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Plumbing a lubricator

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:07 am
by rhbroehl

We are building a LE 0-4-0 and have a question regarding the use/installation of a lubricator. We do not see anything in the prints we have regarding the use or plumbing so we are at a bit of a loss as to what to should use and how it is plumbed.


Rob and Jacob

Re: Plumbing a lubricator

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:32 am
by optigman
Hydrostatic or mechanical lubricator?

Re: Plumbing a lubricator

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:25 am
by rhbroehl
I really do not know. I was thinking the hydro since this is a smaller engine but that is just a guess.

Re: Plumbing a lubricator

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:55 pm
by optigman
If you are lubricating the driving cylinders you will most likely want a mechanical lubricator.

If you have a steam pump you would use a displacement type lubricator.

Mechanical lubricators are connected to valve rods or eccentrics mostly. The lube line is then attached to the steam input before it enters any area that would require lubrication such as slide / piston valves and the main cylinders ( some like to lubricate the ball valve throttle as well. The steam cylinder oil for mechanical lubricators should emulsify with the steam so all surfaces get coated with steam/oil mixture. If at all possible check valves should be installed where they can be easily serviced. If check valves are located in the smoke box they should not have o-rings as high smoke box temperatures will cause the o-ring to fail.

Displacement / hydrostatic lubricators are installed on the steam line (usually with a "T") directly before the pump or appliance requiring the lubrication. Non emulsifying steam cylinder oil should be used in displacement type lubricators as the oil should stay separate from the condensate and always remain on top of the water and not mix with the water. Water should be drained out and topped off with oil frequently.

Re: Plumbing a lubricator

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:03 am
by 10 Wheeler Rob
Your choices are to connect lubricator to each steam chest, supply line. Or to connect the oil line at one location as far up stream in the steam piping before the piping splits to each cylinder. If connecting to 2 locations you should have either a double ram mechanical lubrucator or two static lubrucators.

The mechanical lubrucators also require check valves at the connection location.


Re: Plumbing a lubricator

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:29 am
by Pontiacguy1
The LE 0-4-0 has 2.375" bore X 3" stroke cylinders. You will need a mechanical double-ram oil pump for your locomotive to keep it properly lubricated. Even though your locomotive is small, those are bigger cylinders than most of the locomotives out there running around.

Re: Plumbing a lubricator

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:35 pm
by rhbroehl
Thanks for all the suggestions and help.

Re: Plumbing a lubricator

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:35 pm
by elm53
Hydrostatic are just fine for cylinder lubrication. All the 3'gauge locomotives I used to fire on had hydrostatic lubricators. The less moving parts the better.