Sunday, January 20, 2013

Marine Heads--What Chemicals Should I be Testing?

For several months, I've been torturing Joker valves by soaking them in various chemicals to see how they react. Measured are stiffness, change in size, and leakage after exposure. I've looked at...
  • Fresh water
  • Sea water
  • Propylene glycol (25%)
  • Ethylene glycol (25%)
  • Olive oil (98% sea water)
  • Canola oil (98% sea water)
  • Corn oil (98% sea water)
  • Urine
  • Several holding tank treatments
For what it's worth, there is no such thing as a canola plant; it is CANadian rape seed Oil Low Acid. I guess "rape seed" had an image problem.

Scheduled are...
  • Ammonia (since the nitrile valves did not react well to stale urine--they got stiff)
  • Bleach (30% dilution of 3% hypochlorite house hold bleach)
  • Vinegar
  • CLR (dilute lactic acid--5% as used)
  • Baby oil
  • Super Lube
  • Water proof bearing grease
  • Methanol-based antifreeze
  • Lysol toilet bowl cleaner
Manual head joker valves from left to right: Jabsco, Groco, Raritan

 Does anything else come to mind? Some cleaner that some one might actually use? So far, all are demonstrating considerable chemical resistance, though pluses and minuses are appearing. The material is either neoprene (Jabsco) or nitrile (Raritan and Groco). Which is doing better? Mixed results, depending on the chemical.


  1. I would tend to think going with some harder solvents, but my boss is a chemist. I'd probably at least test household solvents like acetone and gas / diesel.

  2. Some people flush muriatic acid through the system. I have no first-hand experience.

  3. You might add the joker valve froma Henderson (Lavac) pump.