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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines Antique steam engines, their boilers, pumps, gauges, whistles and other related things that make them run.

Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines

Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump


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  #1  
Old 06-14-2019, 12:56:56 PM
OldJalopy OldJalopy is offline
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Default Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

What would be a good pump to hydro test the boiler?
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:51:19 PM
Jim Mackessy Jim Mackessy is offline
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Default Re: oressure test the boiler?Pressure pump

We use a McMaster-Carr 9108T2, about $350.00. No connection to the seller. Fill with water, prime, and then hook up to the boiler. There are better and worse out there. - JM
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:00:55 PM
Odin Odin is offline
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Default Re: oressure test the boiler?Pressure pump

Have only done it on a boiler with a vintage hand pump that had little trouble getting the boiler up to test pressure after only a minute or two of vigorous pumping. Take care not to overshoot, you might hurt the boiler.

At work I have a nifty little air powered piston pump that was originally purchased for hydro testing gas field pressure vessels. It operates on 100 PSI compressed air, and was able to reach 600PSI test pressures on some large storage tanks being fabricated here years ago. Sadly we would later get burned by a bad partner and ended up getting out of the pressure vessel business, but I still have most of the test gear set aside. Might donate it to a club in NY that can put it to good use.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:08:40 PM
OldJalopy OldJalopy is offline
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Thanks guys, I don't really want to spend $350 just use one time, must be some other way.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:45:48 PM
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

If boiler is small, you could try a small grease gun. piston is capable of very high pressures, but small displacement means a lot of pumping.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:46:48 PM
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

I built one from an old air cylinder and a couple of check valves. I probably have $25 in it not counting the hydraulic hose to attach to the boiler.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:50:58 PM
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

If the boiler is completely full of water, a little bit of heat applied evenly will bring the pressure up . A rosebud or acetylene torch works fine. Do not use a power pump. It only takes a little water or heat to raise the pressure.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:54:32 PM
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

What ever you do, do not hook up your pressure washer to use it for the source. You run the risk of rapidly over pressurizing and causing severe damage.

Alan
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:44:03 PM
Jim Mackessy Jim Mackessy is offline
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

What pressure are you trying for?
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:58:40 PM
OldJalopy OldJalopy is offline
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Thanks Alan, I was just about to do just that. Probably 300# is all I need.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:06:03 PM
Mike McKnight Mike McKnight is offline
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Ummmm, ain't no way I'd pump a 100 yr old boiler to 300# for a hydro test! Most states only ask to go either 1 1/4 x MAWP or at the very most 1 1/2!

Mike
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:27:55 PM
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

That has better be a locomotive boiler you are taking to 300 psi, and only after it has been inspected inside and out with ultrasound measurements taken.

Most of the steam traction I have seen is 150# or less, and as others have said would test to 1.25-1.5x mawp depending on your regional requirements.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:37:08 PM
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20 Reeves Highwheeler 20 Reeves Highwheeler is offline
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldJalopy View Post
Thanks Alan, I was just about to do just that. Probably 300# is all I need.
At 300 psi, you're likely to hear a heavy "whump" inside the boiler. Maybe even outside? Like has been stated; 1.25 is good. Don't go over 1.5 of your MAWP. In the old days, many boilers had been ruined over a simple hydro. My opinion for what it cost... Gary
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:36:37 AM
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Interesting. So, in some instances a boiler need only be tested to 1-1/4 times rated pressure?? That seems like a TINY safety margin!

So a mere 20% degradation or other minor change in conditions while under STEAM leaves you right on the threshold of BOOOOOOM!

I'd think something like a design safety margin of 4 times, and a test pressure of at least 2 times.

If I had a boiler bust open under hydrotest at double pressure I would be Grateful.

Now I realize that, for all these years, I have been perfectly well justified in my Boilerphobia.

Last edited by Vanman; 06-15-2019 at 12:35:37 PM.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:46:17 AM
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
Interesting. So, in some instances a boiler need only be tested to 1-1/4 times rated pressure?? That seems like a TINY safety margin!

So a mere 20% degradation or other minor change in conditions leaves you right on the threshold of BOOOOOOM!

I'd think something like a design safety margin of 4 times, and a test pressure of at least 2 times.

If I had a boiler bust open under hydrotest at double pressure I would be Grateful.

Now I realize that, for all these years, I have been perfectly well justified in my Boilerphobia.
Vanman, Let me REALLY make your day. The safety margins are thinner than you may think! Boilers are hydro tested cold. 150 psi is about 365 degrees F. A 365 degrees F. operating temperature makes the 1 1/4 times MAWP cold hydro test a little less relevant.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:23:46 AM
DianneB DianneB is offline
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

I am notoriously CHEAP and when I needed a test pump, I picked up a pressure washer pump from a surplus outfit and fitted an adjustable pressure-relief valve and a 1/4HP electric motor. It worked well.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:31:35 AM
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Boiler go Boom on a hydro ?
Not hardly, Pilgrim.
That is the reason for using water, it is fairly in-compressible.
A little bit of a leak and the pressure is off.

It takes a large amount of Stored Energy to make an explosion.
ASME requires the water temperature to be between 70 and 120 F.

I know of some idiots, including contractors, who perform an air test at 1.5 X MAWP.
It is easy for them. They are either ignorant or uncaring.
They have set-up bombs and/or have a death wish.

The reason for the 70 - 120 F requirement ?
Cold steel can brittle fracture. We want our steel to be warm and tough.
If it is going to fail, we want it bending, not cracking.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:52:36 AM
David Hoover David Hoover is offline
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Please don’t be offended Mr Jalopy, but there’s a lot of questions appearing and it would be awful for someone to get potentially hurt. Is their any experienced steam people in your area that could give you a hand? You’ve asked some very good questions but it may be time to have someone on sight who can oversee and stop anything bad that may be overlooked. It only takes one missed step to hurt you.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:05:58 AM
OldJalopy OldJalopy is offline
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Well, that got a lot of attention...............I was just guessing on the 300# figure. The old c 1921) steel boiler doesn't appear to be in too bad of shape, I gird-checked the inside shell and found everything over .250 but not real sure because of rust. I know the next thing is to hydro-test and guessed at 1 1/2 times original working pressure, which I also guessed at 150#, so OK make it 225#. Water is not going to blow up so I'm not worried about that, just wanted some ideas or source for a suitable pressure pump. Don't want to pump grease into the shell. I've asked a couple of men in my area to come by but they haven't had a chance to visit yet. I don't even know if the boiler is worth saving but I'll keep moving ahead, slowly....
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:34:36 AM
David Hoover David Hoover is offline
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Default Re: Pressure Test the Boiler? Pressure Pump

Personally I’d stop at anything to do with pressurizing until someone is there to help, like you say your not yet sure if it’s even safe. Do all the looking and cleaning and investigating you want, but don’t pressurize it. You may at the least cause some unwanted strains that add to more repairs, or you could simply fuel over confidence that could lead to a bad experience. Do you belong to any clubs that offer steam schools? Have you any pics of your boiler to share?

Last edited by David Hoover; 06-15-2019 at 10:11:55 AM.
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