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Steam boiler making bad odors?

Bob Chapman
Bob Chapman Member Posts: 11
We have 150.000 BTU imput steam boiler making bad odors. How much liquid tri-sodium phosphate free, that sells in home depot will it take to eliminate this odor?


  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,564
    bad smell

    i would change the water first, and immediately boil the new water to drive out the oxygen.

    have you put anything other than water in the boiler? ask the manufacturer what is recommended for cleaning. peerless suggests arm&hammer washing soda, which is effective but gentle.--nbc
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Boiler Cleaning

    Hi - The stuff they call TSP in the big box stores really isn't TSP as in most places TSP is restricted and there fore hard to find. Read the fine print on the label and you will generally see that it says it is a "TSP substitute". Whether this will work or not is questionable and might cause you more problems than it helps. You might want to contact  Rhomar Water  http://www.rhomarwater.com/products/residential-steam-system/  as they are very helpful and can give you recommendations. Their products aren't as cheap as plain washing soda or TSP but they work which saves you a lot of hassle.  What is causing the odor may be stagnant water in the boiler and / or wet return so cleaning and flushing those would be a good start. As NBC mentioned you could try washing soda (Arm & Hammer)  but with

    that, you don't want to let the boiler make steam so it only cleans the boiler and not the wet return. (Below I've attached Peerless's instruction on using washing soda for cleaning/skimming boilers)  Here's a article of Dan's on cleaning Wet Returns that might be helpful to you.  http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/364/Boilers/145/How-to-Flush-the-Return-Lines-on-an-Old-Steam-System

    I've never used it but you might also want to look at Hercules Scout which according to the spec sheet has TSP.  http://www.herchem.com/specs/scout.pdf  I would call the tech dept and ask how it works on odors.

    - Rod
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