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Filling the boiler

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Garry Coles15/08/2021 11:51:40
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109 forum posts
100 photos

Hi everyone, I know this is a silly question, and I'll probaly get a silly answer. but how do you fill a boiler on a 2 in scale Traction Engine. On my loco, I take a safety valve out and use a funnel, but on the Traction Engine it's not that simple. The water would end up going into the vavle chest and then drain into the chimney and smokebox as well as filling the boiler. The only way I can think of is using the mechanical hand pump that will take forever. By the way, this will be my first steaming after about 5 years of building. Fingers crossed.

Garry

Paul Lousick15/08/2021 12:09:06
2068 forum posts
725 photos

I'm assuming there is no filler plug. Can you add a tee piece to the pipe from the hand pump to the boiler to make filling easier ?

Another option, which we have done on a full size Avelling & Porter roller which did not have a filler plug was to connect a hose to the blow down valve and fill it from there. Air has to be released from somewhere at the top to stop pressure buildup. (open blower valve, whistle, etc).

(Note, it is good startup practice to release any air in the boiler when you are raising steam)

Paul.

JasonB15/08/2021 13:00:59
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23005 forum posts
2757 photos
1 articles

Filler plugs on both the traction engines that I have made, just like on the full size.

You could tee into the pump plumbing as another alternative.

Dave Smith 1415/08/2021 13:48:37
213 forum posts
43 photos

Caravan water pump (about £7 on the net) through the blow down? That is what I use on my Super Simplex and other clubmates do.

duncan webster15/08/2021 14:32:50
4100 forum posts
66 photos

If it has an injector a hose connected to the overflow works

Harry Wilkes15/08/2021 14:47:27
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1365 forum posts
66 photos

On my 3" T.E I have done what's been suggested a tee in the pump outlet line and I then use a redundant garden fountain pump.

H

Garry Coles15/08/2021 17:50:20
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109 forum posts
100 photos

Thanks everyone, I think I will try the pipe on the injector overflow first and see if that does the job.

RRMBK16/08/2021 22:04:24
154 forum posts
18 photos

On my 3 inch burrell I have fitted a small 1/8 bsp 1/4 turn valve.to the water pump by pass line between the bypass valve and the pump body. the other side of the valve is fitted with a 6mm air line connector. This way I can use my test pump to fill the boiler, through a length of 6mm airline pipe and also use the set up to fill the water tank, by opening the bypass. This fitting can also be used to do the 1.5 times hydraulic test and as you are firing up for the first time this gives you the ability to put water into the boiler at full pressure any time you want to, should you experience any teething problems with the pump or injector .

Jon Lawes16/08/2021 22:14:04
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977 forum posts

Some boiler inspectors don't like boilers being filled via threaded fittings (especially safeties) as it means repeated wear on a safety critical thread. I don't think its a rule or anything, but I've been discouraged from doing it myself. It makes sense to me, especially when you consider how long these locomotives will live for if looked after.

I usually fill up through a blow down valve using a cheap caravan water pump. I usually open the blower valve to allow the air to be released. (this is all on a 3.5" locomotive if that helps, I know you were talking about traction engines).

Nigel Graham 216/08/2021 23:03:24
2248 forum posts
31 photos

Through the injector?

I'd have thought the overflow valve would prevent that? It opens to outwards flow, not inwards.

Having recently helped repair a boiler with worn out safety-valve threads I'd certainly always use either a dedicated fitting on a pump plumbing, or the blow-down valve. The valve's short outlet pipe is usually sufficient for a push-fitted hose but there is no reason it could not be a screwed fitting to take a pump hose.

I have used this route without a pump, but a large funnel and short plastic tube. It was a bit slow but effective.

There is another problem with using the safety-valve bushes for filling, that if simply via a funnel any water escaping around the spout ends up inside the cladding.

'

That boiler incidentally was given a "new" 2X hydraulic test as it had been modified.

duncan webster17/08/2021 13:04:57
4100 forum posts
66 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 16/08/2021 23:03:24:

Through the injector?

I'd have thought the overflow valve would prevent that? It opens to outwards flow, not inwards.

........

the water gets in between the end of the combining cone and the delivery cone downstream of the check valve. Photo from Manual of Steam Loco Construction.injector.jpg

Luker17/08/2021 16:30:47
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179 forum posts
145 photos
Posted by duncan webster on 17/08/2021 13:04:57:
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 16/08/2021 23:03:24:

Through the injector?

I'd have thought the overflow valve would prevent that? It opens to outwards flow, not inwards.

........

the water gets in between the end of the combining cone and the delivery cone downstream of the check valve. Photo from Manual of Steam Loco Construction.

For locos that require lower feed rates the delivery cone hole can become small. For my Stirling single I made 10oz injectors with the delivery cone hole just under 0.5mm. Filling up the boiler through that might take a while...

I generally fill from the blowdowns, it cleans the valve seat as a bonus...

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