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When is it skimmed enough?

Boiler Talk
Boiler Talk Member Posts: 136
I have a new Peerless WBV-03 and several other ills have been rectified.  I watch the sight glass and the water moves no more than an inch when running, but it isn't a smooth movement and some water comes over from the top unlike some videos I've seen.  I've skimmed it about four times for about 45 minutes each.  The last two times I didn't see any oil.  Nothing obvious.  Now the water is quite clear skimmed and drained.   The oil and service provider said some surging will happen.  Well, what's right?  

Comments

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,092
    do you see....

    any hazing or condensate along the sides of the sight glass? You can drain off a small suce pan of water and boil it on your stove.... if it foams...keep going.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Was

    The boiler installed per manufacturer specification? Most importantly, is the near boiler piping correct?
  • Boiler Talk
    Boiler Talk Member Posts: 136
    edited March 2012
    Hazing or condensate?

    I don't recall seeing any hazing above the water in the site glass.  I didn't save any of the skimmed water to boil it.  I guess I can do that, but not tonight. 



    The install didn't replace the header.  It has a hartford loop. 
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,092
    water droppletts...

    above the water line in the sight glass. Your going to get some movement. Any hammering?
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,049
    One thing you did not mention.

    How is the system heating? Is everything fine? are you having issues with banging etc.? its been my observation over the years that the water moves much more in a boiler whose steam exits from just one tapping than it does in a boiler using multiple tappings..that may be part of your issue with the gauge glass..also the boiler firing rate has alot to do with that too i've noticed.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Boiler Talk
    Boiler Talk Member Posts: 136
    edited April 2012
    Recent service

    I almost gave up on this thread.  After reading about the pot test, I tried it.  The water in the pot from the boiler did act differently than tap water.  It seems boiling occurred on the edges of the pot and was a bit frothy.  Very little boiling in the center as compared to tap water.   I skimmed for 45 minutes and tested again.  It is now more comparable to the tap water.  But water still goes over the top of the glass.  I tell  myself that the piping has to be high enough to stop the splashing, which must mean I'm OK. 



    It is a Peerless WBV-03 and it has a .95 nozzle.  I think the lowest number should be .90 for this unit.  I no longer have pipe banging, but there are perhaps two unrelated observations.  I have posted before that I installed two Gorton 1's on each of the two short mains.  I purchased the balance chart and I'm sure I'm within the suggested amounts of CF to vent, but then the other website says I should have two Gorton 2's on each side based on the 3/4" vent pipes.   In the morning warm up the boiler will start, stop, start, stop and then finish (3 times average) all in say 20 minutes.  I didn't time it.   Why does it run 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and then say 5 more minutes?  I can't really balance the radiators to 100%.  I have one radiator (a cast iron 38" high with 2 tubes and 7 sections)  that happens to be on the longer main with a tiny 1" riser.  That seems to be the last one to fully heat and that's where I hear hissing in the final stages.  All the steam is heading to it?



    I don't have the EDR numbers for you, but the boiler seems over the needed amount from my understanding.  Any encouraging thoughts?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,572
    edited April 2012
    peerless piping problem

    it looks as though the first steam takeoff is between the two risers coming out of the boiler. this could cause a slug of water to be flung up into the pipes, instead of draining down the equalizer.

    now the problem is nbc's bad interpretation of the picture!!!

    probably you still need more main venting, if the boiler short-cycles as you describe. some short-cycling will be from being over-sized, but if the rad vents are hissing, then they are venting more air than they were designed for. a 0-3 psi gauge would show you what your venting back-pressure is [mine is 1-2 ounces for 55 rads].--nbc
  • Boiler Talk
    Boiler Talk Member Posts: 136
    edited April 2012
    Piping Problem?

    Here's a picture of the other side of the piping.  I was told by the guy who did our liner that he would have positioned the boiler in a different spot.  That comment was about the flue piping in relation to the water heater, not the boiler piping which he made no comment.  As far as the hissing, it is only one radiator of seven and only at the end of the cycle.  It hasn't been cold and that's what I recall about two weeks ago. 



    Oh,  What about a better 30 PSI gauge - one that's more accurate?  I haven't seen any ask this question before.  Is there one? 



    Thanks to everyone who has helped to this date on this post, ongoing and past posts. 
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Gauges

    Hi- If you need a good 0-30 PSI gauge the best one I have seen is available from Pex Supply. 

    http://www.pexsupply.com/Burnham-100325-01-Steam-Pressure-Gauge-for-IN-INPV-Boilers

    It 0-30PSI because code requires you to have a gauge that reads twice thw pressure of the safety valve (15 PSI) 

         Most people add a second gauge of 0-3 PSI as it is far easier to use. (See attached picture)  These are available from the Gauge Store

    http://www.gaugestore.com/prodinfo.asp?number=33020

    - Rod
  • Halfbreed
    Halfbreed Member Posts: 4
    Around the boiler piping

    If you have a single riser or 2 risers, make sure they are at least 24" above the water line. The 1st supply take off should be a Tee at least 15" from the center of the verticle to horizontal 90 elbow of a single riser system, or from the center of the Tee that connects a double riser, never between the 2 risers. Use swing joints at the top of the risers. Keep in mind that the installation manual tells you the minimum size of riser(s), header, and equalizer. That is the minimum allowed, and you can go larger. The correct sizes depends on the existing system, length and diameter of supply run, and what idiot(s) did any incorrect changes in the past. For a small to medium house, depending on the system, I tend to pipe my single riser and header in 2 1/2" iron to try to slow the velocity down a little and give any condensate a chance to go back to the boiler through the equalizer, and should have a decent pitch on the header towards the equalizer.

    The problem in my area is that there still is a lot of residential steam systems here. Most have had retrofits already. Half of them are piped in 2" copper around the boiler. A third either don't have Hartford Loops or are piped incorrectly. At least 80% of the installers haven't a clue how to read an install manual, nor know anything about steam. At least a third of the boilers are over sized, with the largest oil nozzle that boiler can handle. No drains at any of the low points. And what insulation is left on the pipes is asbestus or no insulation at all, and the homeowners won't listen to you when you tell them that its required, but they refuse to pay the extra cost and they don't want to lose the heat the uninsulated pipes are generating because the guy before you told them that the insulation isn't necessary. Therefore, the problems go unresolved or they go with the cheapest retrofit price.
  • moneypitfeeder
    moneypitfeeder Member Posts: 249
    edited April 2012
    I made a markup

    Cause a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe this will help show what others are pointing out. It looks like you have an "header" on top of another "header." I wonder if your not getting a backlog of water at startup, steam is always trying to turn back into water. In the markup it looks like the union at "A" should be piped directly to "B." (see arrow) Then your equalizer "C" would take your condensate directly back to the boiler via the hartford loop.  Hope this helps.
    steam newbie
  • Boiler Talk
    Boiler Talk Member Posts: 136
    Markup

    I could get another photo but I think you interpreted the two photos properly.  Point A is part of the original header.  Point B is the new part or like you said a new header I guess.  I don't understand your comment about backlog.  You mean that water goes up to point A and just sits there?  Wouldn't I get hammering at that point?  I don't remember hearing it.  I calculated the BTUH for the radiators to be a bit above 200 and the boiler is rated at 321. 
  • moneypitfeeder
    moneypitfeeder Member Posts: 249
    The

    markup, was more to show you that the header was done wrong. If this was a new install, you might be able to get the installer to come back and rectify it. If the union at A was directly connected to B, then the condensate will fall to the new header that is drained to the equalizer. It was less about skimming and more about the fact that getting dry steam out the gate with that setup might be difficult. There was a demo on the site that I can't find the link for anymore but one of the other wallies might have that shows a glass piped boiler at startup. If you have a ton of water collecting in the "header" at mark A trying to condense back to the boiler while the unit is steaming, you could/should get hammering, however if between the bends and twists, and the circumference of the pipes there is enough room to the two to pass maybe it won't. Still won't make good dry steam. Since it sounds like a new install I'd want that fixed before the skimming. (It would only need skimmed again after the new piping install anyway unless the installer cleaned the repiped pieces with a degreaser before installing which I've never heard of)
    steam newbie
  • seabee570
    seabee570 Member Posts: 89
    skimming

    One of the problems with the newer steamers is that the steam space may be a bit smaller,which makes the near boiler piping even more critical. if you do the stove test and it appears that the impurities are gone and you still have some movement in the sight glass, it could be piping issues.
  • Boiler Talk
    Boiler Talk Member Posts: 136
    edited April 2012
    Skimmed and Piped

    There is some spill over from the top of the glass, but the water level movement range in the glass is minimal.  I think I'm at the end of this discussion.  If not I know where to turn.  I appreciate your comments, but I'm not yet convinced much would be better by changing anything.  Perhaps a video of the glass?  Waiting for cold weather..  ah, we have a while, but I'll try do it. 
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Downfiring

    Hi- Since your boiler is quite a bit oversized you might see if it can be down fired a bit as this might save you some fuel. This should be done by a good burner man who has the proper digital measuring instruments to determine just how much it can be downfired and still get good combustion numbers.

       Probably the best time to have this done is when you do the annual boiler cleaning.  It always amazes me that some people never have their boiler cleaned. An 1/8 of an inch of soot reduces efficiency close to ten percent !

    - Rod
  • Boiler Talk
    Boiler Talk Member Posts: 136
    Look Here - Here's an updated photo and questions.

    Yes, there is an old portion of the header that was left by the installer.  The old boiler is shown also.  I wonder how much would be saved in costs of efficiency by redesigning the piping.  It is two-inch pipe all the way.  Could there be a diagonal pipe off the boiler to the original header, then turn 90 degrees and down to the pipe behind the VXT water controller?  That water feeding line is annoying.  Everything right now is well above the water line. 
This discussion has been closed.