Sep 162013

The heater valve was another part that was difficult to remove, as the bulkhead heater pipe had seized solid into the valve body. I didn’t want to apply heat in case it damaged any internal rubber seals and so I tried to break the joint by rotating the valve body. All this achieved was to deform the pipe, which eventually had to be cut to remove the valve.

There were signs of weeping from the valve so I suspected an internal seal had started to deteriorate and it would need replacing. The valve consists of a pot metal valve body and a plated end cap. The body has protrusions around its circumference which interlock with corresponding hook shaped protrusions on the end cap and then a single rivet stops the end cap rotating relative to the valve body.

The rivet was drilled out and then it was fairly easy to split the valve in two by rotating the end cap. This revealed the cause of the weeping – a sprung rubber diaphragm, that is used to control the passage of water, had become furred up.

The deposits had compressed the rubber seal in several places so it no longer made a complete seal. The rubber had also hardened over time so wouldn’t spring back fully once the deposits had been removed.

Even after extensive internet searches, I haven’t been able to find a supplier that just supplies the internal rubber diaphragm. Unfortunately the options are very limited.

Either purchase a complete repro valve or a repair kit from an American site, which includes everything but the valve body. However the kit was considerably more expensive than the repro valve, so I went for the latter.

Overall the quality of the new valve was fine, only let down by the finish of the valve body casting. It wouldn’t make any difference to the operation of the valve but I would have preferred to keep the original body.

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