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Water Treatment


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  #1  
Old 01-07-2014, 04:37:37 PM
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Default Water Treatment

I hope that this does not start an argument but I need some guidance. Last season I decided to start using water treatment. I've been given a large amount of Soda Ash, Disodium Phosphate, & Sodium Sulfite so I decided to give these chemicals a try. I'm not sure that I'm doing it right though. I measured out the amounts suggested in the Pawnee Steam School book. I dumped the stuff in a hand hole and filled the boiler. After the show I did my washout and discovered quite a bit od light gray muck in the bottom. The stuff rinsed out easy enough. Was the gray stuff chemical that never dissolved or residue left over from chemical doing its job? Should I have dissolved the powder in a bucket of water first? Any tips on using this stuff?
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:29:56 PM
woodyarmourer woodyarmourer is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

what were the amounts you used per gallon?
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:45:00 PM
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Default Re: Water Treatment

Initial treatment:
Disodium Phosphate 1lb/1000gal
Sodium Sulfite 1lb/1000gal
Soda Ash 1/2lb/1000 gal

Makeup Water:
Disodium Phosphate 1/3lb/1000gal
Sodium Sulfite 1/3lb/1000gal
Soda Ash 1/6lb/1000 gal
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:32:51 PM
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Default Re: Water Treatment

Andy,
Light brown so good, not scale. I use boiler treatment from Jim Conte, been using it for years with no problems, follow the instruction to the letter. Others have used it and primed, over treatment.
When I open my keck that's what it looks like everything coated nicely, and no notice of where my steam line is located.
I would dissolve it first though. Nice job!
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:46:50 AM
LAKnox LAKnox is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

I've been wanting to ask about treatment for a long time, but have never gotten around to it, so this is a good excuse. Just how do you determine 1) if treatment is even needed, 2) what to use and 3) just how much for the water at any given location?

Lyle
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:21:36 AM
Smokin Bob Smokin Bob is offline
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Default Re: Water Treatment

I've also been using the LSB boiler treatment from Terlyn Industries, purchased from Jim Conte, for about 5 years now and have been very happy with it. It's one liquid. Measure out the required amount and pour it into the boiler on initial fill and into the water tanks every time I fill them. Very easy to use and if you over-treat slightly, it won't cause any problems.

There have been other threads on this subject, and I'm sure Jim Conte will chime in soon. He can best explain how it works.

Bob
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:47:38 PM
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Default Re: Water Treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAKnox View Post
I've been wanting to ask about treatment for a long time, but have never gotten around to it, so this is a good excuse. Just how do you determine 1) if treatment is even needed, 2) what to use and 3) just how much for the water at any given location?

Lyle
I was on the fence about treatment for a long time. I was not sure that treatment was necessary for me. We have pretty good water and I never leave a boiler wet between shows. Last season I did a washout about midsummer and a very thorough one while laying the boiler up for winter. I got a lot more rust out of the boiler than I find to be acceptable. This boiler was built in 1905 and in pretty good shape. It would be a sin to let it rust out now. Its time to try water treatment. I'd like to use the chemicals that I have on hand if I can make them work.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:32:28 PM
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Default Re: Water Treatment

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Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
This boiler was built in 1905 and in pretty good shape. It would be a sin to let it rust out now.
My question has always been how did these boilers last all these years without any treatment?

I started using the treatment from Jim a few years ago. I figured it can't hurt, and any good it does is a big plus.

Steve
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:52:42 PM
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Default Re: Water Treatment

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My question has always been how did these boilers last all these years without any treatment?

Steve
I don't know Steve. Most of them didn't last all these years. I am banking that a bit of water treatment will cast less than a new boiler.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:32:08 PM
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Default Re: Water Treatment

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Originally Posted by Steve Kunz View Post
My question has always been how did these boilers last all these years without any treatment?

Steve
Many of them didn't, especially where I grew up in WV and there was acid mine drainage from the poor management of mining during the time of steam. Even when I was a boy in the 1970’s, all of the creeks, streams, rivers, etc. had yellow rocks with this nasty slime on the rocks below the surface that made it hard to play in as a kid. A as boy, a friend put a new aluminum swim ladder off of his dock and before the summer was over the entire bottom was eaten off so you couldn’t use it to get out of the water. I am glad that times have changed and there are now fish and other aquatics thriving in the water there and there is no more orange slime on the rocks along the shores.

My speculation has always been, and I could be wrong, the boilers that lasted this long had an owner that really took care of them and also used some form of treatment, even if just monitoring the pH. Some may have gotten lucky and had a decent well, nearby stream, used rain water, etc., but comparing the amount of engines now to what was, there is a possibility that the remaining engines did meet the math probabilities that they were lucky…. I know many were scrapped, but where I grew up, if they could still be used they were so there were still some steam engines in use where I lived as a kid.

No water is perfect; basic high school chemistry classes prove that. Some form of water treatment is required, but if you choose not to, your boiler just won't last as long. Will it last your lifetime, probably, but if you used it every day it wouldn't. Using them every day, some would last longer than others based on the water conditions of each location. You can't close a blind eye to basic chemistry because basic laws of chemistry, physics, etc. are still going to happen even if you don't believe in them. Chemistry and physics are like the wind, you can’t see the wind but you can see the effects of the wind, just ask hurricane victims.

I use Boilersaver because Jim is a sponsor here and it is also very simple. He also is involved in the hobby and has locomotive style boilers thus adding to his long list of credibility in my humble opinion. No, I do not get free Boilersaver either.

Andy, I would mix that stuff in a bucket of water first and then pour it in, but I too went to the Pawnee steam school and have their book, but I wouldn’t mess with any of that stuff when I can pull out a bottle of Boilersaver, a spoon, run a few simple tests on the water and dump it in the boiler and tanks and be through with it; especially when it comes time to wash out the boiler and if you followed the book Jim has, you will have nearly nothing to do other than rinsing the inside and drying it before you put it away. It may take a few steamings to get a lot of the scale and junk out and you may work your tail off those few times, but it is worth the extra work to be able to rinse and dry it later and shove it back in the building.

After using the product, I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t use it because it is so simple and it is helping the preservation of the equipment.
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