My new Accucraft can't take on gas enough for firing up

Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
25,530
659
North West Norfolk
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,639
191
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Depends on the loco design - Usually near and under the vertical steam oil reservoir there is a tap, slowly undo that a couple of turns so steam can escape. I think you have to have the regulator open to do this. Unscrew it completely, once the boiler has blown down leaving no pressure, and you can drain any remaining condensate and/or unused or emulsified steam oil.

On some locos, like my Accucraft Joan, there is a separate tap on the opposite side to the steam oil reservoir, again on the underside of the chassis. Undo that and you can release the steam pressure that remains in the boiler alone. You do not have to have the regulator open for this one.

Both of these are methods to "blow down" the boiler. Handy if you want to do a refill of the boiler without waiting for it all to cool down and do not have a Goodall valve fitted or a water pump connected to the boiler. Strangely my Lew has neither fitting mentioned above. You have to syringe out any condensate or emulsified oil from the reservoir. Max

Edit - The taps/valves I'm referring to are termed check (water level) or drain (oil reservoir) valves. The Edrig the OP Claes owns has both fitted. Take a look at the Accucraft site, all the UK loco specs are there as are the US ones on that site.
 
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Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
25,530
659
North West Norfolk
Depends on the loco design - Usually near and under the vertical steam oil reservoir there is a tap, slowly undo that a couple of turns so steam can escape. I think you have to have the regulator open to do this. Unscrew it completely, once the boiler has blown down leaving no pressure, and you can drain any remaining condensate and/or unused or emulsified steam oil.

On some locos, like my Accucraft Joan, there is a separate tap on the opposite side to the steam oil reservoir, again on the underside of the chassis. Undo that and you can release the steam pressure that remains in the boiler alone. You do not have to have the regulator open for this one.

Both of these are methods to "blow down" the boiler. Handy if you want to do a refill of the boiler without waiting for it all to cool down and do not have a Goodall valve fitted or a water pump connected to the boiler. Strangely my Lew has neither fitting mentioned above. You have to syringe out any condensate or emulsified oil from the reservoir. Max

Edit - The taps/valves I'm referring to are termed check (water level) or drain (oil reservoir) valves. The Edrig the OP Claes owns has both fitted. Take a look at the Accucraft site, all the UK loco specs are there as are the US ones on that site.
OK, got it.

That's what I undo, but only after releasing boiler pressure - thus it drains, rather than blows, and you get rid of the condensate but not any residue of good steam oil.

Boiler pressure is usually released through the cylinders - so gas off, and let the loco cruise to a halt (remember this is a Shay, so you'v probably got just over a train length of quiet cruising), once at rest, slowly open the steam valve with the reverse lever in full forward or reverse, then when all steam pressure has gone, I open the water filler (I don't use a Goodall valve as it is considered dangerous to refill gas on the Shay with the burner alight), then drain down the steam oil condensate from the tap.

Finally, at the end of the session, I turn the loco upside down and drain the boiler though the water filler
 
Rhos Helyg Loco Works

Rhos Helyg Loco Works

Registered
Interesting stuff, thank you for your replies.

Draining of water from boilers is a matter of personal preference. In my 31 years of doing this stuff I have never experienced or heard of any loco with a copper boiler being affected by leaving water in the boiler (other than those that have frozen solid). Brass boilers are a different matter though and should always be drained to prevent future boiler failure.

Draining the lubricator of oil has always puzzled me, and is not something I have ever done. Drain water yes, but oil no. Some people describe the emulsified oil left at the end of a run as "muck" or similar, but it is only a mixture of oil and water caused by emulsification. It is exactly this emulsified oil that the loco uses for lubrication - not clear or "clean" oil - and the lubricator makes it as the steam supply passes through.

The oil and water separate if left alone for a short while, leaving the water at the bottom of the lubricator ready to be drained before the next run and the clean oil floating on the top. The lubricator can then be re-filled with oil to the top, adding to the oil already in there.

All that draining the lubricator achieves is to waste oil, which has been bought and paid for.

We can discuss the pros and cons of lighting the gas by putting a flame to the top of the chimney next if you like...
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
25,530
659
North West Norfolk
Draining the lubricator of oil has always puzzled me, and is not something I have ever done. Drain water yes, but oil no. Some people describe the emulsified oil left at the end of a run as "muck" or similar, but it is only a mixture of oil and water caused by emulsification. It is exactly this emulsified oil that the loco uses for lubrication - not clear or "clean" oil - and the lubricator makes it as the steam supply passes through.



We can discuss the pros and cons of lighting the gas by putting a flame to the top of the chimney next if you like...
Yep, I like the idea of not wasting oil, therefore draining off at the beginning of a running session - but would I remember? :lipssealed::lipssealed: I have a natural proclivity to want to leave things in a 'ready to run' mode ............ although, having said that, I do all the oiling before a run :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: I s'pose it's habit.

Now, I've never tried lighting at the top of the chimney - would it be a waste of gas? As the gas is heavier than air, why would it want to go up the chimney. I open the smokebox door, light the gas and watch it strike back, then close the door and wait for the kettle to boil ............... :smoke::smoke:
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
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Royston
I'm always told to light the flame though the chimney on my Lynn. Unfortunately I like to see the thing little and looking right, so I don't
 
Rhos Helyg Loco Works

Rhos Helyg Loco Works

Registered
Now, I've never tried lighting at the top of the chimney - would it be a waste of gas? As the gas is heavier than air, why would it want to go up the chimney. I open the smokebox door, light the gas and watch it strike back, then close the door and wait for the kettle to boil ............... :smoke::smoke:
Is the correct answer. Yes, the gas is heavier than air so with the gas valve open and no flame the loco ends up sitting in an invisible puddle of unburnt gas. And when a flame arrives ... Woomph!

Of course, some locos don't have the luxury of an opening smokebox door, but all have a big hole in the bottom of the smokebox out of which the gas falls. Putting the flame under the loco puts it where the gas is, not where it might be in a bit - the top of the chimney - and avoids the gas puddle problem.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
25,530
659
North West Norfolk
135514_d9dd83cfe10bec7499f96673d94653bd.png
 
Swedmodeler

Swedmodeler

Registered
1 Nov 2018
35
5
63
Kingdom of Sweden
I am not sure what prior experience you have with gas fired live steam locos Claes. However, there are a few basics when lighting up to follow, this is not a exhaustive complete list but areas I have found helpful to follow, particularly with Accucraft's products -

Make sure you have filled the steam oil reservoir, gas tank and boiler and draw off 40 ml from a fully filled boiler to allow space for steam to form. OK, those are obvious ones ;) Don't forget to drain the steam oil reservoir of water and old oil before filling.
If you still have problems with filling the gas tank, with the correct adaptor, try pushing down on the centre pin on the filler valve a few times. If that does no fix the problem then, as Paul suggested, you may need a new filler valve that can be obtained from either of the suppliers mentioned so far. Other suppliers are available, there is a list on the Accucraft UK site.
Allow a few minutes for the gas in a freshly filled tank to "settle" before lighting up. The spluttering you may experience when trying to light up is caused by the gas remaining in its liquid form and being fed direct to the jet. This is where Rhino's tip can help too - the gas tank is next to the boiler and as they both warm up it helps the liquid butane in the tank turn into a gas.
Check that the gas is flowing to the gas jet freely. Blocked jets are not uncommon - but only try to clear with a blast of gas from the "pointed" end or immerse the jet in lacquer thinners to clean. Never clean the jet with a pin or wire, you will ruin it. It's a good idea to replace the standard gas jet fitment from the factory with a better made one - re' my comment above about buying bits from C2B.
Put a small rolled up piece of blotting paper in the jet - can help to catch any debris before it blocks the jet.
Blocked gas jets can be caused by a number of things - debris, like solder flux, left over from the manufacturing process (Accucraft did a have a problem with this a few years ago), age and level of past use (clean as suggested or replace), debris in butane gas canisters (that's why I store mine upside down and give a quick blast before attaching to the gas tank - think it though)
Make sure that the gas jet has some PTFE tape on its threads to ensure no leaks when it is attached to its holder.
With a 2nd hand loco it is an idea to wipe the O-ring on the gas flow regulator (and steam regulator) with a little steam oil to improve the seal and its operation.
The brass ring on the burner acts just like a car's choke. Use it to half cover the holes on the burner when lighting up, it enrichens the fuel/air mixture. Get yourself a nut driver of the right size, with a long shaft, so you can easily adjust and reposition this device.
Accucraft locos are prone to requiring multiple attempts to light and maintain the flame in the burner. Try leaving the smoke box door open for a couple of minutes after initial lighting to help ensure the burner does not extinguish itself.

All the best, I'm sure with this loco you will be smitten by live steam operation and it will be the first of many. Max

I am not sure what prior experience you have with gas fired live steam locos Claes. However, there are a few basics when lighting up to follow, this is not a exhaustive complete list but areas I have found helpful to follow, particularly with Accucraft's products -

Make sure you have filled the steam oil reservoir, gas tank and boiler and draw off 40 ml from a fully filled boiler to allow space for steam to form. OK, those are obvious ones ;) Don't forget to drain the steam oil reservoir of water and old oil before filling.
If you still have problems with filling the gas tank, with the correct adaptor, try pushing down on the centre pin on the filler valve a few times. If that does no fix the problem then, as Paul suggested, you may need a new filler valve that can be obtained from either of the suppliers mentioned so far. Other suppliers are available, there is a list on the Accucraft UK site.
Allow a few minutes for the gas in a freshly filled tank to "settle" before lighting up. The spluttering you may experience when trying to light up is caused by the gas remaining in its liquid form and being fed direct to the jet. This is where Rhino's tip can help too - the gas tank is next to the boiler and as they both warm up it helps the liquid butane in the tank turn into a gas.
Check that the gas is flowing to the gas jet freely. Blocked jets are not uncommon - but only try to clear with a blast of gas from the "pointed" end or immerse the jet in lacquer thinners to clean. Never clean the jet with a pin or wire, you will ruin it. It's a good idea to replace the standard gas jet fitment from the factory with a better made one - re' my comment above about buying bits from C2B.
Put a small rolled up piece of blotting paper in the jet - can help to catch any debris before it blocks the jet.
Blocked gas jets can be caused by a number of things - debris, like solder flux, left over from the manufacturing process (Accucraft did a have a problem with this a few years ago), age and level of past use (clean as suggested or replace), debris in butane gas canisters (that's why I store mine upside down and give a quick blast before attaching to the gas tank - think it though)
Make sure that the gas jet has some PTFE tape on its threads to ensure no leaks when it is attached to its holder.
With a 2nd hand loco it is an idea to wipe the O-ring on the gas flow regulator (and steam regulator) with a little steam oil to improve the seal and its operation.
The brass ring on the burner acts just like a car's choke. Use it to half cover the holes on the burner when lighting up, it enrichens the fuel/air mixture. Get yourself a nut driver of the right size, with a long shaft, so you can easily adjust and reposition this device.
Accucraft locos are prone to requiring multiple attempts to light and maintain the flame in the burner. Try leaving the smoke box door open for a couple of minutes after initial lighting to help ensure the burner does not extinguish itself.

All the best, I'm sure with this loco you will be smitten by live steam operation and it will be the first of many. Max
Many thanks for your long answer Max, what you write may be very helpful, because this is my first real live steam loco. I like the Annie I bought from you earlier very much. I have put Swedish signs on her so now she looks lika a big Swedish Three feet narrow g locomotive. Maybe I will pay a visit to my very experienced local Marklin dealer here in Town who also sells several live steam I gauge and G scale. and LGB and Bachmann locos, cars and tracks. ;)
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
290
43
USA
I use an ordinary gaslighter can with a short plastic adapter or nipple, that come with it together with others who don't fit. Shall I buy myself another adapter? I have seen some longer ones in brass on the net but they seem to be intended for canisters for other makes such as Roundhouse?
Claes,
Be cautious about these adaptors. Most are made for specific types of gas cans, and will not work with the small butane can that is used to fill a gas lighter. The following photo shows 3 different kinds of cans. The middle is the type you probably have:



I have had problems filling a lighter (actually a small butane torch) from a plastic adapter.

Most of us in warm climates use butane fuel:


which needs a specific kind of adaptor:

135616_f4d2546426f596f7b58577011bbf5691.jpg


The orange adapter makes this can work like a camping gas can. The following adapter works on both.




In colder climates (e.g. Sweden) we use a butane/propane mix which is more compatible with colder air. (We ignore the "Butane Only" notice on the gas tank!)



I suspect your filler valve may not be working. However, buying lighter refill butane at the cigar shop is very expensive. Those cans shown above are $2-$7 each and will last forever.
(If you have a local "asian market" go in and ask for cooking gas - they'll sell you a 6-pack of the first can type for $7.)
 
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Tony Heap

Registered
20 Oct 2019
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0
73
Alston
Had the same problem with my recently purchased Accucraft Dolgoch. Removed the filler valved and found part of the valve spring was protruding out of the valve stem. Emailed Accucraft UK who mailed me a new valve. Works perfectly now
 
Swedmodeler

Swedmodeler

Registered
1 Nov 2018
35
5
63
Kingdom of Sweden
Hello and many thanks for your answers. Perhaps I will get myself a bigger "real" gas can witt brass adapter. But the last cheap lighter gas can I bought from the supermarket had a soft plastic nipple among the othres and this finally worked. So I fired for ca 20 minutes and drove my Edrig while on my test track and blew the oil away with the valve under the cab like Max told me. :cool:

20191024_175056.jpg20191024_175214.jpg20191027_161847.jpg
 
artfull dodger

artfull dodger

Registered
12 Apr 2012
779
34
Kokomo, Indiana
I always light off at the bottom of the smoke box. gas is heavier than air so it will settle instead of rise first. A long lighter for lighting up the bbq grill make this easier. If the smoke box door opens as is common on some brands, then I open and light that way. As to draining the oiler, depends. Many times I will run my models till whats left is basicly condensed water with very little oil left, that gets sucked off with my brass syringe that I got from Accucraft and fresh oil is added to the lubricator for the next run. On my Pearse Earl, I open the blow down and close the steam stop valve to prevent the cooling boiler from sucking oil back into the boiler(Earl is RC so that valve allows refilling the lubricator in the middle of a run) Each model has its own operating style to maximize run time and your enjoyment. The more running you do, the more you learn your engine and how it behaves or doesn't behave. One Edrig might behave totally opposite of yours. Just as on the real ones, each is its own living beast with its own unique style of operation. Edrig, like his Ruby USA style counterpart, likes a nice load to pull to tame his speed and throttle response. Using a mix fuel, propane/butane mix helps with cool/cold weather operation and is all I use in my engines. The bigger cans with an adapter are best, but get what you can find locally. It took me a bit to find my source for bigger cans here in the USA. I get mine from the camping area of the local Walmart store, its made by Coleman and comes in 2 sizes. Both take a screw on adapter, I have the Regner version that I got from The Train Department as I owned a Regner model at that time. It works fine with all of my different brand steamers. Keep raising steam and your gonna do fine! Maybe you can make it to a local steam up, then you can learn in person from other more seasoned live steamers. This is how I learned alot of what I know now. Cheers Mike the Aspie