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Old 31-07-2019, 10:50   #1
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When to replace Seacocks?

I've owned my Westsail 42 for several months now, and working the handles on the seacocks I discovered one with a defective ball value. That's my assumption anyway as closing the value doesn't stop the water coming into the strainer. I know that all systems including seacocks were put in around 20 years ago. All seacocks are good quality bronze Buck Algonquin seacocks that have backing plates, show no signs of leaking or damage. I know the lifespan rule of thumb for standing rigging is around 15 years, but what's the lifespan of seacocks? Other than the valve not working, is there anything else I should be looking for when I inspect seacocks? Obviously I'm going to need to replace the defective one, but should I consider replacing all of them? TIA

Jim
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Old 31-07-2019, 10:57   #2
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Re: When to replace Seacocks?

With ball valves, it's a crap shoot as to how long the stem will last. If the valve isn't closing the stem has most likely sheared.

As we replace our tapered plug seacocks we're going with the groco flange adapters so we can just change the ball valve if/when it fails.
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Old 31-07-2019, 11:29   #3
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Re: When to replace Seacocks?

It may be that the stainless ball valve has an accumulated crud lip, preventing full 90 movement.

If that is the case, it may be possible to resolve that problem by removing / replacing the handle at a 180 orientation so the ball valve may be rotated a full 360, to clear the crud lip.

Mine are still great after 19 years.



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Old 01-08-2019, 15:04   #4
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Re: When to replace Seacocks?

Thanks guys. My only question is if you have one fail, are they all suspect and need to be replaced?
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Old 01-08-2019, 16:45   #5
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Re: When to replace Seacocks?

No they are not all suspect ! The p/o may have over stressed the 1 you are having an issue with ! Our boat is 40 yrs old ! It has the original B/O valves with the rubber hub, with the bronze end plates ! They are still going strong ! Our surveyor was not the least bit worried about them 15 years ago when we bought the boat, nor when he did an insurance survey last year ! It's all about how you treat them, and diligent maintenance !
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:00   #6
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Re: When to replace Seacocks?

Hi Jim,

Always a good idea to check them all when the boat is slipped each year (along with the bilge pump/battery).

After the antifouling is finished, go through all of them and make sure the ball valves move freely by hand. Spray Lanox from the out side when the ball is closed and open/close (repeat a few times).

The poo outlet will generally be the worst culprit, most likely to need changing, due to the corrosiveness of faeces.

A wire brush and a spray of Lanox to clean off the green scale inside doesn't hurt either.

However, a bit of green scale is not the real worry. If under the green scale the bronze if turning a light 'rose' colour it is a sign of electrolysis and the bronze will become brittle. This is the real worry.

Stainless are good, but they still have a bronze ball (the ball valve) that is chrome coated. The skin fitting will be ok, the inside ball can still seize if not serviced or experiences electrolysis.

Plastic ones don't corrode, always a good thing.

Make sure there is bungs tied to all of them regardless!

Good luck!

Adam
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