dirty sight glass


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Old 12-29-07, 04:02 PM
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dirty sight glass

Hi guys, I'm back. I have a 3 family house with steam heat. The boiler is a Slant Fin Galaxy model.My problem is the sight glass is dirty and full of water. I drain the boiler to get the crud out, but the water doesn't go down. How can I clean the tube and unclog the valve?
 
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Old 12-29-07, 05:06 PM
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Clogged valve

Are you sure both valves are open? In order for the sight glass to work properly, both the valve above & below the sight glass must be open.
 
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Old 12-29-07, 07:23 PM
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I figure like grady says OR you forgot to turn off your autofiller.

Charlie
 
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Old 12-30-07, 05:36 AM
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Both valves are open. There is no auto water feeder. I drained the boiler, the sight glass remained full.
 
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Old 12-30-07, 12:28 PM
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You need to remove the glass and the valves.

You may end up breaking the glass when you try to remove it and you probably will need to replace the rubber grommets on the glass when replacing it. I am not sure where in your area you will be able to find the glass tube or the grommets. In my area steam heating systems in residences are extremely rare so the big box stores do not have these items. You may find them at an old-time hardware store.

First drain the boiler.

To remove the glass you will need to completely unscrew the nuts surrounding the glass on the top and bottom. While wearing gloves try to slide the nuts to the center of the glass. If you got this far without breaking anything you are doing well. It is possible that the grommets will be stuck tight to the valve assemblies and if so you need to work them towards the center of the glass.

Now you can simply lift the glass upward into the upper valve assembly and then swing the lower end away from the (lower) valve assembly then lower the glass out of the upper valve.

If you didn't break the glass you can use a bottle brush and water to scrub the inside of the tube.

Use a proper fitting wrench to remove the valve assemblies. Remember which is the upper valve because it has to be replaced in the same tapping from which it is removed. You may want to do the valve one at a time.

Use whatever tool you need to clean out any crap and corruption (technical terms) in the valve assemblies, wire brush the outside threads and using Teflon tape and / or non-hardening pipe joint compound replace the valve assemblies counting how many turns to make them snug. Both valve assemblies need to be turned in the same number of turns.

Replace the glass by inserting the upper end into the top valve assembly and then slipping the lower end into the lower valve assembly. While holding the glass with a slight downward pressure slide the nuts and grommets to their respective locations and snug up the nuts. Do not overtighten the nuts, it will not require much more than slightly more than hand tight.

Make sure both valves are open and refill the boiler.
 
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Old 12-30-07, 01:56 PM
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Thanks a lot, will go to the house this week, its in Jersey and I'm in upstate New York. Will let you know how I make out
 
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Old 12-31-07, 05:50 AM
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Rubber Grommets

Something I've found helpful in getting the grommets to slide is a spritz of glass or household cleaner on the glass tube. Many plumbing supply houses, especially the independents, carry the sight glass, grommets, nuts, & washers.
 
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Old 01-01-08, 03:56 AM
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I would not attempt in pulling the valves. They may have gotten brittle through the years. What I do is undo the packing nut, the valve will come apart. Take one of the guage glass protecting rods and rod out the valves. Refill the boiler and flush. Re-assembly, keep valves open, re-install rods, fill to proper level and fire.
 
 

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