Simplified Equalizing for Side Tanks

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Simplified Equalizing for Side Tanks

by Bill Treadway

The North American Live Steamer, Volume 1 Number 10, October 1956

This system is so simple it's laughable, but it works prefectly and does away with flange fittings, glands and such parts. Two neoprene washers and a piece of copper tubing - that's it!

First cut off a piece of 3/8 inch OD copper tube 1/8 inch shorter than the distance between the inside edges of the outer tank walls when erected. In each end of this tube drill a cross hole 1/4 inch diameter and as close to the end of the tube as you can. These holes should be parallel. Carefully clean off burrs so that tube ends are smooth and bright.

next cut out two washers from the 1/16 inch thick neoprene sheet. make them 1 inch OD with a 1/4 inch hole. Neither the OD or hole need be perfectly round so use the tin snips if you wish.

Now drill the inner walls of the tanks 7/16 inch diameter. Keep these holes as close to the bottom of the tank as you can but be sure there is at least 3/32 inch clearance between inside of tank bottom and lowest edge of drilled hole. In any case the holoe should be centered a minimum of 1/2 inch up from bottom edge of tank wall. Clean off all burrs so that the hole edges are smooth.

Using Pliobond cement, follow directions carefully, cement the washer to the outside of the inner tank walls centering the 1/4 inch hole with the 7/16 inch hole just as closely as possible.

Now erect one tank on the engine, apply soft soap to the washer and push the copper tube through the washer until its hits the other wall of the tank. Soap the washer on the other tank and run the free end of the copper tube through it as you position the tank on the engine. Make sure the cross holes are vertical.

If a straight tube fous the underside of the boiler barrel, merely put a bend in the tube to clear, but make sure the tube ends where they pass into the tanks remain straight and parallel.

If you can accomodate 1/2 inch tube so much the better. Just make the washers with a 3/8 inch hole and drill the tank sides 9/16 inch. To use other thicknesses of neoprene make the holes in the tanks the size of the tube plus the thickness of the washer. Thus for 1/2 inch tube and 3/32 inch washer the tank should be drilled 19/32 inch.

W. I. Treadway
352 Brewster Road
Bristol, Conn
SimplifiedEqualizingForSideTanks BillTreadwayOct1956.jpg