I replaced the packing gland on my Mirage 33 just before putting her back into Lake Superior. The packing appeared to be dripping appropriately while running the engine and not at all while in the slip. I noticed what looks like melted wax in a little pile under the packing nut after running the engine last time. It also appears that the revolving shaft has even sprayed a little of it either side of the shaft. The shaft did not feel hot, rather warm to the touch. Am I loosing the packing through the top of the nut?
Sue & Larry respond:
The condition you describe is not uncommon, especially since you have just repacked your stuffing box. It’s possible that you inadvertently over-tightened the packing nut, thus forcing some of the wax forward and out of the gland. Another possibility is that the gland ran hot and melted some of the wax.
In either event, we believe that you’re situation isn't dire, but it makes sense for you to continue to monitor events for a short while. Your stuffing box should drip approximately three to four times per minute while underway, but not at all while the boat is in the slip and the shaft isn't turning. We recommend that you continue to check the temperature of the gland and shaft. Slightly warm is fine, but neither should ever be hot to the touch.
Hope this helps.