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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats

Is BoilerSaver snake oil?


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  #11  
Old 06-28-2018, 10:03:13 PM
Sloroll Sloroll is offline
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Default Re: Is BoilerSaver snake oil?

What I have learned about steam in my short time as an owner of a traction engine: You can have broken or thin gearing, you can have rusted out, missing bunkers or water tanks. You can have a canopy or not, BUT, if your boiler is crap you have an expensive iron statue to mow around.
It took me years to finally have been allowed the privilege of owning one of these machines. I doubt I will ever be able to have another so I need to take care of this one. I watched bad water destroy the boiler on the engine I grew up on and I am quite certain $30,000 + to replace my boiler will result in me owning expensive yard art.
My boiler seems to be in excellent original condition at 106 years old. I am going to do everything in my power to keep it that way. I have just started to use Boiler Saver and although I have just started the process, I believe I have already witnessed less scale and easier washout. I would rather err on the side of preservation than to be without my beautiful engine.
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:40:15 PM
Colin Farquhar Colin Farquhar is offline
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Default Re: Is BoilerSaver snake oil?

From what I've seen it works quite well. The museum 50HP Case we were looking after for our 3 year stint in MB had a good pile of scale come out after the initial year, and then we were able to keep a good passivated layer on all the wetted surfaces after that. I should note that some of the bottles I've seen recently don't explicitly spell out the 4oz/100 gallon initial fill, which led to some people under-dosing their boilers.

In short: while it MAY not be AS effective as a multi-component, closely monitored professional feed water treatment regimen, including pre-treatment such as softening, etc... It's much better than nothing, and it's ease of use and inability to cause caustic damage from over treatment more than makes up for it.
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:32:20 PM
Rob Bryce Rob Bryce is offline
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Default Re: Is BoilerSaver snake oil?

^^ what he said Thanks Colin, for pointing out that I was under-dosing on the initial fill.

When I was last in New Zealand, I was introduced to the product in the attached pic, and they were very happy with it in the historical boilers, and they are putting far more hours on their boilers than we are at our show. I google'd it and came up with this link: http://adco-inc.com/maintenance/boil...8-boiler-guard though I don't know if it's the same stuff.

Perhaps this isn't the right thread, but it'd be nice to have an informative comparison and list of do's and do-not's and compositions of similar products. We all want to protect our artifacts, though I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I'm not keen on putting something into my boiler without knowing its composition (snake oil) and taking a stranger/salesman's word of "trust me, it works" when there's no liability associated with that statement.

--Rob
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Old 07-01-2018, 11:02:49 PM
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Ken Majeski Ken Majeski is offline
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Default Re: Is BoilerSaver snake oil?

Well about 35 years ago I started using one of the Sodium Sulfite based products. I wasn't happy with what it was doing to the bare areas and my Brass fittings. Seems there were raw unprotected bare spots in the bottom of the boiler and green mold growing on my brass. Then I went to just soda ash keeping the PH around 10 and was much happier.

Then along came Boilersaver. No more bare spots or green mold and it is slowly cleaning up my 1916 boiler.

Then in 2015 I bought a new boiler for a junk Engine. After the initial steam up to check for leaky studs I cooked the boiler out with TSP and washing soda and this started producing the gray/black protective layer. Then I went to Boilersaver and have over 400 steaming hours on this boiler. No Rust, No Scale and still have the Gray/Black coating inside. I do drain the boiler between most shows as with it full I am almost over my trailer rating.

I don't do any blowdowns as the TDS never gets high enough due to the frequent draining.

Ask anyone that has heard this engine work and they will tell you that there is no carryover and the exhaust is crisp and clear although the spark content is a little high

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Old 07-01-2018, 11:56:04 PM
MurrayIron MurrayIron is offline
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Default Re: Is BoilerSaver snake oil?

There was a thread started about BoilerSaver back in 2014 asking this same question whether it did any good.

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showt...aver+Strasburg

Jim Conte gave a lot of good information, but left one part unexplained why the Strasburg railroad had negative results. What I have wondered and I'm sure others would like to know is what went wrong with BoilerSaver on the Strasburg railroad and could of it been corrected?
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:59:02 AM
Odin Odin is online now
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Default Re: Is BoilerSaver snake oil?

It is noted by some users that BoilerSaver will at times remove scale so effectively that it can cause leaks in riveted steam boilers where the seam was a bit loose and sealed by rust and scale. But the same thing happens if you run a bit of kerosene through your boiler for descaling, this is also able to penetrate and force open loose seams causing leaks.

Hearing that Strausburg had a problem with it makes me wonder what exactly happened, that way the cause of it can be identified and watched for on other engines. But it looks like the posts in question were removed from that older thread, a shame for everyone involved that the technical difficulties could not be discussed.


Far as human exposure and MSDS goes, I would be interested in seeing some data on this as well. OSHA has changed their policies recently with the introduction of the Globally Harmonized System for hazcom, and product manufacturers and distributors are being required to provide new documentation based on a standardized form. These new forms are called SDS- Safety Data Sheets, and have the same info as a MSDS with the section headings in a consistent order for faster lookup of relevant information.

Ultimately even though it might not be approved by the FDA for contact with food, just knowing the permissible exposure limits and hazard pathways would tell all you really needed to know on if the amount carried over in the steam would actually be a problem or not for most people.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:58:42 AM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Is BoilerSaver snake oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odin View Post
It is noted by some users that BoilerSaver will at times remove scale so effectively that it can cause leaks in riveted steam boilers where the seam was a bit loose and sealed by rust and scale. But the same thing happens if you run a bit of kerosene through your boiler for descaling, this is also able to penetrate and force open loose seams causing leaks.
I've no idea about Strasburg, but just to clarify the examples I noted earlier: those happened with like 5 or 10X dose, not just 2 or 3X normal dose.

The kerosene comparison there is a good example of over zealous de-scaling; one only has to look in the Case manual for documentation of too much, or frequent, kerosene treatment causing seam leaks during the working days of these engines.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:52:49 AM
MurrayIron MurrayIron is offline
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Default Re: Is BoilerSaver snake oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odin View Post
Hearing that Strausburg had a problem with it makes me wonder what exactly happened, that way the cause of it can be identified and watched for on other engines. But it looks like the posts in question were removed from that older thread, a shame for everyone involved that the technical difficulties could not be discussed.
I don't really remember exactly what the Strasburg railroad had for problems with BoilerSaver, but seem to recall they were having black residue out of the brass or bronze valves?

Jim Conte had a good reply to the Strasburg railroad (SRC) water treatment problem, but didn't really go into what their problems were inside the boiler. - The bottom line was SRC was using 3 times the dosage of treatment that they should have.

Here is the link to Jim's reply:

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showp...3&postcount=27
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