Boiler Water Chemistry – Drew Chemical Corporation – 1965

kewl dude
3rd November 2010, 16:11
I worked with Drew more than any other. When I was coming up in the Fcsle with Hanna Mining Company/National Steel Corporation on the Great Lakes, all water tube boiler geared turbine ships were Drew, while scotch boiler reciprocating engine ships were Nalco.

Anyone here besides me recall Nalco Balls? Softball size hard brown balls contained the required chemicals. There was a large diameter pipe fitted as a bypass on the feed line to each boiler. Balls required based upon boiler water testing put in place, then feed water re-routed through this larger pipe.

Offshore when a ship came into port it seemed shortly after we went FWE -- Finished with Engines -- the local Drew rep showed up in the engine room. ALL of them were personable VERY friendly and knowledgeable individuals. They carried a box with any and all replacement glassware and testing chemicals with them to replenish the ship’s supplies. They would review your records and test the boiler and feed water themselves.

Based upon their testing and inventory of our boiler chemicals, replacement chemicals would come aboard via the ship chandler, with the next voyage engine room stores.

Offshore besides Drew I worked with Bull and Roberts, Nalco and Maritec. I include scans of the front covers for Maritec and Nalco I have here but right now I cannot find my Bull and Roberts instruction book.

Greg Hayden

kewl dude
3rd November 2010, 16:19
Greg Hayden

kewl dude
3rd November 2010, 16:30
Greg Hayden

kewl dude
3rd November 2010, 16:44
Greg Hayden

surfaceblow
3rd November 2010, 17:15
Offshore when a ship came into port it seemed shortly after we went FWE -- Finished with Engines -- the local Drew rep showed up in the engine room. ALL of them were personable VERY friendly and knowledgeable individuals. They carried a box with any and all replacement glassware and testing chemicals with them to replenish the ship’s supplies. They would review your records and test the boiler and feed water themselves.


Greg Hayden

While I was on the Oversea Alaska has Second Assistant Engineer the Drew Rep got to the ship a bit late and proceeded to test the boiler water by himself behind the boilers. The process usually only took about a half hour for the test and review of the results. I left the Drew Rep so I could finish working on a soot blower. I left the engine room to wash up and change for watch. So when I came back on watch we were getting underway for the trip down the Mississippi River from Bay Town. Just after we slowed down to drop off the Pilot at New Orleans the Drew Rep came out from behind the boilers. After a few phone calls to the bridge it was decided to leave off the Drew Rep with the Pilot at Pilot Town and the Pilot would give him a lift back up to New Orleans.

Joe

kewl dude
3rd November 2010, 17:26
Greg Hayden

kewl dude
3rd November 2010, 17:41
Greg Hayden

kewl dude
3rd November 2010, 17:49
Greg Hayden

kewl dude
3rd November 2010, 18:29
If you have followed along and read these Drew pages I have posted you may be wondering "what do you do" with the results of these tests?

Some Marine Boiler chemical makers printed the "what to do" in their instruction books, but Drew provided a separate slide like shown here and in more detail in the next post.

Instruction books kept in or atop the boiler room test cabinet soon became soiled and unreadable or destroyed due to handling and environmental conditions.

The first scan in this post is the back cover of the Drew Instruction book. The other four here and in more detail in the next post are of a heavy card stock, held together with rivets, "slide" that was kept in the test cabinet. Sticking it behind a burette bottle kept it from being tossed around in a seaway.

The first slide scan is the front cover, the second both inside pages, third the back of the slide. Fourth scan shows the "slide" pulled down.

Drew provided essential information for each test on the slide. The engineer doing daily or more often boiler water tests quickly became proficient doing the tests and did not need the instruction book at hand. This slide provided the essential knowledge required as well as providing "what to do" on the slide.

Greg Hayden

kewl dude
3rd November 2010, 19:15
I include here four "break-points" for the Chloride test on the Drew slide. The other tests are similar. Each test you take your burette results and the slide provides ppm and gpg results as well as what you should do. Looking at these four scans gives you an idea.

My last ship a 6,000 HP C4 in 1976 I was 2/E and Arthur "Frenchy" Larue 1/E. Frenchy had sailed C/E for years and me 1/E but jobs were hard to come by. I had been ashore 20 months building MSC 35,000 ton product tankers at Todd Shipyard in Los Angeles as a Pipefitter.

Frency and me were "reliefs" for the permanent 1/E and 2/E while the C/E -- who did not give a rats ass what happened in his engine room, was permanent. The whole plant was in appalling shape. Which was difficult to understand considering what the permanent 2/E and 1/E had paid off. LOTS of OT.

The first time I tested the boiler water I found everything WAY OUT of kilter. I had Frency check my results and his matched mine. Per normal procedure departure day I took the starboard boiler off the line, let circulation stop, ran the water up to the top of the glass and opened the bottom blow. Ya know? Ya expect to hear that water rushing out, the piping in the lower engine room rattling, that loud crackling sound when the hot water hits the cool sea. Nothing. I called Frenchy to witness the situation.

I put the starboard boiler back on the line and took the port off. As before I let circulation stop, ran the water up to the top of the glass and opened the bottom blow. Nothing.

Frenchy went up to get the C/E who when he got to the ER told us it was obvious to him that this was going to be a rotten trip with 2 engineers who did not know what they were doing. Frenchy exploded as only Frenchy could explode. That argument ended with the C/E saying "I don't give a rats ass, fix it!"

When we reached Karachi I took the starboard boiler off the line. After it cooled down we dismantled the bottom blow piping. We had to chip large and small pieces of hard scale that extended three feet behind that blow down valve out of the piping. Then did the same thing with the port boiler.

At the end of that voyage again facing an extended time ashore before getting another job, coupled with as like as not getting a ship with the plant in such rotten shape as that one was and meeting a woman who six months later became my second wife made me decide to hang it up.

Greg Hayden

makko
4th November 2010, 02:16
Greg,
I was meticulous regarding my waste heat boiler. I got it within limits and was accused of "cooking the books" as many ahd done previously. It made me proud to prove that the results were true, including the way out of kilter readings upon joining the ship. Makes me proud to this day, truth will always out!
Regards,
Dave

surfaceblow
4th November 2010, 03:42
The last few years Drew has come out with software that will chart the daily readings for the boilers and jacket water. The software also project the amount of blow down for the boilers and the amount of chemicals to add to the boiler and engines. At the end of the month the Chief Engineer would emailed the file to the company and to Drew.

Joe

chadburn
4th November 2010, 19:09
I hope this boiler test cock does not come away when I try to open it(Sad)

JamesM
10th November 2010, 10:23
OMG chadburn! Talk about half-crown- sixpence for the old sphincter, almost as bad as "floating safetys". Memories.

chadburn
10th November 2010, 11:00
How true James, pot in the left hand, short bit of pipe in the right hand, stand to one side, here goes.

johnjames06
12th February 2011, 16:19
Feed water testing makes me think of silver nitrate and pheonol phalane (spelling ?). On Rn ships the evap discharge would go through salinometers to the feed water tanks and if the ppm went to high it would change over to ships tanks.

teop
12th February 2011, 18:51
Hi,
-I hope this boiler test cock does not come away when I try to open it-!
When myself being a young stoker and alert and diving into things, older watchmates allways seemed to have a wounded knee when it was time for testing .
Maybe they were just wiser promoting others.
regards
teop

chadburn
12th February 2011, 19:07
Teop, abit like "flashing up", stand to one side before putting the torch in, remembering to purge first(Thumb)

teop
12th February 2011, 20:07
Hi,
yes chadburn ,
steam driven rotary cup burner, kerosine -bit of cloth and a deasent draft
steady on the fuelvalve and away you go-backfire-who opend the bl**dy door ?.
regards
teop

johnjames06
12th February 2011, 23:02
how did it go, it's been a long time, shut steam, shut water open drain, open water, shut drain open water open steam. Something like that, Then nip behind the boiler and blow soot (Thumb)(Thumb)

John Timmins
23rd June 2011, 04:51
phenolphthalein ?

I Sea-Land chief said this when I gave him the monthly water test records, "Thanks, but I filled that out and sent it last week. I always give them the numbers they pay me to give them."

He was the highest paid C/E in the S/L fleet.

spongebob
23rd June 2011, 05:30
how did it go, it's been a long time, shut steam, shut water open drain, open water, shut drain open water open steam. Something like that, Then nip behind the boiler and blow soot (Thumb)(Thumb)


The old gauge glass check routine always important but often the boiler man did neglect to properly check the the steam and water ways to level alarms and controls as thoroughly.
This was later safeguarded to some extent by the fitting of Ronald Trist sequencing blow down valves that ensured both legs got a blow through.
In my years with Babcock there were no less than four fire tube boiler failures due to low water allowing the uncooled furnace crown to redden,soften and collapse to release steam with disastrous effect
In one case the boiler was propelled by escaping steam to break free of its mountings, break out of the building and cross a yard, killing a fitter on his way to tea break, before hitting and tipping a Shell road tanker on its side.

(Birdseye Foods Hastings NZ 1950's)

Bob

Malky Glaister
23rd June 2011, 05:59
I have followed this thread with increasing interest.
I must be one of the few members whose job entails the daily testing of gauge glasses and level alarms on a coal fired boiler. The boiler supplies steam to a spinning mill in Yorkshire, nowadays for process and space heating.
I also test the boiler water a couple of times a week.

I was amused when I was introduced to the job as I was shown how to blow the glasses by a chap 35 years younger than me. He was amazed when I did it correctly first time. Pointless mentioning the BoT examiner at the Orals!!

I get a good deal of satisfaction doing all this as well as de ashing the furnace.

regards Malky

JoK
23rd June 2011, 09:55
This brought back memories! Boiler tests first thing every morning, continuous blowdowns the one or two times the scotch marine boilers were salted due to feed tank contamination, soot blowing. OUr bottom blowdown cock jammed, a diver went down and plugged the hole and we very gingerly taking the bolts off to pop it out and praying the diver had the right overboard. Him asking us what the banging
was (recip feed pump-thump....thump....thump.....)
Going on watch and the engineer telling me that the gauge glass was acting funny on the port boiler. I went out and blew it down and it went empty. OMG that was a heartfailure moment. The bottom cock was plugged!

Back then it was not the ship to be on, careerwise, but I certainly do not begrudge the 4 years I was there.

SuperClive
8th August 2012, 01:21
Ahhh! Boiler water testing. My favourite job at sea... On my Blu Flu steamers, we used ICI Alfloc chemicals A724, A424 IIRC. Then I moved across to OCL's Far East Bay boats and they used Drew Chemical Corp kit. I used to keep graphs of my boiler's PO4, Cl, TDS, OH etc and they were dead straight from a few days out - once I'd sorted out the mess I sometimes got landed with. Our boilers on the Bay boats were Foster Wheeler ESD3's, 64 Bar, 512deg C at superheater outlet, 75Te/hr evap each. Wouldn't stand the boiler chemistry being wrong. When I think back to those heady days of throwing the odd bucket of NaOH or Hydrazine into the dosing tanks without much PPE it makes me shudder!! But happy days they were and, as I said at the beginning, I took it seriously and enjoyed the challenge of keeping the chemistry correct.

These days, almost at retirement, I play around with steam loco boilers as a hobby to keep my hand in on my local heritage railway in North Wales. Never lost the interest...

BFN

Clive B

kewl dude
8th August 2012, 04:20
What makes me shudder is memory of regular sticking my head and whole upper body down into a half filled cardboard drum of asbestos, scooping up a pail full, add water, mix it then go spread it where it was needed.

Greg Hayden

spongebob
8th August 2012, 05:34
What makes me shudder is memory of regular sticking my head and whole upper body down into a half filled cardboard drum of asbestos, scooping up a pail full, add water, mix it then go spread it where it was needed.

Greg Hayden

Don't remind me Greg. I can recall throwing balls of wet asbestos pug at one another when the laggers were re-insulating ship's steam piping etc.
Can also remember standing on top of the steam drums of frigates to float safety valves after a refit. The dry dusty material would float around like snow flakes as we moved about on it as there was no steel or alloy over-cladding or service galleries.

Bob

ART6
8th August 2012, 08:25
T
Going on watch and the engineer telling me that the gauge glass was acting funny on the port boiler. I went out and blew it down and it went empty. OMG that was a heartfailure moment. The bottom cock was plugged!


When I was sitting the orals for my second engineer's ticket the Examiner of Engineers asked "The water cock on the gauge glass is blocked. How do you clear it?"
Having studied all of the right books I said "I shut off both cocks, remove the plug from the bottom one, screw in a cleaning tool, open the water cock, and screw to tool home. Then I unscrew it again until I can close the cock and remove the tool."
"Right" said the Examiner. "Have you ever seen one?"
"Er....No Sir!" muttered nervously.
"Right. Then how did you clear the cocks?"
"Um...Shut off the cocks, removed the plug, put on asbestos gloves and stuck a bent welding rod up it, standing well to one side Sir."
I expected to get a resounding rollicking, but he simply nodded and muttered "Correct. Next question!"

Mind you, that was fine on the old low-pressure scotch boilers, but thankfully I never had to try it on a 600 psi water tube!

Basil
8th August 2012, 10:07
In the early '60s, as a keen new 4/E on 600psi WT Babcocks, I wrote 40 pages of notes in a school exercise book (jotter for Jocks) on boiler corrosion and Drew water testing and treatment.
Thirty years later they were still kicking around my study when S1, who was studying materials engineering at Imperial, found them and asked to borrow them. It turned out that he had to submit an elective paper and copying my notes would free up drinking, sporting and bonking time. (Dad was secretly pleased that his efforts would be used in a degree course.)

SuperClive
8th August 2012, 11:26
What makes me shudder is memory of regular sticking my head and whole upper body down into a half filled cardboard drum of asbestos, scooping up a pail full, add water, mix it then go spread it where it was needed.

Greg Hayden

Don’t tell me about it!! As a young Cadet and later J/E in the late 60’s / early 70’s there were still older ships (1946-50 built) lurking in the Blu Flu fleet that still had original Blue Asbestos lagging. It was nothing for us to get ordered by 2/E to, ‘Get up there and strip the lagging over those flanges so we can replace that blowing joint.’ What did we do (in total ignorance of course)? Hammer and chisel to split the lagging and we’d usually end up throwing asbestos snowballs at each other… Shock, horror. Also remember the view across the ER with the skylights wide open in the tropics – shafts of sunlight revealing all – those lovely little fibres just floating about in the air… Take it in big breaths boys, it’s good for you! It’s now 40+yrs and just the time for Mesothelioma to rear its ugly head…

Clive B

chadburn
8th August 2012, 17:06
Packing the top and bottom Guage glass glands was a bit of chore especially with blue asbestos fibre if you were sans pre-formed packing.

kewl dude
8th August 2012, 18:55
I do not recall asbestos being anything but white-ish?

Greg Hayden

kewl dude
8th August 2012, 19:10
Spongebob keyed: "standing on top of the steam drums of frigates"

All ships I sailed were the same just asbestos lagging on steam drums.

Greg Hayden

chadburn
8th August 2012, 21:55
I do not recall asbestos being anything but white-ish?

Greg Hayden

Blue Asbestos was used to pack the old style guage column's along with a number of make's of steam valve's like Dewrance on some of the older steam job's. It came in small square tin's about the size of a syrup tin and you picked the fibres up with your finger's. "They" who knew about the danger's of Asbestos did not pass the information down to the people who were actually using it, subsequently a high number of Steam Men now suffer with asbestos related problem's. In my case Plural plaques, blue asbestos being the most dangerous type of all. Carbon Fibre is the new Asbestos and even more dangerous if burnt or cut/drilled without proper protection.

waldziu
9th August 2012, 20:19
Spongebob keyed: "standing on top of the steam drums of frigates"


That I would have liked to see as the frigate that I steamed on, one would have been lucky to be able on lay on the steam drum.

binliner
11th August 2012, 10:26
looking back I must have been a nasty person at times the boiler test room was seperated from the "leckies workshop" by a thin bulkhead and every time a rather nervous 4th eng. was doing the chemicals with a measuring beaker I had the junior leckie signal me and I would bang the bulkhead with a 14lb hammer it never failed chemicals every where as he jumped out his skin.The stupidity of youth but it was a great laugh at the the time.

ART6
13th August 2012, 15:12
Feed water testing makes me think of silver nitrate and pheonol phalane (spelling ?). On Rn ships the evap discharge would go through salinometers to the feed water tanks and if the ppm went to high it would change over to ships tanks.

Phenolphthalein was a chemical to be wary of as I recall, as it is a potent laxative! One one ship the lecky was of a sarcastic bent and was becoming a nuisance after a few drinks in the saloon. So the 3/e slipped a drop of phenolphthalein in his tea while the rest of us locked his cabin door and stuffed the lock with tissue paper. We then locked all of our own doors, and someone pasted a note on his saying "Let this punishment your crimes befit. Though great the strain you shall not s**t!"

Great amusement was had by all at the sight of our lecky running up and down the engineer's accommodation banging on doors and seeking urgent relief! From then on he rejoiced in the nickname of "Brownie."

Malky Glaister
13th August 2012, 15:29
On the ULCC Coastal Corpus Chrisitie we had a Barbadian crew all of whom had to be addressed as Mr. The ER CPO was a Mr Haynes, great chap.
One of my jobs as chemical man was to dose, daily a tank right at the ER top with Ferrous Sulphate used for condenser protection. I had a small trowel with which to put large quantities of this stuff into the tank.The temperature and humidity was pretty bad, Haynes used to sometimes assist.
One early comment about the trowel was, 3rd you need a spade for that job and I ain't doing it !!
Still do chemicals on my mill boiler daily

regards

Malky