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New Steam Boiler Cycling On/Off
I had a new Burnham Independence gas-fired steam boiler installed earlier this month (replacing an OLD oil boiler on a one pipe system.)
The installer didn't skim at installation. I had a lot of odor once it fired up, so he came out and skimmed while hot (boiling) via the vent. The boiler doesn't have a dedicated skim port. It was a fairly quick process, unlike the all day skimming operation others have mentioned.
About a week later, I skimmed it via the upper sight glass port; very slowly, shortly after shutting it off (but while the water was still hot.) I've done this a second time.
I've also drained (while cold) some water from the bottom drain valve, getting a lot of oily/black residue each time.
THIS MORNING...I noticed that the water was jumping in the sight glass. It starts about 3/4 to 4/5 full, fires up, but then the water level jumps and slowly drops to the point where it triggers the low water cutoff. (This takes maybe a minute.) Once it shuts off, the water level returns (it doesn't trigger the automatic feeder) and then the boiler fires up again. It continues in this manner until the desired temperature is met.
MY QUESTION...do I need to keep skimming, and should I do it via the upper sight glass port (which I prefer, because I think it's more of a horiziontal "straight shot" off the boiler) or via the vent port (which has a upward bend/elbow before hitting the vent.) I have to hold open the release valve to do it this way, but this is how the installer did it. But, it seems odd to me that he fired it up first while "skimming."
OR...is there someone else that's likely causing the cycling. (I texted the installer, and he simply said "you need to skim again.") Could I have crud in my return or something wrong with my venting that's causing the water level drop and cycling?