Seacocks don't open/close -- what to do? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 24 Old 08-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Seacocks don't open/close -- what to do?

I have a new (to me) Beneteau, with about 16 through-hulls and seacock. Some of the seacocks don't move (some don't close, but there's at least one that doesn't open). Any advice on what to do? The current plan is to enjoy her this summer and fall and taking care of anything major over the winter.

(I imagine this was covered somewhere in abother thread, but a search didn't turn anything up. If there's a thread to review, I'll gladly do it.)
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-15-2008
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Try pouring really hot water over the seacocks... that may free them up enough so that you can close the open ones.

Seacocks need annual maintenance at a minimum. They should be worked at least once a month and lubricated at least once a year. If this isn't done, they can seize.

A seacock that is seized closed isn't too much of a problem unless it is the engine raw water intake. One that is seized in the open position is a huge problem since it can sink the boat if the hose or hose clamps fail.

If you're not going to haul the boat and replace/repair the seacocks, try and close the ones you don't actually need to use and double check the condition of the hoses and hose clamps on them. Make sure they are double clamped as well.

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post #3 of 24 Old 08-15-2008
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tapp it gently few times on the housing; spray a bit of wd40 on the inside and outside of the seacock

Last edited by Karletto; 08-15-2008 at 11:16 AM.
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post #4 of 24 Old 08-15-2008
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wow....be careful with that hammer.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things y%^&*.....oh never mind. 90% of the people on sailing forums already use that as their signature! I'm not a conformist.
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Are they made of plastic or bronze? If they're plastic there is a good likely hood that they will need replacement and if they are bronze, and seized shut, they will most likely also need replacement.

Seacocks should be closed every time you leave the boat.

This does two things:

#1 Regular "exercise" prevents the valves from sticking as you have discovered.

#2 Prevents your boat from sinking if a hose, clamp, water pump seal, strainer etc. etc. should fail and begin leaking.


P.S. The hammer won't do much, except cause further damage, especially if you're suffering from galvanic corrosion. Banging on any seacock is not necessarily a good idea..

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post #6 of 24 Old 08-15-2008
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This winter on the hard when we had the shaft and rudder out. I made it a point to replace the raw water intake seacock. The one that was on there was brass, bad enough but the brass one's have steel handles that rust off . the new bronze one works real nice now. The waste Discharge SC was seized but We did manage to get it working. If your going to put leverage on the handles back them up with leverage in the oppisate direction so you don't flex the hull mountings.

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OK, so the plan this week is try the hot water and *gentle* tapping method on the ones that don't close, and exercise the ones I can move. I'll check the hoses and clamps on the ones that don't close.

Then I'll close all the seacocks that I can, before leaving the boat.

Not sure how to apply WD-40 since she's in the water. (Maybe the sink drains could be sprayed while I'm heeling?!)
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Don't use a hammer on the seacock... if the seacock is metal and has galvanic corrosion issues, you may break it...and flood the boat.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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If the one that is stuck is a cone and seat type (a tapered inner moving core), loosen the wee nut on the end of the cone and tap it a WEE bit on the end.
It will free up easily in my experience. Don't take the wee nut right off the end as it stops you tapping the cone right out of the seacock. You will get wet if that happens.
When you are next out of the water, strip and grease them all.
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post #10 of 24 Old 08-15-2008
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If you had a survey I would also wonder if the surveyor did not try each seacock and make sure they worked. If he did and they worked it is not necessarily a long time problem. If he didn't, he is not much of a surveyor.
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