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Water Treatment


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  #51  
Old 06-16-2017, 12:17:12 PM
Odin Odin is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

Lotta info here, was just reading through some of the older posts. That's interesting that water PH needs to be around 10 to minimize corrosion. It hasn't been mentioned though that an excessively low TDS also causes corrosion- from working with a waterjet system I've learned that a TDS below 40 ppm will start to steal molecules from the metal and cause corrosion anyway. The waterjet I work with tries to stay between 40 and 75 ppm TDS using a conductivity-based meter.

Is there one particular means of water quality testing that is well known to give reliable results when dealing with the variability of water supplies from showground to showground?

I've heard from talking to Nickel Plate 765's crew on twitter that they do quite a bit with water quality in order to maximize the boiler's life and account for the widely varied water sources the engine encounters while travelling. Steam traction and models face similar, and even stationary steam operated from a well source is liable to have the water quality fluctuate over a considerable range just from seasonal effects and weather patterns.

For boiler blowdown, what's a good starting point to follow in terms of how often it should be done and what to look for to see if it needs to be more or less often.
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  #52  
Old 06-16-2017, 12:56:28 PM
cyberbadger cyberbadger is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

With my brand new vertical boiler for my steam launch for Lund Machine works I have used a combination of 2 stages of physical mesh filtering and LSB treatment.

My water is the lake water I'm on.

So far so good.

Jim Conte has lots of good information in this regard.

I like Teryln LSB treatment because I'm often too busy on my boat to to fool with a chemistry set. I know LSB won't do anything bad if I use too much by accident,

Time and trailering constraints for a day trip mean that I do have to drain my boiler hot sometimes. I try to get the pressure low for this and internalize in my brain that this a thermal stress for my boiler and should be avoided if possible. When I take it to Lake Chautauqua I have a dock available and I will let it cool down on it's own.

-CB
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  #53  
Old 06-17-2017, 10:20:43 AM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odin View Post
For boiler blowdown, what's a good starting point to follow in terms of how often it should be done and what to look for to see if it needs to be more or less often.
Just figure at least once a day, and more often if needed. Decent water, and less than constant load, the once a day should prove enough.

If a blow down looks rather nasty, try another at the next opportunity. If your boiler starts acting a little funny, a blow down at the next opportunity cannot hurt then either. I'll pile on the bandwagon that knowing boilersaver is essentially self-regulating, without fear of overdose, makes things easy, so I've never got around to buying a TDS meter.

Essentially, if you want to make things an exact science, you can, but IMHO this is also a good place where a little new fangled technology and some old school common sense [use your eyes and ears, and listen to your gut] can go hand in hand to treat things well.
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  #54  
Old 06-20-2017, 05:51:16 PM
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Jim Conte Jim Conte is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomBall View Post
In line with the water treatment talk, can anyone talk about what ph and tds meters they use? I see many made in China and at a cheap price. I assume you get what you pay for, but not sure. I found some American made ones that cost much more. Are the cheaper ones all that accurate or should I pony up for an American made one? I don't mean to cause an international uproar, I just want personal observations based on usage.
Tom,
My observation is that the little pocket sized meters use straight Direct Current from the battery in the conductivity measurement. This makes the initial reading correct but, after a second or so, the reading is starting to change. The reason for this is that the ions in the solution are starting to congregate based upon their charge. The higher priced meters alternate the polarity and have an averaging circuit, so they hold the true reading longer.
If you get in the habit of catching the first reading before it starts to drift, the little pocket cheapies are OK for controlling TDS and blowdown.
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  #55  
Old 11-05-2017, 10:20:30 PM
Odin Odin is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

Probably as good a time as any to bring this up again, with many engines being drained and dried for the cold winter while we all enjoy some hot cider in a warm house.

Boilersaver is designed to maintain a PH around 10 all by itself, unless you go extremely over/under proper dose? Certainly does seem a lot more convenient than having to carry a chemistry set in the engine's toolbox.

What about TDS range, if I let one of the try cocks dribble into a cup and then take a reading what range do I want to see. Or is there a different spot on the boiler that I really should be looking for when pulling a sample.

Also, is there anywhere with pictures of boiler interiors showing various conditions that treatment helps with? Perhaps start with a dirty scaled-up boiler at one extreme, in the middle show a normal healthy boiler, and finally show the other extreme where bare metal corrosion was happening.

It would be interesting to have a chart of sorts that a boiler can be compared to after washing out in order to see what direction the treatment program needs to improve in and where boiler handling processes can improve.
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  #56  
Old 11-07-2017, 06:01:25 PM
Brian Manning Brian Manning is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

[QUOTE=Odin;1433676]

Also, is there anywhere with pictures of boiler interiors showing various conditions that treatment helps with? Perhaps start with a dirty scaled-up boiler at one extreme, in the middle show a normal healthy boiler, and finally show the other extreme where bare metal corrosion was happening.


Attached are 3 photo's of boiler tubes in various stages of operation.
The first is what you will end up if you have VERY hard water , you look after the oxygen but not the scale forming solids. The 2nd is what you will get if you look after getting rid of the scale but don't look after getting rid of the oxygen. The 3rd is what you should get if you are doing everything to look after the scale and oxygen, along with proper PH.

Brian Manning
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:32:58 PM
cyberbadger cyberbadger is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

For what it's worth I use LSB on my boiler LundMachineWorks made for me on my steamboat Nyitra.

I suck up fresh water direct from the Lake I'm on. That can be somewhat harsh.

So far I have nothing to say but positives about LSB.

The thing that sells it for me, I don't have to worry about overdosing. I go by the instructions, but if I put in to much I understand that it is not going to accidentally chemically destroy my boiler.

If you don't keep up on water treatment, fine. You will pay for it later in repairs or replacement or if you are lucky just a lot of elbow grease cleaning up your mess.

I'm lazy, and the best approach for that is LSB.

-CB

P.S. Post summer look at my boiler was good - it doesn't photograph well. Mudring had some junk, but it's developing a a nice black-oxide like layer on the water side.

Last edited by cyberbadger; 11-07-2017 at 08:44:36 PM.
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  #58  
Old 11-07-2017, 08:43:19 PM
Charley K Charley K is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

( If boiler water treatment is needed). After forty years in boiler inspection, operation and repair, I can assure you that treatment is always needed. I have seen tubes ruined in one summer without an oxygen scavenger in a wet lay up. There are many ways to ruin a boiler without water treatment, some are costly and some are just very dangerous. Please, if you are operating any boiler, get informed about water treatment chemistry and utilize. CK
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  #59  
Old 11-08-2017, 10:00:54 AM
Odin Odin is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

Hmm. So a boiler that is being given boiler saver, but stays wet from mid June to mid october with 3 shows and 5 steamings in that time, is mostly in need of oxygen scavenging or at least inerting?

Comparing the pictures to what it looked like inside, I didn't see any obvious scale. But the mud that washed out of it was rust brown, probably stained by all the wet lay-ups between shows.

Since it travels over such a large area, getting manpower to it to drain and dry it between shows isn't really practical.

What's the next best thing for such a situation? It usually loads hot on the trailer to go to the next show, but then waits cold and wet for a couple of weeks before the show actually starts.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:46:01 AM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

There may be something that would work, yet I'm not certain there is a scavenger that can, with reasonable amounts, combat enough oxygen in cold water. Jim Conte can give better details, but he recommended nitrogen "blanketing" for a similar, though more condensed than yours, situation that we have. Essentially the nitrogen is attached while cooling, with low (like 1 or 2 psi IIRC; I have Jim's instructions, but didn't dig them up) pressure and left attached during such two week layups. At some point draining was still recommended, but I believe was supposed to let you rest easy for at least 3 weeks.

The nitrogen makes sense to me, but still on our to-do list. We are in reasonable proximity to the shows our engines attend, so, to date, we've drained between the longer duration, and just steam it once in the middle of the shorter durations. This year we were tweaking a few things after the first show, and steamed often enough that we didn't drain it between.

Jim, if you're reading, would you ping me with the email address you're taking orders at? Thank you! I should replenish before spring, but think my email to you bounced back a few weeks ago.
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