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Master Mariner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anybody figured out a way to keep these plastic 3 way valves operating smoothly? I just can not get them to work properly and after a few months of infrequent use, they freeze up. Tried lubing with teflon grease, silicon grease, all to no avail. Loosening the screws helps, but then they leak. Color me frustrated; these valves are not inexpensive.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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I had the same valve for selecting from the port or starboard fresh water tank. I also had the same frustration.

I replaced the damn thing with the following; three PVC valves, three PVC "T" fittings, four PVC barb adapters, and some ½" PVC. I connected the three "T" fittings to make a manifold, the output of which went to my H20 pressure pump, and put a barb on each opening. I really only needed two "T"s and three barbs, but I added the third to help when winterizing, or to prime the system. I can now select EITHER tank, or BOTH tanks, or to draw from whatever I connect to the third valve (scotch has been suggested on more than one occasion).
 

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Master Mariner
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9,189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, I've found some nice s/s three way valves at about the same price (industrial food service not marine) to replace them, but those plastic ones were quite expensive and I thought if someone had found the secret to keeping them working, I might use them somewhere else.
 

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It is possible to over tighten the screws on those valves which would cause them to stick.
Before you throw them out, see if you can loosen the screws without letting them leak.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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The Bosworth three way valves also have rubber seals (O ring #220 or #222 +#BU222). If alcohol (isopropyl, methel, or ethel) is used to winterize, it will eat the rubber, and they'll leak - again. This is not an issue with the PVC valves and manifold (which also cost ~$20).
 

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3 way and 4 way valves are always subject to cross-port leakage upon 'any' wear of the sealing surfaces. This applies to all materials of construction - metal & 'plastic'.

White74 is correct: use tees, etc. and 3 straight, simple valves ... if you want 'tight'.
 

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I have had a Forespar and a Jabsco in my waste system for 10 years. They still work fine. Need exercise once a month or so but I am beyond 3 miles pretty regularly so most often pump out outside & therefore work the valves. Greased the Forespar this year. Jabsco says just work it baby work it.
 

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i would change them out to a tee with 3 valves
why anyone would use plastic on sewage valve is beyond me
25+ years ago, that's what boats came with. I've got one and had to R&R and dissassemble it. After going through all that, I left the handle off and closed the sea cocks - have to use the holding tank, no need to replace everything. But if I could use it, I'd definitely be swapping it out for marine brass valves.
 

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Even worse when a 3-way valve handle moves very easily and you realize the gate isn't moving at all.

I just prefer a manifold system with separate valves.
 
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