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 A couple of retort questions.

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Timbo

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Age : 42
Location : Australia
Registration date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: A couple of retort questions.    Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:46 am

Hi all,

I'm planning on getting a pipe retort to cleanse my pipes with. I've a couple of questions about the whole thing to those that use retorts.

1. In all the vids I've seen, the person doing the retorting is cleaning a straight pipe, how well do bent pipes work with the retort and would I be able to clean my Peterson system pipes with it?

2. How often do you use a retort on your pipes? Once every six months? Once? Whenever they get funky?

Thanks

Tim
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Wayne_Teipen

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Location : Indiana
Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Re: A couple of retort questions.    Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:26 am

Hello Tim,

I use a retort on occasion but mostly to clean extremely dirty or new to me estates to sanitize them. I've also used a retort on a couple occassions to remove ghosts when switching tobacco types in a pipe. I would never use a retort as a routine process on any pipe unless it was in really bad shape. I've used a retort on straight and bent pipes successfully. I've also used them successfully on system pipes. I usually have to tilt bent pipes to get the all the alcohol out of the pipe. Keep in mind that the most important factor with a retort is the hot alcohol. It's what really does the muscle work. If you have to help it along a little like on some pipes it's okay. It's still cleaning the pipe. So be careful not to let the alcohol get on your pipes finish. It will ruin it. Also, I've had one acrylic stem get too hot and melted the button into a weird shape and a handful of vulcanite stems that turned green from the process. I assume they were lesser quality materials but it's hard to say for sure. Good luck and have fun.

Wayne
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nismo270r

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Age : 38
Location : Northern KY
Registration date : 2011-03-22

PostSubject: Re: A couple of retort questions.    Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:40 am

I'm with Wayne on the use of a retort. I've only used them when trying to remove a ghost or restoring a used pipe. A slightly less "intense" way of deep cleaning is just doing the salt/alcohol treatment. I've found it works very well at pulling ghosts out of pipes and isn't quite as dangerous as a retort. You still have to take care not to get the alcohol on the finish of the pipe, but no fire to worry about Very Happy
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balkan_boy

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Age : 40
Location : Sofia, Bulgaria
Registration date : 2014-02-17

PostSubject: Re: A couple of retort questions.    Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:27 pm

Wayne_Teipen wrote:
Hello Tim,

.....  Also, I've had one acrylic stem get too hot and melted the button into a weird shape and a handful of vulcanite stems that turned green from the process.  I assume they were lesser quality materials but it's hard to say for sure.  Good luck and have fun.

Wayne

I guess slightly longer hose will do the job for the acrylic material, but for vulcanite, it's destructive anyway. I wouldn't recommend the retort also, unless the pipe really stinks and there is no other help.

There is a safer method however, with activated charcoal and the oven, also baking soda treatment. There is a lot of info on that on the internet, just google it.

What I personally would do is try a few treatments with salt/alcohol, and if the smell doesn't go away, then active charcoal / oven treatment. There is also baking soda/water (same as salt/alcohol but soda instead of salt and water instead of alcohol) and if that doesn't help either, I'd go with retort as a last resort.
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Timbo

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Age : 42
Location : Australia
Registration date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: Re: A couple of retort questions.    Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:06 am

Thanks for the wise words gents. Will make sure I keep retorting to my most ghosted estates and will be extremely careful with the alcohol. I was planning on using about 75% proof vodka, would this be suitable? Sadly it's about the highest percentage alcohol available to me.

Thanks again,

Tim
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balkan_boy

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Age : 40
Location : Sofia, Bulgaria
Registration date : 2014-02-17

PostSubject: Re: A couple of retort questions.    Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:19 am

Timbo wrote:
Thanks for the wise words gents. Will make sure I keep retorting to my most ghosted estates and will be extremely careful with the alcohol. I was planning on using about 75% proof vodka, would this be suitable? Sadly it's about the highest percentage alcohol available to me.

Thanks again,

Tim

Usually there is 96% proof denaturalised concentrated ethanol in the pharmacies, it's used for medical purposes sanitizing, or sterilizing or something, and it's very cheap too. I use it and does the job perfectly. Much cheaper than vodka. There should be in Australia also. But in case there isn't, 75% proof will do just as well.
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Timbo

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Age : 42
Location : Australia
Registration date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: Re: A couple of retort questions.    Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:10 am

Yeah we've medical grade alcohol here in Australia, howevever the buggers add scent to it so I'd end up with more ghosts in the pipe than prior to treatment. I've been looking for some which isn't scented but pharmacists and doctors think I'm trying to set up an amphetamine lab. Grrr dodgy mongrels making it hard for the honest folk.

I might be able to get Polish vodka which is around 160 proof or so.

Thanks again all

Tim
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balkan_boy

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Age : 40
Location : Sofia, Bulgaria
Registration date : 2014-02-17

PostSubject: Re: A couple of retort questions.    Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:13 am

Timbo wrote:
Yeah we've medical grade alcohol here in Australia, howevever the buggers add scent to it so I'd end up with more ghosts in the pipe than prior to treatment. I've been looking for some which isn't scented but pharmacists and doctors think I'm trying to set up an amphetamine lab. Grrr dodgy mongrels making it hard for the honest folk.

I might be able to get Polish vodka which is around 160 proof or so.

Thanks again all

Tim

Well, if you're so much into it, you can always distill the ethanol out of the vodka, you just need 73.3 degrees Celsius. Then the water won't evaporate, only the alcohol will. Here's how it's done.

http://www.wikihow.com/Separate-Alcohol-and-Water

or, if you can regulate the temperature, you can heat the retort to 73 degrees and only the ethanol vapours will get into the pipe, but then again, I'm not sure if it has to be hot in order to do the job. Anyway, I've been thinking about the way retorting works, and I don't think the proof has anything to do with how successful the job is.
Normal drinks are 40% ethyl alcohol, and 60% water. So what we are looking here, is a hot vapour to open the wood pores, and ethanol as organic solvent to dissolve the nasty things that are stuck in there liquify em, and wash them away, unlike salt and alcohol method where they get sucked out through cold and stiff piece of wood.
So at the end of the day, a cheap drugstore vodka may do just as good as the concentrated alcohol.

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