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Skimming new boiler

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I had new boiler installed, plumber did not install skimming port. I see oil on top of water and it surges. Can I skim the boiler by opening the pressure relief valve and flooding the boiler?

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  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,418
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    That's not a good idea. Better getting picture of boiler. He may of left a plug or cap somewhere on boiler to drain it correctly, is machine going on and off?
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    It heats fine, but what happens is that the water level is high. I drain it to the correct level, the next day it's all the way up. I have auto water feeder. I think it surges, adds water and overfills
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    Thank you. It did not seem to go on and off too often
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,749
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    Definitely needs skimmed. As was said post some pictures let's have a look at what you have.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    Thank you. I posted pictures above. I do not see any ports high up. There is the red gate valve in the back on the last picture, but it is at the bottom, the other one in the front next to wet return is also probably too low.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,914
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    I'm sorry to say but it looks like that boiler is piped completely wrong.

    If you have the manual to it look for a piping diagram and you will see for yourself.

    I don't recall what brand of boiler that is, but I do remember they are extremely picky about piping. Perhaps a pro can comment.

    I think @Steamhead uses this brand a lot.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    Diagram looks similar.
    This is Utica
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    what does look concerning to you?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
    edited February 2015
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    Skimming through the skimming port is a definite required step in the installation of the boiler.
    First problem is the use of copper for the supply piping, which has a higher coefficient of expansion than steel pipe and will move enough with the cycles of the boiler to loosen the joints, and leak soon. The boiler installation manual may have some requirements about that.
    It's hard to tell pipe sizes from a photo, but it looks like only 2 inch pipe. Look in the manual, and see if the mfg. requires 2 risers from the boiler of 3 inch pipe going into the header.
    This careful piping should give you dry steam, which will not blow all the water up into the supplies, and empty the boiler periodically, and shut off the burner.
    Shut off the valve to the auto feed, and watch the boiler fire during a long cycle, and I think you will see the boiler periodically going low on water. This interrupted steaming is not good for efficiency. Let's see a picture of the pressuretrol settings. The lower the pressure the better.--NBC
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    Thank you for your input. I set pressuretrol on 0.5 cut in with 1 differential.
    In the manual it recommends 2 inch risers
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    I am still puzzled how to skim the boiler without the port.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,749
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    Copper is NOT to be used on steam boilers. I can't see all the piping, but yes the piping doesn't look completely correct. It appears both risers have been used, but I can't make out where the second one hooks into the header? I can tell it isn't hooked into the header correctly. For 2 risers they should both hook into the header before the take off to the mains and then the header continues to the equalizer, which again can't see in those pictures. A couple pictures from further back so we can see all the piping would be good. In addition the skim port was not installed...the installer obviously didn't look at the manual. On this side were the risers hook in that is supposed to be a tee with a plug. The plug is the skimming provision. The boiler cannot be skimmed properly unless the installer changes this. Have you paid the installer in full? Did your contract mention installing to manufacturers specs? You mention the piping looks "similar" it can't be similar it is supposed to be exactly like the manual at a minimum. I agree you definitely need a skim, but can't think of how you could possibly do it the way that has been installed. The pressure relief won't work because once the water level is that high you have trapped oils in other sections and you will basically get what oil is right at the pressure relief.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    Thank you. It's all sad news. It was an emergency, my boiler cracked and it was 20f outside, my pipes start to freeze so I had to get someone right away and had no time to research. I asked them to use steel 5 times, but they assured that nowadays people use copper.
    I paid in full otherwise they will not start the boiler.
    I will post pictures shortly.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,749
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    kotlevich said:


    I paid in full otherwise they will not start the boiler.
    I will post pictures shortly.

    Sorry for the bad experience. Even if they had used steel I suspect it still would have been done improperly. Holding you hostage the way they did is bad customer service. It saddens me as a homeowner that we have to deal with this for any work on our houses.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,749
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    Where are you located? We may be able to recommend a good steam man in your area. To my eye a good pipe fitter might actually be able to remedy that piping without too much effort, but a pro might be able to comment better. I am thinking rip out the copper strip the piping back to that main take off. New steel risers into a header with a 90 at the end and back into the header that is there. Perhaps a pro could comment if I am nuts or not. Could possibly even do a drop header and into that piping you have. Again tell us where you are and we may be able to recommend someone who could fix it.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    thank you. that would be great. i am in north nj.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,749
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    NJ @JStar you may need to expand your business. Call this company and see if they can help you out. One of the best in the steam business. A lot of NJ popping up lately it seems. Must be a lot of steam hacks around there or something?!
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/thatcher-heating-and-air-conditioning
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • kotlevich
    kotlevich Member Posts: 19
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    thank you. I will!
  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,418
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    Yea that's done all wronge. No need to coment any further.