Our managing director Andy Scott recently spoke to Boating Business magazine giving advice on checking valves during the down season for corrosion. MCI provides a variety of products to boat owners including the American made Groco range of bronze valves which Andy says are far superior to brass alternatives which corrode in sea water.
Laying your boat up provides an excellent opportunity to check the valves, also known as seacocks, to ensure they are in proper working order, he said:
“With the boat out of the water you can check for signs of corrosion. We advise that all ball valves should be flushed with fresh water to remove any salt residue. They should then be opened and closed to ensure that they function properly and then greased. If the product is made of brass and there is any ‘pinking’ this is a sign of corrosion and you should replace it before the next boating season. We further advise checking that the ball, particularly if it is made of chromed brass, does not have any damage to the chrome plating. If it does, it is very likely that the brass will begin to corrode quickly. In this case you should replace the ball valve. We would always recommend using a bronze valve rather than a brass product, or derivation of bronze, as bronze is much more durable in seawater conditions. Although bronze valves may cost more, than a brass alternative, it is a sound long-term investment to prevent expensive and disruptive break-downs and repairs."
“The better quality ball valves should have a zerk fitting, which is found around the ball housing to allow lubrication. If there is no zerk fitting, to help grease the ball valve, then remove the hose or hosetail and apply a liberal amount of grease directly to the ball, using a paint brush, whilst opening and closing the valve to ensure a good coating.
“If the ball valve is fitted with a drain plug, remove it and keep it in a safe place, with a note to replace it. This will ensure that water cannot freeze in the valve, during the winter, which may cause it to split.”