Anyone else notice this problem?  The other day when running trains I noticed the strong odor of smoke fluid.  I checked my storage area and found bottles of smoke fluid that were wet on the sides.  The tops of the bottles were dry, so the only place the smoke fluid could be coming from is the sides of the bottles.  This was happening with both the Lionel and MTH bottles.  This happened once before, and one bottle that was tipped slightly had the rubber on the dropper dissolved.  How can the fluid actually be coming through the plastic bottles?  I have some glass 2 oz. bottles with droppers on order to re-bottle my smoke fluid from plastic to glass.

Original Post

I've had some of the bottles of MegaSteam for years, they haven't started leaking yet.  I have had a couple that were laying on their sides eat the dropper bulb.  Jeb even sells droppers as that's a known issue.  It's also why you should always empty the dropper before putting it back on the bottle.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

 It's also why you should always empty the dropper before putting it back on the bottle.

I did not know that! Thanks GRJ!!

Jeff T - LCCA

North Central O Gaugers

 

The fluid is a petroleum product, and the plastic of the bottle is also a petroleum product.  I'm sure you've seen the other discussions on the forum about "plastic compatible" oils.  I've had Lionel 2909 smoke fluid (old formula) partially evaporate and get gummy at the bottom, although some others here said that wasn't possible.  I've also had other brands cause the dropper to swell (and then the dropper had to be discarded.)

I would say a tightly-capped glass bottle is your safest bet.  Squeeze out your dropper after every use.  The train-shaped white bottles made out of "hard" plastic, as used by MTH and LGB, seem less prone to disintegrate (although I have no way to test whether the lighter fractions of the fluid have evaporated off.)  My $.02.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I've had some of the bottles of MegaSteam for years, they haven't started leaking yet.  I have had a couple that were laying on their sides eat the dropper bulb.  Jeb even sells droppers as that's a known issue.  It's also why you should always empty the dropper before putting it back on the bottle.

The dropper bulb has been a problem for me as well when bottles tipped and I didn't notice.  I purchased a small, but deep box that I can keep my smoke fluid, oils and other supplies in for club running at train shows.  It's deep enough that the bottles can remain vertical which mostly has prevented any issues.

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