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Lord of the Steam
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615 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I searched through the forum looking for a suitable replacement for the tube of sealant that comes with the Aster kits (or at least did at one time). I came across references to Permatex High Temp for pipe fittings. Does anyone have any experience in using this on the valve chest cover? I have a steam leak in a valve chest cover on an Aster Glaskasten that I'm trying to get fixed before a steamup this weekend.

Thanks in advance,

Scott
 

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Premium Member
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83 Posts
Scott,

There are several products commonly available at hardware and automotive stores that will do. Permatex has Form-A-Gasket Sealant 2B which is non-hardening and oil resistant. Also, they make ULTRA BLUE RTV Silicone Gasket Maker 77B which also has outstanding oil resistance. Either one will work fine. I would lean towards the silicone. It is important to clean the surfaces well. I would use methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) from the hardware store with a Q tip.

Ed
 

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Premium Member
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1,062 Posts
Scott, I think any of the Permatex High Temp sealers should work fine .(I like the Ultra-copper) just remember to use it VERY sparingly!! you don't want any sealer IN the valve chest.
 

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The stuff that Aster supplies is just Bathtub Caulk... the words on the box are in Japanese, but if you look at the pictures you can see exactly what it was made for. :)

BUT... if you are wanting to seal the valve chests. Use "steam oil", instead. Just spread it on the gasket material and all over the metal to be joined and put the parts together. No muss, no fuss, and only a bit of a oily mess, but much easier than using the caulking compound. And the next time you have to take it apart it is much easier to do so... plus the gasket material is often reusable.

If you have already used the bathtub caulk on the gaskets then you will need to get new gaskets. But not to fear, no need to order some from Aster. You probably have some mighty fine material to cut new gaskets from in your wallet. One dollar bills (yes, U.S. Currency!) makes good gasket material. (If you really feel like you would like to spend more for your gaskets, you can use a Five dollar bill /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif, or if you really, really have expensive tastes, use a $10 /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif, $20 /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/plain.gif, $50 /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/pinch.gif, or even a $100 /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif, but the cheaper $1 bills are actually just as good.) Use a very sharp, new Xacto knife to cut them out (and if you are carefull you can take the mutilated bill to the bank and get a new one in exchange and not have actually spent any cash for the gaskets! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif )

Use the bathtub caulk on all the other fittings where a gasket is not used (pipe fittings and such). Using steam oil on the gaskets will seal quite well, and you do not run the risk of getting the caulking onto things it must be kept away from. If you use too much steam oil, that is okay, it is supposed to be in the valve chest anyway!
 

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Scott, IF you use SV's suggestion of just steam oil on the gasket make sure both surfaces are perfectly flat ! As you already have a leak you will need to check the surfaces closely !
 

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Scott,

Permatex Ultra Black RTV (used for automobile blocks and exhaust sensors) is what you are looking for. I use this quite religiously whenever having to make, or impregnate a gasket so it will seal. The nice thing about the ultra black when compared to the red or Ultra blue is that it (ultra black) contains no acetic acid, which effectively pits and corrodes brass/bronze/copper and eventually deteriorates the gasket.

They also have Ultra Copper, which is copper impregnated silicone sealant, although I have yet to try this, because Jeff R. has given me a year long supply of the Ultra black.

Ultra Black sets up in 1-2 hours, fully cured in 3-5, depending on the exposure to air and how much is used.

Dollar bills are probably the best material to use besides Kraft paper (brown grocery bags). Soaked in oil, or impregnated with silicone, with the latter used as insurance against uneven surfaces, these are hard to beat for steam tightness.

Good luck!
 

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Lord of the Steam
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615 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everybody for the input - I opted for the Ultra-blue, although I almost got the Black. We'll see how it goes. I did the job last night, and will give it a bench test, probably tomorrow night while packing up for Saturday.
Thanks, Scott
 
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