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Old 03-10-2007, 15:58   #1
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Thru Hulls - Unsticking / Maintenance

I have 5 thru hulls in my new to me boat, 3 of them won't budge and I'd like them all to work properly - call me overcautious.

They're 9 years old, bronze and seem like excellant fittings. Other than some slight green corrosion, they seem to be in decent shape. They all have grease fittings that I'll push some grease into, Anything specific? or just marine grade grease?

When last out, I sprayed them all down with PB blaster, just to get things moving along, and I wanted to feel like I was doing something.

What are some ways that I can get these valves moving again. I've been thinking boiling water, heat, tapping with hammer - all the regular stuff. The top of the valve has a removable flange, I'm thinking that it could come off as well, to allow the valve guts to come out.

I've also considered beaching her while doing this, Just in case I create a problem - how necessary do you think that is. I'm thinking it's a bad day on the boat if water starts coming in where I'm working.
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Old 03-10-2007, 17:19   #2
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Mike,

I took my boat to a yard and had them replaced. I did not realize how many thru hulls there were on the boat. I went to the yard on day and there is no way I could get into the places these thru hulls were located. The person was as skinny as a rail. He must have been a total of 100 pounds in his drenched tee shirt. One guy was on the outside of the boat with a six foot piece of pipe straining to loosen the thru hull. I also saw a metal circular saw laying on the ground.

I was thinking of doing the job myself but I was afraid of the time it would take. I was told I could do it myself but the yard storage fee was a factor in letting them do the work. If they did the work, I did not have to pay a yard storage fee. The boat was there for almost two months because they had to order the thru hulls. The local suppplier did not have the sizes in stock.

When I mentioned about using a hammer on the thru hulls, the reply I received was --What are you going to do if one breaks off and the tide is rising? I had wooden plugs but I was told they might not fit where the fitting breaks.

I am very interested in the replies you receive.

John
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Old 03-10-2007, 21:54   #3
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We had two thru hulls frozen when we acquired our boat. I lubed them and jerked on them a couple of times with my highly calibrated arms - LOL.

Then discretion became the better part of valor and I had the boat pulled. Both of them had to be cut out.

If the thru hulls are not critical I would sail for a while and make a gig list - i.e. defect log. You will find other problems you want fixed and it will all be easier on the hard.

We had a nice work list, kept the boat out 3 weeks and got a lot of things squared away. Our thru hulls were for the head - no problem for the guys. For the ladies we offered a bucket...
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Old 03-10-2007, 22:24   #4
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I solved it as follows.

While yacht is in water, snorkle under and wack in a wooden bung. Back in the yacht, remove the hose, or whatever is attached to the thro hull. There will be a small amount of residual water, mop this our with rag until dry.
Fill up the open valve with release agent (WD40 of the like).

Leave for a day or two and then try operating valve.

The external bung allows you to exercise the valve without letting the wet stuff in.

It worked for me
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Old 03-10-2007, 23:26   #5
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Through hull fittings have no moving parts and are not meant to budge unless they have to be removed from the hull, the valves you are refering to are called seacocks and should be screwed down onto the threaded nipple of the through hull.
Seacocks do have moving parts and need to be serviced on a regular basis to keep them working freely and insure the vessels safety. Depending on who made the seacocks the internal workings can be anything from rubber, bronze or stainless. In order to free a frozen seacock while the vessel is in the water first you will need to make sure that the valve is in closed position, this would be with the handle facing across the hose the valve is servicing, in the open position the valve handle would be parallel to the hose the valve is servicing. Step two would be to loosen the stainless banding clamp, pull the hose from the seacock, (heating the hose with a hair dryer helps with this) once you have the hose off shoot a liberal ammount of WD40 or like product down into the internal workings of the sea cock and re-attach your hose and clamps. Let the seacocks sit for a couple of days and try exercising them. Please note that this prochedure can only be used if the seacocks are in a closed position. If they are frozen in the open position then the post above makes sense or a short haul to service all the seacocks on the vessel. The seacocks, shaft packing gland and bilge pumps are critical saftey components on your boat and require regular attention to insure the vessel does not sink!! Most seacocks are meant to be packed with grease. Grease for Seacocks are available from Spartan Bronze in Massachucetts. Most Seacocks are meant to be left in the closed position when the fixture that is being serviced by the hose attached to the seacock is not in use. The idea is that all hose has a life ecpectancy and if the hose or clamp fails and the seacock is in the closed position the vessel will not sink. On the note when you do your annual service to all your valves "seacocks" it is critical that you inspect the hoses and clamps. When you are done with the vessel for the day it is critical that you close all the seacocks. Hope this has been helpful.
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Old 04-10-2007, 14:38   #6
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cburger,

You're right! I stand corrected. They are called "seacocks"

John
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Old 04-10-2007, 19:07   #7
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Your right about the seacocks, and the through hulls, the one for my watermaker is just like that.

All my others are an all-in-one type unit. The valve has a flange that bolts right to the hull. They also have a grease fitting (i call them zirk fittings) for a grease gun to go onto. It states to grease while open.

I'll try the bung from underneath. Although I was kind of looking forward to beaching it.

I'm trying to put off the hual until spring, but want the seacocks to work now, I'll be keeping it in the water for the winter. I think it's best if they're all closed for wet storage
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Old 09-10-2007, 16:37   #8
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For what it is worth, neither thru-hull fittings, nor sea-cock valves are expensive items (decent quality ones are actually pretty cheap). If you are in any doubt, spending a few dollars on new sea-cock valves and/or thru-hull fittings buys you peace of mind. I replaced the engine water inlet thru-hull and sea-cock last year. I plan on replacing the galley drain outlet this year and the head inlet & outlet next year.
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Old 23-10-2007, 01:15   #9
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Thanks for all your help!

Saturday we ended up doing it. We had to beach it and it worked great. these Seacock/throughhulls need to be tapped from the outside to help unseat them, so putting a bung in and then servicing them wasn't going to work.

We had to use some cold and heat to free a couple of them, but in the end, they all work great, now I can sleep a little better

Read about it here if your interested.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:02   #10
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Re: Thru Hulls - Unsticking / Maintenance

All of a sudden I have the same problem: Frozen bronze seacock in the closed position for the engine intake.
Not because it has not been used, I open and close the seacocks severeal times per month. This time I tighened up the nut to stop an annoying drip and that was 2 weeks ago. Now the dripp is gone, but the thing is frozen solid...
Tried a heat gun on the body, tried tapping on the axel and tried gorilla force with an extension..Ended up torqing the bronse handle into a pretzel.
Trying to avoid a haulout, will go back with the heatgun and go to a higher temp..
Any other ideas?
(holding off on disconnecting the hose and spraying WD-40, it is not frozen because of corrosion or not being used, just jammed in there to hard)
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:31   #11
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Re: Thru Hulls - Unsticking / Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
All of a sudden I have the same problem: Frozen bronze seacock in the closed position for the engine intake.
Not because it has not been used, I open and close the seacocks severeal times per month. This time I tighened up the nut to stop an annoying drip and that was 2 weeks ago. Now the dripp is gone, but the thing is frozen solid...
Tried a heat gun on the body, tried tapping on the axel and tried gorilla force with an extension..Ended up torqing the bronse handle into a pretzel.
Trying to avoid a haulout, will go back with the heatgun and go to a higher temp..
Any other ideas?
(holding off on disconnecting the hose and spraying WD-40, it is not frozen because of corrosion or not being used, just jammed in there to hard)
Heat it with a torch until spit sizzles on it and no more. I prefer a MAPP gas for this, it gets to the desired temp a lot faster. Make sure to heat the whole fitting evenly. Never fails. Look for the yellow cylinder torch.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:53   #12
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Re: Thru Hulls - Unsticking / Maintenance

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:55   #13
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Re: Thru Hulls - Unsticking / Maintenance

Quote:
Heat it with a torch until spit sizzles on it and no more. I prefer a MAPP gas for this, it gets to the desired temp a lot faster. Make sure to heat the whole fitting evenly. Never fails. Look for the yellow cylinder torch.
Therein lies part of the problem, can't heat it evenly on all sides, too many hoses, a fuel line and electrical wires in the immedieate vicinity on the back side of the seacock.:-(
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:58   #14
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Re: Thru Hulls - Unsticking / Maintenance

The ideal situation of course would be to heat only the housing so it expands enough to "let go", but with such a tight fit, the core probably heats up to the same temperature as the valve body...If one could heat only the valve itself, then it would expand and perhaps "push open" the housing enough to make a looser fit when cooled off again...?
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:53   #15
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Re: Thru Hulls - Unsticking / Maintenance



Still no luck opening the frozen seacock. Tried a propane torch, still stuck. Next step is to unscrew the 56 mm nut holding the elbow on so as to squart magic stuff directly
on the tapered plug. Not sure that it will solve the problem, but it is a try..
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