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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-12-2012
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PSS Dripless black spray

Gang,

I have an 8-9 year old PSS Dripless shaft seal on my Cal 27. Yesterday I was checking out some wiring and took a closer look at the dripless and I noticed some black spray that is apparently getting flung off from where the graphite seal meets the steel o-ring. I've never had an issue with it and never taken a really close look at the area. I don't know if this black stuff has been there for a long time or if it just recently showed up.

I have heard the squeal before which I now know is when there is a vacuum lock and no water in the dripless. I heard it maybe 5 or 6 times and it lasted for only seconds per time over the last two years.

I ran the motor in forward and reverse hard while tied to the dock and held my hand right next to the seal and did not get any spray or notice any drips. I pulled the housing back to make sure water was in there and it sprayed out and sealed right up again.

Any words of wisdom. Do these things fail catastrophically or is this a something that gives you some notice? I'm cheap and don't need another big yard bill, but definitely don't need a submarine.
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: PSS Dripless black spray

Anyone?
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: PSS Dripless black spray

Lans,

We also get the black racing stripe with our PSS. It is apparently a common enough thing that other owners have fashioned splash shields out of milk jugs or other suitable materials. I've not seen any mention that this is a symptom of impending failure.
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: PSS Dripless black spray

Your past their service life recommendation for at least replacing the rubber boot
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: PSS Dripless black spray

I talked to PSS this morning and they said that it is normal enough and not impending doom. I checked the bellow and it is springy and doesn't have any cracks or oxidation. I'll keep my eye on it but will probably use their service kit with a new bellow on the next haul out.
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: PSS Dripless black spray

I've got the same scenario and PSS folks told me the same. Just make sure you burp it once a year, on hauls or if you hear any noises. I have mine on 10 yrs now.

- Rob
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: PSS Dripless black spray

My guess is the occasional run dry causes the to collars to heat and the graphite starts to break down some. Maybe it's time to get a new collar that has the vent tube in it?
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: PSS Dripless black spray

I think I'm going to roll with the punches on this one. I'm going to keep an eye on it. We're close to the boat and use it often. Ran it again today and didn't get any spray. I think it must have run dry a couple of times or something. It holds water and seems in good shape other wise.
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Old 03-14-2012
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Re: PSS Dripless black spray

I get the same spray line on my PSS on a Catalina 320, and have not had any problems either. However, some of the other posters have convinced me to burp it and carefully inspect the boot this weekend, to make sure it isn't worn or cracked or failing to keep the right seal on the carbon block.

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Old 03-14-2012
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Re: PSS Dripless black spray

The newer ones have water cooling/lubricating.
I have the same beast as you do, although a bit bigger. I regularly burp it, = a little water into the bilge.

Until it sets or resets, cut up a 1 or 2L coke bottle and cable tie it over the seal. This will contain the spray from making a mess.

cheers
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