Flushing boiler to often? (Burnham Independence Steam)


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Old 02-21-08, 11:42 AM
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Flushing boiler too often. (Burnham Independence Steam)

Have a Burnham Independence steam heater/boiler. One pipe + steam valve system.

I noticed on the side of heater "If you have to add water more then once a month, contact qualified tech"(etc). Well we have been having to add water like once a week. I know it (tstat) sometimes get turned up too much at once. But isn't this still too often? And I have looked through the only manual I have and it really doesn't even tell you how to properly flush. I know it should be cooled down.. anything else I should know?

One more thing: when I flush it, it usually runs clear till I turn on water. Then it turns brown for about 5 minutes or so. Normal?

Thanks!
 

Last edited by bshea; 02-21-08 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 02-21-08, 01:21 PM
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I assume the boiler has an electronic LWCO. Check for steam and/or water leaks. Look at the main and radiator vents along with radiator shut-off valves. Are there any return lines under the basement floor? Does your boiler have a water meter installed in the make-up water piping? This is a good idea if there is not one there. It normally does not take much water to maintain a residential steam boiler. Remember when you add water you are adding oxygen, minerals and chemicals, all detrimental to your cast iron steam boiler.
Here’s an example. The summer of 2002 I installed a steam boiler in my sisters home. She has an 80 year old Victorian home in PA. The boiler was 3 sizes smaller than I removed and 1 size smaller than the price she had gotten from her heating guy. Piped it properly, replaced all radiator vents and main line vents. I used a Hydrolevel VXT-120 feeder with a built in water meter. As of last Christmas, the auto-feeder fed 28 gallons since installed. Again, it does not take much water to maintain a residential steam system. The water is going somewhere.
 
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Old 02-21-08, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rbeck View Post
I assume the boiler has an electronic LWCO. Check for steam and/or water leaks. Look at the main and radiator vents along with radiator shut-off valves. Are there any return lines under the basement floor? Does your boiler have a water meter installed in the make-up water piping? This is a good idea if there is not one there. It normally does not take much water to maintain a residential steam boiler. Remember when you add water you are adding oxygen, minerals and chemicals, all detrimental to your cast iron steam boiler.
Here’s an example. The summer of 2002 I installed a steam boiler in my sisters home. She has an 80 year old Victorian home in PA. The boiler was 3 sizes smaller than I removed and 1 size smaller than the price she had gotten from her heating guy. Piped it properly, replaced all radiator vents and main line vents. I used a Hydrolevel VXT-120 feeder with a built in water meter. As of last Christmas, the auto-feeder fed 28 gallons since installed. Again, it does not take much water to maintain a residential steam system. The water is going somewhere.
Yes, it has a electric low water cut-off. Other then the pipe corroded in the pictures (links below), I can't find a leak. And that one doesn't leak per se. No I don't have a meter on water inlet. (pic). A plumber actually told me that there should be something to keep water from 'backing up' into water line? Hmmm...

Wouldn't a one pipe/steam valve system lose water simply from outputing steam from valves, though? Especially if the heat gets turned up like 4 or more degrees at once and becomes a steam bath in house - my son does this now and then

And now you have me worried about hard water build-up/corrosion in boiler from adding water so much!

Anyway pics here:

Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3
(You may have to rotate them.)
 
 

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