LETTING OFF STEAM
It's November as I write this, and as we move into the
off-season I want to remind everyone to make sure their engines and
boilers are properly prepared for another long winter
At the very least, make sure you've drained your boiler,
followed by a good flush and a proper drying to get all the
moisture out. And if you didn't replace your hand hole gaskets
last year, do it this time around: It's cheap insurance against
leakage. And think about replacing that old fusible plug the
likelihood of an old plug failing to melt is high.
It's all about having fun safely, and ensuring that the
equipment we operate is safe for display and public operation
should be a top priority for everyone in the steam community.
In that vein, we need to alert the steam community about some
problems experienced in Ohio with a handful of Kunkle safety valves
assembled by Allied Valve Industries.
The issue came up when a valve distributor received complaints
about some new Kunkle valves it had sold. The distributor, in turn,
sent the valves to Dean Jagger, chief boiler inspector for the
state of Ohio.
Jagger sent the valves to the National Board of Boiler and
Pressure Vessel Inspectors for testing. An official safety notice
issued by Jagger's office said the valves in question were
tested and found not to be in compliance. The notice states:
'The tests indicated that the valves blow down and set pressure
settings were out of tolerance as established by Section 1 of the
ASME Boiler Code.'
When contacted by Steam Traction the National Board said it
wouldn't comment on an investigation in progress. If the
National Board deems it necessary, it will post information on its
Web site (www.nationalboard.com). Matt Mulligan, a spokesman for
Allied Valve Industries, told us the problem appeared to be limited
to only five or six valves.
Even so, Jagger's office is recommending that anyone who has
recently bought a safety valve from Allied Valve Industries return
their valve for recalibration. Ohio steamers should also note that
the safety notice issued from Jagger's office states: 'It
should be noted that in light of these findings, the State Boiler
Inspectors will be scrutinizing the operation of all safety valves
during their required operational inspection.'
If you have a valve that could be suspect, contact Allied Valve
Industries directly at (312) 226-1506, extension 3117, or fax at