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where do I start ?

pjnick Member Posts: 18
So I have a one pipe steam system with a 7 year old burnham boiler and 100 year old pipes so I was getting a lot of purging the water was coming out of the air vents and dissapering from the glass gauge also the pressure was getting up to 8 psi my pressure troll settings are main is 2 and diff is1 I skimmed the boiler and added some squick the noises hve slowed down its not spitting but still getting a lot of purging and pressure still running up to 8 psi any Ideas


  • JimmyNJ
    JimmyNJ Member Posts: 107
    Sounds like you have oil floating around in the boiler (which could still be there from the new boiler install 7 years ago) I would set the cut-in at .5 and the cut-out (white wheel inside pressurtrol) at 1 and I would take a couple of days to really skim the boiler to make sure you get rid of any oily film that is on the surface (causes the big surges you are seeing in the sight-glass). When you skim the boiler, make sure you slowly raise the water level in the boiler until you get a small flow of water from your skimming port (I think I read somewhere on this site that the flow should be no wider than a pencil).
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    Do skim the boiler as it sounds like there is oil on the surface of the water. Skimming is easy but is a slow Process.

    Before you do that, take the Pressuretrol off of the pigtail (looped pipe it is mounted on) and take the Pigtail off and clean the gunk out of it. It sounds like the pigtail is plugged with gunk and the Pressuretrol can't see the steam prssure. While you have the Pressuretrol off, look into the fitting that screws onto the pigtail and you will see a pinhole in the center. stick a paperclip into that hole and make sure it is clean and open also..

    Back to the skimming, most Burnhams don't seem to be installed with skim ports and thosse that do have a 3/4" skim tapping in the boiler block. If you don't have a skim port, getting the plug out of the tapping is next to impossible. In that case, AND WITH THE BOILER POWER OFF, take the Pressure relief valve off of the back of the boiler, take the elbow it is mounted on off as well. Install a short 3/4" nipple in place of the elbow and put a 3/4" Tee on the nipple. Remount the Pressure Relief valve on the top opening of the Tee and use the end opening as your skim port. When you are done skimming, put a 3/4" plug in the end of the Tee and it is ready for the next time you need to skim. Skimming may take 2, 3 or even 4 sessions to get all the oils off of the surface of the water.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    You should be able to verify whether the pressuretrol is working by blowing into the bottom of it while it's off. Set the pressuretrol to about .5 psi. While blowing into it you should hear the microswitch click. Just swapped out a 3 month old vaporstat today that was defective. microswitch wouldn't trip on making pressure.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,686
    Can you share some pictures of the boiler and it's piping with us?

    Also, what kind of venting are you using on the mains and radiators?

    This is a video I made a few years ago of skimming.
    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