Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

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Michael37
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Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

Post by Michael37 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:49 pm

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Seacock Photo
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Hi,
I've Blakes seacocks for my toilet and over the past month these have started to slowly leak, they are also quite corroded with blue/green deposits on them. They do not have the grease nipple so require undoing the bolts. The valves open and close with no problem, I can do it with no effort.
I've read up about cleaning them and greasing the cone, I'm just a bit unsure if I should attempt this at low tide as I'm on a mud berth and have 6 hours with no water. I wouldn't want endless mud entering the boat. Seems a shame to lift her out just for this. Also I cannot remove the handle on the small one so would this be okay to tap with a hammer to try and work it loose?
I've attached a photo, hopefully.
This is my first yacht and despite small issues like this she's a real cracker. I'm really enjoying learning new skills with all the servicing etc but admittedly I could do with some hints. Also how far should the handle be turned to fully open and close the seacock?
Thank you all very much.
Michael

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Nigel Birch
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Re: Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

Post by Nigel Birch » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:57 pm

Blakes seacocks have to be taken apart and greased periodically. I do mine at the beginning of every season. It's the grease that provides the water tight seal so if they haven't been done for some time it's not surprising they are weeping. The handle turns through 90 deg to open/close, typically inline with waste pipe is open 90 deg to pipe closed. When you reassemble do not completely tighten the retaining nuts, the idea is to have some adjustment so you can tighten up as the season progresses to keep a good seal.

How deep do you sit in the mud?
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Re: Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

Post by philipstevens » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:38 am

I stand to be corrected, but believe that closed is 120 degrees. The open and closed position was embossed on the Blakes seacock on my Duo.

A good waterproof grease is made for outboard motors.
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Re: Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

Post by Nigel Birch » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:28 pm

You may be right, I'll have to check next time I take it apart. But in practical terms 90 deg seems to work! The attached pdf is rather ambigious.
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Re: Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

Post by Fulmar433 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:31 pm

I once, many years ago, serviced the weeping Blakes seacocks on my Father in Law's Centaur whilst afloat. Probably not the wisest way to do it, but it went without incident. Two of us worked together. I took the bolts out and removed the centre and held my hand over the hole while my Father in Law cleaned and greased the cone. I can't remember if we wiped the fixed section out before re-inserting the centre. Surprisingly very little water came in and was easily mopped up. As I said, probably not the safest way to do it, but it more to prove to my FIL that it would be possible to hold back the water pressure by hand.

Doing it on a 'drying' mooring should be easy, unless you are floating in the mud, in which case it could ooze in and act as an abrasive. Probably the biggest danger is one of the bolts sheering and not being able to clamp it up again afterwards. It would be wise to have some G-clamps that could be used in an emergency. It's probably worth soaking the bolts with penetrating oil for a few days before attempting to release them.
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Re: Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

Post by TyroSailor » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:18 pm

I've had mine out a couple of times. Definitely a 90 degree turn; open when the arrow's pointing at the pipe.

The bit that comes out is a bronze cone with a large hole in one side....hang on - photo somewhere..... It may need smoothing with medium to fine emery paper (once you've cleaned off the old grease with a rag followed by another soaked in white spirit, paraffin, diesel or petrol) to remove any blemishes; mine needed extensive regrinding (which I did on a small sanding belt, as the boat was ashore and I could take the valves away) to remove severe pitting which was causing it to leak. As long as you maintain the taper it doesn't much matter if you reduce its diameter a bit - it'll just go a bit further into the hole. White lithium marine grease is good, but I suspect that any thick grease will do, even lard! Whatever you use, slather it on liberally. Good idea to clean out the hole too.

If you're worried about letting in a jet of mud, move the boat to a hard, or a gravelly/sandy beach where it won't sink in.

I'll have a look for the photo and see if I can manage to upload it.
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Re: Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

Post by TyroSailor » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:32 pm

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DSCN2467_opt.jpg
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The hole you can just about see on the top left side in the top picture comes out at the bottom of the valve (top right in picture)
The bottom photo shows the pitting; the valve looks cylindrical because of the angle at which it's being held, but it's really tapered!
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Re: Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

Post by philipstevens » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:48 pm

If you look at https://www.asap-supplies.com/brands/bl ... ock-402207 (righthand view) you will see the closed stop puts the handle at about 120degrees. Open is when the handle is opposite the outlet.
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Re: Centaur Blakes Seacock Leaking

Post by TyroSailor » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:13 pm

Hmmm - yes it appears thus. As far as I can remember mine don't have those stops though - and they also lack those locking pins to hold the handles on. In my ignorance, some time ago, I managed to get the handles on the wrong way round, i.e. at right angles to the correct position! It took me ages to figure out why I couldn't pump out the heads :!:
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