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Skimmer valve failed!?

ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,243Member ✭✭✭
I just found my skimmer valve was leaking when I removed the loosely fitted plug I had in the end of it and found it filled with water.

The valve I used was a Hydrovalve1 1/2" ball valve and from what I can tell the boiler side of the ball is scratched and rusted badly.  I can't tell if this is from debris, steam, or both?



Either way I need to do something as all I have now is a steel cap on the end of the nipple that is in the boiler.  I don't feel safe with this only because I remove it from time to time and don't want to find it rusted on there.



I can't see a gate valve being a better solution as it's just going to get junk stuck in the area the gate seats in.   What do other guys do?  I'm thinking of trying to find a brass cap or a brass coupler and just do away with the valve.
Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
· ·

Comments

  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,635Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2014
    What is it made of?

    I looked at mine last week and it was fine, my 1-1/4 Watts ball valves ball looks just as clean as it did when it was installed in October of 2012 - no signs of any deterioration. I do have a threaded brass plug on it's output just for safety, I think it was only about $7.



    I assume it's chromed brass but I really don't know.



    Bob
    Post edited by BobC on
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    · ·
  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Posts: 1,442Member ✭✭✭
    Apollo

    My 1 1/4" Apollo is just fine.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    · ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,243Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2014
    Made of

    Not sure but my first guess was chromed steel. I haven't put a magnet to it to see yet. The housing is a yellow brass. I suppose the ball could be chrome plated brass but the "rust" marks look a lot darker than yellow to me that's why I assumed rusty steel.



    Here is a link to the same valve.



    http://www.supplyhouse.com/Hydrovalve-HV150TLF-1-1-2-Full-Port-Threaded-Ball-Valve-Lead-Free
    Post edited by ChrisJ on
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    · ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,243Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2014
    New skim port

    So I decided to eliminate the valve and install this instead. Might be hard to see the color but they are both solid brass.
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    Post edited by ChrisJ on
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    · ·
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    I use apollo valves

    never heard about an issue.. The brass plug will be your best bet if its becaoming an issue, did you use any skimmer chems in the boiler initially or ever? if so maybe they were corrosive...
    · ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,243Member ✭✭✭
    Chemicals

    Nope, only thing I use is the steamaster tablets during normal use.



    I have a few guesses of why the valve failed. Perhaps rusty water drying on the ball sticks a little better than when its wet and was able to get past or into the plastic seal. I used the skim valve a lot, especially in the beginning so maybe it was just how I was using it. Maybe it was just a defective valve, or perhaps it doesn't like the high temperatures of steam and junk worked its way into the seals when they were hot and soft.



    So far it's the only valve I've had fail on the boiler. All drain valves which are also ballvalves are still fine and my king valves that are gate valves rated for steam are also fine.
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    · ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,243Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2014
    Installed

    My new "skimming apparatus" is installed.  I went with a plug rather than a cap because I can remove and install it using a 12" adjustable rather than a pipe wrench. 



    It's near impossible to tell from the picture but both the coupler and plug are LEE brand brass made in USA.
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    Post edited by ChrisJ on
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    · ·
  • FHillsFHills Posts: 19Member
    Is my skim outlet improperly plugged

    I have been following the discussion here with interest because on another thread, I was advised that my boiler needs to be skimmed. (http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/150421/Questions-regarding-the-main-vent-and-auto-water-feeder-that-cuts-off-the-boiler-every-10-minutes).  When I went to look for my skim valve, however, I noticed (or at least it appears to me) that my skim outlet is plugged up by the low water cut off.  Now, the auto water feeder / LWCO originally did not come with the boiler.  It was installed afterwards by another plumber.  Did he install it improperly or did so in a way that has deprived my ability to skim?  Thank you. 
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    · ·
  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,635Member ✭✭✭
    Look in the manual

    to see if they call out a skimming port. It should be at about the level of the upper gauge glass fitting and 1-1/4 or 1-12" in diameter. It could be on the side or back depending on what boiler you have.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    · ·
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 5,507Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2014
    Dude where's my skimming port!

    It may be plugged, and behind the knockout to the left of the upper gauge cock.

    If so then you will have to use the pressure relief valve tapping--NBC
    Post edited by nicholas bonham-carter on
    · ·
  • FredFred Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭
    Presssure Relief valve

    I don't have a skim port on my boiler either. I put a Tee on the outlet for my pressure relief valve, mounted my relief valve on the top and put a plug in the end of the Tee to give me a permanent skim port. I'm not sure why a lot of the older installations don't have skim ports installed but they are most definitely needed.
    · ·
  • FHillsFHills Posts: 19Member
    Meanwhile on the other side of the boiler is this --

    Does this look like a skimming faucet?  
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    · ·
  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,635Member ✭✭✭
    Yes

    That is setup as a skimming port. The plug to the left would be better because it's larger but the setup you currently have should work.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    · ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,243Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2014
    Valve

    Here is a picture of the failed ball valve.

    I just noticed it's not even a Hydrovalve but an Everflow brand.



    Looking at it in the picture it actually looks like the coating came off of the ball.  It does appear the ball is brass rather than rusty steel.  This is the side that was facing the boiler since November of 2011.  It's hard to tell, at first I thought there were scrapes but now it looks more like the coating just came off while rubbing against the plastic seal.



    Perhaps it's just a bad valve, or maybe Everflow ball valves can't handle steam.  Or maybe rust or something just worked its way in between the ball and seal. 



    Any and all opinions welcome as always. 
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    Post edited by ChrisJ on
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    · ·
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