex 291?
Ford or Chevy? I prefer Sika but some prefer 3M...


Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
  1. What sealant should I use between the IBVF and IBV to prevent it from unscrewing? [Will be making 1/2" threaded backing plates and bolting IBVF as suggested by Groco.
You use a standard pipe dope on NPT to NPT.... My favorite pipe dope is Real-Tuff by Hercules Chemical/Oatey but there are many others...
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Old 18-12-2014, 15:29   #7
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

Thank you Marine Sail for the response and your excellent How To's!

Do you recall the length of the Silicone Bronze Carriage bolts (5/16' -18 thread) needed for the 1/2" fiberglass backer plates? (You cut the head off with a dremel and use 2 nuts)?

Is there a good source?
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Old 18-12-2014, 15:57   #8
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

Wow!! Thanks Maine Sail (Compass Marine) for link to your years of experience with just about anything marine! Excellent resource. / Len
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Old 18-12-2014, 17:50   #9
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

Sailorman Ed wrote:
Quote:
I have an associated question - how do I remove some stuck ball valves from 25 year old bronze thru hulls? When I try to turn them, the thru-hull spins as well (I am afraid to even try the ones below the waterline). Even trying to get some fitting off the ball valves with a large pipe wrench is not going well.
Ed
It is time to haul the boat and replace/repair the seacocks.

With WC Tapered Bronze with boat in water, I got so I could remove the cone, plug it, the reinsert with lap compound, lap the seacock, remove, clean and reassemble. This required a 500 gal/hr pump and the right plugs. It was a nervous time, but a diaper on the outside did not work. This year, after messing with it for 2 years, without being able to fix the weeping, I decided to replace all weeping plus several others, leaving three that are better as bronze because they are working.

With your thruhull moving, I would not mess around. If it were my boat I'd get it out of the water and really fix it permanently.
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Old 18-12-2014, 18:06   #10
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

Quote:
Originally Posted by r[/LIST
Thanks
od Forum Seacock Thread here.
[/URL]
try getting new stuff here. really cheap NOS.

Home Page

call and ask. Lots of stuff is not on their web site.
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Old 20-12-2014, 09:37   #11
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

I'd like to thank Parks Masterson, Hopkins-Carter Marine, 3300 NW 21st Street Miami FL 33142 www.hopkins-carter.com (800)595 9656 for the prompt and excellent pricing on our seacocks. His proposal was very reasonable and complete with some very good suggestions. Try them.

We have two more seacocks to remove will be taking progress photos.
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Old 20-12-2014, 11:54   #12
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

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try getting new stuff here. really cheap NOS.

Home Page

call and ask. Lots of stuff is not on their web site.
BTW, the items in the photo ring up around 2o bucks or less each
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Old 21-12-2014, 07:36   #13
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

Thanks RG!
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Old 24-04-2015, 06:51   #14
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

The last two seacocks are now off.

The old raw water intake was an old groco integral strainer with thru hull which was simply a nut and washer with no backing plate on the inside, then a ball valve attached with a groco strainer hanging off of it. This eventually came out after removing the strainer with a little heat from a heat gun on the inside and a butane plumbing torch carefully applied to the strainer on the outside.

For removal of the other seacocks we used a similar technique, requiring two people and a groco seacock wrench with a long 4'x 3/8" x 1-1/4" steel bar modified to turn the groco wrench. (I will take a photos.) I found a very large vice grip applied to the wrench also works but not as well. We the heat gun was angled into the valve to shoot the hot air directly through the valve with the valve open. After several minutes of that I would apply the torch to the flange from the outside. The valve was hot enough when there was a little smoke that rose from the edge of the valve and you would see the 5200 beaded up on the edge a little. We were cautious about over heating because of concern about fire (paint and fiberglass) and we had water buckets available. Once the valve was hot enough my wife would pull the taper out of the valve housing and jamb a heavy bar into the large hole so that I had a bulkhead or something to turn against. I would insert the Groco thru-hull wrench and apply my 4' lever. Most of them worked the first time, but several required reheating.

The last one was very reluctant. We tried heating it twice one day but it would not budge. It was late so we came back the next morning and tried it again. I bent the valve on the inside from applying so much torque and it became clear the thru-hull and valve was really frozen on. After about 6 minutes with my grinder carefully cutting off the flange in pieces, coming down at at a right angle to the thru-hull flange, and then using a small flathead screwdriver to bend the flange pieces up and off, this valve was out.

The next task was to sand and clean the valve areas inside and outside, removing the gelcoat around the hole on the inside so the epoxy and new block adhere properly. I used a Fein multitool with a 60 grit carbide blade for this. It seemed to be quite effective. I would guess the time sent so far was a full day for us.

We are going to use West Six10 thickened epoxy to adhere the blocks. We are using the Groco backing blocks as they are cost effective and do not require additional fabrication time which can add up. I pressed the 3 brass threaded Ferrels into the backing plates with a bench vice. Now I am debating if I should put a small piece of tape on the back side to prevent epoxy from affecting the threads, before attaching the backing block to the hull.

For sealant 3M 400UV was recommended by a friend in lieu of 3M 5200. The 4000UV is rated for below the water too but does not have as much strength. I suppose I could use 3M 5200 for setting the flange since I am using the IBV series with separate threaded flange, which allows the ball valve to be simply unscrewed. So the flange will not need to be removed for a long time and the 5200 would help to hold it in place with the 3 bolts should the thru-hull corrode or fail.

I am going to use teflon tape for the threads of the thru-hull as suggested by Groco, and apply the 4000UV to the flange. After measuring the full thread depth with the flange held in place with the backing blocks and subtracting 1/4" for clearance, I will carefully cut off the thru-hulls with a dremel and blade or saber saw.

However the next step is to use Teflon on the flange threads and turn the IBV ball valves down onto the flanges until refusal, so that I can determine the correct alignment of the backing plates so that the handles are easily accessible and the drain plugs work. I label and mark each of the backer plates for location and orientation. Then after vacuuming up my sanding mess, I'll install the plates with the West Six10 putting a fillet around the outside. At the engine raw water fitting I will need to add more epoxy and microballoons to fill one side because of the turn of the bilge.

Then the flanges and thru-hulls will be installed with teflon on the threads and sealant/adhesive. The seacock thru-hull wrench will be used here to tighten up the thru-hull, but not over tight, the idea is to simple get a water tight seal. It should be snug and tight, pull hard on a large crescent wrench and that should be good enough, I will not need the full leverage of the 4' turning bar that I used to break the old 3M 5200 seals.

I will report more later and try to have some photos.
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Old 24-04-2015, 06:59   #15
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Re: Seacock Replacement - Groco BV, FBV, IBVF+IBV

PS. Hop-Car Parker has been very helpful through this process.
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I am hoping that the 15 - 5/16" x 1" bronze bolts and washers and lock washers that I ordered from them several days ago (I was late in ordering), will appear soon. However they have had to replenish stock as we are missing 6 of them.

I suppose I could get 15 steel bolts to complete the installation and then replace them later.
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