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Boiler Surging / Any help for this boiler?

I went to go start a steam boiler that was installed around 7 years ago.  I could not see thru the gauge glass and when I pulled the head on the M&M #51 the bowel was full of barnacles.  I scraped out the bowel, replaced the float and valve assembly and guage glass, filled and flushed the boiler.  Oh yeah, the blow down on the bottom of the boiler is piped wrong; there is a 2" pipe that comes out into a tee that wraps around to the Hartford loop.  The blow down is on the run of the tee, but it is reduced to a 3/4" drain cock.

From what I was told, this boiler was never blown down while in use.  When the boiler started steaming, the water line surged as well.  No foaming, just lots of dancing.  Not the worst I've ever seen, but almost to the point where the float could drop and over fill the boiler.

I went to the nearest supply house to pick up some water treatment.  All they had was a product called 8-way.  I've never used this on a steam boiler, but the label says "for steam or hot water......cures surging and foaming".  I followed the instructions but the boiler still surges.  I'm NOT saying it's a problem with the product.  Is it possible to clean this boiler up and eliminate the surging?  It's been fouled for a while now.  



  • Steve Garson_2
    Steve Garson_2 Member Posts: 666
    Skim the boiler

    Is there a skim port on the boiler? Drain and refill the boiler. Then bring it up to near boiling and let the boiler dribble out the skim port, while slowly feeding water in. You may have to do this for quite a while to get the crud out. Look for posts about skimming boilers. Your problem sounds like the owner didn't blow down the system weekly and the original installer probably never skimmed the system properly.
    Steve from Denver, CO
  • ttekushan_3
    ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 944
    edited November 2009

    8-Way is a good product. Its not a particularly fast descaling product, but it releases the muck that sits at the bottom of boiler sections and elsewhere. It provides good scale control and is a good oxygen scavenger/anticorrosive agent. Just don't use too much. Pale purple/pink in the sight glass is fine. You may find extra muck at each blowdown. This is good since it is slowly releasing deeply accumulated stuff.However, 8-Way can actually cause surging in low water content boilers if a) the concentration is too strong, or b) there are contaminants on the water's surface. If the boiler wasn't properly skimmed at installation or if piping work of any kind was done in the system, these contaminants can remain there indefinitely until skimmed off. The skimming idea described by S.G. above with the 8-Way in there will improve your results. Now, there are simply some boilers models that bounce more than others and this is normal. Other things: The lower the water content/EDR output, the greater the chances of boiler flooding between cycles. Also beware of overfiring of such boilers since the water line will always be violent when given more heat than their design allows. Check manifold pressures. Finally, you may find that with certain boilers the 8-Way may have to be practically at trace amounts for a minimum-bounce water line, assuming you've done a good skimming.-Terry
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