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Tapping boiler to skim

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Gryfon19
Gryfon19 Member Posts: 20
edited December 2014 in Strictly Steam
I'm nearly certain I have some oil causing surging in the boiler and want to skim it. There's not already a tap setup for this, so in looking at the manual I believe it's supposed to be the large square headed nut in the upper left on the left side of the unit in picture #2 but I could a 2nd, 3rd, etc. opinion using the photos below (the boiler is a Bryant 235A).

Is the idea I essentially remove the square headed access point and will be able to screw in the 6"+ nipple and ball valve? Image of the boiler manual included.

Please disregard the copper piping. Thanks!

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  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited December 2014
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    That's the skim port on the upper corner Side view of the boiler (by the Pressure Relief valve). I suspect you may have trouble getting that plug out but you will have too to properly skim it. Once you get it off, put a 6 inch nipple on it (full size) and a full port ball valve. When the skimming is done, put a plug in the end of the ball valve so that no one will accidentally open that valve when the boiler is running.
  • Gryfon19
    Gryfon19 Member Posts: 20
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    Yay, I feel so proud for having finally located that. Now for the hard part - any tips on getting the plug out, particularly without damaging the boiler? Plumbers wrench + plus elbow grease?
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Use plenty of penetrating oil (Kroll or PB Blaster, most prefer Kroll). Soak those threads for a day, tap it lightly with a hammer to set up a vibration, repeat that process the next day and even a third day. Put a large pipe wrench on it with a four or five foot pipe as a cheater bar and see if you can turn it.
  • Gryfon19
    Gryfon19 Member Posts: 20
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    Thanks Fred!

    I'm curious - how does the oil makes its way to the threads if the the cap is tightened down so tightly?
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    It is a penetrating oil. It breaks down the rust as far as it can work its way into those threads (hopefully enough to weaken the bond between the plug and the boiler block. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't and you have to resort to more labor intense (and more stressful) measures. Let's just hope it works. A lot of times the pressure relief valve is mounted on the side of the boiler and I advise people to take that off of the elbow it is mounted on and install a Tee. You can then remount the Relief valve on the top opening of the tee and use the end opening as a skim port. Those valves are brass and come off easily. Unfortunately, your relief valve is mounted on top of the boiler and not acceptable for skimming.
  • Gryfon19
    Gryfon19 Member Posts: 20
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    Thanks again Fred, you've been extremely helpful. One last thing - I'm going to pick up some Kroil but is there any real difference between the aerosol or liquid/oil based version? I'd love to do this sooner than later (traveling for the holidays) and I can order the aerosol version from Amazon w/ 2 days shipping.

    Thanks!
  • Gryfon19
    Gryfon19 Member Posts: 20
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    On the other hand, PB Blaster appears to be available at the local big box...
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    PB Blaster works better than most of the other retail products, but be warned -- it stinks to high heaven.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
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    I'll "disregard" the copper, but I can't be 100% sure, but it looks like you have an undersized "header", doesn't look like a header, and you might even be missing an equalizer? That could be causing you some issues. How about a wider shot of the right of the boiler?
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,750
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    They posted wider pics in another post.
    http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/152195/premature-auto-water-shut-off#latest
    It's not pretty.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
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    Well there's his problem.