It’s the time of year, preparation for the season is now in full swing and essential maintenance work is being completed.
Don’t ignore your seacocks and inline valves, they commonly receive very little attention, being in hard-to-reach places not visible without inspection, its often their failure that highlights the need for maintenance. Seacocks should be exercised regularly; ideally once a month, checked annually, and replaced as required, seacocks can seize with a risk of being locked open, not ideal in an emergency.
Thru-hull fittings below the waterline will be equipped with a seacock, a valve that controls water entry or exit through the boats hull.
Groco valves are constructed from solid bronze (not DZR), this results in a far superior fitting that will be extremely resistant to chemical erosion, with only a trace amount of zinc it will not suffer from corrosion in saltwater like a DZR valve that can contain 35-37% zinc. For the best results and the longest life possible fitting solid bronze is the best option, they deliver exceptional value for money over their lifetime.
There are two main types of seacocks, flanged seacock valves have an integral flange used to support and mount it directly to the hull, in-line ball valves are designed to be supported entirely by a thru-hull fitting.
When inspecting your seacock look for the following:
- Inspect the Thru-hull fitting for leaks, signs of cracks, worn bedding seams etc.
- If the Thru-hull fitting is bright and shiny or has a pink tinge, inspect it further as it maybe suffering from corrosion issues.
Next look at the seacock:
- Check for leaks, damaged or missing components (commonly handles) and corrosion.
- Inspect the seacock backing block ensuring the block is tight and there are no leaks.
- Operate the seacock ensuring it open and closes smoothly, is easily accessible and the handle can operate through the entirety of its range.
Groco bronze seacocks have a patented selectable handle rotation, that enables them to be operated either clockwise or anti-clockwise, making it easier to exercise and maintain your seacock or inline valves. The valve handle also incorporates a square handle hole to accept a ratchet in case the valve stiffens over time.
Don’t forget to check the following around the valve locations:
- Perished hoses and corroded hose clamps, hoses should be supple with no signs of cracking or splitting.
- Also recommended is to install double hose clamps when possible.
Once fitted don’t forget to regularly maintain your seacock, exercise (open/close) the valve monthly, Groco valves all come with a drain plug and grease zerk nipple so you can easily regrease the valve when in situ.
Corroded seacock valve.