crack in seacock

gkny

Member
345
26
Originally, my head had a through hull but a previous owner had set it up to empty only into a tank. I was in the process of putting in a Y valve when I discovered that the previously capped through hull had a crack in the valve that weeps slightly. I am trying to decide what to do about this and wondered if

1. It is dangerous in the short-term? I don't need to use it but don't know if I can plug the through hull with an expansion plug or something like that until I haul out in the fall.

2. The valve was threaded on with teflon tape but has probably been on the through hull for a long time. Is it risky to plug the through hull and try to remove the valve with the boat in the water?

3. Is there a way to put a gaiter or something like that around the valve? The amount of water weeping is very very little at this point.

IMG_0779(1).jpg
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,512
1,005
San Diego
It doesn't sound like it leaks much - if you only found it because you're working in the area I wouldn't worry about it before the haulout.
You can try to remove/replace it in the water, many people have done this - but you must be certain that you do not spin the thru-hull fitting itself while trying to remove the valve. Spinning the thru hull will tear the caulking loose, a high chance of it leaking then.
 

Fleetwood

Member
166
37
Sydney, Oz
Is that a crack around the valve?
If it were me I'd lift the boat and replace the valve with the boat still in the slings (at our yard one can organise to do this over lunchtime so we only pay the lift charge) But then we sail allyear round so don't necessarily haul the boat every year...
 

sailak

Super Anarchist
2,868
46
AK
Not at all safe.. understatement? Sometimes plumbing like that fails without notice and sometimes it could last for the rest of time.. your call.
 
If you are "not" going to use the boat and have a haul out planned in the near future you could have a diver put a wood bung in on the outside as temp till haul available. Most concerning in the pic is the uniform fracture that appears to run at least halfway around the valve. Major part defect, odds are if you hit it with a mallet it would fall off or just decide to do it on its own. Agree with the above you can do a proper fix even a new thruhull in the slings. Alot of yards will let you do a last haul of the day deal and splash in the am. If it was weeping on threads or a mechanical interface maybe hold off but you have a serious defective part that there is no way of telling the extent. The pic shows alot of bad so I would haul and repair.
 

Crash

Super Anarchist
5,017
965
SoCal
There's an old saying in aviation that its better to display superior judgement, than have to demonstrate superior airmanship. This one is a no-brainer. You've dodged a bullet so far. How much longer do you think you can keep dodging it?

Get boat hauled asap. Replace, or permanently seal. Otherwise you may come down to the marina one day to find a flooded, half sunk boat.
 

Blitz

Super Anarchist
1,516
112
Not good, however don't mess with it in the water. Something is bound to break and provide excitement you don't need.
 

herzogone

New member
It doesn't sound like it leaks much - if you only found it because you're working in the area I wouldn't worry about it before the haulout.
You can try to remove/replace it in the water, many people have done this - but you must be certain that you do not spin the thru-hull fitting itself while trying to remove the valve. Spinning the thru hull will tear the caulking loose, a high chance of it leaking then.
Maybe I'm less risk-adverse than most, but I wouldn't hesitate to fix this in water. I'd do as @SASSAFRASS suggested and plug it from the outside with a tapered soft-wood plug, then proceed to remove/replace the valve as above. I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable with it's current state though.
 

Rain Man

Super Anarchist
7,038
1,949
Wet coast.
Warm the whole thing up with a heat gun before you try to remove it and you might save a bit of cursing. Heat will soften the sealant and make removing it much easier. Doesn't need to be red hot. Put a wrench on it and apply moderate pressure while heating, it should just let go at some point.
 
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Herzo, normally I would agree. In this case it looks like it's a OEM Euro straight thread valve, they like to use the liquid thread sealant similar to loctite so a decent amount of heat to replace. Second the only way to properly hold the thru hull is with a thru hull wrench inserted in the outside where the plug would go. You are left with using a strap or pipe wrench on the barrel with a tiny wall thickness and unknown condition. All of this could end up with a much bigger leak. So I would pass on the in water repair. Maybe of you have a commercial diving outfit that ows favors and they can bell it and do the full swap but most people don't have those favors at hand.
 

herzogone

New member
Herzo, normally I would agree. In this case it looks like it's a OEM Euro straight thread valve, they like to use the liquid thread sealant similar to loctite so a decent amount of heat to replace. Second the only way to properly hold the thru hull is with a thru hull wrench inserted in the outside where the plug would go. You are left with using a strap or pipe wrench on the barrel with a tiny wall thickness and unknown condition. All of this could end up with a much bigger leak. So I would pass on the in water repair. Maybe of you have a commercial diving outfit that ows favors and they can bell it and do the full swap but most people don't have those favors at hand.
Good point about the thru-hull wrench. The teflon tape Marty pointed out might make it easier to remove. It looks like bronze on bronze so no galvanic issues. I would probably try gripping the thru-hull carefully with a rag and channel locks, strap or pipe wrench first, but a diver could use a thru-hull wrench and have a plug ready for after in coordination with someone inside with minimal water intrusion. I agree if the thru-hull fitting itself is questionable I wouldn't try it in-water. Worst case, if a haul out wasn't available soon, tapping the wood plug in with a mallet then trimming flush would at least give some added security. I would also keep some Stay Afloat putty and another emergency plug handy inside just in case.
 
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