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Old 09-01-2014, 09:39 PM   #1
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Seacock question...

I have to replace a raw water pump on my Lehman 120 hp diesel. I have to shut off the seacock in order to take the pump out, but the seacock has a square head plug. Does anyone know which way to turn the plug in order to shut it off? Clockwise or counterclockwise? And how many turns? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:43 PM   #2
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The ones on my old boat were clockwise 45 degrees for closed.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:24 PM   #3
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Thanks, ben. I'll try that again. I couldn't turn it that way before. Counterclockwise, yes. Clockwise, no luck. But I'll try it again. I had to spray WD40 just to turn it counter.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:36 PM   #4
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I have to replace a raw water pump on my Lehman 120 hp diesel. I have to shut off the seacock in order to take the pump out, but the seacock has a square head plug. Does anyone know which way to turn the plug in order to shut it off? Clockwise or counterclockwise? And how many turns? Thanks in advance.
Every seacock I have ever seen required a 90-degree turn from fully open to fully closed. Sometimes the handle will only allow it to turn one way because of a stop cast into the body. Others will allow the tapered cone to turn either way. The handle will indicate when the seacock is fully open when it is lined up with the outlet. When it is at 90-degrees to the outlet, the seacock is fully closed. If you don't have the handle, and it has a square headed plug, it is probably aligned like the photo below. Open will be aligned across the points, not the flats.

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Old 09-01-2014, 11:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the image, Larry. At least now I can envision what's going on when I turn it, which now appears I can turn either way. I did attach a pic of what I'm going through. Don't know if there's an advantage to having the square plug vs. a handle. But it sure is a pain in my stern side. Thanks again.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:24 AM   #6
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Don't know if there's an advantage to having the square plug vs. a handle. But it sure is a pain in my stern side. Thanks again.
The handle has a square hole in it that fits over the square plug, kind of like a wrench. Sounds like you are missing a handle. Like this one. Might check out eBay.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:59 AM   #7
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Also check on the opposite side from the square plug. Many/most tapered valve seacocks have a nut or T handle you need to loosen to allow them to turn properly .
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:05 AM   #8
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Hey, Capt. Bill. I did notice the threads opposite the square plug in the photo provided by Larry. I guess I could've done what you said had I known. Could've saved a few ounces of WD40. However, when I did turn the square plug, the opposite side where the nut is started to leak a little. I panicked, and put it back in the original position, then thought I'd go to the Trawler Forum to get the real scoop. And you all were great help. Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:29 AM   #9
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also check on the opposite side from the square plug. Many/most tapered valve seacocks have a nut or t handle you need to loosen to allow them to turn properly .
this!
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:32 AM   #10
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You should be "excising" your seacocks every month or two just so that they don't freeze up and so you can close them quickly in an emergency.

I would find handles for all of them and make sure they work and you can close them quickly if needed.

And yes, they turn 90 degrees from open to closed.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:41 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. 11. "...you need to loosen to allow them to turn properly..." I have to disagree with that statement. IMO the sea cocks should be operable at all times without loosening anything. If they have to be loosened in order to turn and leak as a result of said loosening, they need to be serviced.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:47 AM   #12
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You should be "excising" your seacocks every month or two just so that they don't freeze up and so you can close them quickly in an emergency.

I would find handles for all of them and make sure they work and you can close them quickly if needed.

And yes, they turn 90 degrees from open to closed.

Actually if you close your seacocks when you leave the boat you'll reduce your chances of a flooding incident.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:56 AM   #13
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Likely similar to mine and I agree, you should not have to loosen the opposite nut to turn it. I certainly don't and it turns easily and does not leak. My handle has a little locking bolt on it so the handle does not fall off and is there if you need it and you hope you never do.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:59 AM   #14
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Actually if you close your seacocks when you leave the boat you'll reduce your chances of a flooding incident.
That is true. It's a choice between closing the seacocks and running the air conditioning and taking the chance of starting the engine while forgetting to open the seacock.

So - I leave my AC and engine seacocks open but close the one to the head. Others may make different choices.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:57 PM   #15
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Greetings,
Mr. 11. "...you need to loosen to allow them to turn properly..." I have to disagree with that statement. IMO the sea cocks should be operable at all times without loosening anything. If they have to be loosened in order to turn and leak as a result of said loosening, they need to be serviced.
For the large bronze seacocks we have in our boat, this is absolutely correct. The nuts (there should be two of them) opposite the lever are for adjusting the fit of the tapered, rotating barrel inside the valve body. The correct adjustment allows the barrel to be rotated easily (or at least fairly easily), but not so loose as to allow water to leak in. Once this adjustment has been set properly and the adjustment nut locked down with the outer lock nut, there should be no need to adjust it again unless the adjustment slips over time and the barrel either tightens or loosens too much.

Bronze seacocks need to be greased periodically. We do this by removing a freeze plug from the body of the valve and pushing waterproof grease into the hole with a finger while working the valve back and forth. Some people have replaced a freeze plug with a grease gun nipple.

We leave all the seacocks in our boat (there are 12 of them) closed whenever we are not using the boat EXCEPT the seacocks for the main engine raw water intakes. We leave them open in case someone needs to move the boat in an emergency.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:48 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. 11. "...you need to loosen to allow them to turn properly..." I have to disagree with that statement. IMO the sea cocks should be operable at all times without loosening anything. If they have to be loosened in order to turn and leak as a result of said loosening, they need to be serviced.
The older seacocks on my DF 44 require the small handle to be loosened before you operate the larger lever and they always weep a small amount of water. (This may be a maintenance issue; I'm trying to find out more about this model.) The seacock in the photo is not from my boat, but ours are similar and I'm considering replacing all of them. The handles feel flimsy to me.


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Old 09-02-2014, 02:32 PM   #17
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We have 3 of the tapered seacocks - 2 main engine and 1 for the gennie... damned if I can make them move. I have tried loosening the nuts on the other end.. tried tapping them to loosen it... sometimes I worry I will snap something if I try too hard

a mechanic who used to work on them for the PO loosened the nut and just tapped it lightly and was able to move them... either he is Hercules, I am a wimp, or I am doing something wrong... (all 3? )
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:19 PM   #18
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Sometimes they will bind up inside if they haven't been worked and/or lubed regularly. So even loosening the adjusting and lock nuts won't let them move. Then a tap or two with a rubber mallet usually does the trick. You don't have to hit them hard, just tap them from one side and then the other, and they will generally come free pretty easily.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:09 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. 11. "...you need to loosen to allow them to turn properly..." I have to disagree with that statement. IMO the sea cocks should be operable at all times without loosening anything. If they have to be loosened in order to turn and leak as a result of said loosening, they need to be serviced.

Well in a perfect world perhaps. But most seacocks don't get taken care of properly nor greased often enough. Plus when the get old it's hard to get them not to leak yet still move smoothly. So I have found over the years that loosening the nut is needed. But YMMV.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:17 PM   #20
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Sometimes they will bind up inside if they haven't been worked and/or lubed regularly. So even loosening the adjusting and lock nuts won't let them move. Then a tap or two with a rubber mallet usually does the trick. You don't have to hit them hard, just tap them from one side and then the other, and they will generally come free pretty easily.

Yes and then the next time you have the boat out of the water you need to not only grease them but lap them in place using valve lapping compound. That will clean and renew the tapered fit. (Unless they are grooved beyond repair.) Then clean off the compound and grease them. I like using Super Lube.
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