Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 31
  1. #1
    I just had my boiler for my single pipe residential steam heat system changed. My old boiler was a 45 year old PENCO that finally developed a leak in the casting and the new replacement boiler is a Burnham. I am now getting surging, bubbling and tons and tons of rust and sludge into the boiler. Why is this happening and how do I fix it? I have had people tell me to use a commercial chemical flush and other people say don't ever do this. I've also been told just to keep on boiling the water and flushing the system and it will eventually come clean. It seems like it will take forver.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,047
    Might want to ask the boys on http://www.heatinghelp.com as they are steam experts and willing to help homeowners with their systems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,285

    I thought THIS site was for heating, too?

    I'm a steam expert, so they tell me, and I stopped posting over there when Constantin and the Viessman fans began tromping on every post from my customers.

    http://forums.invision.net/Thread.cf...#Message194614

    I won't bore you with the details of every incident, but that site is turning over to mostly homeowners advising homeowners.

    Back to HVAC on THIS site....

    That boiler could use a surface skimming to remove oils from the top of the water. Draining the water out only coats the walls of the boiler with the oils.

    Draining out the dirty water is a good idea, it just won't remove the oils.

    Make SURE the piping diagram in the manual illustrates YOUR boiler piping, or the water level will be all over the place. If your equalizer is undersized (or ANY pipe), the water will head out.

    Make sure the boiler isn't TOO BIG, or it will make steam faster than the steam piping can handle and the water will leave the boiler out the return piping.

    Make sure the boiler itself isn't overfired (Fuel pressure and nozzle or orifice size).

    If you have wet returns, be sure that they are open, and not partly plugged.

    Noel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,196
    yup what Noel said.

    Don't mind Connie myself, but a certian V affectionado irritates me w/ his constant crowing about how great they are, and how there are no other options, except Crown.

    I don't post there too much either, because I got tired of constant prayer requests, donations, and causes..and all the implied and real obligations that go along w/ all that stuff. I want heating discussions, not pressure to follow the herd..

  5. #5
    Thanks so much for your ideas Noel. I have been skimming through the pressure relief valve which I assume is taking water from the top of the boiler. I blow it off when there is a full head of steam and add fresh water at the same time. The boiler is gas fired so I don't have to worry about overfiring. The boiler size was calculated by two companies so I assume it's the correct size for the radiation. The equalizer looks good to me as does the hartford loop but I have no way of really knowing. The company that installed it just 5 months ago is out of business so they won't be any help. It's always my luck when I look for a contractor to end up in this kind of trouble.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,285

    Skimming

    Skimming is done with a QUIET water surface, with a flow the size of a pencil. It's done for an hour to eight or ten hours. It's done with the water 200 F , but with the burner off.

    It's done by allowing a very small trickle of fresh water in, while letting the oil flow through a HORIZONTAL tapping in a side of the boiler, so that the oil can freely leave through a nipple that is less than half full.

    Reheat the boiler every so often. It's the smooth water surface that is very hot that removes the most oils.

    Here's a picture...

    http://www.slantfin.com/spec-galaxygxh.html

    Noel

    [Edited by Noel Murdough on 10-19-2005 at 02:50 PM]

  7. #7
    The only way I can figure to do this would be to unscrew the pressure relief valve that is near the top of the boiler and thread in a length of 3/4" pipe as a drain. Then I can heat the boiler to just below the boiling point and slowly add fresh water at the bottom of the boiler. This will probably have to be done several times or more as I most likely will be dragging new crud down from the old pipes and radiators. How does this sound? Thanks again for your help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,285

    that'll be worth trying

    look for an oil sheen on the water that comes out.

    Noel

  9. #9
    I don't think it's a surface oil problem. I am still getting gallons of rust & sludge out of the system after I bring it up to steam.(running at 2.5 psi) I am draining the crap out and refilling with fresh water. I hope all my radiators and pipes are not disintegrating from the inside out. I am still assuming that eventually this will slow down and stop. It has to. There are no leaks in any pipes or radiators that I can see. I imagine this was all caused because I went from a large water capacity boiler to a new lower water capacity steam boiler. This looks like it may be an all winter project and I hope I don't somehow damage the new boiler in the process.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,285

    whatever you say.

    Your symptoms still tell me that you are throwing gallons of water up into that system, and not gentle, light, fluffy steam, which would condense and trickle back to the boiler.

    Noel

  11. #11
    Do you think it's an improper installation? It looks good according to the Burnham manual. The "A" dimension is about 45 inches. What else would push water up the pipes? The person who installed it claimed to be a steam expert, but I know I'm not. I would not be a to happy if the boiler was not installed correctly and I understand the people who did the installation are out of business. This was only 6 moths ago.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,285

    It sounds like oily water, to me.

    Noel

  13. #13
    Much thanks again Noel. I know what I'll be doing this weekend. I will let you know how it works after I skim the surface.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event