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  1. #1

    Need help with dirty water in boiler

    Hello all,

    I have recently purchased a home that was not in use for about two years. The boiler was fully off when I arrived, when i switched the emergency switch to on, it fired up and eventually the system got warm. But, when i came back down to the basement I noticed the water in the level became black... it was white when I fired it up...

    What cuases the dirt deposit and what is the proper procedure for cleaning this out? I am new to a radiator system, have used a forced air system in the past only. I read that flushing the water out and refilling is actually bad for the pump, is this the case?

    Thank you for any help or insight you can offer me,
    -wally

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,046
    You have stired up sediment. I would recomend to you to find a boiler company to service it and maintain it for you especially since it has been setting dormant. Each time water is added to the system the oxygen in the system will seperate out of solution and cause issues.

    Have it cleaned and serviced, it is a pressure vessel that needs attention.

  3. #3
    thank you for the advice, is it bad for the boiler to use it until I have a professional clean it out? It is getting chilly outside and am not sure when I will have someone check it out, but i do not want to cause any damage to it. The system is very new itself, only about 3 years, but was sitting unused.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    880

    I am

    assuming this is a steam system. I would have a pro check the system ASAP paying particular attention to the pressure switch and low water cut-off device. I would not operate it until the boiler has been checked. These are both safety devices and if they fail, it could mean big trouble.
    GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!

    A DECADE OF DOMINANCE! +2

  5. #5
    i had an inspector check it out during the home inspection and he said the unit operates without issue and is new. When I fired it up, the heat did work and i saw no issues in terms of water level (the level was about half way in the glass pipe), however the water at first clear, turned greyish/black after the 1-2 hours of operation.. Yes this is a steam system.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    880

    I doubt

    if the home inspector checked the LWCO or the pressure-trol. New or not, the system sat for quite some time. Again, I WOULD NOT operate the system until it has been checked by a pro.
    GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!

    A DECADE OF DOMINANCE! +2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    SE Pa
    Posts
    830
    Quote Originally Posted by genericny View Post
    Hello all,

    I have recently purchased a home that was not in use for about two years. The boiler was fully off when I arrived, when i switched the emergency switch to on, it fired up and eventually the system got warm. But, when i came back down to the basement I noticed the water in the level became black... it was white when I fired it up...

    What cuases the dirt deposit and what is the proper procedure for cleaning this out? I am new to a radiator system, have used a forced air system in the past only. I read that flushing the water out and refilling is actually bad for the pump, is this the case?

    Thank you for any help or insight you can offer me,
    -wally


    steam system with pump?

    Are you saying the house had no heat last winter if it didn't run for two years?

    Any service tags at the heater showing when it was serviced last?
    5 out of 4 people don't understand fractions

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    28
    condensate return pump?Not too common on residential steam in my area.Either way,steam is not a diy project.Get an expert.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,168

    Good Advice but it is clouded

    Quote Originally Posted by gregp View Post
    if the home inspector checked the LWCO or the pressure-trol. New or not, the system sat for quite some time. Again, I WOULD NOT operate the system until it has been checked by a pro.
    by the unfortunate judgement lapse with your tag line: BEAT ARMY!
    We can't be beat, although we have been know to have some setbacks and need to readjust! Hear those footsteps?
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,168

    PS "if the home inspector checked the LWCO or the pressure-trol

    A home inspector actually knows something about a steam boiler?
    That I would like see.
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    1,339
    Steam can be dangerous if not properly maintained.
    Take the advice, call a pro
    Never give up; Never surrender!

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