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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just steamed up my Accucraft/Aster BR Standard 5 for the first time since this winter. I've noticed my safety valve starts to weep once I get 1 bar of pressure and I can't keep boiler pressure up without the draft fan in place. All the steam seems to be going out the safety valve and none is reaching the cylinders when I open the throttle. Does anybody what is causing this and what I can do fix it? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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First question, in the winter was it running normally?
Did you try to tap the top of the valve to see if it would seat properly?
Or even use some needle nosed pliers to lift it up and then let it drop to help it seat.
Could just be dirt, or depending on the quality of water, the ball may be in bad shape.
Even some of the 'stainless' balls are not as stainless as they should be.
Now, also IF it is just weeping, you should still be able to get more pressure then just 1 bar.
It must be more blowing off if that's the case.
If it is just weeping, I think that maybe you have a bigger issue.
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First question, I last ran it December with no issue. Saturday March 20th, was it's first steaming after that and it ran with no issue. Today was when I experienced the issues.

Second question, I did not try that but I just lifted both safety valves up with pliers and let them drop. Depending on the weather, I will not be able to steam it up again until Friday.

I am not sure about the water, but I always used distilled water in my engine.

I think weeping was understatement on my part, it wasn't going full blast like say at 4 bar, but yes, I think blowing off is the right term here.
 

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Then, and it's difficult without actually seeing it, I would perhaps think that either it has 'unscrewed', or the spring has softened, and all you need to do is to adjust the safety.
Do they both look at about the same level at the tops?
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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I just lifted both safety valves up with pliers and let them drop.
If you have 2 safeties, then are both 'weeping' or blowing off? Or just one of them? It is unlikely that both are clogged/loose/damaged at the exact same time.
When you open the throttle, does the pressure drop and the safety stop weeping?
 

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Get with Jim Sanders,and get 2 new ones that in my opinion work GREAT It will be worth the Money
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you have 2 safeties, then are both 'weeping' or blowing off? Or just one of them? It is unlikely that both are clogged/loose/damaged at the exact same time.
When you open the throttle, does the pressure drop and the safety stop weeping?
The front one is the one that keeps blowing off.

Yes, the pressure drops when I open the throttle, but the safety valve doesn't stop blowing until it gets below 1 bar of pressure.
 

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The front one is the one that keeps blowing off.
OK. Just to confirm it, swap them and make the front one the back one, See if it still blows.
If so, get a new one (as Bob says, the WeeBee ones are good, or you can get a spare,) or fix the old one. It may just be dirt in the seal.
 

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I photographed the safety valves on my 5MT. It is the Aster version but I would imagine pretty much identical. Not obvious from the pics, but each safety should be set by a pinch mark to stop it moving. I did have an instance on another Aster engine where the safety had begun to unscrew - maybe that is the issue here - if so adjust it by tightening with needle nose pliers and fix with a tiny drop of paint. Ideally, you do this with a compressor - tighten until the back is blowing first, then back off a little.

61401


Robert
 

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I just steamed up my Accucraft/Aster BR Standard 5 for the first time since this winter. I've noticed my safety valve starts to weep once I get 1 bar of pressure and I can't keep boiler pressure up without the draft fan in place. All the steam seems to be going out the safety valve and none is reaching the cylinders when I open the throttle. Does anybody what is causing this and what I can do fix it? Any help would be appreciated.
I’ve had this happen when stem outlets are clogged with cold/crusty steam oil. Try heating the cylinders and steam pipes to loosen it up. By the way, I use the WeeBee valves from The Train Department now. They are fantastic and do not weep ever. They buzz at exactly the right pressure. Recommended!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I tried steaming it up yesterday (Sat. March 27th). I swapped the safety valves. Pressure no longer drops when the draft fan is removed but what was the front safety valve is still lifting prematurely. Nothing is still happening when I open the throttle either.
 

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I don't know how experienced you are with live steam, so please excuse questions that you may feel are un-needed.
When you say "nothing happens" when you open the throttle, is it in forward gear?
Are you pushing the loco. or just waiting for it to move?
Are there cylinder drains on the 5MT, and if so are they open?
Are the cylinders full of water and need clearing?
I would adjust the one safety valve so that you force the other to lift first - BUT check the pressure gauge to see where that is.
Do you have any live steamers close by who can assist you?
Good luck,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Do you have any live steamers close by who can assist you?
If you really are up near Binghamton (Mr Trinder, if that's yr name, not you David,) then you are in Finger Lakes Live Steamers territory, based in Clyde NY. (The Browns in Newark Valley is the nearest track that I have visited.) I have some contacts if you need to visit with someone to discuss your loco?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you really are up near Binghamton (Mr Trinder, if that's yr name, not you David,) then you are in Finger Lakes Live Steamers territory, based in Clyde NY. (The Browns in Newark Valley is the nearest track that I have visited.) I have some contacts if you need to visit with someone to discuss your loco?
Sorry, but I'm not in that Barker. I'm in the Barker in Niagara County near Buffalo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't know how experienced you are with live steam, so please excuse questions that you may feel are un-needed.
When you say "nothing happens" when you open the throttle, is it in forward gear?
Are you pushing the loco. or just waiting for it to move?
Are there cylinder drains on the 5MT, and if so are they open?
Are the cylinders full of water and need clearing?
I would adjust the one safety valve so that you force the other to lift first - BUT check the pressure gauge to see where that is.
Do you have any live steamers close by who can assist you?
Good luck,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
I'm pretty new to live steam. I started last summer with an Accucraft Ruby. This is my second live steamer.

When I open the throttle, the locomotive is in forward.
I've only run the locomotive on rollers, I've tried to coax it, but I can't really push it.
It has cylinder drains which I open when I first open the throttle like the instructions say.
I have no idea if there is water in the cylinders or how to clear them other than opening the drains.
 

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Okay, so you are still running on the rollers, correct?
It's okay to keep the blower on just a little to make sure that the fire stays inside the firebox while you are 'fiddling'
With the drains open, and the throttle open, is steam coming out of the drains as you turn the wheels.
You may have to push on the spokes to turn them.
They will be stiff to turn at first, and mind your fingers, as depending how open you have the throttle, the wheels might suddenly begin to turn.
Once it is running, then you can close the cylinder drains.
I find it a lot easier on a piece of track, where you can roll the loco forward, or back, adding pressure to make the wheels turn.
If there is NO steam coming out of the drains, then we must assume that no steam is getting to the cylinders, which will be another problem to solve.
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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I have no idea if there is water in the cylinders or how to clear them other than opening the drains.
Well, you won't be surprised to hear that the drains are designed to clear water out of the cylinders. There had to be some reason for the name, right?
What is going on when you fire up a steam loco is that there may be water in the steam pipe to the cylinders - sometimes we overfill the boiler, sometimes the steam condenses because things are not warmed up. It gets in the way when you open the throttle.

In a sophisticated model like the Black 5, you have drains, and as you rock the engine any water is expedited out of the drains; you can often see it dribbling out even before anything starts to move. You rock it by alternately putting it in forward hear, opening the throttle a little, pushing it forward, closing the throttle, putting it in reverse, and pushing backwards. It will be very resistant at first, as water is not as helpful as steam, but it will (should) slowly begin to leak water from the drains and squirt it from the pipe in the stack - or maybe it oozes from the pipe and falls down onto the track below the smokebox.

Your Ruby would just spit the water out of the stack as you rocked it backwards and forwards to clear the cylinders and warm everything up. (Did you ever get a faceful? :))
What David is suggesting is that it is easier to rock the loco to clear out the pipes and cylinders if it is on the track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I tried rocking the engine on track today without success, some water came out of the cylinders but no steam followed into the cylinders.
 
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