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Black water in sight gage

Joe V_2
Joe V_2 Member Posts: 234
Boiler, Burnham IN5

Second heating season.

Drained boiler(water was clear, mild rust color) to pull LWCO probe and refilled, adding a 1/2 bottle of squick, fired, and blew down to test LWCO.  Refilled and water came up pitch black.

Water line is stable and the system is quiet.  Should I skim again?  Flush?  Last heating seaon the water was clear after skimming. 


  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    squick = no substitute for skimming

    i would drain, refill and boil to get the boiler full of pure water. squick will collect on the bottom, and in the LWCO, and form hard deposits, and probably serves no purpose except the enrichment of the manufacturer.--nbc
  • Joe V_2
    Joe V_2 Member Posts: 234

    I thought the idea was to scavenge oxygen to reduce rest and sink particulates to bottom of boiler.  I wasn't trying to use it in place of skimming...That was done on start up last year. 

    So, squick is a bad idea?
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Boiler Water

    Hi Joe-

       Whether or not one uses boiler additives seems to be a controversial subject among the pros. Some are in favor of them and others are not. I have a tendency to think a lot of this decision is driven by "how quick can we get the waterline settled down and get on to the next job" rather than by what is necessarily good for the boiler in the long run. The pro is stuck in a bit of a hard spot here. If additive has the advantage of cutting time (and saving the customer money) is he obliged to use it?

    It also depends on what type of boiler you are using them on. Burnham uses push nipples between the boiler sections where other manufacturers use a seal. If your boiler is the seal type you want to make very sure that the additive you are planning on using doesn't affect the seals between the sections.

    From what I've read I tend to go with the no additive crowd though it fact I'm really a "fence sitter" as I've been using Rhomar Products in my boiler  http://www.rhomarwater.com/products/residential-steam-system/ when I have it shut down during the summer and for cleaning but use plain water during the heating season. I would just keep flushing your boiler until it ran clear. As for the dissolved oxygen, just make sure you bring your "new" water to a boil as this drives off any excess oxygen.

    - Rod
  • Joe V_2
    Joe V_2 Member Posts: 234
    Thanks Rod

    I did not know the use of additives like squick was controversial.  On the other hand, it seems to have found a mother load of oil that I was unaware of which I will flush out tonite. 

  • Joe V_2
    Joe V_2 Member Posts: 234
    Black water

    ...was just that.  It wasn't oil at all.  The water was the same that comes out of a fire sprinkler system- black and smelly-biological corrosion in black pipe. Likely created by puddles in the return piping over the summer brought to the boiler by running it in preparation for this winter. 

     It took an hour of flushing before  the water ran clear.  I doubt, at this point, that squick was any help.
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