BUILD A SMALL STEAM CLEANER?

I need to clean some really caked on grease that is on an old engine in a machine.
I was thinking of taking a tea kettle and shutting the spring-loaded lid,
inserting some 1/4" copper tubing into the lid's hole, setting the thing on a hot-plate, putting a spring on the tubing where one would hold the tubing so as to prevent fingers being burned.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
j/b
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jusme wrote:

If you want to build a steam generator, here's an easy way: take an old propane bottle and follow the steps on the Web to remove the valve and prepare it for reuse:
http://tinyisland.com/LPvalveRemoval.html
Then you can put water in it and thread in a 3/4" plug which has been drilled and fitted with 1/4" tubing. Put the whole thing on an outdoor burner like the kind that comes with a turkey deepfrying setup, and heat it until it boils. Unless you have a valve on the tubing you won't have an overpressure problem.
But it's a lot easier to use Castrol purple cleaner - spray it on, work it with a wire brush, wash it off.
GWE
--
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Thanks, Grant.
I think that I will put your idea on the back burner, pardon pun, until I need a steam cleaner for outside.
I need this inside but your post suggests that my idea is feasible.
I can't get in the crevices that I need to get clean with a wire brush.
I will have to soak with diesel fuel and steam it and then blow dry.
I definitely will make the propane bottle deal later on.
j/b

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"jusme" wrote: I think that I will put your idea on the back burner, pardon pun, until I

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You can buy a small household steam cleaner for about $50. Holds about a pint of water, and does quite a bit on a single fill. Mine really works well, and I have no doubt that it would do your engine in about a half hour.
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Okay, Leo.
Thanks for that information. Where are they sold, as I may want to get some ideas from it.
j/b

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Target sells a Shark Steam Blaster Jr. for $40 that comes with an extension hose, attachments, and something you didn't mention: a safety valve. I bought one for the same purpose, cleaning up an old engine. Works fine for that, and amounts to some cheap insurance.
- Bruce

a
works

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Bruce, good on ya, mite.
I will go to target and take a look. I don't know in what department but I will persevere.
I didn't mention a safety since I will use it without one at first and then, install one after I get through with what I need, in case someone else uses it without realizing the danger.
Thanks.
j/b

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wrote:
A safety is there for a reason.
If you ever see the aftermath of a boiler explosion, you will understand.
TMT
As a guy who runs old steam boilers now and then, I feel a need to "pop off" (pun intended) on this.
I've used steam cleaners on occasion and those that I've used are simply "open." There is no way they can build up any appreciable pressure. You light the burner and open the water valve. You get water for a while, then you get steam. Since the system is "open" there is no opportunity to build up any appreciable pressure.
On the other hand, the safety on a boiler, from a practical standpoint, covers for you on two different (related) fronts. First is the situation where you clumsily get the fire a little too hot and make a little more steam than is being used. The other is when you make steam expecting it to be needed and then the hogger (who, embarrassingly, may be yourself) doesn't take it. But, in these cases, you only have a "little" too much to be disposed of. If things go horribly wrong, the safety isn't going to take care of it all and you're apt to send your dumb ass in the general direction of the moon.
The safety will cover a mistake. Total stupidity is another matter...
Jerry
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On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 05:48:00 GMT, "Jerry Foster"

A couple years ago I picked up the boiler from an old, industrial steam iron; electrically heated with gage tube and TWO safety blow off valves, one set for 40 and the other for 60 PSI IIRC Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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they sold, as I may want to get some ideas from it. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I can't help you much there, kuz I bought mine on Craig's List. The only other place I have seen them is late nite TV commercials. It is a "Scunci Steamer." Bruce Spainhower's response has caused me to delete a whole lot of what I had written.
BTW, a big advantage these units have over w2hat you can buiold out of a teakettle is that they build up pressure, and deliver the steam to the nozzle at high velicity, which, I am sure, has a lot to do with their effectiveness.
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Leo,
I was going to secure the 'pouring lid' so that the only escape was through the tubing.
j/b
wrote: Thanks for that information. Where

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Leo's right, I forgot to mention the jet velocity the commercial one produces. It travels a good five or six feet when you just point it across the room and hit the button. Just pay the forty bucks. You'll be happier. They're with the vacuum cleaners at Target. You can always wear a disguise to shop that department. ;-)

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Okay, Bruce. thanks.
I will take a look at them. j/b
wrote: Thanks for that information. Where

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Bruce Spainhower wrote:

What kind of disguise? That's in one of the Women's parts of the store.
--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
  Click to see the full signature.
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Any boiler can become dangerous when there is only a single outlet and it becomes plugged. My friend had a kitchen pressure cooker explode when the pressure maintaining device plugged and the emergency relief valve was also plugged. Old railroad steame engines usually had 3 pressure relief valves all set about 1 psi apart. Bad thing about a boiler explosion is not only the boiler steam (and it can be way over 212 degrees, depending on the pressure) but the water volume in the boiler, which can also be way over 212 degrees. Again depending on the pressure. When the boiler ruptures, all the remain liquid water immediately flashes into steam, with the loss of the pressure. I believe the volume ratio is something like 10,000 to 1 cubic units, of water when turning into steam. And when this steam condenses, you have water at less than 211 degrees. Many ways to burned badly.
--
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replying to theChas., Ron wrote: Water cannot be heated above 212 degrees Fahrenheit (as you mention above). Steam can be heated above the boiling point but not water. However, you are correct in the case of an explosion/rupture, the release of pressure would immediately allow the water to turn to steam.
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On 06/10/2016 06:18 AM, Ron wrote:

Water in the liquid phase can easily be heated to above 212F, I do it in my pressure cooker all the time!
Jon
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replying to Jon Danniken, Ron Henderson wrote:
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On 10/06/16 20:18, Ron Henderson wrote:

You're missing the point that the boiling point of water is not absolute but varies with the pressure it is subjected to. At lower pressures, below 1atm, it boils at less than 212F (100C) and at higher pressures it boils at a higher pressure such as in Jon's pressure cooker. See http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/boiling-point-water-d_926.html
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wrote in message

The "boiling point" is the temperature at which the liquid's vapor pressure equals the pressure of the air (or steam) above it, allowing bubbles that form at hot spots to expand against the surrounding pressure. Unlike the freezing point it is in no sense a constant, but varies with imposed conditions.
In mile-high Denver water boils at ~202F/94C. Room-temperature water will boil in a vacuum chamber. In a PWR-type nuclear power plant the primary coolant water remains liquid at 600F and 2250PSI. If it accidentally boils it becomes a less effective neutron moderator and automatically decreases the rates of fission and heat production.
--jsw
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