G Scale Model Train Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all, I’m new to live steam and am in need of some tips and tricks for my Accucraft C-25 butane fired. In the manual it says it takes about 20 minutes to raise 50PSI but it’s actually taking me more like 40-45- is this pretty normal? I’be got the gas turned up not a whole lot but definitely enough to hear a nice hiss and I can hear the water boiling. I’m also getting some black soot looking stuff coming from the stack- is this normal? I figured the gas isn’t super clean which explains it but I definitely don’t want to damage anything if it’s not normal. There’s 3/4 glass of water so it’s not dry. Last question- when I get it to 50PSI and turn down the blower and crank the throttle it runs around the circle a few times and then the pressure drops way back to 25-30 and it comes to a stop. Any ideas on what I’m doing wrong? I’ve got the axle pump working well and there’s water in the glass (although the air bubbles make it somewhat difficult to read exactly.) maybe there’s too much water or the gas is turned down too low? Thank you in advance for all the help- I’m really enjoying this new hobby
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,925 Posts
Hi Joe,
Welcome to MLS, and I hope that you can find the answers to your problems.
I do not have a C-25, nor do I use gas, so I might not be able to help, but here are a couple of thoughts.
1) Do you have anyone you know who is familiar with live steam and can advise you in person, as it is always easier to diagnose when you see the problem in person.
2) I am always careful not to trust pressure gauges. Use long nose pliers to lift the top of the safety valve to see how fast steam escapes. However since you say it does run only for a while, they are probably okay.
3) Getting junk in the gas which blocks the nozzle seems to happen often with gas runners. Removing the nozzle and blowing it out in reverse seems to be a normal routine, but I'm sure those with more knowledge will respond. I think that I have heard of there being junk inside the tank sometimes.
4) Looking down the flue when alight should tell you how well the gas is burning.
Good luck, and enjoy the learning experience.
5) IF you can see the gauge glass level at around ¾, then that is not your problem.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,529 Posts
I get it to 50PSI and turn down the blower and crank the throttle
Hi Joe,
I know a live steamer living in Durango, if that's where you actually live - but he's here in FL for the winter, I believe. He may know someone who is in CO.

OK. To your issues. I don't have a C-25 either, but I have run a lot of Accucraft butane-fired locos.
First - there is usually no blower on a gas-fired loco? And you use it after the fan if you need to. Are you sure that's what you are turning down?

As David says, you can (usually) inspect the burner by looking down the flue from the front. The jets do get blocked especially in new engines as gunk in the tank gets shaken loose in transit. Take the jet out of the holder and press it on a gas can so the gas shoots through it the wrong way. (Sometimes blowing air with your lips can also do the trick.)

Black soot stuff is definitely not normal. Try using pure butane, from the cigar store or from an Asian grocery where they sell it for cooking.

I suggest turning off the axle water pump (put it on full bypass so water is being returned to the tender.) The loco will run for 10-20 minutes with what is in the boiler, and it is one more thing to cause issues - too much water and you'll 'prime' the boiler and it won't be able to pass steam to the cylinders.

Now - I'm sure the C-25 guys will chime in with proper info. In the meantime, I googled "site:mylargescale.com C-25" and got a page full of threads that might be useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
Joe, it sound like you have C-25 with ceramic burner. This has very different characteristics than the centre flue burner which Pete and David are referring to. You need to have blower fully open to ensure proper draft, plus the burner needs to be perfectly sealed. The smoke coming out of the stack is likely the oil residue from the superheater. Use thin oil especially in the winter (Roundhouse oil is great all year choice). To save gas you can fill the boiler with warm preheated water. I often do that especially during colder days. Your gas tank likely has a water bath which should also be filled with water but only lukewarm not hot! Once you build enough pressure to run turn down the blower. Well run-in and oiled engine will run on minimal pressure like 20psi or less. Add some water to the gas tank bath during running to maintain gas pressure. Best wishes from snow covered land, Zubi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much everyone- I really appreciate the help. I believe my main issue is that there may be some sediment in the gas line and/or it’s simply too cold. It’s 25 degrees here (although I’m running on a bench in a warmer garage.) the water in the tender gets very cold even after I put warm water in. It builds 50PSI of steam in about 30 minutes and then once I start running it drops back down to 30-35 and stays there unless I come to a stop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
Just a quick question Joe, are you using the slim butane gas cans, or using the "camping gas" with the fatter cans. Always use the camping gas vs butane when it is cold, as the camping gas has from 10 to 20% propane which is vaporizes better in the cold. And keep an eye (finger?) on the water in the tender around the gas tank, it will chill fast which is normal. Keep us posted.

Jerry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
I've no experience with an Accucraft C25 with a ceramic burner, but I have run Bowande loco's and I notice they need the ceramic burner to glow a very bright orange and need a blower to get ingnited but once glowing brightly the blower can be shut.
Can you see the burner via firehole door ? Ceramic burners do like to be sealed at the edges of the holder so any big flames at the edges when hot?
From the very low ambient temperature you give I would say temperature is the main problem and as Jerry says I would use a camping gas mix as that has some propane in it to enable hotter burn at lower temperatures. Even here in Australia where ambient temperature goes from 8 to 30 plus degrees centigrade I use the camping mix all the time but still need to keep the gas tank covered in water to minimise the temperature drop as the gas gets used.
If, after reaching pressure, you replace the water around the gas tank with some warm water does the fire get brighter and/or the pressure hold longer until the water gets colder around the gas tank? If so the temperature is the reason for your problem. Hope this helps and good advice was given by all above and do let us know how you get on.
Russell
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top