Tuesday, 15 April 2008

A weekends work.

We visited the boat this weekend having not been aboard this Christmas. I came over from Uttoxeter, mum from home, and grandfather from Bolton.

The remaining morning was spent briefly discussing our plans for the boat for the next year, various trips, supply of coal, work we wanted to do on the boat, and that sort of thing.
In the afternoon we stripped down and cleaned the boiler for the impending boiler inspection. First removing the roof/funnel/smokehood and first sweeping all the 200 fire tubes with a long wire brush and powerdrill and cleaning up the top of the boiler with the vax. Then cleaning out the firebox, removing all the remainder of the last fire and any clinker, wire brushing the tube plate and wet legs, and again hovering clean. Followed by emptying out the ashbox and again hovering that clean.

The boiler inspection happens annually and lasts for 14months and we choose to do it at the beginning of each season, usually before the first steam and after the risk of frost has passed, as we are then always close to home and have as much time as possable to correct any problems that we may have without having to redrain the boiler afterwards as we would in colder weather. Every four years we have a hydraulic test, where the boiler is pumped full of water upto 1.5times working pressure (300psi) and inspected for leaks and any sign of problem. The remaining years the boiler is inspected inside and out in a 'dry' state (no fire or water) and then filled and steam raised. Pressure gauges, safety valves and gauge glasses are checked to be function properly and necessary ancillaries (feed pumps, injectors) checked.

While all this was going on, my dad and brother where in the workshop at home making the new draws for the back cabin.

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