That time of year again

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That time of year again

Post  lynnr on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 5:36 pm

Well it is that time of year again.

Spent part of the day out doing maintenance. Had to replace the wood in the seat base. Totally rotted out. New board is marine ply and varnished. Should last more than the 5 years the current one did. At rally fields the seat is exposed to the weather 24 hours a day.

Now to get her ready as it is cold inspection on Monday. So everything opened up, fusible plug out, safety valves off, pressure gauge off and a good clean inside and out. Also need to get her up on the blocks ready for visual inspection.

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Re: That time of year again

Post  Jim the Shovel on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 5:46 pm

This is the first I've heard of this one Lynn. Is this a standard requirement at the end of each year / season.

Jim
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Re: That time of year again

Post  lynnr on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 6:34 pm

Hi Jim

Yes it is the equivalent of the MOT. Cold examination including borescope of the boiler for deterioration etc. Then a in steam test to demonstrate the safety valves and two methods of water injection.

You need one every 14 months if you want to steam in "Public" and insurance.
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Re: That time of year again

Post  Jim the Shovel on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 9:07 pm

Is the in steam test taken directly after the cold inspection. So they are basically done together.
Sorry if this is all a bit obvious but you hear so many versions of things it can get a bit confusing.
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Re: That time of year again

Post  lynnr on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 9:40 am

Hi

No problem. In respect to commercial inspection. Yes you can have the in steam test on the same day. I in conjunction with my inspector sometimes split it over evenings or 4 hours apart. Where the inspector goes and does another job and returns for the in steam. Also fits around work patterns etc.
On Crystal due to being a commercial inspection my hydraulic test is between 7 and 10 years.
The inspection interval is actually 14 months but I stick to the 12 months as Crystal falls in October. This means the winter is free for maintenance and dry storage. Then she is ready whenever the first "event" happens with no worries of when the inspection is due. Had a friend realise his ticket expired the day before and was unable to steam during a 2 day event. Only realising when submitting his ticket to signing on for the event. I towed him round the ring.


Many club inspectors will do a "test day" where they have a number of engines being inspected, so keeps the inspector busy.
Club inspection hydraulic is every 2 years. A lot of club inspectors will not do steel and the size of the DCC engines.
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..

Post  iain on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 1:21 pm

The cold and steam tests need to be within a prescribed period, usually a month with the certificate start being the first date.

Obviously rebuilding a larger engine/boiler (if commercial) takes more time. I sometimes manage to do as Lynn does and have 2 visits on a day but sometimes spread them out.

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Re: That time of year again

Post  Jim the Shovel on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 4:38 pm

Many thanks for the info. Much appreciated

Jim
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Re: That time of year again

Post  lynnr on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 5:35 pm

Crystal passed her cold inspection yesterday.

So today was test steaming after putting back together. Need to adjust the safety valve down 5psi and reset the injector clack valve. The spacing for the ball lift sounds too big. So need to measure and adjust the bolt down a bit. Also the injector does not want to start properly.
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Re: That time of year again

Post  LiveSteam on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 7:13 pm

Lynn, when adjusting the safeties have you ever had any issues with the centre pin leaking that holds the spring, had to adjust mine last year as it had crept up to nearly 130 (agri is 120) one flat on the nut bought it back on song but left me with a dam steam leak from the pin. Took nearly the season for it to finally shut up and even now can have a "moment".

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Re: That time of year again

Post  lynnr on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 9:03 pm

Lol. Mine has always leaked during steam raising but closes up under pressure. I did put a bit of non setting sealant around the nut and I think some of it squeezed in.
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Re: That time of year again

Post  LiveSteam on Wed 04 Oct 2017, 6:39 pm

I wouldnt mind if it shut up once up to pressure but the dam thing wouldnt, spent most of last season with it hissing away Rolling Eyes
, which
I wondered about dropping a coil of graphite string round the thread but that would have meant undoing it all the way which brings me on to another issue I'd like to resolve this winter.
Most of this year for what ever reason the safeties have been rather whispey through out the pressure range. They use to be rock solid and were silent to just under 120psi when they would start to feather than then blow off and 80% of the time would shut off cleanly, yes on the odd time a tap with the poker would be needed to shut them up if they didnt close cleanly. However since the start of this year they have been incredibly whispy all the time and its most annoying, regardless of poker bashing they never really shut totally, their not leaking by a lot but its enough to make a noise and you can feel the steam leaking from a fair few inches from them depending on pressure.

Is there any servicing that needs to be done to the valves, I've not thought about stripping them as I'm not entirely sure how to reset them ?

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Re: That time of year again

Post  Steve Traill on Wed 04 Oct 2017, 11:00 pm

If you are going to strip down the safety valves mark the position of the nut relative to the casting and count the threads left exposed beyond the nut. It should put everything back where it was or near enough. It might need a final tweak (1/8th of a turn) left or right depending on how vigorous you are with the seating. They are pretty simple affairs, the cones can be tapped to improve the seating with an ally drift (not too much mind!) With the thread, try some ptfe around the base of the thread so it seals against the bottom of the nut.
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Re: That time of year again

Post  Mark the spark on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 8:50 am

I grind my safety valves in with fine paste to get the perfect seal

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Re: That time of year again

Post  Ian on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 11:23 am

Please bear in mind every time you "seat" your safety valve, valve, with an impact you increase the width of the seat in the safety valve chimney, this in turn means a larger area for small particles to become entrapped upon, it also causes the safety valve to be slower to close and the pressure it operates at to be reduced, ideally next time you have your valves apart make this seat smaller by polishing the bore in the chimney to reduce the seat width, do it with a rotary action to keep the bore round, if you dont scratch the seat you wont need to reseat the valves, dont go to enthusiastic at this as we are only trying to remove the burr caused by the bronze being displaced a little by the valve as the seat increases, the seat the valve seals upon should be a 90 degree edge with hardly any signs of a seat at all.


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Re: That time of year again

Post  lynnr on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 2:52 pm

Hi

Yes keep it gentle on the cleaning of the safety valves as they could quickly go out of specification. On Crystal I just ease up the lever and turn the valve a little and then it sorts itself out.

BTW

Crystal passed her 6th steam test today. No issues.
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Re: That time of year again

Post  LiveSteam on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 7:05 pm

Thanks folks some useful stuff there, I've been a little scared of touching them as I don't want to upset them further rather than cure them.

I'm tempted to leave well alone for another season as the "whisping" isnt to annoying.......yet.

Good to hear Crystal is ticketed for another year. 6yrs .....a mere baby, or maybe a teenager Laughing

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