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Hemp string

SlamDunk
SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,368
Has any of you used hemps string in the 21st century? I just ordered a roll because I'll be working with 2-1/2 to 3 inch treaded pipe. I know it will work but I was curious if anyone still use it to seal pipe treads.

Comments

  • dandifabio
    dandifabio Member Posts: 4
    i still use lamp wick/ candle wick with dope from time to time. i grew up in plumbing family and thats what we used all the time. i do prefer expando but when i need to start a system up right away its not a good choice because of the set time
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    We use lamp wick on all of our 6" fittings. Works great.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,368
    Lamp wick? I know it is called wicking and have read online that plumbers use lamp wicks which peaked my curiosity, What do you do? pull a loose thread from a one inch wide lamp wick?
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Our supply house has 5-strand rolls. I separate them in (almost) half strands, and lay it into the threads starting at the open end.

    DanHolohanRobG
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Bought a handful of spools of Loctite 55 when someone here mentioned a close-out at Fastenal. Haven't had a chance to play with it yet -- any pointers?

    thanks~
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    @JStar:

    "" Our supply house has 5-strand rolls. I separate them in (almost) half strands, and lay it into the threads starting at the open end. ""

    They use the same product as the blue stuff on that white roll in the photograph. They use the same product on cooking pans that I boil eggs and cook eggs and other food in. It hasn't yet failed.

    It rocks. Try it. You might like it.

    Rip off a 12" to 16" piece of tape. Spin it round between your fingers. Makes great valve stem packing. Never rots out. Squishes perfectly. Never puts stains on y9ur fingers or a white wall.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,049
    yup, we use lamp wick from time to time. I always keep a roll on the truck.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,368
    edited October 2014
    I'm in maintenance. my career has spanned four fields but always in mAintenance. If the men who taught me were alive today, theyd be a hundred years old!

    Once, when a young guy saw me using a strandof hemp, he laughed. My boss asked him what he thought was used before teflon tape? Before teflon tape??!

    It turned into a conversation of pre cell phones, pre email, even pre tv remotes ( we called them kids).

    A lot has changed in the last 50. I feel like a dinosaur. Glad lamp wicks are,still in vogue!



  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354
    My grandfather used to use a mixture of oil and graphite, there wasn't any dope or teflon tape. I don't think he used hemp or anything like that. He worked on natural gas or manufactured "coal gas" lines exclusively (utility company). He always told me no teflon or anything like that for gas...he never liked the idea of something possibly coming loose and blocking a valve or orifice in a gas system. I questioned him on the oil..."what do you think all those traps are for?". It's fascinating talking to him about how things used to be done. Worked in the engine room of liberty ships during WWII he's been around the block a few times. Sorry I get nostalgic he is one of my hero's.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    LionA29
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    When I went to work for my old dead boss, we used to pound down wells. We threaded all our well pipe. Every joint was wrapped with white string candle wicking and pipe dope, and screwed on with the Power drive. One day, he sent me down to the Power Plant to do a steam pipe job and/with #6 oil. The plant manager gave me a box of Teflon Tape to do the piping with. So I used it. The old dead boss lost his mind. But there were no leaks. A week or so later, he had ordered a box from Crest-Good. The blue stuff. Looked just like Blue Monster, today. We never used string wicking again.

    I've seen T-Tape misapplied in about every way it can be misapplied so that it will not perform as advertised. So the misinstalled blames the product and calls it junk. Then covers his tracks of ignorance by getting it outlawed. Its like seat belts. Outlaw the wearing of them because someone didn't wear his and was thrown from his car and killed because he didn't wear it.

    I knew someone that needed a Liver Transplant. In his State, they had helmet laws. There was a 5 year wait for transplants. He was running out of time waiting. The doctors suggested he move to a State without helmet laws, they had more POD's (Potential Organ Donors). He moved to North Carolina. He had one in 6 weeks.

    Progress runs both ways.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354
    Ice the power plant reference is shocking to me. My father and grandfather both worked in power plants. My father for his entire 32 year career with the utility. He started as a mechanic and the second half of that time was the maintenance supervisor. The steam in those plants is over 1000 (1100 and 3600 PSI in his plant) degrees in most applications. the PTFE tape won't handle those temps. He just told me a story the other day about having some piping redone and a contractor used PTFE. He came in the next morning to every single joint leaking and had to shut the boiler down and start over. Luckily they didn't have the steam to start the generator yet, but still cost the company thousands upon thousands in revenue. The PTFE is only rated up to 400°F not even close to what a steam power plant runs at.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    @KCJones:

    This plant was using Low Pressure Steam, less than 15#. The steam was used ONLY for heating the #6 oil to get it up to a pour point. The generating was all done by low speed diesels using jerk pumps for the injection systems. It was just to keep the day tank hot for use in the engines that used #6 oil. All the engines started on #2 but switched to #6 once in operation and being on line was established. Under normal shut down, they switched back to #2. An emergency shut down while running #6 was something to avoid.

    To say that the plant manager was anal would be a gross understatement. He was brilliant but hated change. I'm sure that whomever supplied the pumps and the engineering, had "conferences" with Franklin before he decided to allow anything as exotic as Teflon tape to be allowed in HIS plant.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354
    Got you...I hear PTFE and steam power plant.... Most of those power plant guys are anal...my father was. Everything in those places can kill you. On one of the many many show and tells my father took me on he pointed up at the main steam line to the turbine. He says see that pipe? If that bursts we are all dead. I said I would run...his response....you can't. The engineers calculate that at 1100 degrees and 3600PSI everyone in the whole plant is dead in seconds a minute tops. A power plant is truly a fascinating place and I used to love going down there and being shown everything. If they had anything torn apart Dad took me down to see it. I could go on for hours talking about it, but I will stop there.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    @KC_Jones:

    If you live anywhere near Massachusetts and Fall River, check out the Battleship Massachusetts. Down in the engine room, they have cut-a way's of some steam turbines that ran on 700# superheated steam. They show that if there was a steal leak on a pipe, you wouldn't see it. But if you walked by it, it would cut off whatever was there that it hit.

    Then, check out the Submarine. If you don't get claustrophobia.

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354
    @icesailor I don't live close to there, but I know what you are talking about. I have been in the operating engine room of the John Brown liberty ship in Baltimore. Very cool trip to take for anyone with even a mild interest in WWII or old ships or anything mechanical for that matter. They will let you into the engine room while under way. Those old reciprocating steam engines are impressive.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15