Can someone tell me what the purpose of the baffle that is attached to the underside of the water tank?
Just curious as I don't see the need but it was obviously put there for a reason!
? Baffle ? I'm baffled. Make of generator ? Pictures please ?
Here is a photo of the one on my Victor. Perhaps it is there just to hold the gasket?
Same thing on my Jno Brown
As water is dripping on the lime stone the stone is bubbling. Acetylene is coming out and quick lime is formed as waste.
Quick lime is very aggressive and will attack the steel of the water reservoir.
The copper baffle protect the water can. The reason is if you have a hole in the can, water is dripping uncontroled on the stone and produce a danger quantity of gas.
Late Bill Eads told me.
It does hold the gasket.
I fear there's confusion about the chemistry involved, the resulting reactions and the terminology.
"Quick lime" (calcium oxide - CO) results from calcining calcium carbonate (like sea shells are made from). What we use to generate acetylene is calcium carbide. I've been told the resulting ash is pretty much inert. ?!? Chemists out there ? Help !
FWIW, the water tank on my 1913 Jno. Brown (and the "baffle") are steel, and not especially corroded. It looks like the steel parts of this generator are galvanized.
You are right about the terminology I apologize but I am not a chemist and lost the right words.
In my generator the baffle was missing, the gasket stays in place without it, at the time I was trying to make it work (2002) I knew Bill. He told me the story but we never looked for the chemistry.
There is no uncontrolled about it!! There is a needle valve on the top to control the rate of the drips. When my gasket went bad I had a large rubber O ring made.
Andre, thanks for your post. I didn't want to be negative and contradictory, but I think it's well for members to provide information as accurate as possible. There's much about running gas lights I don't understand, and I'd like to know more !
Bud, can you get by without a perfect seal on the generator ? Gasket on mine is a little "iffy". I have yet to light up, seems the days are still too long and by the time it's getting dusk I'm too pooped to want to start another project!
All the components of this generator are brass, so I guess this will add to the confusion!
For what it is worth I have been running a generator with a bad gasket for year without any issues. How bad? I really don't know but they are very low pressure systems so I think they take the path of least resistance and that is the outlet line to the headlamps. I don't know why no one makes a replacement that I can find. The guys who repro the generators must have a source.
Curt, I don't know there's any confusion, earlier generators were all brass, the later ones are steel and painted black. Here's a couple of pix of the innards of mine. As you can see, for steel parts. they're pretty good, I don't reckon the carbide "ash" is all that corrosive.
Val, thanks for that, I've been told pressure is very low, so it shouldn't take much to keep gas flowing in the right direction !
Rich,I can't tell you but the cheap O ring works very well.I now use a hidden bottle of acct and the ash is anything but inert! Highly corrosive and will rust out in a flash if not cleaned at once!!
Thanks for that, Bud ! I think the rust that shows comes from the damp climate Liz used to live in, far as I know the former owner never made gas or fired the lamps.
I did get the generator cleaned up better than these pix show, and I'll be sure to clean up after a "night session" !!
Royce used to give very good advise about all things carbide but he has fallen off the map??
He hasn't posted in some time. I miss his expertise.
The plot thickens ! Andre's post is not so far off the mark after all - what I found on "stinki-pedia" (if you can believe who's lying to you at that source) is that the reaction of water and calcium carbide produces acetylene (natch !) and . . . calcium hydroxide, or "slaked lime" - which, of course, is pretty corrosive.
Since I flunked high-school chemistry, I sure wish one of our resident professionals on this forum would comment . . .
Rich, you flunked? I didn't even take it, wish I would've. I went to work and got A's while working an evening shift after a half day of school.
This is very interesting and perhaps someday I'll run across an automobile with gas lighting. :-)
It seems that gas lights are a fussy, procedural undertaking and I like things to do that are very fussy.
Almost like driving a model T. Ya need to know what yer doin'. Yes?
Royce ain't far away. Check a couple other "haunts" and you'll see him. :-)
I miss him and some others here that have also gone quiet.
Thank you for asking the question Curt!
My business partner made up some gaskets awhile back. I sold a few to Don Lang earlier this year.
They aren't real pretty, but they do the job.
Thank you Rich for the correct chemistry,
My "Quick lime" should have been "Slake lime".
I knew it was corrosive because when, after I made the gas lights on the 1914 runabout burning, I cleaned out the basket without gloves and had surface burns on my hands.
And here is the chemistry:
CaC2 + 2H2O makes C2H2 (acetylene gas) + Ca(OH)2 (slake lime)
CaC2 is calcium carbide and 2H2O is water.
I saw Royce's '14 with the gas headlights working at the 2014 Texas T Party. I got mine working several months later and drive with them on a routine basis. This is the printed instructions for operating the generator found in a NOS Victor:
You are working with less than 3 psi but I would adjust the clamps to prevent leakage. One pound of carbide will generate 4-1/2 cubic feet of acetylene. That will run your headlights for about three hours with the standard 3/4-cubic foot per hour burners used in T headlamps.
I suggest setting up the headlamps, burners and piping system and checking the operation with a MC or B tank and a small acetylene regulator. Once it is working right, I would then use the generator if you want to use carbide.
I prefer a Prest-O-Lite B Tank because it is cheaper, cleaner and easier to use your headlights than with a carbide generator. I have a NOS generator on the shelf and it will probably stay that way because Prest-O-Lite has spoiled me.
Ken in Texas