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Old 03-04-2013
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Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

At the suggestion of the well-respected rigger at the boatyard, I've plugged up the throughhull and now have a stuck-open seacock filled with vinegar. This is in a effort to disolve any build-up that could be causing it to seize.

If that doesn't work, what next? I'm thinking of taking advantage of the cold weather to get the outer part of the seacock to expand, and trying to get it to move then. My plan is to use a thermal blanket to protect the hull and hoses and then apply a blowtorch to the seacock, while trying to get it to close.

What do you think of this? Has anyone tried this?

For a home-made thermal blanket, I'll use about 20 layers of aluminum foil with a layer of cotton behind it.

I believe the seacock is bronze with a stainless-looking ball in the middle. I have some pictures that I'll post.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

Brad,

Time to replace the valve, not try to "fix" it.... Ball valves only have a certain lifespan, yours sounds like it found it...
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Re: Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

Not all seacocks are ball valves. I doubt you need the thermal blanket, The thermal conductivity of the fiberglass is low. Do NOT Use a blow torch. Instead, buy a heatgun and a cheater bar on the valve handle wiggling it till it starts to move after the body gets hot.
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Re: Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

I think Mainesail is right. If you are out of the water, now is the time to replace it. You really need to be able to close these through hulls, for obvious reasons. Not an item to cut corners on.
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Re: Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

Use a pastry blowtorch for doing creme brulees pinpoint flame. I agree with main also...No sense in messing with it. Ball valve possibly have ice in it?
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Re: Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

Let's say you do get it moving again, will you trust it? Will it give you years more of reliable service? Probably not. Why not just replace it??
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Re: Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

Vinegar is a great low grade acid to dissolve corrosion, however, it doesn't know the difference between corrosion and good metal. It all goes. I bet at best you're going to have a moving seacock that doesn't seal like it should.

I think your fate is sealed. A direct replacement would be pretty simple, if you're out of the water.
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Re: Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

If this is a Beneteau (judging by your moniker) it is very doubtful that you have a "seacock". More likely a chrome plated brass ball valve with NPT thread on a bronze throughull with NPS threads. If it is a brass valve. it will take more than vinegar to fix it. Cut if off and replace with a real seacock.
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Old 03-05-2013
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Re: Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

I think I may have promised to post a picture of the seacock. Here it is.



Regards,
Brad
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Re: Stuck Seacock-- Blowtorch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
I think I may have promised to post a picture of the seacock. Here it is.



Regards,
Brad
Same advice...

Beyond that Beneteau often used sub par seacocks, valves and thru-hulls for below waterline use. If the boat was US built the sea valves should be marked "UL Marine". If it was an EU built boat the sea valves should be marked DZR. If they are not marked with either marking they meet neither the US specs or the EU specs and were of questionable quality to begin with.

I have seen Beneteau installed valves/seacocks literally CRUMBLE due to dezincification.....

Hamilton marine has plenty of stock of UL Marine ball valves and thru-hull fittings from Groco and Apollo/Conbraco.
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