How do I inspect this Water Lock? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-23-2012 Thread Starter
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How do I inspect this Water Lock?

Read about a water lock that failed on a sister ship with an A-4. Apparently the riser tube in the water lock corroded, diminishing pressure, and allowing water to back up into the motor. I have a Yanmar diesel, but the failure certainly got my attention. The upper section of my muffler is fiberglass, and the only hardware I see are the lags at the base. How would I inspect this unit?
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-23-2012
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Re: How do I inspect this Water Lock?

Look for a failed anti siphon vent in the raw water or sailing in a following sea with stern pipe allowing a surge up and over, I put an oil pressure controlled dumping valve on the side of muffler so it can't fill up to engine manifold height. Over kill perhaps but???,
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: How do I inspect this Water Lock?

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Look for a failed anti siphon vent in the raw water or sailing in a following sea with stern pipe allowing a surge up and over, I put an oil pressure controlled dumping valve on the side of muffler so it can't fill up to engine manifold height. Over kill perhaps but???,
Not sure how this responds to my question. Are you saying the condition I described with the A-4 couldn't occur? I thought I understood what the A-4 owner was decribing, but mayby not.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-24-2012
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Re: How do I inspect this Water Lock?

I saw an A4's plastic water lift melt this past summer when he overheated.. Yours looks to be FRP rather than plastic, so will withstand higher temps.. It should be near bulletproof I'd think. You could take off the hoses and get as good a look as you can into the passageways looking for potential pluggages etc but other than looking for cracks I'd think that's about it.

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Apparently the riser tube in the water lock corroded, diminishing pressure, and allowing water to back up into the motor.
Not quite sure what that means.. if the engine's running there should be no way for water to actually back up.. the muffler ought to be large enough to contain any backflow from the high loop after stopping (and syphon-broken, of course). Would need to see a diagram of that particular waterlift, I suppose....

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post #5 of 8 Old 11-24-2012
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Re: How do I inspect this Water Lock?

I think the OP is referring to water entering the engine during cranking and or starting. That's the only kind of water-into-the-block intrusion, related to a lift muffler, that I've ever heard of.

Capt Len, can you tell us more about your overflow valve? Does it keep the water from accumulating to a high and dangerous level during prolonged cranking? If so that sounds like a pretty cool device. Getting sea water inside your cylinders is NOT good and I know of more than one boat owner who has done it.

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-25-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: How do I inspect this Water Lock?

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Not quite sure what that means.. if the engine's running there should be no way for water to actually back up.. the muffler ought to be large enough to contain any back flow from the high loop after stopping (and syphon-broken, of course). Would need to see a diagram of that particular water lift, I suppose....
The A4 set up may be very different then the one on my boat, but he referred to it as a riser and it seems to be located in the same unique place (the head!). The motor is midships and space is tight, so the exhust goes forward to the head, before being lifted and moving back to the Stearn.
I assume on my boat, there is a lower and upper chamber in the muffler, connected by a pipe (riser). The reduced volume of the riser allows the exhaust pressure to lift the water into the second chamber. I thought his riser corroded and and therefore increased it's volume and lost it's ability to lift the water. The exhaust water back up into the engine. Is this not possible? Needless to say, I'm a little murky on how the system works! In any case, I will remove the hoses and see what I can can. That seemed obvious to me, but I thought if I removed the unit from it's base, there might be more to it. Certainly don't want to do it if there is no point (let sleeping dogs lie, and all that!). Thanks!

Last edited by L124C; 11-25-2012 at 05:06 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-25-2012
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Re: How do I inspect this Water Lock?

I've always been a believer in opening the muffler to the bilge to prevent a filling situation if the anti siphon vent were to fail. When I rebuilt the system last time (due to 2 bent conrods on the 100 hp.) I removed the redline cable pull to the ball valve and installed a solenoid controlled valve (normally open) on the side of the muffler, This is controlled by an oil pressure switch thru to key.(same as alt ) and dumps to bilge. I also put a manual ball valve on the raw input to riser and a sanitary type gate in the exhaust at the transom Check the vents breathing regularly and close the seacock when leaving. Check list coming and going This was all after thought when the engine shut downpull slipped out of my fingers and drew a gulp back. All the safeguards only help when faced with real carelessness.The bruises on my butt have faded but I can't forget the 8 grand -. Even doing the re and re myself.
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Re: How do I inspect this Water Lock?

Aqualift type mufflers are simpler than your average sailor. If it's not leaking or flopping around and the riser keeps exaust and raw water separate until the appropriate time it's doing its job. Problems can be caused by plugged antisiphon vent, prolonged cranking where the pot and pipes all fill (no drain) or simply too much exaust hose which drains back to fill the muffler and into engine. Sailing a big following sea can also hydraulic a surge up the stump and fill any system.(gate valve at transom)
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