Reopening a broken gate valve / raw water intake - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-07-2010
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Reopening a broken gate valve / raw water intake

Hi

I have just joined this site & require any kind of tip or trick .
I have just purchased an old wooden boat ( 1927 ) and the handle on my GAte Valve for my raw water intake has broken off!

I had been having problems with my heat exchanger on my Detroit 471 Diesel engine and figured i'd open it up and clean some of the calcium build up inside it. To do so i had to shut off the Gate Valve ( that will be very much replaced once i can get on the hard ) . Of course it's old and it broke , I am now sitting at dock with no raw water coming in and need to complete this maiden voyage ....



As we all know any engine needs waterto remain cool , without being able to reopen the valve i am stuck , ( money has been wasted in other places , New Batteries , Batt charger , Inverters , Fuel and what not .

What i think i should try and do is to open the main body nut to access the broken screw and the problem should be resolved ???

My other doubt is what if i can't get the broken screw out.
I'm thinking of drilling out the screw to the best i can and opening the valve manually and leaving it open so i can resume my trip , as my boss is getting eager to see me return to work .

Any kind of help would be great as what i keep finding is info on removing the valve or adding another one after it .

I JUST NEED IT TO OPEN !!!
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Old 10-07-2010
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with a boat that old, and wood that old...I would proceed with a tad bit of caution...as once you open it, it will now be open, and should something else happen that you need to close it..well you very well may be in a pinch.

A description of the valve would be nice. I would suggest using another thruhull (one with a handle) and add some marine hose to make a run to it....you then have a working thruhull, and water to the engine.

You may want to bite the bullet and pay a diver or haulout to replace the thru hull...as you may not have as strong a backing plate as you think...and if the thruhull comes right out, then you are back in fine time..
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Old 10-07-2010
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If you could link to a photo or provide a manufacturer that would help. Also try to find drawings of the internals of the valve on the web by checking manufacturers websites. Any advice you get here will be based on our assumptions of what the valve looks like, which right now are based on the only description provided ("gate valve").

My 2 cents based on what I understand a gate valve to be:
There is a nut in the center where the shaft & handle used to be. If you undo this nut the valve will open as the seal comes off the seat and eventually comes right off the valve body. At this point water will be pouring into your boat. You may be able to grip both the seal shaft and the nut now and rotate the shaft to raise the seal, then reinstall in the "open" position to stop the water pouring into your boat. Alternatively you may be able to cobble together some sort of cap for this port of the valve with some hose and clamps and not reinstall the shaft and nut.

Good luck,
Ken
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Typical Garden Gate Valve

Yes KBUckley you have the description of the valve i am dealing with.
& i am hoping i can do it with the technique you have mentioned .
I 'm thinking if i can find another handle forit i should be ok andnot have to worry about things falling apart on me once i am back at sea .

I am not too worried about the amount of water coming in as i have the bilge pumps to handle it.

It seems i can't upload pics until my 2nd post so i will be right back with the pics you guys wish to see.
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Old 10-07-2010
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pictures of the valve and location

here is the valve in question & the bilge area it lies in
as you can see there is my secondary bilge pump right next to it .
and the shaft of the valve handle is indeed sheared off
Attached Thumbnails
Reopening a broken gate valve / raw water intake-100_1266.jpg   Reopening a broken gate valve / raw water intake-100_1268.jpg  
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Old 10-07-2010
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Musk

the pics are great...you have two choices based on the pics we see..

the first it to continue to take the valve apart...the cap to the valve (where the handle and shaft used to go thru) is made to unscrew...HOWEVER given the age of the parts we see, this will be risky to undo. It may come right off, or it may take some persuading and even then the "gate" may remain in place in the valve body..

the second is to replace the thruhull

the small bilge pump may not be adequate to handle the flow of that 1" hole should something else happen to the valve. I would surely buy/find/make a cap for the valve that you are now holding in your hand...just in case.

All the best.
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Old 10-07-2010
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Hi Musketteer, welcome to Sailnet! I do not know what size of boat you have, or where you are, but if the water temps and thruhull location allow, I would also suggest swimming down under the boat and putting a plug in the thruhull before taking it apart would be helpful in slowing the flow of water into the boat. If you do not have any, or do not know what I am talking about go to a marine store, they sell tapered wooden plugs for this.

Sorry I can not offer more advice to the problem at hand, I have never dealt with this type of valve myself.

Hmmm, I also noticed in the picture there is no hose clamp on there. I assume you took it off while working on it? If not, get one on there pronto.
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Old 10-07-2010
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When you are ready to fix it, i would seriously consider not replacing the gate valve w/another, but going to a ball valve.
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Old 10-07-2010
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i know what a plug is , i've been working in the boating industry for over 13 yrs , but more on the fiberglass side of things.

I did learn about diesel engines when i had my old yanmar 1 banger, the engine in my 35 ft boat is a bit bigger but still a diesel.

I don't have any other thru hulls i can tap into & if there was i'd be weary of not having a strainer on it to prevent crap from getting inside it.

that is a yes to having removed the hose clamp to see inside the valve.
& also affirmative on replacing it with a ball valve inthe near future

one last question . if i reopen the valve do you guys think i can use the same valve handle to cap it off ??

oh & that is far from being a small pump it's my 2nd auxilary pump my main bilge pump is located further back in the bilge , right under the stuffing box area .
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Old 10-07-2010
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I would agree with each of the above posts
1. Plug it from underneath
2. Replace with ball valve
3. Probably replace whole skin fitting (so gotta getout of the water)

While you are at it, replace all skin fittings and ball valve through hulls and hose connections (double up on these & put on in opposite direction to each other so they dont bind up the hose))
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