Use Bronze Pipe Fittings on Your Boat
There is a distinct difference when examining bronze and specific brass types of pipe fittings when it comes to the potential for them to suffer from corrosion. Never use dissimilar metals that may come in contact with one another. This creates electrically charged currents in many liquids such as saltwater that can carry a current. One of the metals used will be destroyed in the process. The use of dissolving the pipe fits are in place to protect boat engines, propeller shafts, refrigerator condensers, rudders and more from corrosion. Yet, these are not an option when it comes to piping through the hull including seacocks where you wish to have all fittings remain perfectly intact.
Avoid Hazardous Situations When Connecting Pipe Fittings
In order to avoid any galvanic corrosion, never connect bronze to brass fittings. Typically, you can identify each specific setting to just looking at them. If the setting has a rough outer surface to the touch like being covered with sand, it is a bronze fitting. Before bronze pipe fittings are machined, they are sand casted. The best marine practice has always been to use a bronze fitting when placing them in through-hull mushrooms. This is also important when working with valves, strainer bodies and seacocks. If the pipe has to be turned at a specific angle, put to use a fitting that is either 45 or 90 degrees. After you have placed a bronze fitting and aligned it, you should then insert a hose barb (bronze) into each fitting. Join the fittings with stainless steel clamps and sturdy hoses.
Avoid Identification Confusion When Using Pipe Fittings
Some manufacturers make bronze pipe fittings that look similar to small brass pipe adapters. Keep in mind that bronze fittings used for seacocks will perform well when exposed to saltwater. However, if the application need for fitting pipes calls for different material, try using a nonmetal material that is galvanically inert. You should have no problem using this type of connection with any marine metals you choose to use. One suggestion for a nonmetal choice is using nylon pipe fittings.