Oil Smell from Air Vent on Radiators (Steam Boiler)


Old 12-01-20, 05:35 PM
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Question Oil Smell from Air Vent on Radiators (Steam Boiler)

Help! What is that oil smell from our steam radiators and how do we get rid of it??

We recently had a residential gas-fired steam boiler installed in our home with some new piping around it but all of the house piping and all of the radiators are the same. The radiators have a weird motor oil smell coming from them when the air exits the vents. It's like a steamy auto shop. The smell is pretty bad, and we aren't sure what it is.

We had the boiler skimmed and blown down a week after installation (today), but the smell persists from the radiators. The installation company has never heard of or experienced this before.

Any hypotheses and ideally remedies?

Thank you!
Old 12-01-20, 05:57 PM
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My guess is it is oil that was used during the cutting and threading of the new pipes and fittings. The heat has caused it to vaporize and enter the steam flow, and spread out to the radiator vents.
Old 12-01-20, 09:07 PM
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Thanks Andy - how long do you think it would take for it to go away?
Old 12-02-20, 05:26 AM
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Since water and oil don't mix, this situation can last forever.Ask the boiler installer what they did to remove oil (from manufacturing and installation) from the new pipes . What is the purpose of the skimming and blowdown process the installer performed? I would think it should have been done at the initial startup of the new boiler. A reputable installer should have experience with this condition and know how to fix it. Has he been paid?
Old 12-02-20, 07:13 AM
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SQUICK Steam Boiler Cleaner/Inhibitor

This is what we used when my dad and I replaced our boiler. We had a huge surge issue from the cutting oils. Stopped immediately once we put the Squick in.

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