Lubing Ball Valves (tip/trick) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-28-2009 Thread Starter
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Lubing Ball Valves (tip/trick)

It just dawned on me, from a post on anther forum, that many boat owners don't know these tricks.


Bronze Ball Valve Style:


They are called "ball" valves. This means the part that shuts off the water flow is a ball. Simply remove the handle, put a small wrench across the flat spot on the valve stem, and the ball will rotate 360 degrees on most of them..

Use a flux brush or acid brush and stick it up inside the thru-hull do one side of the ball and then turn the ball and do the other. Lubing bronze ball valves when the ball is clean will get you minimal improvement in operation, and usually is not necessary, but it won't hurt. With Marelon it is a must. Opening and closing ball valves frequently is the BEST thing you can do for them as it prevents any adhesion or growth from attaching to the closed ball.

Don't pull hoses just remove the one nut, pull the handle and rotate with a wrench...

Cause I like you guys I just took a few photos:

Side 2 of the ball (note the number on the stem):


Open:



Side 1 of the ball:


P.S. This is a three year old Groco ball valve and the ball still looks brand new..


Marelon:

I know this works on the older ones but it may or may not on the newer style. You'll ant to do this out of the water or you could blow the o-ring out.

While the design lends itself to slightly more labor in getting the ball to spin it can be done, at least on the older ones.

#1 Remove Handle. Older "RC Marine" valves had a screw under the sticker that held the handle onto the valve. On the newer ones the handle just pulls off then the screw holds the handle stop in place.

#2 Remove set screw (on older ones set screw holds handle on and is under the sticker)

#3 Remove handle stop device:

#4 Rotate ball with needle nose pliers to grease both sides from the thru-hull fitting.

Still beats removing old hose or sanitation hose!



Don't lube them and they WILL fail!


______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-06-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-28-2009
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Good tip Mainesail. I have Marelon ball valves on Aeolus and it is about time I lube them at my next haul out. I do make sure to rotate all the balls every few months and they feel fine. My Marelon valves are about two years old, and I am curious whether they are built just as the ones you show. If anyone out there has removed the handles on a newer Marelon valve I'd be interested to hear.

My Marelon valves recommend lanocote for the lubricant, which is great because I have it and use it all the time for corrosion protection anyway.

Pictures speak a thousand words, thanks as always.

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post #3 of 16 Old 04-29-2009
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The valve tech-support guy at Groco said not to lube the new ball valves. I don't remember exactly why, so much info to digest!

I still have some of the old rubber plug type valves. You can put a zerk in the drain plug hole and grease them with a grease gun. Do not use petroleum grease as that can attack rubber.
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-29-2009
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In addition to Lanocote, what other preferred lubes are used to lube Marleon and Bronze, respectively.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-29-2009
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YOU DON'T WANT TO DO THIS IN THE WATER. IT WILL PROBABLY BLOW OUT THE O-RING AND LEAVE YOU WITH A LEAK THAT IS HARD TO SEAL. IT WILL REQUIRE YOU TO HAUL THE BOAT.
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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Marelon:

I know this works on the older ones but it may or may not on the newer style. You'll want to do this out of the water or you could blow the o-ring out.

While the design lends itself to slightly more labor in getting the ball to spin it can be done, at least on the older ones.

#1 Remove Handle. Older "RC Marine" valves had a screw under the sticker that held the handle onto the valve. On the newer ones the handle just pulls off then the screw holds the handle stop in place.

#2 Remove set screw (on older ones set screw holds handle on and is under the sticker)

#3 Remove handle stop device:

#4 Rotate ball with needle nose pliers to grease both sides from the thru-hull fitting.

Still beats removing old hose or sanitation hose!



Don't lube them and they WILL fail!

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post #6 of 16 Old 04-29-2009
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Chemical plant experience indicates sometimes you can do all of this from one side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
It just dawned on me, from a post on anther forum, that many boat owners don't know these tricks.


Bronze Ball Valve Style:


They are called "ball" valves. This means the part that shuts off the water flow is a ball. Simply remove the handle, put a small wrench across the flat spot on the valve stem, and the ball will rotate 360 degrees on most of them..

Use a flux brush or acid brush and stick it up inside the thru-hull do one side of the ball and then turn the ball and do the other. Lubing bronze ball valves when the ball is clean will get you minimal improvement in operation, and usually is not necessary, but it won't hurt. With Marelon it is a must. Opening and closing ball valves frequently is the BEST thing you can do for them as it prevents any adhesion or growth from attaching to the closed ball.

Don't pull hoses just remove the one nut, pull the handle and rotate with a wrench...

Cause I like you guys I just took a few photos:

Side 2 of the ball (note the number on the stem):


Open:



Side 1 of the ball:


P.S. This is a three year old Groco ball valve and the ball still looks brand new..


Marelon:

I know this works on the older ones but it may or may not on the newer style. You'll ant to do this out of the water or you could blow the o-ring out.

While the design lends itself to slightly more labor in getting the ball to spin it can be done, at least on the older ones.

#1 Remove Handle. Older "RC Marine" valves had a screw under the sticker that held the handle onto the valve. On the newer ones the handle just pulls off then the screw holds the handle stop in place.

#2 Remove set screw (on older ones set screw holds handle on and is under the sticker)

#3 Remove handle stop device:

#4 Rotate ball with needle nose pliers to grease both sides from the thru-hull fitting.

Still beats removing old hose or sanitation hose!



Don't lube them and they WILL fail!


You can imagine that in chemical reactors the problem is worse. The drain valves cost thousands and the reactor cannot be entered.

We would:
* grease the outside.
* open the valve ~ 75% (varies).
* place grease behind the lip seal on the near side.
* form a bent plasic spatuala (HDPE), ~ 10" long, 1/4" wide, and 1/8" thick. not metal - you can damage seals. bend a 45 degree leg on one the end ~ 1/2" long, and a matching 90 on the other. The dimension match the valve.
* smear grease on the back side of the ball, as far as you can reach with the 90.
* smear grease behind the lip with the 45, gently.
* cycle the valve a few times.

Done in minutes. In some reactors, this is done every batch. No grease - new valve and down for 2 days, because she gets glued up solid.

We used a very sticky, very water proof, contact grease.

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post #7 of 16 Old 04-29-2009 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
You can imagine that in chemical reactors the problem is worse. The drain valves cost thousands and the reactor cannot be entered.

We would:
* grease the outside.
* open the valve ~ 75% (varies).
* place grease behind the lip seal on the near side.
* form a bent plasic spatuala (HDPE), ~ 10" long, 1/4" wide, and 1/8" thick. not metal - you can damage seals. bend a 45 degree leg on one the end ~ 1/2" long, and a matching 90 on the other. The dimension match the valve.
* smear grease on the back side of the ball, as far as you can reach with the 90.
* smear grease behind the lip with the 45, gently.
* cycle the valve a few times.

Done in minutes. In some reactors, this is done every batch. No grease - new valve and down for 2 days, because she gets glued up solid.

We used a very sticky, very water proof, contact grease.
And you can generally do this on 1" and up valves with a bent acid brush but not so much on 1/2" or 3/4"... This is how I do my 1 1/2" seacocks..

______
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Great thread. What is the best way to clean a cruddy ball valve? Refitting an old boat. The ball (toilet drain) rotates stiffly and the ball is crudded. Boat is out of the water and the sanitation hose is off. I was thinking of using a solvent like Varsol then soap and water then water rinse then grease?
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-30-2010
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Their is also a website where you can check which suppliers recently supplies what you are looking for. It's a quick way to have a quote on a Valves.
The website is ShipServ.com
Hope this helps!
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-26-2014
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Re: Lubing Ball Valves (tip/trick)

I have two ball valves that rotate, but no longer shut off flow. How is this possible?
Boat's in the water so I can't disassemble to investigate. Obviously a maintenance issue when I haul, but I can't figure out how it's even possible. Do the stems break?

Last edited by L124C; 05-26-2014 at 06:30 PM.
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