730 Gets a Boiler

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Marty_Knox
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by Marty_Knox » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:32 pm

Carl, blowing out the firebox with compressed air is exactly what I am suggesting.
Probably best to wait until the boiler has cooled to ambient - maybe the next day.

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:51 pm

Well Marty...that's a great start. That gives us a method for drying out the boiler...

1) move air thru the boiler. Don't think it would matter if air movement was via compressed air or plop the blower on the stack and let it run for a while. Higher pressure and faster air movement vs lower air flow over a longer period of time. And...

2) you've provided a time frame. For those of us that don't store our locomotives in a readily accessible location...returning to service the boiler is not practical. Perhaps plugging the blower into a timer would be the next best option. Can't be any worse the electric loco owners plugging in their battery chargers.

More than willing to give this a try. Thanx. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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shayloco
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by shayloco » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:14 am

I had rust from the steel manifold clog the burner slots in two of my Locoparts burners. This took 12 years to accumulate. Easily cleaned after dropping the manifold and unscrewing the caps from the burners. I removed all the burners and cleared the loose rust out of the manifold then reassembled. No big deal just something to be watched.

This is a good thread, lots of info.

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pat1027
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by pat1027 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:08 am

How do the fire box sheets get wet enough to need to be dried after the locomotive is shutdown? The steel will still be hot when the burners are shutoff.

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:12 pm

Shayloco/LS...glad you're enjoying the long-winded epistle. Sooner or later, others will likely need major boiler work or replacement. Not a matter of IF...only WHEN. Engineers that only fire their loco 1x per month...they'll get longer boiler life. I'm not complaining ...I average 100 to 150 actual miles per year of service on the Rutland. People ask how long a 20# bottle of propane lasts. There is no exact answer for that...really depends on the load. Generally speaking, I can go 10 miles on a 20# bottle of fuel...or 2# of fuel per mile. A 150 miles for the year took 300# of fuel. Total fuel cost that year was...about $200 to $250. The best part, it ALL came at the rate of enjoyment. Small price to pay for having fun!

As for the burners and manifold...have not had a problem with rust inside the manifold clogging a burner. I can't...my manifold is stainless. Figured anything plugging the jets was coming from an external source. However, you may be on to something. That is, after 10-12 years...take the loco out of service and clean the burners/manifold. For the rest of my rolling stock fleet, pretty much have been taking the cars out of service every 10 years to tear down the trucks, clean, lube, re-line the brake shoes if needed, repaint...and move on.

Stay tuned. Hope there's more info coming you can use. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:26 pm

Pat1027...you asked a good question. That's puzzled me as well, but not sure I can provide a specific answer.

Would condensation make sense? As the climate around the loco changes (heat and cool)...the loco breathes. Unless the boiler is closed up completely, air would be "expelled" during the day when the boiler warms. Air would be "inhaled" when it cools off at night. Kind of like rails expanding/contracting over a 24 hour cycle. Another example would be household pipes that sweat when cold water in the pipe runs thru a room with high humidity. Moisture condenses on the pipes. Have no proof that you'll see water running down the interior firebox walls, but I know there is surface rust on those walls...and you don't get rust unless there's moisture in the air.

I'm willing to try cooling or get some air moving thru the firebox when the loco is down. Sadly, unless we were comparing identical boilers and using two different loco/boiler bed down methods...will never know if the action taken extends or shortens the boiler life. If anyone else would like to shed light on this...inquiring minds would like to know. Does that help Pat? Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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pat1027
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by pat1027 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:32 pm

Condensation from propane as a fuel I would understand after light off and the firebox sheets are cold. But at the end of the day when you shutdown I don't see condensation occurring inside the firebox. The flame as a moisture source is no longer present. The firebox sheets will be hotter than the ambient air inside the firebox once the flame is off and the boiler is cooling down. Condensation from storage in an unheated building I'd understand. My cars are stored in an enclosed trailer protected from the weather. In the spring I pick up rust on the wheel treads.

It's an interesting story thanks for telling it. I help my dad replace a boiler. He fit the plates and I welded. Try as we might the jacket didn't quite line up with the connections when we were finished.

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Marty_Knox
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by Marty_Knox » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm

Whatever the cause, the last three boilers that burned propane that I built replacement boilers for, it seemed that there was more corrosion on the fireside than on the waterside. That's why I said what I did. Granted, I did not conduct any tests. There is still a lot to learn about our little boilers.

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Fender
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by Fender » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:32 pm

Perhaps the propane fire is an “oxidizing” flame? This means that there is an excess of oxygen in the fire. The presence of soot from a coal fire indicates (to me) that it is a “reducing” flame, meaning there is not enough oxygen for complete combustion. This could account for the difference in rusting.
Dan Watson

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Dick_Morris
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by Dick_Morris » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:03 am

This has been an interesting discussion, both the boiler replacement and the side discussions.

I did a quick Google search. Apparently, combustion products of natural gas can result in small amounts of acid in the condensation. That would encourage corrosion. This paper is over my head, but the English Abstract on page VI makes sense to me. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/do ... 1&type=pdf

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:31 pm

Dick...started to look at that paper. If I'm having trouble sleeping, might pull that article up again. Am assuming this was the author's thesis. Noted too, his ideas are theory only and have not been proved/demonstrated by actual testing. From my sarcastic side, I'd say...must be great going thru life with all kinds of ideas that have not been substantiated. Sounds like the theory of higher education (sorry, couldn't resist).

Our atmosphere contains nitrogen and sulfur along with amounts of other gases. When fuel temps are elevated, the molecules are rearranged to form nitric and sulfuric acids and other combustion by-products. Good enough reason to use stainless steel exhaust stacks. Else, won't take long for corrosion to occur. In our locomotives...if the acid levels flowing thru the boiler were high enough, suspect many of us would be replacing copper flues more often. Don't recall anyone claiming copper flue replacement due to corrosion. Doesn't mean that hasn't happened.

Believe the same results as pointed out by the author would occur for most hydrocarbon based fuels: natural gas, methane, propane, etc. Comment was made about trace amounts of odorizers added so leaks could be detected, but otherwise not impact combustion results. Those of us that burn propane in our locomotives...know what that smells like if/when someone has a leak or is over-firing their burners. Natural gas has mercaptan (sp?) for the same reason. Without that, wouldn't know if there was a gas leak in an enclosed area.

One comment got my attention..."When the surface temperature is below the dew point of the multi-component mixture, condensation occurs." Believe this is what Marty Knox was referring to what happens AFTER we're done running our locos and the need to keep condensation from forming. Hence...keep the air moving thru the firebox to minimize or better, eliminate condensation.

Interesting stuff Dick. Thanks for finding that. Wish there was a Cliff Notes version. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:39 pm

Marty, think your comment about "there is a lot to learn about our little boilers." is most fitting. Believe Pat and Dan were kind of referring to the same idea. Not so much from the boiler construction and fabrication (that you are well versed in), but in the operation and care. Have always said there are too many variables or combination of variable at play to know if making one change will extend or shorten boiler life. Even then...have to wait for the boiler to live its life to know if the right or better decision WAS made.

Best we can do is stick the stake in the ground based on knowledge and experience...and go with that. Life is too short to NOT be out steaming and running the rails! Would hope others agree. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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