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Old 02-09-2019, 03:32 PM   #1
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Anyone seen this type of sea-chest before?

Left side of the picture, stainless.

Questions:
  1. Can you take the top off normally, in other words just unbolt it and reach in and clean out gunk? I assume the waterline is below it (I'll verify of course)
  2. Is there or should there be a strainer in there? If there isn't when I crack it, is that a problem (I'd think so, although I see a strainer inline in places.
  3. Confirm that the plastic elbow at the bottom is a bad idea. I think it is, no valve and could break easily.
  4. Is it OEM? Add on?
  5. Is it a plus for the boat, or a liability?
  6. I probably forgot a question, general opining encouraged.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:36 PM   #2
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Donít know if it is OEM or not. There may be an external strainer on the bottom, need to check. If it was properly built you should be able to remove the top with the boat in the water. I do not like the plastic elbow at all. I would get a shutoff valve and get rid of the plastic.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:49 PM   #3
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It’s not OEM and the top is below the water level. I’m not sure there’s a strainer. There looks to be a strainer to the right of it with the ball valve between the two.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:53 PM   #4
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Why would the top be below the water level? That seems nuts.

I'm not sure it is, the perspective in that picture is off, but until I get back and measure I can't say either way.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:56 PM   #5
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Another question, assuming a cored bottom - was the hole properly bedded and filled with epoxy for the required standoff distance?
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Another question, assuming a cored bottom - was the hole properly bedded and filled with epoxy for the required standoff distance?
Great question, how could you tell without disassembling it. I wouldn't bet either way on this boat.

For fun, a pic of the sea-chest from the bottom.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:16 PM   #7
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At least they put on an external strainer. I would still like to have a fine mesh strainer on each system coming off the sea chest. You might be able to tap around the external strainer to see if it sounds solid or hollow to see if the filled the core with epoxy. May work or may not tell you anything. Otherwise you will probably have to pull the sea chest to look inside. If you have any doubt you probably better look and see if it is done correctly. If it isnít and you leave it you could take on water into your core and then hang on...
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:07 PM   #8
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Take the top off strainer; Pull out basket; Open ball valve. A LOT of water should pour out. Close ball valve. Turn on bilge pump.

I wouldn't bother to change plastic elbow until you're on the hard. It's not going to disintegrate. Have a set of foam or wooden plugs close by just in case.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:23 PM   #9
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I would not trust the plastic elbow. I would make sure the bilge pumps work and then put a sheet of plastic under the hull where the intake strainer is and change out the plastic.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bridaus View Post
Great question, how could you tell without disassembling it. I wouldn't bet either way on this boat.

For fun, a pic of the sea-chest from the bottom.
That's not a strainer, this is a proper strainer.

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Old 02-09-2019, 10:06 PM   #11
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If that seachest is made of Stainless Steel, I hope it has a big pencil anode.

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Old 02-09-2019, 10:09 PM   #12
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It looks like stainless. I didn't see an anode, but I didn't look hard either.

Yeah I like that strainer better.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:45 PM   #13
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In ships and big boats a vertical sea chest is common. Usually with a valve at the bottom and an air fitting near the top. Air pressure pushes the water out, you close the valve and the whole sea chest is dry. Some are made to accommodate a strainer basket. This one doesn't look like it. You need to inspect sea chests routinely for marine buildup. Usually there's a round scraper on a handle for cleaning the sea chest.

Some have 2 sea chests. One on each side of the keel. One is for intake and the other for outflow.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigsfish View Post
I would not trust the plastic elbow. I would make sure the bilge pumps work and then put a sheet of plastic under the hull where the intake strainer is and change out the plastic.
I would be equally concerned about the lack of a shutoff valve on the plastic elbow coming out of the sea chest. It appears as though the line to the strainer has a nipple and a ball valve attached to the sea chest. It's unsupported. I would redo both lines with appropriately supported valves. Until then, plugs provide an adequate safety backup.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:11 AM   #15
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The grey pvc plastic elbow is a strong thick schedule 80 one. You can find them at Lowes. I use some also after thru hulls valves, they have never been a problem in more than 10 years. I also have some polypropylene black plastic elbows, they are real nice as they cant crack.

https://www.amazon.com/Banjo-SL125-9.../dp/B0079JTCF4
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:07 AM   #16
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After valves is fine. This has no valve. It's getting replaced next time she's on hard.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:10 AM   #17
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How do you support a valve in this setup? I've seen lots of installations where I'd call the valve "unsupported". Perhaps doesn't make it right, but I've seen so many.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bridaus View Post
Why would the top be below the water level? That seems nuts.

I'm not sure it is, the perspective in that picture is off, but until I get back and measure I can't say either way.
I agree. I measured the water line to the ceiling in our engine room, ~8”. You could be good.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:53 AM   #19
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Bridaus, You can try loosening the top flange bolts slowly and see if the water level is below the flange it’s under very little water pressure, If it is take the flange off, plug the outlet on the inside of the sea chest with the plastic elbow and do your replacement. The pvc elbow maybe a better use than having two dis-similar metals since the sea chest is stainless. The pvc elbow dosen’t look like it’s in a area easy to step on and break.
You should also be able also to clean the sea chest strainer with a brush, scraper, or water jet.
The whole point of having a sea chest is being able to work the water supplies to thier strainers and internal cleaning of the sea chest while afloat.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
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How do you support a valve in this setup? I've seen lots of installations where I'd call the valve "unsupported". Perhaps doesn't make it right, but I've seen so many.
Looks like a long lever connected to the sea chest via a thin nipple. Putting excessive force on a stuck valve may just snap the nipple. You might hit it when crawling over the strainer to service the battery. You can glass in a bracket or supporting structure and fasten the valves to it with plumbers strapping.

Vibration may also be an issue. You have two dissimilar metals connected in a constant salt water bath so the strength of the nipple would be suspect.

(Any PO who went to HD to buy a plastic elbow probably bought a brass nipple.)
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