Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Determining Boiler Condition

KevinK
KevinK Member Posts: 67
Is there a way to determine the condition of the boiler – the inside of the boiler (I don’t know the correct term)?  E.g., for corrosion and scaling? Some type of scope that can be inserted into e.g. the skim tee. If so, is this commonly available/approx cost/reliability/advisability? I couldn't find anything on this in a search of the forum.      Thanks.
One-pipe steam. NG fired. 2100 sq ft heated space.
Utica Boiler PEG150C (150,000 Btu/hr Input) connected to 491 sq ft of radiation. Operating press 0.5 psi.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,893
    One usually doesn't worry that much

    about the water side of a boiler.  The fire side, yes indeed -- there are access panels or ports or what have you which allow a good technician to get in there and get all of the soot scraped or brushed off and knocked down into the firebox, and then, of course, the firebox gets checked and vacuumed and generally all tidied up.  Then the burner goes back together and you adjust the air and oil or gas and off you go.  And all that should be done, as a minimum, once a year.



    As I say, the water side one doesn't usually worry about.  However, if you wanted to, after you had drained the boiler you could get in there through any of the various ports with a mechanic's fibre optic borescope gadget.  They aren't all that cheap (!), at least for decent ones, but they do let you see what's happening.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • KevinK
    KevinK Member Posts: 67
    Re: One usually doesn't worry that much

    Thanks. Both parts of your answer were helpful. With regard to the fire side issues, I was unaware of these. I'm sure that my firebox has never been cleaned (14 yr old replacement boiler). I will add this to my maintenance list.



    With regard to the water side of the boiler, the reason I raised the question is because I am concerned because of the excessive makeup water that the system has been subjected to over 14 years (see my  separate "Excessive Water Use ... " posting).
    One-pipe steam. NG fired. 2100 sq ft heated space.
    Utica Boiler PEG150C (150,000 Btu/hr Input) connected to 491 sq ft of radiation. Operating press 0.5 psi.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,692
    If you hunt the wall

    I am sure you will find numerous posts about how bad excessive water can be.  Basically fresh water brings fresh oxygen.  Oxygen + Iron makes Iron oxide also known as rust.  So in general more water = more rust.  As far as I know there is no secret equation or anything to predict how much excess water and how much it will shorten boiler life, it's basically bad.  Do you have Dan's books?  They are fantastic if you haven't already heard.  If you plan on living with the steam I suggest you get them...I wish I would have known about them 12 years ago when I bought my house!  Just another humble homeowner.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • KevinK
    KevinK Member Posts: 67
    Re: If you hunt the wall

    Thanks. I'll do further site research. And I do have Dan’s books. It has taken me 4 yrs, but thanks to Dan’s books, Linhardt’s book, other steam heat sites and this site, I am finally understanding my system and figuring out the problems.
    One-pipe steam. NG fired. 2100 sq ft heated space.
    Utica Boiler PEG150C (150,000 Btu/hr Input) connected to 491 sq ft of radiation. Operating press 0.5 psi.