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No skim connection was installed on our peerless.. our options?

sreja Member Posts: 175
Hi All,

We are finishing up an upgrade of our building which has included replacing the radiator valves (with TRVs) and traps on 83 radiators. We are almost done (thanks for the past advice from forum members)!

We've been running the boiler for a couple of days now and i've noticed short cycling (on for 1 minute, off for 1 minute, repeat) and other weirdness like water level dropping to 0 when condensate pump triggers [dan's book and boiler manual says this might be caused by the lack of a speed limiter on the condensate pump output].

ANYWAY, before i ask for help on the short cycling and water level issues, what i really wanted to ask about was this:

The peerless boiler that was installed a year ago, prior to me getting involved (model 211A-08), calls for a skim connection to be installed. When i went to skim the boiler i discovered that they didn't install one.

My question is: what should we do about this? Just forget it? Can one be retrofitted for a reasonable cost? can we skim from another place like where the low-water blow down thing is? Is this a big deal that they didn't install a skim connection like the instructions say should be installed -- they seemed to have piped the rest properly.

One extra thing that *really* confuses me that might be relevant. The boiler instruction/installation manual shows clearly that there are is nothing attached to back of boiler -- and yet in our installation at the near the very bottom and end is a valve that is connected to one of the boiler sections. In the peerless manual i think it's labeled 'F: 1" NPT Tapping, Lower' OR maybe "G: 1 1/2" NPT Tapping, Back, Blowdown" Don't know what these are for.

I have no idea why this is there.

Thank you in advance -- hoping someone can shed some light on these mysteries -- i'm just a simple building manager but i'm *LOVING* learning about these steam heating systems.


  • sreja
    sreja Member Posts: 175

    Ok i'm thinking now that the valve in the back of the boiler is indeed a "Blowdown" valve in that tapping.

    This page told me why it's useful:


    The issue with a lack of skim connection/valve remains and i look forward to hearing what you folks think about that.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
    skimming port

    just like my boiler-1 year old.you definitely need a skimming port especially after this latest new work-i am still skimming mine.on mine the outlet is only used for skimming but yours is bigger so probably needs a "t" connection to function as a skimming port as well as steam supply,as shown by the manual[online at peerless.com].their manual has definite instructions on cleaning after installation.
    why not contact the orig. installer and ask him why he ignored that bit of the mfg. instructions and did not leave provision for one [what other piping was misdone?]? he may well be persuaded to do a refit-not too difficult,as he may wish to keep in your "good books" for future work!
    i also suggest for the moment that you turn off the auto-feeder.mine [60 rads,1-pipe,1,050,000 btu] is entirely gravity.
    i also had to change my return piping to correct the same low level conditions you describe-water was not being lost but just dilly-dallying in the old returns on its way back to the boiler.
    i also reduced the operating pressure to 4-12 ounces with a vaporstat and a good low pressure gauge[gaugestore.com]
    it sometimes takes a couple of winters to shake the bugs out of the system, but the results have been very worthwhile.
    peerless has a tech support no. which i used quite a bit last year--610-369-3208
    most important,get a copy of dan's steam books from this site so you will be better informed.good luck--nbc
  • sreja
    sreja Member Posts: 175

    Thanks very much for the great comments and advice nicholas!

    I have all of Dan's books and have read all of them front to back -- even the sections on single pipe systems just because it was all so interesting and well written. HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend all of his books (except the problems w/solutions minibook).
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