Leaking Sea Water Pump

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 5 May 2024 04:42

Moored Rushcutters Bay, Port Jackson
Wind: S, F2 - gentle breeze
Sea: calm Swell: nil
Weather: overcast, showers, mild

The main achievement for this week has been a bit more engine maintenance. The BRM has had a minor leak in the sea water pump for some time, something I was not too worried about as I assumed that it would merely be a matter of replacing the seals. However, it became apparent last week as we were motoring from Quarantine Bay back to Rushcutters Bay that the pump was leaking oil from the engine side also. This prompted me to bump the servicing of the pump to the top of my to do list. So I ordered a seal kit and on Tuesday pulled the pump off, which was easier than I expected.

On dismantling the pump and removing the old seals, I came across a circlip behind which there was little more than a rusty lump of metal. After some further research I realised that this rusty lump had once been a ball bearing race and I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to replace the entire pump. Fortunately the Beta agent based here in Sydney had some pumps in stock and he had it in the mail to me the same day. I received it on the Thursday and installed it on Friday. Again I am pleased to say the fitting of the new pump was relatively straight forward and hopefully I have now eliminated the oil and water leaks and won't have any further trouble with it for some time.

Having said this, it does concern me as to why the bearings corroded out in the first place. On reflection, I recall that there was a copper pipe going from the pump to the heat exchanger that had developed a small pin prick hole in it and presumably allowed a steady drip of water onto the pump housing. (I think this same leak ended up corroding out the connections on the alternator as well.) That pipe has since been replaced with some heater hose and I am confident will not have any corrosion problems. So, for the future, I shall just keep an eye on the pump for any further leaks and perhaps invest in a spare pump when cruising funds allow.

It is a bit of a wet week here in Sydney, good for some internal maintenance chores, but hopefully it will clear in time for the Great Veterans Race on Saturday.

Out with the old:

And in with the new:


All is well.