Type of water for steam boilers.

Sarah Winfield

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I've heard various comments about the water to be used in model steam locomotive boilers.
Some have suggested distilled water, some filtered rainwater. All state tap water is a no-no!
If filtered rainwater, to what filtration measure, is recommended? Would coffee machine filters be good enough?
I've nearly run out of the water I bought and am currently catching rainwater to be filtered.
Many thanks.
 

Gtarling

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I've heard various comments about the water to be used in model steam locomotive boilers.
Some have suggested distilled water, some filtered rainwater. All state tap water is a no-no!
If filtered rainwater, to what filtration measure, is recommended? Would coffee machine filters be good enough?
I've nearly run out of the water I bought and am currently catching rainwater to be filtered.
Many thanks.
Many people use either rainwater or water from a dehumidifier and filtered via a coffee or similar filter. What's not recommended is to use demineralised or deionised water, as these can cause problems with some metals. It's worth noting that truly distilled water can be hard to find and what you usually find is really only mislabeled deionised or demineralised water. Meltwater from a freezer or fridge can also be used, but best to filter that, too.

G.
 

Sarah Winfield

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Many thanks, G.

I'll try rainwater first duly filtered.

After this morning's weather there shouldn't be any difficulty in finding rainwater, But doesn't rainwater have some acidity or does filtering it get rid of any nasties??
 

Gtarling

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Rainwater will probably be slightly acidic, but nothing to worry about. I should also mention that if you live in a soft water area, that is also OK to use straight from the tap. Unfortunately, much of the UK gets hard tap water, which is definitely not recommended!

G.
 

Paul M

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Rainwater will probably be slightly acidic, but nothing to worry about. I should also mention that if you live in a soft water area, that is also OK to use straight from the tap. Unfortunately, much of the UK gets hard tap water, which is definitely not recommended!

G.
Probably best to leave tap water out of it. I use rain water and a couple of coffee filters. I filter it again when pouring from my large container to my travelling bottle. But having said that best by far is PROPER distilled water
 

dunnyrail

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How many times does this come up? My suggestion is water from a De humidifier. However rain water through a coffee filter ought to be ok if you must, but never tap water or some of the so called distilled waters that can be less than pure.
 

Paul M

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It does seem a recurring theme!
 
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Greg Elmassian

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Yes, a never-ending theme... there's so much discussion, I would wonder if reading all these threads would be better than asking the question every few months.... perhaps the "common wisdom" has gotten better over the years?

Greg
 
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DafyddElvy

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I live in Central Scotland and we use tap water, someone did get water tested from different areas and found it was fine for steam loco boilers.

It definitely depends where you live, if in doubt, filtered rain water or water from a dehumidifier that has been filtered.
 

Nordmij

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Simple rain water from containers outside. Then filtered if not collected and filtered. Or dehumidifier water.
Thanks, can anyone say how you go about looking after or getting back on line a Fowler that has been wrapped up for a year?
On another line re gas, do we have preferred gas and supplies in England?
Jim
 

dunnyrail

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Simple rain water from containers outside. Then filtered if not collected and filtered. Or dehumidifier water.
Thanks, can anyone say how you go about looking after or getting back on line a Fowler that has been wrapped up for a year?
On another line re gas, do we have preferred gas and supplies in England?
Jim
Gas is the simple one, Butane only during the summer. In cold weather a butane/propane mix is worthwhile.

As for your wrapped loco, probably very little. Perhaps drain any water in the boiler some would suggest a clean out with vinegar but as it has only been sitting for a year not worth bothering with that. Clean out the Oil Reservoir, just let any liquid out of the drain and fill with new. Any remaining gas should not be a problem.

When you have done that a test steam on blocks is in order. Oil up all moving parts, fill boiler oil and gas then get up to steam. First put gas on full to ensure that the safety valve will keep the pressure no higher than recommended working pressure or red line if one fitted. If pressure goes 10lb over turn off as there could be a blockage in the pressure gauge. If not time to crack open the regulator to see how it runs. If ok let it run till gas runs out allow to cool, give a good clean all over and you are ready to run on the line.

You say Fowler is this a Roundhouse? If so the gauge can be adjusted but best to seek out help from a local 16mm group.
 

tac foley

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Ms Winfield has also received about twenty similar responses over on the Gauge 1 FB pages. It sure does get tiresome reading as many of us here are also over 'there'.

It tends to make us here look like a bunch of mix-minded plonkers and the same for those of us over there.

The answers will ALWAYS vary - depending on where you live, and in what country you live.

Sarah, for goodness' sake, buy a distiller and produce your own distilled water.
 

dunnyrail

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Ms Winfield has also received about twenty similar responses over on the Gauge 1 FB pages. It sure does get tiresome reading as many of us here are also over 'there'.

It tends to make us here look like a bunch of mix-minded plonkers and the same for those of us over there.

The answers will ALWAYS vary - depending on where you live, and in what country you live.

Sarah, for goodness' sake, buy a distiller and produce your own distilled water.
Actually this thread was fine until it was unnecessarily resurrected.
I think an element of being polite to Sarah would not harm. So we get plenty of threads that may go over old ground again, but sometimes the search facility is not always the easiest to find results, newbies need information that is not always easy to find as it is not always posted in the most meaningful Thread. In a recent thread about Servo Calibration Sarah admitted to her cognition so please give the lady a break.
 

Sarah Winfield

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I think an element of being polite to Sarah would not harm. So we get plenty of threads that may go over old ground again, but sometimes the search facility is not always the easiest to find results, newbies need information that is not always easy to find as it is not always posted in the most meaningful Thread. In a recent thread about Servo Calibration Sarah admitted to her cognition so please give the lady a break.
Without getting too personal, no one here knows anything about me other than what they glean from my posts. Railways in whatever form are about the only positive aspect of my life. I am not a confident person.
 

JimmyB

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Greg Elmassian

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Good point Jimmy, I retract my statement as it was indeed only 1 month ago....

but as evidenced by my post with multiple links to multiple threads, there are MANY discussions here easy to find, my post (#9) lists EIGHT threads on the subject.

This is a great forum and it is a great resource, and the search function does indeed work well.