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okapi3 10-26-2008 07:03 PM

Deck fill cap measurements
Hi all,
Here's a pretty uninteresting thread, but I really need some info. The cap for the waste holding tank on my 1988 PSC31, hull #9, is completely frozen. The usual means of freeing it up haven't worked and a friend, who is a mechanic, believes a snuggly fitting 2-prong bit in an impact wrench should do the trick. He has offered to fabricate a bit to fit the 2 holes in the cap, but unfortunately I live 2000 miles from my boat and need the center-to-center distance and exact diameter of the holes in the cap. If anyone lives on their boat or is visiting it soon, could you please get these measurements for me? I expect any of the older PSCs will have the same brass caps. I would like to be able to pump out my holding tank! Thanks much.
P.S. In return I will let you know if this scheme works.

JohnRPollard 10-26-2008 08:29 PM


I'd like to help you, but our boat uses a bronze cap that is keyed to the winch handles.

You mention that you've tried all the usual remedies. In case you haven't tried it, I will suggest that you put a torch on the cap and heat it up. This will often break the bonds of corrosion.

One final suggestion -- If you are desperate to pump the holding tank, you can access it through the inspection port at the bottom of the starboard cockpit locker. (At least, you can on ours, and I do that about once a year to give it a good vacuuming with the pump out hose.)

okapi3 10-27-2008 08:14 PM

Hey, thanks. I thought of the torch idea but was a little wary. I also thought about alternating heat and dry ice to get it to break loose, but didn't actually try that yet. Never noticed the inspection port, but will look for it. thanks for your suggestions.

arisatx 10-27-2008 10:49 PM

Have you tried PB Blaster to help un-freeze the threads? Link here

Also, Sailor's Solution sells an adjustable width key called KeyWiz that can accept a 3/8" socket drive. Link here

Good luck.

Outrageous 08-29-2012 04:56 PM

Re: Deck fill cap measurements
With similar "frozen waste" problem I tried lubricants, then drilling 2 bolt holes and inserting screw bolts then trying to lever twist using the bolts. All failed, ended up drilling 1" hole and then using hacksaw to segment the remaining part of the ring and pulling it out with pliers. Next time I get a cap on, using teflon thread.

okapi3 09-28-2012 10:54 PM

Re: Deck fill cap measurements
I just noticed that this 4 year-old thread I started has been resurrected! I promised to report on how I fared trying to remove the frozen deck cap for my holding tank and I did not keep my word then , so I will do so now.

Well I succeeded in removing the cap, without destroying it, and have been thoroughly enjoying the experience of pumping out my holding tank ever since.

Here's what I did: I have a friend who works on machinery and swore that an impact drill will free up anything. He very kindly fabricated for me a customized bit with two steel pins welded to a steel bar. The pins fit into the two holes in the cap and he welded a nut to back back of the bar which fit a socket bit that I fitted into a 110 V impact drill rented from a tool shop. He was right! The intense vibration from the impact driver broke the cap loose!

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