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Old 06-13-2017, 11:30 AM   #1
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Exclamation Need help and advice - new issue with shaft seal

Hi TFers,
Again another day, another pain.
This morning when checking the shaft seal I found out something odd.
As I am not used to these seal I request your knowledge and help here.
Here is a picture of my seal:

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It is a packing gland as seen on picture. My issue is that the part that goes on the hull (the one with the grounding wire on it) is loose. I mean I can turn it with one hand, not totally loose but moveable. I don't think this is normal ???
If I put my hand under and touch with my fingers I can feel that some (few but some) water can pass there and again I think this is not normal as if I am right the water drops should only goes along the shaft through the packing nut.

May yu please advise if there is any danger there, should I haul out? I start to be a bit desperate, looks like this year I am not due for vacation

Thank you in advance.

L.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:13 PM   #2
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It looks like you have a very short piece of rubber hose, about 2-3" long between the fiberglass nipple? and the packing gland. There is a hose clamp on the packing gland, but I only see a hex bolt head on the nipple end. Usually the hose is much longer, about 6" and has hose clamps on both ends and usually in pairs on each end.

So I can't see what is holding the hose to the nipple other than that hex bolt which is rather weird. Or maybe I am seeing the picture wrong. The pic below shows the more common installation of a packing gland.

David
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
It looks like you have a very short piece of rubber hose, about 2-3" long between the fiberglass nipple? and the packing gland. There is a hose clamp on the packing gland, but I only see a hex bolt head on the nipple end. Usually the hose is much longer, about 6" and has hose clamps on both ends and usually in pairs on each end.

So I can't see what is holding the hose to the nipple other than that hex bolt which is rather weird. Or maybe I am seeing the picture wrong. The pic below shows the more common installation of a packing gland.

David
Thank you very much David.
There is no hose, the bronze part comes over the fiberglass nipple and there is a bolt going through the bronze and fiberglass to keep it in place (a bit odd no?) The clamp you can see is only used to fix the bonding wire tight on the bronze part.

L.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:32 PM   #4
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Long story short-ish.

We had to change the packing gland when the boat was in the water once. I was amazed at how little I had to tighten things to stop the flow of water. If it's just dripping water a couple times a minute under way, that's okay. Keep peeking at it for the first while as you may have to tighten it up later.

Others with WAY more experience than I may not agree......
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:55 PM   #5
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Long story short-ish.

We had to change the packing gland when the boat was in the water once. I was amazed at how little I had to tighten things to stop the flow of water. If it's just dripping water a couple times a minute under way, that's okay. Keep peeking at it for the first while as you may have to tighten it up later.

Others with WAY more experience than I may not agree......
Thank you Murray. Currently it is dripping 1 drop every 2 second to 5 seconds nothing that the pump cannot handle. My concern is more about the bronze piece on the fiberglass thruhull that is not tight, it makes me a bit nervous after what we experienced yesterday (see other post about it).
One guy working here told me that there is no danger of something that would break apart just that it will drip a bit more in the bilge but I can make the repair later. Just want to be sure about it.

L.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:56 PM   #6
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That entire assembly looks suspicious. I have this feeling it is just waiting for something to go seriously wrong. The stuffing box appears conventional but the attachment/connection to the shaft log does not look "standard" to me unless something just isn't apparent.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:23 PM   #7
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Lou:

Ok, I understand, no hose. So I suspect that originally there was sealant between the bronze and the nipple. There is probably more than the one bolt that you can see from the pic holding the bronze gland to the nipple. I would suspect three.

If that is the case, then movement of the bronze to the nipple over the years has broken the seal and lets it drip. I don't think that it can be made like my pic- there isn't enough room for a longer hose and the bronze is too big anyway for a hose to fit the outside of the bronze and the outside of the nipple.

But it may not be a catastrophe waiting to happen. Try working some 4200 inside the bronze to nipple joint with yur finger to seal up the small leak. Then the next time you haul, pull it off, clean up the joint and seal it up tight with 5200.

David
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:36 PM   #8
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Greetings,
Mr. L_t. What I see in Mr. dj's picture is what I have always known to be called a "self aligning stuffing box" where the rubber tube allows a bit of misalignment due to the flexibility of the rubber tube. One end of the rubber tube is clamped to the actual stuffing box and the other end is clamped to the shaft log.

What I see in YOUR picture is a stuffing box attached directly to the shaft log. no rubber tube. So what moves (what part can you turn with your hand)? The flanged fitting immediately forward of the clamp or the fitting that's red with the hex nut on it immediately aft of the clamp?

IF you can't turn the bronze piece that's painted red, I agree with Mr. dj as to the construction and his opinion that it may not be a catastrophe. IF you can turn the red piece with your hand, I'd stay home and drink all your wine.
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Old 06-13-2017, 02:00 PM   #9
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Is that rusty bolt the original grounding place or is it to keep the nipple from turning . Is that a pipe nipple attached to the shaft log? Could he just take out he rusty screw and pump some thread sealant like teflon and tighten up the bronze piece on the nipple ?
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:31 PM   #10
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Fully agree with RT: If you can turn the red piece ... seal lost connection to stern tube. Not good, haul out.
Crossing fingers I'm wrong.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:41 PM   #11
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Fully agree with RT: If you can turn the red piece ... seal lost connection to stern tube. Not good, haul out.
Crossing fingers I'm wrong.
Yes for sure . I was thinking it was just loose on the thread .
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:59 PM   #12
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... or is the red piece the stern tube itself, but has it lost tied connection to the hull?
If so, would it improve the situation?

I'm not familiar with such a design. IMO a shaft seal should be bolted to e.g. a floor timber to avoid any movement. Seems the red piece here is just fitted into the laminate.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:14 PM   #13
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To clarify things, here is the same picture annotated:

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Part marked A is the hull part, in fiberglass that comes in part marked B which is in bronze. This bronze part has a nut on the top that goes into part A. I checked and I can slightly turn part B (half a inch in each direction) few drops of water can find their way when I move it like that.
Part C is the nuts containing the packing that is screwed onto part B.

One of the guy at the marina went to check and told me that the packing inside the nut needs to be serviced but it still fine and this can wait. For the Part B that is moving same he told me that it will need to be serviced but there is no immediate danger of anything breaking apart.

Any thought?

L.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:54 PM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. L_t. Well, IF part A is not moving at all the last mechanic is possibly correct. It's REALLY difficult to give you a proper and correct answer. All of the suggestions so far have been pretty good but none of us are there. I guess the ultimate decision is up to you sir.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:58 PM   #15
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Need help and advice - new issue with shaft seal

If A is made of fiberglass (correct?) I would expect it is the stern tube, in which B is fitted in and held by the bolt (with the hex) which should retain the shaft seal (B+C) from any movement.
But you have a movement in circumferential direction. Issue, but might not be more and might wait until next haul (winter).

But: Can you move it in axial direction?
If not and leakage is only some drops when moved circumferentially I would monitor it when under way and decide upon observed progress of leakage.
If yes, I would haul now.

B might also be a radial shaft bearing (although pretty short) but wouldn't change my decision.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:59 PM   #16
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Looks like lock nut is backed off. Can't really comment on the stuff aft of that.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:21 PM   #17
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Is A a male thread and B a female thread that connects to A ? If it is is it leaking Ithru the threads ?
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:22 PM   #18
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Thanks guys, as I am concerned and it is not my style to play with safety here is my plan. I will do a test run tomorrow around the marina and will monitor how it behaves. If I feel not secure going like that I will ask the marina to haul me out, will remove the nut and slide the assembly out of the stern tube and give it a check. If the tube is not damaged I will use 4200 (5200?) to seal it and put the assembly back in place. If I do that I will also take the opportunity to repack the gland so it is done.

Thank you all again, your input has been very valuable and much appreciated.

L.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:24 PM   #19
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Out of curiosity, how old is the boat (and the install)? Hours?
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Old 06-13-2017, 07:19 PM   #20
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Out of curiosity, how old is the boat (and the install)? Hours?
Boat built in 1994, around 1400h, not used much by the PO as he was working overseas for 10 years.

L.
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