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Old 06-07-2007, 07:43   #1
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stuck Y valve

Hey folks,

I've got a stuck Y valve on a new to us cat and I'm looking for suggestions to free up this sucker! Anyone got any ideas? I'm not looking forward to this job to say the least!


'91 gemini 3200
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:50   #2
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Originally Posted by fla.sailor

I've got a stuck Y valve on a new to us cat and I'm looking for suggestions to free up this sucker! Anyone got any ideas?
Yo Dennis,

replace it!

best, andy
1st rule of yachting: When a collision is unavoidable, aim for something cheap.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:11   #3
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Try pumping some vinegar thru and leting it set. Is it stuck overboard or into the tank. I have been told it is not good to pump vinegar into the tank(kills bio organisms that need to be in tank) I recently took a stuck valve out and soaked it in vinegar , it works like new now. Once I replaced the guts of a valve with those from a new one leaving the old housing in place(saved lots of work).............HAVE FUN
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:15   #4
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I assume this Y valve is in the head, thus the lack of joy at replacing. In my experience, these valves are frequently left in one position for a very long time and take a set.

I have successfully freed mine up just by "worrying" it. That is moving it as much as it would allow over and over, eventually it started going full range and appears to work fine. If this succeeds, add it to your periodic/preventative maintenance schedule every couple of months.

The one I "fixed" was the plastic variety, not brass. Don't know if the success ratio would be different in different materials.

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Old 06-07-2007, 10:11   #5
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I assume it's the Gray Plastic Y-Valve located behind the head in the bow of the port hull. I don't recall any other Y-Valve on a Gemini--or at least on the one we chartered a couple of years ago to check the boat out.

Unfortunately, it's likely the former owner rarely if ever opened or closed the valve. Some owner's prefer to simply pump waste off-board regardless of what the law is or where they're anchored while others always use the holding tank, even when it's not necessary (as was the case on the boat we chartered). Absent working the valve periodically, they do freeze up.

N'any case, you may find that by heating up the valve with a hair dryer set on high and held 6"-8" or so from the valve, the heat will expand the outer shell enough to allow you to get the valve to move, even a little. (Don't try this with a heat gun as they put out too much heat!) If the valve loosens even a little, you can "work" it back and forth and slowly restore the action. Once it's moved a bit--try running a botttle or so of head lub mixed with warm water through it and you may be able to free the action up. Regrettably, replacing the valve may be necessary if it's thoroughly scaled up with salt and calcium carbonate.

Good luck!

s/v HyLyte
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Old 06-07-2007, 19:45   #6
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Pour boiling hot water on will free up.
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Old 06-07-2007, 20:21   #7
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My boat neighbor swears by this. I would never do it, but.... he pumps some Sno Bol past the head and lets it set for "a while" then pumps it clear. he says it works wonders. Seems like it might do more damage than good, plus I don't imagine it's too good for the environment! Like I said, I wouldn't do it myself, and in fact I just replaced mine for the the same reason. Anybody else out there ever tried this?

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Old 07-07-2007, 01:10   #8
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The active ingredient in SNO BOL Toilet Bowl Cleaner is 15% Hydrochloric Acid (Hcl, Hydrogen Chloride, or Muriatic Acid).
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:50   #9
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Re: stuck Y valve

I used the worry-method and freed in 15 mins. As I began to get more motion I pumped vinegar through with it partially open. Mine had been in the overboard position for 2years because we had gone to Caribbean where there are no pump outs. Just before we left the States my young son pooped and flushed into the tank. That deposit has been there ever since.
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Old 29-10-2021, 09:24   #10
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Re: stuck Y valve

We too have a very stiff PVC Bosworth 1.5" dia hose Sea-lect Y valve next to our head. I ordered a replacement valve from Bosworth and read that the molded internal rotating seat is Buna-N nitrile rubber. The directions say DO NOT expose to acid. Nitrile is only rated fair for exposure to vinegar or dilute muriatic acid. So our vinegar descaling is probably causing our molded valve seats to harden and swell. The good news is the molded 1/3 cylindrical seat for the 1.5" Bosworth Y valve is part #5 available for $5.25 online. Doug, the engineer at Bosworth, states it has a 20 year shelf life so we can order a couple spares and be good to "go".

Meanwhile we also have a ruptured Buna-N diaphragm on the Bosworth Guzzler holding tank discharge pump. To avoid any potential acid issue I have ordered a Bosworth replacement diaphragm and a spare molded from Viton flouropolymer elastomer. Viton is nearly acid proof. That is a stock part but is on backorder til Dec due to material shortage.
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Old 29-10-2021, 10:09   #11
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Re: stuck Y valve

I have found that most of these are very easy to disassemble and clean. The body of the valve stays mounted while the face can be removed. Good luck & wear gloves.

Capt Clark
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Old 29-10-2021, 10:49   #12
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Re: stuck Y valve

I have been told it is not good to pump vinegar into the tank(kills bio organisms that need to be in tank)

Not true. In fact, weekly doses of a cupful of distilled white vinegar will prevent mineral buildup in the toilet discharge line...doesn't matter whether the toilet flushes into a tank or overboard. Follow the vinegar with about a quart of clean fresh water after 45-60 minute. Do NOT leave vinegar sitting in the bowl 'cuz it IS true that soft rubber (joker valve) allowed to soak in vinegar will swell and distort.

As for the stuck y-valve...lubricating it when it STARTS to "bind" a bit with a thick teflon or silicon grease will keep it working smoothly.

2023 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
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