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Old 01-20-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

How long can I expect the rubber bellows on my PSS Shaft Seal to last?* Mine is working perfect, no drips, but I have noticed what looks like a crack in the rubber. I pushed it a bit with my hand and it is only on the surface.* I plan on changing it during a Spring/Summer haulout.**

Has anyone had one fail?*** JohnP
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:34 PM   #2
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Mine looks pristine after 4 years, but I gather replacement is supposed to happen when you notice the first checking on the surface.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:14 PM   #3
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

A Stack of Invoices from the PO reveals that the PSS Shaft Seal was installed during the Spring of 2004.** Does not seem too old.* Contacted the PSS people they sell a maintenance kit* includes o-rings and bellows for about 125.* Not too Bad.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
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PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

PSS recommends the bellows be replacement every seven years, I believe. But I have personally seen some that were ten or more years old that were perfectly good. I have installed hundreds of these and never had one fail. We have one in our boat now. Chuck


-- Edited by Capn Chuck on Thursday 20th of January 2011 05:47:00 PM
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:31 PM   #5
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

We have friends that had one that failed. PSS paid for the haul out. Luckily they were near a yard.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:39 AM   #6
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

A friend of mine had one fail. It was about 8 or 9 years old.
The failure eventually (the following year) took out his starter and tranny due to corrosion from the salt water that was in his bilge.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:09 AM   #7
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Quote:
jleonard wrote:

A friend of mine had one fail. It was about 8 or 9 years old.
The failure eventually (the following year) took out his starter and tranny due to corrosion from the salt water that was in his bilge.
********** I suppose these "failures" happen underway with the shaft and coupling flinging water everywhere.* I think next trip to the boat I will measure the diameter of the shaft log so I can order a new bellows.** JohnP

*
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:25 AM   #8
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

"*I suppose these "failures" happen underway with the shaft and coupling flinging water everywhere"

Actually this one*was discovered *while the boat was on his mooring. It may or may not have failed initially underway, I don't know. Regardless, on this particualr boat the stuffing box was well away from the engine compartment. The corrosion was because there was so much water in the bilge. It "may" have been leaking for a few weeks un noticed.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:47 AM   #9
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Quote:
jleonard wrote:

"*I suppose these "failures" happen underway with the shaft and coupling flinging water everywhere"

Actually this one*was discovered *while the boat was on his mooring. It may or may not have failed initially underway, I don't know. Regardless, on this particualr boat the stuffing box was well away from the engine compartment. The corrosion was because there was so much water in the bilge. It "may" have been leaking for a few weeks un noticed.
********* Do you know if the rubber bellows cracked or did something else wear out?

********* Good thing the pumps and batteries held up or it sounds like she could have gone down.* How did they keep the batts charged on a mooring?**

********** JohnP

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Old 01-21-2011, 08:13 AM   #10
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

*"Do you know if the rubber bellows cracked or did something else wear out?"

The bellows failed. I think the initial leak was slow so probably the pump wasn't going crazy for a while.
When the boat started to pump a lot one of the yacht club members saw it and called Mark who was actually the commander or whatever the guy in charge is called. Since he is local he went*to the boat that day before the batteries crapped out.*
The really big isue was the eventual corrosion of the starter and tranny (including damper plate) the next year. They went out one a time and of course at the worst of times, when the Admiral was aboard. He got to know the towboatUS guy really well that summer.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:27 AM   #11
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Quote:
jleonard wrote:

*"Do you know if the rubber bellows cracked or did something else wear out?"

The bellows failed. I think the initial leak was slow so probably the pump wasn't going crazy for a while.
When the boat started to pump a lot one of the yacht club members saw it and called Mark who was actually the commander or whatever the guy in charge is called. Since he is local he went*to the boat that day before the batteries crapped out.*
The really big isue was the eventual corrosion of the starter and tranny (including damper plate) the next year. They went out one a time and of course at the worst of times, when the Admiral was aboard. He got to know the towboatUS guy really well that summer.
********** Thanks for the info.* Too bad he salted up his whole engine room.** Thats something worth avoiding!!!!!!!!

*
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:49 AM   #12
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Ours sheaft seals are about 7 years old, and still look like new. On the other hand, last summer while working on a Seapro oil spill response boat, I noticed the bellows on both shafts had severe cracks. I understood they were about 5 years old.**

In my damage control kit, I carry a couple wax toilet rings.* That wax is some of the stickiest stuff I have ever had the misfortune to handle, and if I ever had a shaft seal failure, I think I could stop the water by wrapping the bellows with wax, covered with something like grease tape (also in our kit) topped off by perhaps duct tape.*

Failure of the bellows has the potential to let in a huge amount of water in a short time. Another good reason to have a high water alarm.* Don't forget to check the hose clamps at least once a season. Make sure they are tight, and corrosion free..............Arctic Traveller
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:57 AM   #13
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

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Arctic Traveller wrote:

Ours sheaft seals are about 7 years old, and still look like new. On the other hand, last summer while working on a Seapro oil spill response boat, I noticed the bellows on both shafts had severe cracks. I understood they were about 5 years old.**

In my damage control kit, I carry a couple wax toilet rings.* That wax is some of the stickiest stuff I have ever had the misfortune to handle, and if I ever had a shaft seal failure, I think I could stop the water by wrapping the bellows with wax, covered with something like grease tape (also in our kit) topped off by perhaps duct tape.*

Failure of the bellows has the potential to let in a huge amount of water in a short time. Another good reason to have a high water alarm.* Don't forget to check the hose clamps at least once a season. Make sure they are tight, and corrosion free..............Arctic Traveller
********* Good info.** I wonder if the fact that my boat was on the hard and covered thru at least one Summer before I bought her could have made the bellows crack early.

**********Well it is what it is.* I geuss it could have been stood on, something could have dropped on it, or maybe battery acid.* Never know,* I am sure the next one will be taken better care of, on my watch at least.*** JohnP

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Old 01-21-2011, 12:10 PM   #14
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Went 8 years on the first PYI.* No issues, and bilge has been dry.

After 8 years, pulled the shaft for other reasons, and noticed some scratching on the rotor.* Had the rotor replaced, and put*new bellows in at the same time.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:15 PM   #15
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

The bellows are also what supplies the pressure to seal the carbon stator to the stainless rotor. The bellows are compressed during installation.

I assume that over time the bellows soften and may lead to leaking at the sealing surfaces. At least that is what it looks like is happening on mine, I have ordered the maintenance kits, hopefully that solves the tiny leak.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:25 PM   #16
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Jeff/Artic Traveller - what a great idea.* That stuff is sticky for sure, and in a pinch, why not?
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:25 PM   #17
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Our*were replaced*2003 and I plan on pulling the boat and having bellows/seals replaced*in June.* As a general rule I use 7 to 10 years for hoses and belts but check for checking/cracking yearly.* If we had a leak I would wrap in cellophane/Saran wrap and secured with emergency tape that stick to its self even when wet and/or oily.****


*
As a precaution I have a hose clamp around the shaft to keep the SS ring from sliding forward, and also caulked between the SS ring and the shaft in case the seal failed.* *Have a blue paper towel below the bellows so it they leak it will show and one of the first things I look at when entering the engine room.* Also installed double bilge pumps with alarms, one is*connected to*the house batteries, the other is on the back up start battery, and always leave the battery charger on.*

The wax ring is a good idea.*
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:43 PM   #18
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Saran - another good idea Phil.* Has yours ever started to sling a drop or two?* I used the clamp as well, so it hasn't moved, but it has started to drip about one drop every 5 hours or so.* I was wondered if you ever observed that, or perhaps you aren't motoring as much as we do?
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:34 PM   #19
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

As long as the shaft is not moving it does not drip.* When the shaft is turning it leaks a bit. Maybe move the hose clamp back to put more pressure on the seal?* You could make a shower sump to the catch the water and pump the water over board.* I made our shower sumps out of small plastic container with a bilge pump with a self contained float, sitting in it. ****So are you going to the Sunday get together of the boat show.* If so maybe we can meet there or when you pass by Everett.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:49 PM   #20
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RE: PSS Dripless Shaft Seal Maintenance

Quote:
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*
As long as the shaft is not moving it does not drip.When the shaft is turning it leaks a bit. Maybe move the hose clamp back to put more pressure on the seal?You could make a shower sump to the catch the water and pump the water over board.I made our shower sumps out of small plastic container with a bilge pump with a self contained float, sitting in it. So are you going to the Sunday get together of the boat show.If so maybe we can meet there or when you pass by Everett.
If the seal leaks, (at the junction of the two sealing surfaces) it's either too loose, in which case you can slide the sealing ring on the shaft aft a bit (each manufacturer has a specification that determines what the maximum bellow's compresson is).* If your at max compression, the sealing ring must be compromised.* I have in the past removed and re-machined the sealing surface. This was with the manufacturers blessing (this was a commercial vessel)* Failing that, replacement is indicated..............Arctic Traveller


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