Steam boiler issue

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Old 03-11-10, 05:21 AM
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Steam boiler issue

I have an oil fired steam boiler that I have skimmed twice this season. The problem I am now having is that after the boiler has been running for about 15 minutes it briefly shuts off. I looked at the site glass and the water is gone. Then after about 30 seconds the water comes back into the site glass about an inch from the bottom and continues to work fine. Does it sound like I have to skim it again?
 
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Old 03-11-10, 06:39 AM
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Where is the water level before the boiler fires? It sounds like it needs skimmed. How are you skimming and how long?
 
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Old 03-11-10, 06:59 AM
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The water level is right up to the full mark. I'm skimming from the pressure relief port. I take about 5 gallons out over a few hours. I'm not adding any chemicals only skimming. The last time I skimmed was a few months ago make that 25 gallon not 5
 
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Old 03-11-10, 07:03 AM
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The water level is right up to the full mark. I'm skimming from the pressure relief port. I take about 25 gallons out over a few hours. I'm not adding any chemicals only skimming. The last time I skimmed was a few months ago
 
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Old 03-11-10, 07:35 AM
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You should not need chemicals to skim a boiler.
One question....when it is skimmed does the water level settle down and get worse over time?
Is the boiler water hot when skimmed?
Take a look at this link and click on skimming.
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Old 03-11-10, 10:32 AM
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This is how I am doing it, actually I found this site a year ago and called they guy with a question. I started doing it about 10 this morning and it's 1 now. I have done 25 gallons but I'm going to do 30 gallons this time.
 
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Old 03-11-10, 01:51 PM
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The question I asked and you need to answer is when skimmed before did it make an immediate difference or not. If it made an immediate difference how long before it acted up again?
 
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Old 03-12-10, 07:27 AM
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Yes it made an immediate difference last time. I did it in the fall so I guess it lasted about 3 months before it got this bad. Last summer I replaced some return lines so I'm sure oil must have gotten in. Today it's much better after the skim. It still drops down about 1 1/4 inch but it doesn't shut down or drop down to the bottom. By the time the skimming was done yesterday the water was cold
 
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Old 03-12-10, 07:44 AM
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My theory is if it makes a difference you are doing the right thing, if it does not make a difference do something else.
An 1-1/4 bounce is still too much but can be lived with. When skimming the water should be kept above 160. This is tricky as you never want to create steam when skimming. If you have to restart the boiler to get the water hot again then stop skimming for a little while giving the oil a chance to separate again.
 
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Old 03-12-10, 09:59 AM
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Thanks for the advice. The water was hot but I'm not sure how hot. I didn't want to open things to early and get steam pouring out. I'll be doing it again so the next time I'll be sure to keep it hot. I've got it set up with a permanent Tee and nipple off the pressure gauge port so it's an easy thing to do.
 
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Old 03-12-10, 01:02 PM
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What model boiler do you have? That is not a good place to skim if it is less than 3/4"
 
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Old 03-13-10, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rbeck View Post
What model boiler do you have? That is not a good place to skim if it is less than 3/4"
If what is not less than 3/4"? The supply and return lines are 2" and the pressure relief valve is 3/4". From the boiler ther ie a short nipple then a tee with the relief valve coming off the top. Then the other side of the tee has a 6" nipple that I use to skim from. When not skimming I put a cap on it.
 
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Old 03-13-10, 02:35 PM
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You mentioned skimming from the pressure gage port and many times they are 1/2" or less. Sorry.
 
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Old 03-17-10, 09:56 AM
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Skim oil from a boiler with vinegar.........worked in the days, still works today. Make sure boiler is 180 deg. F, skim thru largest available opening in boiler.
 
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Old 03-17-10, 11:00 AM
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If you use chemicals including vinegar make sure you get a very good flush. The lower water volume in residential boilers will affect Ph quicker when chemicals are added. If the Ph is off you will have other water problems like foaming. I do not like the use of cleaning chemicals. Very seldom used them in cleaning residential steam boilers. They are fine as long as you make sure they are all out when putting the boiler into operation.
 
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Old 03-25-10, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by THE hvac Pope View Post
Skim oil from a boiler with vinegar.........worked in the days, still works today. Make sure boiler is 180 deg. F, skim thru largest available opening in boiler.
I thought I was the only one who still do this and now I've learned there are still people who does the old ways. Oil and Vinegar works fine with me too.
 
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Old 03-25-10, 03:29 PM
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Now I'm hungry for an Antipasto Salad!
 
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