Washout Plugs

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murryb
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Location: South Island, New Zealand

Washout Plugs

Post by murryb » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:58 am

I have been following the build of a LNWR Coal Loco on the O Gauge Forum and the builder has put the washout plugs under the hand rail. The only photo I can find showing the plugs has them just below the hand rail, which seems more sensible is my assumption correct. Before I put my foot in it.
Murry

Pete Skellon
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Re: Washout Plugs

Post by Pete Skellon » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:46 pm

Murry - you are correct. Washout plugs on the firebox wrapper for Coal Engines and Coal Tanks are below the handrail (the boiler drawing for 1923 shows them placed at 12 degrees up from the boiler centre line). It's worth considering, though, that these were only fitted some time after the First War (possibly an LMS requirement) - so depending upon the era the model is being depicted, perhaps they shouldn't be there!

simonweston
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Re: Washout Plugs

Post by simonweston » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:27 pm

Only one photo Murry, did you look here ?
http://lnwrs.zenfolio.com/p55397444

Pete Skellon
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Re: Washout Plugs

Post by Pete Skellon » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:12 pm

Mmm - guess I'm wrong! My apologies to all.
Attached is a photo of the boiler of 1054 which shows the relative positions of the handrail brackets and the washout plugs. It's not occurred to me previously, but the spare stud placed below the socket for the handrail knob would allow this socket to be positioned lower - and so the likely location for Coal Engines (in view of the photos on Zeniflo). The boiler on 1054 is known to have been fitted to Coal Engines, hence the multi-purpose stud fittings (not shown on the Crewe drawing).
One consequence of this is that the leading sand operating gear (via the right side handrail) means the length of the vertical rod to the sandbox appears taller on the Coal Tank than it is on the Coal Engine - the operating link through the smokebox appearing to be the same height on both engines.
Always something new to learn!!!
Regards
Pete
Attachments
STC boiler.jpg
STC boiler.jpg (275.33 KiB) Viewed 61 times

murryb
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:09 am
Location: South Island, New Zealand

Re: Washout Plugs

Post by murryb » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:04 am

Simon
I did look there but none of the photo showed plugs.
Pete
In your Bashers and Gadgets page 41 there is the explanation about changes done by the LMS ? in regards to boilers built by external builders which mentions the 1923 drawing.
On page 21 there is a Coal Engine in LMS livery and from the angle the plugs could be just above the hand rail. The boiler is the one that is on Coal Tank 1054 but inthe photo of the Coal Tank page 199 and the drawing page the plugs are below the hand rail, which you have more than likely noticed.
So before the 1st world war no plugs by the hand rail, so how were they washed out, and would some of the old boilers reach late LMS early BR?
I have another question about valves but that had better be another topic.

Pete Skellon
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Re: Washout Plugs

Post by Pete Skellon » Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:09 pm

Murry
The photo of Coal Engine 8309 on page 21 of 'Bashers...' has boiler no. 2446. This was built in 1921 and fitted to Coal Tank, engine No.2475 (later LMS 7630) and subsequently to Coal Engines LMS 8159 and 8309, and Coal Tanks 7803 and finally 58926.

As you point out, as shown on 8309, the handrails are just below the position of the washout plugs, but as mentioned in my previous post, I realise that when these boilers were fitted to Coal Tanks the position of the handrail was raised (by relocating the handrail pillar socket) and so they effectively became positioned above the washout plugs.

The location of the washout plugs would, of course, remain the same. They were positioned so in order to wash across the top of the inner firebox during boiler washout.

How were boilers washed out before these washout plugs were fitted? Well, not very effectively I suggest.
Early boilers were fitted with the blow-off cock situated on the firebox doorplate and operable from the cab (to blow down solids from above the foundation ring). Washout plugs were fitted higher in the doorplate and in the smokebox tube plate, which would have helped clear accumulation of solids on tubes or above the firebox. However, the crown girders arrangement to support the inner firebox crown would hinder such cleaning - hence the later (I think a late LNW or early LMS initiative) use of washout plugs on the firebox wrapper. The boiler washing regime was changed substantially under the LMS during the introduction of water softening routines.

Boilers had an economical life of 25 years and the records I've compiled indicate that nearly all boilers were scrapped after 20 or 30 years of life. There was a substantial boiler replacement scheme in the early 1920s (until 1928) and these boilers lasted through until the engines were finally scrapped by LMS or BR. The boiler currently fitted to 1054 was, ironically, the longest survivor having completed 37 years service until the engine was withdrawn in 1958. (So a genuine LNWR boiler - admittedly with a few new patches - but still working today at 95 years old).

As to whether washout plugs were retro-fitted to older boilers I cannot say, although I expect they were - photographs are the only documentation I think would corroborate this.

If anyone is interested in the nitty gritty of these boilers then I would be happy to email a spreadsheet of the list I complied which shows the boilers and the engines to which they were fitted and when. This is as far as I have been able to ascertain as very few boiler records appear to have survived - but it does include Coal Engines, SDX and Special Tanks.

Regards
Pete

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Gary Wells
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Re: Washout Plugs

Post by Gary Wells » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:58 pm

murryb wrote:........so how were they washed out.................
Whip the safety valves off and get access over the crown, or, take the top of the steam dome off and 'gently manoeuvre' the smallest apprentice into the steam space above the tubes. Washout plugs eliminated the need for major boiler surgery for this routine operation and I suspect quite likely followed the introduction of hot water Vs. cold water boiler wash outs.
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