Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  Weston on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 10:09 am

Do you have an account and log in?

a huge fountain of Knowledge can be found on that forum, plus they have some brilliant threads on all sorts of topics, I dont post much there but it is a good read.

Smile

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  bjwlancashire on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 5:01 pm

Kev

You just need to create a user name and password to get to the minimum of being able to read most sections. There is then a one off payment described as "sponsorship" required to allow members put photos on and see certain other forum threads and the amount is at your discretion. I stand to be corrected by David Colledge the owner but I am not far out - he also runs ther Steam Scenes website too. It is to contribute towards the forum upkeep and to be honest the vast amount of infomation and advice you have accesss to it is worth it - ignoring the threads that go off on an NTET bashing topic. Wink

I even made some new friends and aquaintances through it who actually contacted me due to my geographical location cheers

Cheers

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Tests and my requirements

Post  highpressure on Sat 10 Mar 2012, 9:37 am

Well I at least have some answers although not a definitive answer as I suspect this will vary depending on who you ask to do your inspection. That concerns me slightly as the idea of this is to make sure we all all safe to a certain standard and you would hope therefore that it would be the same wherever you may be.

For my inital cold hydraulic test to 1.5 times pressure ( 255 psi) the cleading MUST be removed to allow the inspector to asses the welds etc and check for leaks. The purpose of this test is to prove the integrity of the fittings to the boiler. The inspector and his witness are both minature owners and competent engineers but they are signing a document which implies the buck stops with them if there were to be an issue so I respect their request. They have pointed out that this test can be done as soon as all the fittings are in place which will close the boiler off; washout plugs, gauge glass, clacks, blow down. It is not necessary to have the regulator or simpling valve in place and indeed they both suggested block them off to avoid unnecessary leaks the same goes for the whistle valve port. One even said he tested his without pistons in the cylinder. Once again this has nothing to do with the workings of the unit just the pressure tight seal of the boiler unit. The pressure gauge will need to be present though as it will need to be checked for calibration against its redline.

Another very well respected enigne maker of 70+ years recommended the following which I like the sound of. Either make up a clamp to hold the safeties shut which in his case (Foster engine ) is a section of box steel about 1 1/4" square internal with one side cut out to make a slot. This engages over the top of the valves and holds on the underside of the turrets. A bolt tapped in the top of the box then simply screws down till in contact with the bar and keeps the valve closed. The high pressure valve chest is then removed and the input port will need to be threaded to accept the club pump fitting. This then ensures that the regulator ( which will almost certainly let by ) can be left open and the then the full boiler can be pumped up. The safeties could even be removed completely and a blanking plate put over the hole. The pressure needs to be held for 30 mins. This seems like the simplest way to acheive this.

The hot test can be done once the engine has been steamed at home for a few times to get rid of priming and once you can be confident of the water pump and injector, although again a comment was made that there only needs to be two methods of getting water into the boiler at the time of the test. The cert makes no mention that they need to be the same methods in regular use so one guy had a test done once without a tender just a bucket of water and a hand pump!!! Rolling Eyes

Clearly this means that whilst it is great to get yet more goodies to bolt on they will only have to come off again, particluarly as it means we will have to take the belly tank off Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad I'd hold on a bit Lynn if I were you. Crying or Very sad

Those of you who are fortunate to belong to somewhere that wont ask for the cleading off think yourselves lucky, but again these guys are siging the paperwork and Walker Midgley will only accept the right paperwork to issue insurance and liabilty including a NTET disc. So you have to do what is asked of you...

Still the plus side is that once done we do have four years before the cleading comes off again..... Smile Smile

Cheers Kev.

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  sonick45 on Sat 10 Mar 2012, 1:04 pm

I chuckled at your last comments Kev. Having just been involved steam testing 8 full size engines... Shocked

Your also correct about the engine not needing to be complete for a cold or hot test so long as the boiler can be pressurised you can feed the boiler and the gauge checked. One of the engines I steamed for testing would not have gone anywhere with a majority of the motion missing and the slide valve covers removed but with the safeties happily lifting when they should she passed her test....!!

I have also been involved with prepping a showman's for a 10 year boiler test. The amount that has to come off is staggering so those that are new to all this be warned. when it comes to testing there will be quite a lot of dismantling.

Im looking forward to this season when some of the engines start appearing in steam...

Nick







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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  Tim Pennett on Sat 10 Mar 2012, 1:25 pm

A blanking off plate, replacing the safety valves with an adaptor for attaching the inspectors pump to is a satisfactory way of conducting your hydraulic, I have made two over the years for our engines and our inspector was content with this method. It also eliminates the need to 'disturb' packings which may be happily seated on the valve chest. Maybe something STW could issues as an extra?

Top Tip, always be nice to your inspector and keep them supplied with tea or coffee!

For those who have yet to experience a hydraulic, it can be a nerve wracking time and until everything ‘takes-up’ there can be water appearing everywhere, generally in the hard to get to areas!

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  highpressure on Sat 17 Mar 2012, 7:20 am

Been thinking about this all week, re best way to seal off the regulator area as this is really the only place likely to allow pressure to get by. Looked at the idea of threading the input port to the HP valve chest but not really practical as the port is slanted. Then looked into the reg chest and considered threading the port under the regulator but dont fancy this as it may give an umsmooth surface where the regulator beds in. Thought about the adaptor plate inplace of safety valves which is a good idea but still need to ensure the regulator wont "let by". As it is all so tight in there to get a good seal between face and reg valve I dont think it will be possible to put anything under the reg to seal it off. Thought about removing the reg altogether and threading a bolt onto the safety adaptor plate to hold another plate in place over the reg port, but this then means the reg rod comes out leaving two more holes to block!!!!That could be done with two small adaptors with gaskets I suppose Question

At this point I would like to ask if Steve perhaps as you have experience with cold tests you might be able to suggest something or better still as part of the last few kits supply a cold hydraulic kit to ensure a simple and effective method to get the right seals as this test will need to be done initally and then at 4 and 2 year intervals. I would even consider paying extra if you offered a test kit. As the design is the same for both variants of engine it would cover all builders and for those of us who have no experience or equipment to make anything it would be a great help. What do you think??

Kev

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  Tim Watson on Sat 17 Mar 2012, 12:40 pm

The simple solution to having a leaking regulator in the hydraulic test is not to worry about it. Simply blank off the exhaust pipe at the flanged joint with a piece of metal and a rubber sheet gasket. The whole cylinder is then pressurised and the leaking regulator irrelevant.

STW will supply a blanking plate for the safety valve opening. You can fit this with whatever adapter you need for the pump mechanism.

Tim

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  highpressure on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 2:15 am

Hi Tim,

Thought about this when you posted it last, the only problem I see there is that the whole of the high pressure valve chest, cylinder, low pressure chest, cylinder all need to be full to get this to work effectively. This might not be a problem in practice, but having never done a hydraulic before on anything I have owned I have no experience to draw on but I can see that this could hold up the process of getting this technical test out of the way, which can be done at almost any stage now as most if not all of the fittings required are in place.

I realise some people may think that I am being impatient but I dont have anything else to steam, unlike some builders on here and I dont want to miss the season which is fairly short lived ( May to September ) for something that can be sorted out relatively easily. I am frustrated by the complete lack of knowledge and conflicting advice and opinions given by every man and his dog on something which is supposed to be an "standard" type of test to ensure safety is adhered to. I am refering here to the cleading off, cleading on, factory cert acceptable discussions that have gone on before.

My lack of skills and equipment to make even the simplest of fittings and components also adds to the issue but perhaps the best way forward, as I am a member of the local enegineering club is to go there and see what methods we can come up with. They sadly dont seem to like steel boilers as they wont do the test themselves, they only test copper boilers, not sure why this is.

Finally and this is in no way meant as a criticism of STW, products or people, its a bit annoying that something that we ALL WILL HAVE to do before we can attend and steam at any public event, doesnt seem to be catered for in the build process, as in a thought out and considered method for getting this test done easily and repeatedly which is supllied as part of the build, hence my question before to Steve as to wether they may consider a "test kit" of sorts to aid this process. Of course finishing when we are doesnt help the situation any as the beckoning of the summer in front of us just makes the waiting more difficult to bear, had we been finishing in mid November say we would all have plenty of time to get sorted at leisure, But that is something we cant alter so lets see if we can make it work the easiest way possible. Smile

I will be going to Chatham at Easter so may see some of you there, wont have the engine though as its too difficult to move safely now without a flywheel to engage the drive gears to stop it rolling out of the trailer. Tim and Colin no doubt you'll be there.

Cheers Kev.

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Hydraulic testing

Post  atomenter on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 4:05 am

Hi all
I was (and still am) under the impression that the initial hydraulic test carried out by STW is valid for 4 years and then there has to be another test every 2 years. The only thing that is required is a live steam test every 13 months. This would surely take all the "pressure" off from getting a "test kit" etc. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  Tim Watson on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 5:02 am

The cylinder filled with water is not a problem: the engine is filled to the brim with water for a hydraulic anyway. The water can be drained down very easily. All that is required is a metal plate and rubber sheet to blank off the exhaust. Earlier in this thread, the use of a central heating pressure testing pump and reservoir was advocated. Simple enough to buy one from Clarks and then get this connected to the STW blanking plate for the safety valves using plumbing fittings. You can then do your own testing and sort out any little leaks before the official test. When you do the hydraulic test the pressure will fall as there will be leaks from fittings, which will be obvious to see, so you will need to keep the pressure topped up with the pump. What must not happen is any leaks from the boiler tubes or visible seams.

I fail to see the logic of removing all of the cladding to inspect the welds on a brand new boiler that is already certified at twice pressure. Even with cladding removed there will be many welds not visible = such as the stays behind the horn plates, so maybe these should also be removed?

Tim

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  Robfishman on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 5:12 am

Here we are putting it together and I'm hearing suggestions that it may have to come apart again, not that it's a big problem just takes a bit of time and with everything painted much care will be needed.

It may be worth a call to your local boiler tester for advice, he will know exactly what he wants to see and when. As you say Kevin the last thing you want is to miss the season cos of paperwork.


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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  Tim Watson on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 5:18 am

The horn plate comment was tongue-in-cheek.

Tim

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  Robfishman on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 5:23 am

Tim Watson wrote:The horn plate comment was tongue-in-cheek.

Tim

Realised that Tim, but with seemingly so much uncertainty and different interpretation of the rules the only way to really solve it it to speak to the person who will be doing tests.

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  highpressure on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 5:44 am

atomenter wrote:Hi all
I was (and still am) under the impression that the initial hydraulic test carried out by STW is valid for 4 years and then there has to be another test every 2 years. The only thing that is required is a live steam test every 13 months. This would surely take all the "pressure" off from getting a "test kit" etc. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Regards

Tom

Hi Tom, Yes I feel you are wrong, the test cert issued by STW does not have a start date or expirey date which is what the insurance company need to see. As previously said if you go to a public event you will need insurance certs to prove you are covered, Walker Midgely and others wont issue these unless all relevant paper work is in place, in this case it will need to be a hydraulic cert from, in my case, a valid boiler tester registered on the Southern Federation. I beleive there is a similar "northern" wing of this group. I have asked Wlaker Midgley and they will not accept the STW cert only the valid Southern Fed one so must do what must be done. Annoyingly I dont have any copies of previous certs to scan and post to show you what is on them as they all went with the sale of the last engine. Perhaps someone could be kind enough to scan in the two certs, cold and hot to show all of us what is written on them and what Walker Midgely and others will expect to see.

Tim Watson wrote:I fail to see the logic of removing all of the cladding to inspect the welds on a brand new boiler that is already certified at twice pressure. Even with cladding removed there will be many welds not visible = such as the stays behind the horn plates, so maybe these should also be removed?

Went to the test day last week and asked the actual person doing the test what I need to do to be sure there is no confusion. I aggree with you and it pisses me off no end, should be a simple procedure turned into and bloody song and dance. He has asked for the cleading off and I have two choices, either do as he asks and the test will be done at NO cost to me or try and find another tester who may do one with cleading in situ at whatever cost that incurs. My local club at Chichester will not do steel boilers so that is a dead avenue. I have a local ex MW builder near me who is an independant RSA boiler tester, he wanted £100 + VAT last year for a test.

What do I do???? There is no easy answer other than not bother this summer and steam at home with no paperwork at all or sort it out and go to all the events I want and only need a steam test for the next four years.

I got the tounge in cheek bit, just like the steering issue with the Triumph reply Laughing Laughing

The cylinder full is not such a bad idea as all the fittings should be steam tight anyhow and then it can all stay where it is. My brother in law is a plumber and has said pressure kit so I could do this at my leisure and be sure I am ready without a hitch.

I Thought this was supposed to be fun Exclamation Exclamation

Kev.

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  highpressure on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 5:47 am

Hey Tom,

Re your comment about STW cert, who do you have your engine insured with then and do you have an NTET disc issued with it?

Kev.

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  atomenter on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 12:12 pm

Hi Kev
Engine is insured with Walker Midgeley, I do not have an NTET disc (WM require that the hydraulic and steam test are done by the same people!!) but that isn't a problem as all the events that I have been to accept the insurance (from WM), the hydraulic test (from STW) and the steam test performed by my local club. However I have had to turn down one show, Flookburgh as they were insisting on an NTETdisc. When I have a new hydraulic in 2 years time (STW test date Feb 2010) then I may consider an NTET disc then, in the mean time I will carry on steaming!!

Regards

Tom

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  highpressure on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 3:18 pm

Makes even less sense now as WM wouldnt accept the STW cert for the new boiler test when I asked. Perhaps this is beacuse I was asking specifically for an NTET disc to ensure there are no refusals at any do, and as you state the two tests must be done together although not necessarily by the same person as the previous engine had its hydraulic done by a club in Yorkshire as the engine builder was based there and the local club to me did the hot test. They were however both on the "southern fed" recognised paperwork so covered it that way.

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  Waterways on Mon 19 Mar 2012, 1:19 am

Hi
Just had my 4" agricultural tested, My club BMES (bedford) accepted stw cert for 2 years from the date certificate issued. Last year had its first hydraulic test no cladding removed they just wanted to check tubes for leaks. This year was just a steam test. When the paper work is filled in (southern federation) they just put the boiler number from the cert as the hydraulic test cert no.

Keith

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Re: Boiler Testing... Thoughts please

Post  highpressure on Mon 19 Mar 2012, 11:44 am

Once again an evenings sleep has helped to fuse the thoughts. The cylinder has a steam port on the top for either whistle or siren and it is tapped at 1/4 BSP. I have an adaptor for the fitting the boiler tester will use which is a quick release fitting threaded at 1/8 BSP so an adaptor which is readily available to go from 1/4 to 1/8 BSP will get the fitting into the reg chest. Put the blanking plate over the safety valve hole as well as the govenor and that is sorted. I like Tims idea of a rubber/metal gasket in the exhaust pipe and fill up and pressurize the whole lot. All the glands should be or will be steam/water tight and then job done cheers cheers Just need to fill the three plugs in the boiler and at this stage a blanking plate for the other whistle port. Still need the pressure gauge as it needs to be checked for calibration, but otherwise this seems like the easiest solution.

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