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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-25-2010
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Stuffing box leak

Recently our stuffing box has been leaking about a drop every 3 seconds or so. It usually drips a little while running, but it is now dripping at rest, which it has never done before as far as I know. The only thing that has changed is that the water temp is now around 50 much colder than normal since the temp has been running in the teens recently.

Could the lower water temps be related to the drip?

Well, I tried to tighten the stuffing box but the lock nut would not budge. I am hesitant to use too much preasure, so I have sprayed the threads with penetrating oil and will try again later.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-26-2010
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When was the last time the stuffing box was repacked. If you can't tighten the stuffing box lock nut... it might be long overdue.

I'd point out that lower temps means that the shaft will contract in size slightly, and if the flax packing has hardened, it may cause an increased drip rate as the space between the flax and the shaft is slightly larger, due to the metal contracting slightly.
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Old 01-26-2010
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I too, had this problem about three weeks ago and found that the gland follower had gotten gunked up and was stuck . Mine is under the vee Drive not the easiest place to get to. I back it off a little cleaned it up put some fresh grease on it and the key is to take up evenly on it. I have no problems with it since

Jamie
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Old 01-26-2010
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I have no idea how long the packing has been there, at least 4 years. The real problem is the lock nut, I cannot get the lock nut to back off from the packing nut in order tighten the packing nut a little. I have plenty of room to work. Hope the penetrating oil works. With everything so cold I am afraid to have something go south on me. Really thinking of waiting til spring.

I have never had one do this to me before.
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Old 01-26-2010
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Rosa -
Try Power Blast aka PB Blaster. Apply a couple of days in a row tapping the area with a small hammer each time. Best darned stuff for freeing up things that I've ever seen.
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Power Blaster it is Mike, headed to the store now.

Thanks all!
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Old 01-26-2010
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Be careful with the Blaster (I agree, it's the best) around any rubber hose, it'll eat it up. Cover it if you are going to spray, you might think about spraying some in a small container and then using a small brush to apply it to the packing nut.

Always use two wrenches when trying to undue the nut, hold the packing gland with one while breaking the nut loose with the other.
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Be aware that PB Blaster can damage rubber parts...so apply it accordingly.
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I have been able to put two wrenches on and have upsized them a couple of times. Thanks for the advice on PB and rubber.
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Old 01-26-2010
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Yep, PB Blaster worked for me as well. Let it go to work on the nuts for a few days and eventually they will turn.
I strongly recommend using Gore GFO packing instead of traditional flax: Virtually Dripless Packing by Gore GFO
And don't be tempted by the green 'dripless' clay packing.
This excellent tutorial by MaineSail explains why: Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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