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Old 09-16-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
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Failed gate valve

I have a gate valve that failed on my fresh water bow tank. The handle turns but the valve does not open. We are on a mooring at Catalina Island where no replacement parts are available. If we use up all the water in our aft tank we will have to have access to the bow tank water. Any ideas how to get this gate valve to work?
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:32 AM   #2
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First of all I'd put in for a "Tool Ready" grant from the Messiah and have an air craft carrier strike group deployed from Bremerton with the spare parts you'll need. Perhaps they can get a security escort from some of the choppers and the fast boats the USCG has stationed around the PNW.

Seriously, check the backside of the ball valve and see if there's a dzerk fitting you could slide some grease into the valve body. Also, can you remove the handle and grasp the body of the part that attaches to the ball?
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:43 AM   #3
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It sounds as though you've "dropped a gate" Ancora. It's when the gate separates from the stem either by breakage of the stem or the top of the gate itself. When that occurs the gate "drops" into the valve body(closed position) and cannot be lifted out(open position).

On small gate valves replacement is typically the best option. This link will show a cutaway view so you can picture it better.

http://www.nibco.com/resources/Produ...ocs/TSI8PV.pdf
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:07 AM   #4
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You may be able to unscrew the tower part from the main body and pull the gate out with a pair of pliers or a tap or bolt screwed into the stripped threaded boss on the gate.

If possible try plugging the tank vent line which should reduce the gusher.

You are then going to have water gushing so be quick and put the tower back on. Don't lose the gaskets.
You will have no control after that but at least you will be able to use the water.

Replace with a ball valve when you are able to.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:12 AM   #5
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To continue your cruise and ready the valve for replacement without a deluge, pump the contents of the tank to the empty one. Insert the pick up tube via the filler, a small electric inline pump, or a hand one, should work. Sounds like you`ll need a fair length of tubing, plus some wire, but it all comes in handy sometime, and may be available where you are.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancora View Post
I have a gate valve that failed on my fresh water bow tank. The handle turns but the valve does not open. We are on a mooring at Catalina Island where no replacement parts are available. If we use up all the water in our aft tank we will have to have access to the bow tank water. Any ideas how to get this gate valve to work?
Assuming this is a ball valve, is the valve plastic or metal? If plastic, take the hose off the down stream side of the valve. Drill a 1/4'' hole through the ball and put the hose back on. This should allow your water tanks to equalize with out there being a gusher. Water will be drawn from the other tank by your pump and slowly replaced through the defective valve. Replace the valve at your earliest convenience.

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Old 09-16-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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Parts and water are available in both 2 Two Harbors and Avalon.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:02 AM   #8
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Ralph: I think your only course of action is to leave your mooring temporarily & fill up at the fuel dock. That's assuming that you are in Avalon bay. If not, go over the side for your bath and save what's left of the water for cooking & coffee.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:15 AM   #9
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We had an old Chris-Craft that had a gate valve at the thru hull and the same thing happened. The valve stem corroded thru at the gate and fell shut.

It was an easy fix away from the dock. We took off the bonnet (see Craig's link). Used a pair of needle nose pliers and pulled the gate out. We immediately put the bonnet back on and no leaks (leave the handle, stem and packing nut in place). We hauled the next week and put in a proper ball valve.

The worst that that can happen is you'll dump a bunch of fresh water in the bilge for a good rinse.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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Parts and water are available in both 2 Two Harbors and Avalon.
I knew about the water but where do you get parts in those two locations?
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
We had an old Chris-Craft that had a gate valve at the through hull and the same thing happened. The valve stem corroded through at the gate and fell shut.

It was an easy fix away from the dock. We took off the bonnet (see Craig's link). Used a pair of needle nose pliers and pulled the gate out. We immediately put the bonnet back on and no leaks (leave the handle, stem and packing nut in place). We hauled the next week and put in a proper ball/gate valve.

The worst that that can happen is you'll dump a bunch of fresh water in the bilge for a good rinse.

For those not familiar with through hull's. The common mushroom head through hull is straight thread. Ball valves from hardware stores are tapered thread. They don't work together.
Any through hull below waterline needs a sea cock. Which is straight thread like the through hull.

Some company's are now making a through hull that is NPT tapered. (Not sure which one) Just be aware of what you have.

IMHO. A gate valve has no place on a boat.

SD
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:51 AM   #12
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....IMHO. A gate valve has no place on a boat.

SD
I left the "gate" by mistake in the reply.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:36 AM   #13
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If you can spin the valve upside down you may get the gate to drop.

Some mechanical agitation may be required...

Replace with a ball valve when you get a chance.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:47 AM   #14
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When I tried to open the gate valve I did get a little flow. I think that right now we are drawing from both tanks, but mostly from the main aft tank. I will monitor the water level in the aft tank and will be able to tell in a day or so. One thing for sure is that I will replace both gate valves with ball valves once we are in our own slip. Not going to let this spoil our trip, even though it was a tough go with plenty of fog. Left Newport Beach on Sunday with a half mile of visibility. Five miles from Avalon we got socked in and had to rely on Senor Furuno to keep us safe.
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:38 PM   #15
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Sorry, missed the part that you where on a trip. I'd do as Larry suggested above to get you through until you get home to replace.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:36 PM   #16
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I knew about the water but where do you get parts in those two locations?
In Avalon just up from the circle is Chets hardware. He has auto parts, boat parts and anything one would need to fix a house to be modified for a boat. Sherrill's (sp?) Marine is just East of the water dock and sells parts.

In Two Harbors the outboard shop behind the store has tons of parts not related to outboards. Now the cool place is up behind the accounting office. The Catalina Company Company Store. The have parts to repair every boat and boat system, building system and vehicle they own (including Catalina Express). They literally have most anything you can think of. Either way plumbing parts are no problem!
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:46 PM   #17
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If you dismantle the gate valve in place, like others said, you can remove the 'gate' with a needle nose pair of pliers. Then reinstall the handle, post, and bonnet (packing nut). If the packing nut leaks, put about 15-20 wraps of teflon tape around the post underneath the packing nut and refasten and you'll be fine for the rest of your trip. Good luck and post some scenic pictures for us working schlepp's!
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:21 AM   #18
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Why not just remove it temporarily?
or as GFC suggested - call in the reinforcements.
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