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Blocked Boiler Tubes

ian shanks

Joined: 18-09-07

Topics: 2

Replies: 2

Posted: Fri 19th Dec 2014, 2:56pm
Blocked Boiler Tubes

Out club loco a Romulus has a copper boiler but has suffered serious neglect which has lead to the lower tubes becoming blocked with a hard mixture of tar, coal dust etc. we cannot even drill into the blockage. any ideas anyone would be appreciated
 

Replies To This Post

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Fri 19th Dec 2014, 4:40pm

I don't know what you are trying to 'drill' it with, but be exceptionally careful. You might find things a bit easier if the boiler is warm, to help soften the tar etc. Try to gauge how much of the tube is blocked before getting 'energetic' with it. Can you get to both ends of the blocked tubes?
 

ian shanks

Joined: 18-09-07

Topics: 2

Replies: 2

Posted: Fri 19th Dec 2014, 4:50pm

Thanks for the info the boiler is out of the locomotive so we can get to both ends. WE have sprayed wd40 into the tubes and this has softened things a little, we do not intend to try any more drilling but were looking for some solvent type to aid. We will heat the boiler carefully and see if this helps. Probably in the new year now.
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Fri 19th Dec 2014, 7:06pm

Ian, perhaps, if you can, stand the boiler on its back-head and fill the errant tubes with paraffin or white spirit, and leave it for as long as you can, WD40 evaporates fairly rapidly, white spirit is slightly more aggressive, and doesn't. Afterwards I would try poking at it with something much thinner than the tube, like a piece of 6mm rod with a square end (so it doesn't force outwards), and see if you can make a hole though the middle. Once through it shouldn't be too difficult to slowly increase the size of the hole. Good luck.
 

WembleyLion

Joined: 1-01-87

Topics: 2

Replies: 34

Posted: Fri 19th Dec 2014, 7:27pm

If I remember correctly the old road menders of years ago used to wipe the tar off their hands with a petrol soaked rag and in the garage where I worked we used petrol to clean tar spots, thrown up from road re-chipping, off vehicle paintwork. No Elf & safety issues in those days.

I would suggest for the above reasons that you try blocking one end of the tubes and filling them with petrol. Petrol is a far better solvent than paraffin or white spirit.

Just a thought, Standard Cellulose thinners, also called Gun Wash, is also a brilliant solvent.

John

 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Fri 19th Dec 2014, 7:55pm

Petrol is highly flammable and should not be left unattended in an open container. Petrol of years ago had Tetra Ethyl Lead in, these days it has other far more noxious chemicals to replace that, which should not be breathed if at all possible. Never use petrol as a skin cleansing agent. Cellulose thinner is also very highly flammable. Even white spirit is flammable so care should still be taken.
 

WembleyLion

Joined: 1-01-87

Topics: 2

Replies: 34

Posted: Sat 20th Dec 2014, 10:29am

As I said Xz, No Elf & Safety in those days.

In the garages where I worked in the 1960's to 1980's there was always an open tray of petrol which we used for washing off oily bits and cleaning hands; it usually contained about half a gallon of 2* petrol. Petrol spillages were, and probably still are, everyday occurrences in garages especially when changing a leaking petrol tank.

The paint shop blokes always used thinners to clean their hands and I don't remember them having any skin problems. One old boy never used a mask whilst spraying and he said this was the reason why he never had a cold; and he didn't.

And, of course, smoking was allowed everywhere. At one garage the petrol pump attendant was a chain smoker and always had a fag on even filling car tanks.

Substances are only dangerous when you don't use your common sense or don't follow the manufacturers recommendations. All of my above suggestions would be safe if carried out in the open air; use a mask when pouring and keep away from naked flames and people smoking.

John
 
 
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