Whoops! How *not* to clean your diesel's wheels.

David Nebenzahl wrote:


But it does have similar flammability to denatured alcohol, as do its vapors. You're right, it is safe to use if care is taken to avoid fire or poisoning, but Klaus is also right, it isn't harmless. Gasoline is a considerably dangerous fuel, but millions of people can handle it safely. Accidents don't often happen unless some idiot does something asinine like smoking while refueling or storing a can in the basement.
By the way, in case anyone is thinking of it, do NOT use gasoline as a cleaning solvent. It is not as good as other solvents, and presents much more risk of vapor buildup, fire, and explosion than MEK or acetone. It is arguably the most dangerous substance most of us handle every day, even more than natural gas. LPG gas is perhaps more hazardous, but its storage containers are safer.
Klaus, as Dave N said, my water heater is a 40 gallon tank in a metal shell, with a gas burner under it. Basically, it's a big kettle. I have heard of "district heat" as you mention; it's a good idea, probably the only practical way to heat homes cleanly with coal, and certainly a good use for garbage. However, it's on a different technological path. At one time my city had district steam heat downtown (generated at the local electric plant) but this ended when the generating plant became obsolete and was closed. Outside the central city, most homes with hot water would have heated it in a cookstove or a coil in a coal furnace, with the hot water stored in a tank. This gave way to a tank with a separate small gas burner (plumbed in various ways to confound future generations) which eventually led to the present single-unit heater and tank. There are also on-demand heaters, but these have not caught on; as more come into use, drawbacks are being found to balance their advantages; I think they are destined to fill a niche of occasional hot water-use where tank types don't work efficiently.
The fire risk I spoke of is this: the gas burner is very low down, near the floor, where heavier-than-air vapors, such as solvent vapors, collect, and can be drawn into the tank and burned. If a flammable mixture forms at the floor, it could easily be ignited. Newer-production tanks have safety equipment to prevent such flash fires and shut off the burner, but mine is not one of them.
As for the Safety-Kleen solvent, it was actually not that nasty. The flash point was higher than room temperature, so there was very little vapor or odor, and I always wore my protective gear. Some other employees didn't, but that was their problem. I am not afraid of chemicals, but they are like any tools. They must be understood, respected, and never underestimated.
Cordially yours: Gerard P. President, a box of track and a gappy table.
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On 10/1/2007 10:24 AM snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu spake thus:
[...]

That stuff sounds similar to the blanket wash what I used to use to clean printing presses. (I've worked in lots of print shops, having a measureable level of ink in my blood.) So called because its primary purpose is to clean the blankets of offset presses.
Anyhoo, one time we were bored, so we decided to do our own flammability experiment. Cleared a nice big area of the floor, poured some blanket wash on it and tried to light it.
The stuff simply wouldn't light, no matter how we tried. The only way it would burn was if you took a rag soaked with it and lit the rag on fire. So it's pretty safe, with a nice high flash point, which is a good thing, considering how sloppy some printers are: the next-to-last place I worked used to scare the shit out of me, as the press operators threw their solvent-soaked rags into an open container (a truncated 55-gallon drum) in the middle of the shop; never even put a lid over it. I was always waiting to see fire trucks outside when I came to work, but they had been doing things this way for decades with no mishaps.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

DN:
Saints presarve us from bored techies.
No doubt the press operators smoked cigarettes the whole time, too.
Cordially yours: Gerard P. President, a box of track and a gappy table.
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Do they scratch the wheels? If they do, they aren't harmless to the wheels.
--
Bill Kaiser
snipped-for-privacy@mtholyoke.edu
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snipped-for-privacy@mtholyoke.edu skriver:

They don't.
We run our layout 7 hours a day, 5 days a week during the summer season. Alle whees gets cleaned with glass fibre pencils an all tracks gets coniousluy cleaned with Roco Clean car. That causes no problems.
Klaus
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compared to alcohol.<
I don't know about Roco cleaning rubber but that stuff they sell to clean tracks is not recommended. As to glass fibre pens, I have and still do use them but remember the residue is lots of glass fibers sorta like handling fiberglass insulation.
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