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Old 26-01-2020, 17:03   #1
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Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

Yesterday I discovered that a six year old bronze seacock bought from what is probably Australiaís largest marine retailer had failed internally. I had the lever in the closed position but water was still flowing, completely unimpeded. Further investigation of the problem caused the handle to fall off. The shaft had rusted through.

Now this is a bronze fitting on a fibreglass boat in a completely dry, well ventilated area. The boat is NOT connected to the marina power supply and the fitting is electrically isolated from the rest of the boat.

This suggests strongly to me that the fitting is total and utter garbage.

Unfortunately I threw the handle in the bin, but for those whoíd like to check their boats it had a dark blue plastic coating on the handle with no obvious brand name. (I probably should have been suspicious at that alone. )

I donít know what the expected lifespan of a bronze seacock is, but I would have thought ten years was reasonable. Six years does NOT feel reasonable to me.

Those that shop at this particular store might wish to double check their seacocks.
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Old 26-01-2020, 17:16   #2
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

believe that you can now source fully synthetic seacocks...fully approved by amsa / insurance etc

fitted one to the old boat a few years ago, and would certainly look for same next time

cheers,
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Old 26-01-2020, 17:39   #3
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

They sell an awful lot of unbranded junk.... but they do sell Tycab tinned wire..

I avoid them if I can.

Moving right along, as built my boat came with a bog standard gate valve on the engine cooling intake.... changed that in BA for one that sounds similar to your dodgy one. However having no faith in anything 'Industria Argentina' I changed that 5 years later.
Yard in NZ suggested and fitted a Hansen valve

https://www.irrigationexpress.co.nz/...lve-blue-bspt/

Looks almost the same as the Guyco ones I use on the farm...
https://www.normagroup.com.au/norma....L_VALVES_EN_AU
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Old 26-01-2020, 17:43   #4
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

PS.... the ones on their site are branded... they are 'CHINA' brand.....
https://www.whitworths.com.au/bronze-ball-valve
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Old 26-01-2020, 18:44   #5
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

At least you could still buy bronze, In the Eu most seacocks fitted now are brass / chrome / and or SS.


The brass ones seem to last only about 3 to 5 years.


bummer, eh?


b.
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Old 26-01-2020, 19:35   #6
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

Yep, hard to buy quality at a large chain retailer.
I'm sure the purchasing department buy simply on price and do not check the source (manufacturer) of the items - most likely they simply believe the suppliers marketing spin.

The staff are largely ignorant of detail of the product - "yeah mate, that's a bronze one, its the better sort". They will have no idea of the composition of the body, spindle, ball construction, seals etc.

If there is no document trail in the supply chain back to the manufacturer, then the quality has to be suspect IMO.

I have been spoilt in methods used the aviation industry and the off-shore oil and gas industry when it comes to confirming quality and fit for purpose aspects. It is hard to accept second best (or potentially worse) when buying from a chain style retailer.

Thanks for the reminder to apply the microscope when buying bits for boats, Matt!

IMHO, a quality bronze item should last the life of the boat (i.e. decades) barring galvanic issues.
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Old 26-01-2020, 20:27   #7
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

Get the Groco flanged adapters, put a Groco valve on top. Can be ordered from Defender and shipped worldwide.
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Old 26-01-2020, 20:37   #8
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

Good thing you caught it when you did. Hard to tell with unbranded stuff. Thanks for passing on the story.
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Old 27-01-2020, 01:49   #9
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
PS.... the ones on their site are branded... they are 'CHINA' brand.....
https://www.whitworths.com.au/bronze-ball-valve


Yep, thatís the one.
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Old 27-01-2020, 01:52   #10
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

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Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
believe that you can now source fully synthetic seacocks...fully approved by amsa / insurance etc

fitted one to the old boat a few years ago, and would certainly look for same next time

cheers,


Youíve helped me decide. My local chandlery are recommending the same. Iíll go synthetic.

I tend to be a bit conservative with this stuff but I think itís time to embrace change. This one is in a well protected area and will supply the water maker so itís a great place for me to build trust in newer technologies.
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Old 27-01-2020, 01:54   #11
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

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Good thing you caught it when you did. Hard to tell with unbranded stuff. Thanks for passing on the story.


I hope it helps prevent someone from having a more serious problem than mine which is a simple case of going for a swim to put a bung in the outside before changing it.

A bit peeved because I just slipped the boat a few weeks ago and this would have been a lot easier to replace then.
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Old 27-01-2020, 10:32   #12
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

I think you mean a ball valve that attaches to a skin fitting. A true bronze seackoc is a single casting withe a bronze plug and handle on top not on the side. Costs a fortune but will outlive the boat. Ball valve come in different grades usually denoted by handle colour. Cheapest one are for fresh water, then gas, then corrosive environments. If you fit the last they are reliable. Read the full speck before buying and if it does not tell you what it is designed to do leave it on the shelf.
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Old 27-01-2020, 12:14   #13
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I hope it helps prevent someone from having a more serious problem than mine which is a simple case of going for a swim to put a bung in the outside before changing it.

A bit peeved because I just slipped the boat a few weeks ago and this would have been a lot easier to replace then.
Thanks for posting this. You might have saved some boats or lives by doing so !!!
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Old 27-01-2020, 12:22   #14
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Get the Groco flanged adapters, put a Groco valve on top. Can be ordered from Defender and shipped worldwide.
Are you getting paid by Defender? Actually, I order quite a bit from their site for delivery to Switzerland so yeap I agree, good outlet to get stuff.


Edit: even with the postage, packing & import duties
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Old 27-01-2020, 13:50   #15
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Re: Seacock warning, probably most relevant to Australians

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Originally Posted by HeinSdL View Post
Are you getting paid by Defender? Actually, I order quite a bit from their site for delivery to Switzerland so yeap I agree, good outlet to get stuff.

Edit: even with the postage, packing & import duties
I wish. I just never found a better priced supplier.
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