|Leak Testing using Smoke Matches
I had a problem with air leaking from the pressure box when assembled with
the supply pipe connected to the reservoir and bellows and couldn't track
it down until I thought of using smoke matches. The matches are used by
plumbers/heating engineers to test the integrity of heating systems and flues
The matches I used are available from most plumbers merchants or on-line
from Amazon or screwfix etc.
£2.99 for a box of 75 matches.
I used them in the following manner:
Seal the tracker bar with masking tape ensuring that all holes are sealed.
Stick a smoke match upright in a blob of blu-tack or similar.
Strike the match and after the initial flare carefully but quickly stick
it in the bottom of the area where the music roll goes. Close the lid and
gently operate the crankshaft to pump air into the pressure box. After a
few seconds smoke is forced out of any leaks and can be easily spotted. Any
leaks can then be sealed with Silicon sealant or PVA glue etc.
I was a bit wary of using the matches until I tried one in the open. They
do flare up like ordinary matches for a second or two, but then calm down
and sort of smoulder for about 10 seconds while giving off white smoke. There
is not enough heat given off to cause any damage to the pressure box.
I found a couple of small leaks using this method.
Don't use smoke pellets as they will probably fill the workshop/house with
quite dense white smoke - doesn't smell nice either!