Priming

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Priming (foaming in North America) is a condition in the boiler of a steam locomotive in which water is carried over into the steam delivery. It may be caused by impurities in the water, which foams up as it boils, or simply too high a water level. It is harmful to the valves and pistons, as lubrication is washed away, and can be dangerous as any water collecting in the cylinders is not compressible and if trapped may fracture the cylinder head or piston.

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