How know if glass guage valve open or closed on furnance ?


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Old 11-07-10, 05:00 PM
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How know if glass guage valve open or closed on furnance ?

We have steam heat with a glass sight guage on the side.
How do we know which way to turn the top and bottom value to open or close each one? Do they both turn same way for open & close? We tried to determine it by seeing if valve stem became longer or shorter but don't know if this correct.

When filling the glass should one be open and the other closed? Last year we were never able to control the level of water. It always filled the glass tube.

Over the summer the water drained- now the glass tube is dry and on bottom of tube is dry sediment. Would this "stuff" prevent water from going into tube? What would be best way to remove it"

Are there any videos or "step by step" book on "how to" remove the glass or drain the glass guage.

Thanks for any info....
 
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Old 11-07-10, 07:59 PM
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In more than fifty years of playing with valves, more than thirty of which I was PAID to manipulate the valves, I have seen ONLY ONE valve that operated "backwards" and that valve was on the atmospheric exhaust of a 15,000 kVA steam turbo-generator so I think I am safe in stating the following:

ALL valves that have multiple turn handwheels turn that handwheel in a clockwise direction to close the valve and a counter-clockwise direction to open the valve. This direction is determined while facing the valve handwheel.

On ANY steam boiler the upper and lower gauge glass valves MUST ALWAYS BE OPEN AT ALL TIMES except when changing the glass or testing that the upper and lower passages are clear.

Since I have a history of first time posters not returning I'll wait until you post again before detailing the answers to your next set of questions.
 
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Old 11-07-10, 08:39 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply....
Regarding other issues....Will sediment at bottom of glass tube prevent water from going into tube?
During the summer we have taken water from the boiler several times-now we not sure how much water to add and usually judged by amount in glass tube. We don't want to "flood" the system- Is water level in glass tube only way to tell? Can the dry sediment be removed through bottom drain ****?
Is is difficult to remove, clean and replace glass tube?

Know of any good "step by step" videos or books (with pics) regarding above?

Thanks again
 
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Old 11-08-10, 12:32 AM
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Thank you for returning and I apologize if I was a bit gruff.

I don't like residential steam systems for several reasons, something that you might find odd since I spent a good portion of my working years in charge of high-pressure commercial and industrial sized steam boilers. For the most part a hot water system can be almost ignored and continue to heat a home with few problems. Not so with steam.

I don't know of any Internet sites that are specific to residential steam other than http://www.heatinghelp.com/ which is more geared to the professional but does have many homeowners asking questions on its forum The Wall The owner of the site, Dan Holohan, is recognized internationally as an expert in residential steam heat (and hot water heating also) and has written several books. One of the best for a homeowner is We-Got-Steam-Heat-A-Homeowners-Guide-to-Peaceful-Coexistence and I strongly recommend it. You may want to check out some of his other books on residential steam heat.

Now for the gauge glass.

Yes, sediment in the lower connection of the glass to the boiler will indeed prevent water from entering the glass. An obstructed lower connection will cause the glass to slowly fill when the boiler is steaming from steam in the upper part of the glass condensing. An obstructed upper connection will cause the water level in the glass (but not the boiler) to rise quickly by condensing any steam in the upper area of the glass. This is why BOTH connections must always freely communicate with the gauge glass. When the boiler is steaming the water level should "bounce" slightly but not excessively, no more than an inch either way from the "normal" water level and in smaller residential boilers I'd say less than a half-inch overall.

I have previously written some pretty detailed descriptions on how to clean gauge glasses and how to remove and replace them. I've also written some responses to how to maintain a steam boiler and these should be available by doing an advanced search of this forum. Right now it is half-past midnight and I'm a bit tired. If you cannot find the previous responses via search please post back and I will give you a detailed description tomorrow.
 
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Old 11-14-10, 05:32 PM
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YOU WERE NOT GRUFF AT ALL - You were very kind to take the time at such a late hour to respond with such a detailed answer and excellent suggestions for reference info. Sorry i was not as efficient but this week had family illness that took up most of our time.

I checked out internet site & sent away for book (could not find it in bookstores in nyc)......

Just for the record we have a Carrier PSB 5D boiler (gas).

Today after not being home for the past week & the boiler was not touched - we found that there was some water in the glass guage (of course with the rust). Right now I am going to check your previous posts on how to clean the glass. Will let you know what I can or an't find.

Thanks again for your time and knowledge.
 
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Old 11-14-10, 10:00 PM
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Here is a thread from a while back where I detailed how to remove the gauge glass. There are other good answers as well.

http://forum.doityourself.com/boilers-home-heating-steam-hot-water-systems/329253-dirty-sight-glass.html
 
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Old 11-15-10, 02:07 PM
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Thank you...I did look for previous posts - becuase you have so many I started toi read all the advice you have given.....don't think I saw the post in the link.....will check it out tonight and let you know
 
 

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