Replacing a pressure release valve in drop stitch floor - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 11-19-2017   #1
 
Moscow, Idaho
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Replacing a pressure release valve in drop stitch floor

I have an older (1995 or so) Sotar with a drop stitch floor. It has been holding air very well and then recently the pressure release valve became cracked. The crack is in the plastic piece attached to the floor, not the piece that screws out. I believe it's a Halkey Roberts valve. It now deflates completely after a few hours and I can see and hear air coming out from the crack.

Is replacing this valve with a new Leafield A6 a viable option? Does the drop stitch floor complicate things? The release valve is right next to the inflation valve.

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 11-20-2017   #2
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Typically DS floors dont have PRVs because they run at higher pressure than any PRV I have seen would allow. So, patching it inside and outside would be an option if you decided to do away with it. That said, if its on there, there is probably a reason, so I am not advocating doing away with it.

You can retro fit it with an A-6. Do it all the time. Cut out the HR boot, stick the a-6 "nut" inside, patch with donuts, and screw in the a-6. Its not quite as easy as it types, but is doable as long as you have fairly solid repair skills. The dropstitch does complicate it a little and you may end up with a little more bulge around the valve but it beats the hell out of a flat floor.
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Old 11-20-2017   #3
 
Moscow, Idaho
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Many thanks for that input.

I hadn't thought about patching it and doing away with the PRV. If I do away with the PRV entirely, perhaps I could just leave the damaged valve in place and put a patch over the entire area?

I wonder if the Leafield valve would even release at the correct pressure for this floor (if DS is generally higher pressure than I-Beam floors).

Here is the photo I tried to post above.
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Old 11-20-2017   #4
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If it was mine, I would just patch it.
I know PRV's exist for a very good reason, to prevent tearing apart I-beam floors, but I have had my I-beam floor plugged for the last 6-8 years without a problem. I know other people that have siliconed the thing shut, and been fine.
Some folks have exploded there floors from plugging, but if you don't drag your boat out of the water without bleeding, it seems to be fine.
Plus you don't have an I-beam floor.
Could always just use a donut and a new prv if you don't want to risk it, though.
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Old 11-20-2017   #5
 
salem, Arizona
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Perhaps contact Sotar and see if they can tell you what pressure it was designed for. Then contact leafield and see if they make one that has a similar set pressure. If dropstitch floors need them, someone must make it...

Good luck!
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Old 11-20-2017   #6
 
montrose, Colorado
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I have a '96 sotar with a drop stich floor just like yours. When I replaced all the valves, I took out the PRV and patched over it. Haven't had any problems since. Just be smart about inflating the floor and bleed it when you take it out of the water.

On another note, I can't believe that your old Halkey Roberts valves are still holding air. Don't see too many of those in service anymore. If you do decide to replace the PRV with a Leiffield, do yourself a favor and go ahead and switch out the fill valve with a c7 while you have a hole there.
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Old 11-20-2017   #7
 
Moscow, Idaho
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I am leaning towards patching over the thing now. It does seem like most (all?) drop stitch floors don't have pressure release valves these days.

My understanding is that the floor is standard PVC and the tubes are urethane on the older sotars with DS floors. Anyone here able to confirm that I should use a PVC patch on the floor? Will call Sotar if needed.

Yeah, these Halkey Roberts valves are still doing really well. The boat definitely loses some air over a few days, but for being 20+ years old I've been very happy with it. I hear about the problems people have with Sotars lately, but mine has been really bullet proof.
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Old 11-21-2017   #8
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Floor is PVC.

That is good advice to go ahead and switch out the HR fill valve for a c-7 or d-7 while you have it opened up.
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Old 11-21-2017   #9
 
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Right on, thanks Zach.
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Old 11-25-2017   #10
 
Invermere, British Columbia
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Hi Dan
I have a similar vintage Sotar and have had the same problem with the relief valve. I pulled the valve body, did a little grinding of the crack and epoxied. I like JB Weld. I then cleaned up where the the valve seats and recut the threads where the valve installs (best to do before the epoxy cures completely)
Recutting threads only required if you are messy with epoxy "D'oh"
As for the Halkey-Roberts valves, Great Valves, I have been carrying spares for more than twenty five years and have yet to need one, although I am a little anal. I always blow a little air out before I top up to keep the crap out.
Good Luck
Michael
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