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Question - Miners lamp - What was this used for ?

Discussion in 'Kit / Clothing / Equipment' started by The Franconian, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. The Franconian

    The Franconian 28DL Regular User
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    Bought me this lamp at a flee market, "Eccles type 6" and I am not sure what it was made for.
    I read "gas testing" on the web.
    So, am I right that this lamp is not for lighting the place you work, but just for testing if there is gas anywhere (like the birds in cages) ?
    Flame off = gas alarm ?
    As it runs with lighter gasolin, does it need a special wick or just the same as petroleum lamps ?
    The light of mine is not very bright.
    What lamps did they use in coal mines then, to make them see where to work ?

    [​IMG]

    Thought I could use it somewhere, but not bright enough and heavy.

    It may not be used for detecting, for example hydrogen sulphide , am I right ?
     
    #1 The Franconian, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012

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  2. cunningcorgi

    cunningcorgi 28DL Regular User
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    It is a gas tester for underground.

    It will detect methane, lack of oxygen and presence od carbon dioxide if you know how to read the flame.

    For lack of oxygen and / or presence of carbon dioxide, the flame will go out. For methane, a blue cap will develop over the flame and the size of the cap depends on the % of methane in the air.

    The lamp you have is a Deputies relighter (there should be a key to activate the flint) and you need a round wick for it. You need to make sure both gauzes are present and that they are undamaged for it to work properly. To test it, light it and then get a disposable lighter. Introduce the lighter gas to the lamp at the grills at the top of the glass / bottom of the bonnet. You should see the blue cap develop over the flame and eventually it will pop and the flame will go out (at about 6-7% + methane). To check it works for lack of oxygen just cover the grills.

    It isn't really a lamp for lighting and seeing but a safety lamp and for proper results, the flame has to be kept low.
     
  3. BenCooper

    BenCooper Mr Boombastic
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    For testing for flammable (explosive) gases - if the flame grows bigger, you want to leave :)
     
  4. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Look up Davy lamp..
     
  5. cunningcorgi

    cunningcorgi 28DL Regular User
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    You are quite correct.

    For H2S, you will need to use your nose.
     
  6. The Franconian

    The Franconian 28DL Regular User
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    Thank you for these informations, very helpfull, I didn't know that.
    Now I understand why the guy in the video kept the wick so short.
    I will do these tests you told me. (Once I saw a lighter with a green flame, don't know what kind of gas they used)
    ---------
    First the starter didn't work and I couldn't change the flint, totally blocked inside.
    So I drilled it out and put in another one from an old lighter. Now it works and I can get it started.
    I think it's complete, both gauzes and seals and the glas. The seals are white and look like asbestos.
    The hole lamp looks very new and as I paid just 15 Euros I haven't done a bad buy, I think.
    ---------------------------------------
    "For H2S, you will need to use your nose"
    Could be the last thing you smell in your live, I think
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    p.s.
    Does not detect the smoke in the kitchen, when you forgot that you heated a pan, while writing a post.
     
    #6 The Franconian, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  7. cunningcorgi

    cunningcorgi 28DL Regular User
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    From the look of the lamp (age wise), the washers are indeed asbestos but unless you start crumbling them up, they should be alright. If you want non asbestos washers, I can get you a new pair for £2. For 15 yoyo's, that was a great buy as they usually go for a lot more in a lot worse condition.

    You'll usually get one chance to smell H2S and make the not unreasonable decision of getting the fuck out...
     
  8. princethorpe

    princethorpe 28DL Full Member
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    Long ago BT or should I say GPO used this sort of lamp when working in manholes to test for "bad" air. Didn't know the bit about the blue flame for methane.
     
  9. cunningcorgi

    cunningcorgi 28DL Regular User
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    The GPO Eccles lamp couldn't test for methane. It had a flat wick (like the reproduction lamps that chancers try and convince you are the real thing) and ran on paraffin as opposed to colzalene which the Type 6 and Garfords used...
     
  10. princethorpe

    princethorpe 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks for info. learnt something new. Still they look good polished up.
     
  11. The Franconian

    The Franconian 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks for the offer, but there's no need for changing the washers.
    They are in a good state and I am not much dealing around with them ( and I am 50+)
    ------------------
    Once I worked pulling cables in a sewage plant (right word?) underground, there was a H2S alarm, gas detected. We had to leave fast.
    Then I read the wiki article on it. Think everybody should read that who goes to shite and muddy closed places, it can be mortal.
    In the sewage plant they told me (I hope I remember right) that it's heavier than the breathable air and may stay at the ground, so you may wade in it,
    without recognizeing it. When you duck down you could get in the gas and lose awareness.
    wiki/Hydrogen_sulfide
    + farmers not seldom die in their manure tank by methan, next comes to help and dies too.
    --------------------------------------
    Difficult to write for me, some words I got to search for first
     
  12. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Kidding right..? Otherwise could result in someone running into serious trouble
     
  13. cunningcorgi

    cunningcorgi 28DL Regular User
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    Kidding ?

    No, in the context of the answer given to the questian (which was can a safety lamp detect H2S). A safety lamp can't detect it and if you're using one, the only way you'll detect H2S is with your nose.

    Apart from a 4 gas monitor, a specific H2S gas monitor or smelling it, there aren't many other ways of detecting it.
     
  14. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    By the time your 'nose' has detected it in some places (foul sewers) for example it could be too late.. That's why the utilities mainly wear B.A and carry a gasalert, rather than haul Barry Manilow around with them :D
     
  15. cunningcorgi

    cunningcorgi 28DL Regular User
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    Ohh I agree, it all depends where you are.

    If you do have say, a 4 gas then it is very unlikely you would carry a safety lamp as the 4 gas will detect everything automatically (and correctly assuming you have it calibrated !) that the safety lamp will so you're lugging a dead weight with you for show.

    I'd expect (and you would probably be one of the best people to confirm) that you will come across H2S a lot more in a drain or sewer than you would anywhere else due to enclosed spaces, standing water and vegetation than you would say in a tunnel or a mine (bigger, supposedly better ventilated, etc.).

    I have smelt H2S in a few places - upper adit Ystrad Eirion, just before the incline at Dinas and the portal of Pencaedrain tunnel spring to mind - but all places involved walking through shallow standing water or deep vegetated water. I can't remember offhand the threshold for smelling H2S but believe (and am open to correction) that it is a lot lower than the threshold for passing out (and meeting your maker) through H2S. It all depends on the concentration you encounter I suppose, like all gases.

    H2S is one of the main reasons I won't do drains or sewers. I don't have a 4 gas and still quite enjoy myself in this world !! :D
     
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