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Stalactite growing beneath the gauge glass. . . .

I'll log back in (in a moment) with my phone and upload a photo or two - but this thing has been slowly dripping for years.

Took the glass out today to clean it (I still have to skim it, but it's been too cold last several days). After cleaning it, I discovered that the bottom valve area is FULL of brown gunk. I ran the water off via the LWCO next to and below it (it ran clear after a moment or two). But the water came back up very dense brown when I re-installed the glass, and opened the valves.

I would love to remove this little screw beneath the bottom one and run out the brown stuff that's obviously in there. I'm a little unsure of whether I should attempt it though. The wings on it are bent, as if someone had a hard time with it previously, and I don't know what size cap, or other do-hicky I would need to screw back onto it. Any help would be much appreciated - thanks.


  • marcusjh
    marcusjh Member Posts: 79
    Heres the photos
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,763
    I would leave the bottom drain alone for now. But you could unscrew the packing bonnet on the valve stem, just under the handle. Then unscrew the valve until it comes out. Have a bucket handy to catch water. Poke a wire or such thru there into the boiler to clear the valve body. Rinse off the valve stem and replace. You may still have brown water but you will know that the water is actually coming into the glass for a true reading. The little drain valve will unscrew, but not in January. ;)
  • marcusjh
    marcusjh Member Posts: 79
    I almost poured a little vinegar into the bottom valve to "clean it out" - quickly stopped - and smacked myself. Duh...

    Any ideas on what I should replace that with (in May)? I saw a gauge glass set, which came with what looked like a small ball valve. I don't know sizes -
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    I had a similar situation when I blow down my boiler, weekly. A little Dirty water would blow by the LWCO and into the gage glass port. The problem was resolved by closing the bottom gage glass valve, blow down the boiler and then open the gage glass valve again. Water is crystal clear!
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 541
    New gauge glass assemblies aren't that expensive, really.

    A good supplier should be able to sell you a complete assembly with glass cut to length. Just tell them the center distance between the top and bottom tappings on the boiler.

    I have found Exxex Brass in Warren Michigan (586 757 8200) to offer several different styles, and in forged brass construction. These are slightly larger, and IMO better quality than the common cast versions. I have also been very pleased with the customer service they offer.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.