I'll add any late thoughts and ideas here rather than edit the previous pages. Otherwise they might lose their historical flow. Why make it hard on myself.
1.The more condenser water used the more vapour
that goes towards that condenser. If you increase the water flow in a condenser,
it produces more output from that condenser and less from the opposite
one. It is very difficult to equalise the output from both.
2. The clear plumbing hoses allow you to make very small changes to the water flow because you can see the level of the outflow through the clear tube.
3. If I built this type of system again, I would slope the reflux by-pass tube down towards the column a bit. Call it a gut feeling but I think it would help the system.
4. Mike Nixon was right when he said in his book that a firebox condenser is not for beginners.
5. Those little taps I used instead of the 'U' tubes were 1/4" internal. I drilled them out to 3/8".
6. My system with or without the breather tubes has to be handled carefully, as any closeable system. When the vapour condenses at the end of the run it causes the pressure to drop. If all the valves are closed, the copper boiler may collapse. Luckily I'm in the habit of opening all my valves when I switch off because I only noticed this when I accidently put my finger on a breather tube as I switched off and my finger got sucked.
7. If, after a while, you notice (sight or sound) bubbles in your water supply system, you have a leak. The 'Venturi' effect makes flowing water suck air through most small holes. The faster the flow, the more bubbles you'll get. Hopefully the leak is in your external connections and not your firebox.
8. Gate valves offer more a lot more control than ball valves
in any situation I've come across.
NO MORE NEXT INDEX