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Old 08-25-2019, 05:37 PM   #1
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Sea star helm pump port mapping

Hello fellow TFers!
Today I have a question regarding helm pump lines connections.
I have a dual station setup.
My upper helm pump has 4 ports, lets call them East, West, North and South.
East and West are connected to main lines going to cylinder.
South is connected to lower helm pump North port.
In the seastar doc I see that in dual station setup the north port of upper helm appears plugged (not used).
On my install the North port is connected to a foot of hose that has a kind of plug at the other end. That strange plug has a pin hole in the middle and remind me of a kind of valve or something like that.

Would anyone have a idea of what this can be and if it should be there or if I should plus the port and call it done?

Today I changed my cylinder hose and I purged the lines but oil was flowing from that hose. Before turning the wheel to pump oil in the lines oil was free flowing from the bottle through that hose, bizarre.

Thank you for any input!

L
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:55 PM   #2
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That upper helm North port with the hose leading to a plug with a hole in it is the system vent. Without that vent atmospheric changes of temperature would force oil out of some seal somewhere. It only needs a tiny hole for the vent but it must be there.

When changing something you allow air into the system. That air will force oil to move upwards untill the air gets to the vent which will also overfill the upper helm and force oil out of that vent line.

I have an older Wagner system but quite similar with the upper helm vent.

I removed the vent fitting and installed a hose/pipe adapter and a hose that lead to a 1 gallon , old gas jug {CLEAN} that had about 2 L oil in it.

The end of the hose was submerged in that oil. The container contained the inevitable burping and spatter from the air pushing that oil ahead of it.

That same container and hose was used to recharge the system with the new oil. THe turning of the helm stations will pull new oil into the system to recharge it.

Do not just defeat that tiny hole or you will likely have a leak at one of the helm stations later. Or any vacuum may pull air in.


Actually a better vent fitting would be a sintered bronze vent usually available from a pneumatics supply house.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:10 PM   #3
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Yes the “north” port is the fill and vent. Seastar makes a filling hose that goes on a quart bottle. You turn it upside down and poke a hole in the bottom of the quart bottle to let air in when the oil goes in. There are some online videos that show purging the system.
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:45 AM   #4
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Thinking about it after I posted this I was wondering if it would be a good idea to fit a reservoir there. I have my answer now
I need to find s suitable reservoir.

L
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