How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

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pat1027
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby pat1027 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:50 pm

Ken Coats had a locomotive on a coffee table with air piped to it so he could watch it slowly roll over.

rkcarguy
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby rkcarguy » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:21 pm

My boat has a heat exchanger on it that is quite similar to your boilers. To clean out the raw water side I blow air through the tubes and then sit a little electric space heater up at the end so it blows through it. My exhaust manifold is cast iron and leaving salt water in the manifold can ruin it very quickly from rust scale plugging the ports, as well as it freezing. I run fresh water through it, drain it, and then actually run the engine for maybe 20 seconds with no water. Dries things out nicely and no corrosion.
Anyone played with water soluble oils for boiler protection during storage?

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DianneB
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby DianneB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:38 pm

When I had a larger steel boiler, I used to drain it hot and open inspection plugs in the tube sheet and the backhead. I had a small blower to connect to the backhead bung to blow air through the barrel and out the front tube sheet. I left a 100 Watt light bulb in the firebox all winter to prevent any condensation after shutting the blower off after a couple of weeks of low humidity.

My current engine is a LE American with a copper boiler and aside from thoroughly blowing it out with compressed air to get the water out of all the lines, I don't know what else to do with it. It spends the winter in an unheated garage.

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John_S
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby John_S » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:24 pm

jcbrock wrote:John Parker at one time had his Bridgeport in his family room. I asked how he got away with that and his short answer was 'it was there before she was'. There were a lot of things about him that I admired. Now I will stop with the hijack.


Thanks for this. It made me laugh more than anything in the last month or so.

On topic, every time I blow down and get ready to put my mogul up, the last thing I do is connect air to the boiler while it's still warm and let it go for at least a half hour with everything cracked open: blowdowns, injectors, etc. This has done a good job of drying everything out before putting it up for weeks or months at a time. My boiler is now 6 years old and it still looks like new every time I've pulled the plugs, removed the steam dome, etc.

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johnpenn74
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby johnpenn74 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:10 am

Art Olds once told me he would put water soluble machine oil in the tender on the last tank. Not sure how it worked.
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Titu
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby Titu » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:56 pm

I also was wondering if anyone can tell me the best way to flush a boiler out for winter storage. I want to flush for dry storage I really want to make the boiler. I want to take advice from these guys.
What do you think about it?

rkcarguy
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby rkcarguy » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:36 pm

johnpenn74 wrote:Art Olds once told me he would put water soluble machine oil in the tender on the last tank. Not sure how it worked.


We tried many different types of coolant throughout the years in our CNC mills, some had to be wiped off the table and ways or it would start to turn them brown over the weekend. Others seemed to work very well and had no ill effects being left on metal, despite being a water soluble product. Over time, the water would evaporate and likely leave the boiler very sticky, so it would have to be well flushed out before it was used again. I was thinking this over in detail a couple nights ago, If I build a steamer one day I'd probably put a *large* pipe threaded drain bung in the lower rear of the boiler, pull that, and just air dry it with some sort of sheet metal funnel type thing and a space heater.
Something else to consider, I know boats use various sacrificial anodes to thwart corrosion on the outdrives and in the cooling systems. Would it be beneficial to install a couple zincs into the boiler?

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Fred_V
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby Fred_V » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:46 am

rkcarguy wrote:My boat has a heat exchanger on it that is quite similar to your boilers. To clean out the raw water side I blow air through the tubes and then sit a little electric space heater up at the end so it blows through it. My exhaust manifold is cast iron and leaving salt water in the manifold can ruin it very quickly from rust scale plugging the ports, as well as it freezing. I run fresh water through it, drain it, and then actually run the engine for maybe 20 seconds with no water. Dries things out nicely and no corrosion.
Anyone played with water soluble oils for boiler protection during storage?


I have used soluble oil in my last tank of water when steam cleaning the engine. My mentor, Art Olds, got me started on that. It worked very well and kept the boiler clean with little or no rust. It would foam a little bit the next time i ran it but was not a problem. When LSB? came out I switched to it and the boiler started rusting.
I tried using the oil in my Hunslet boiler that has a superheater. When it would prime a bit the foam would get into the superheater and the engine would accelerate with the throttle closed so I quit using the oil.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

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pat1027
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby pat1027 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:56 am

Drying is fairly easy. Blow down while the boiler is hot and open it to dry out. Until a few years ago locomotive had been stored in an out building during the summer and indoors in the winter. Now it's indoors years round. The original boiler failed after 12 years of service with a very localized corrosion in areas where lime and scale had built up. Take a look at the thread "Real Scary" for discussions on keeping the boiler clean. Since the second boiler went in service a thorough annual wash was added to the routine. The interior surfaces are staying in very good condition.

Harry Herder used water soluble oil and had experience similar to what other people are describing. Tom Briggs filled his boiler with oil or kerosene through the winter. He used WD-40 one winter. I've considered rolling my welder over and filling the boiler with argon.

Anodes are combat corrosion due to dissimilar metals. I have copper tubes in a steel boiler. When my dad built the boiler he installed zinc anodes which lasted just a few runs. He switched to magnesium anodes that last years. If they are needed I can't say. There there so I keep using them.

nabob
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby nabob » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:01 am

Zinc anodes are usually used on salt water, magnesium in fresh water. Bob Maynard had an article published ( 1980`s????) detailing use of soluble oil in boilers and reporting excellent results; he used small amounts (IIRC 1/8 oz per 5 gallons in boiler, then same proportion is every other tender full).

rkcarguy
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby rkcarguy » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:25 am

Pat, I'd say if the zinc's were eaten up in a couple runs, that there was some electrolysis in there that was eating them likely from the copper/steel differential metals. I boat in salt water and forgot that the freshwater boats and therefore the boilers would use magnesium instead.

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Fred_V
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Re: How to Dry out a boiler for winter storage?

Postby Fred_V » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:48 pm

I've had mixed results blowing down at 30 to 40#. Sometimes the boiler would dry out, sometimes it would not. I have chosen to use the fan to be positive it is dry and I don't have to worry about it all winter.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.


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