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Furnace openings.....

Hi everyone- I need some thoughts.

I know the boiler needs to be hosed down inside - from what I could tell when I was skimming it a few weeks ago, it looks pretty rusty.

Couple of questions about this though - and forgive me if I sound like a greenhorn-

The large plate with the bolts - can-or-should that be removed to wash the inside? The plug in the middle - can/should that be used as a skim port? I skimmed for several hours via the gauge glass port, but the trickle was ridiculously tiny.

I'm a little weary about washing the inside because we have a hot water coil in the boiler, so I don't know if I should risk washing the inside, and possibly damaging this or not. I don't know when, or if it was replaced last.

I've skimmed, I put two steam master tabs in, but there's still condensate in the glass when it runs.

The new hoffman 1A's that I got last year are all sticking -meaning they aren't draining the water out after they cool down. We have to manually unscrew them, empty them, and replace them. I've drowned them in vinegar, even boiled a few of them in vinegar, but they're still sticking (the metal thingys that stick out of the nipple gets stuck). I'm wondering if I should go with another type of vent (although I like the adjustable ones, but not sure if it's necessary). Also - the steam that is coming out of the radiators smells of heating oil - is that normal?



  • BobCBobC Posts: 5,071Member
    That large plug in the middle of the round plate is the skim port, remove that plug and screw in a 1-1/2"(?) pipe nipple so you can reach a bucket. A few slow skimming sessions should get the oils out.

    One of the members of this board suggests putting a cap with a slot in the end, that would give you a much wider area so the skimming would go much faster. You can't buy a cap with a slot, you have to modify one yourself.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • FredFred Posts: 8,278Member
    @marcusjh , you say you have a hot water coil in that boiler. Where is it? That large round plate is typically where the coil would go.
  • marcusjhmarcusjh Posts: 76Member
    I believe the coil is inside behind the red switch. I can take a photo tomorrow if you're interested to see.

    So if I remove that plate - can/should I spray the inside? Or am I taking a huge risk of something bigger developing? Or should I just remove that plug instead (+ it's sealed with pipe stuff). And if that larger plug is supposed to be the skim port -what's the smaller one at the very very top? I originally thought that was the skim port last year -

  • FredFred Posts: 8,278Member
    Either that top plug or the one in the center of the round plate could be used for the skim port. That large round plate is actually for the tankless coil. I just don't believe you have a tankless coil. Do you have a free standing hot water heater in the basement?
    In any case, taking that large round plate off, sometimes is problematic on older boilers as sometimes the bolts will twist off and then you are spending hours trying to get the broken stub out. You should use the plug in the center of that plate. Your water in the gauge glass looks pretty clean. I do see some water droplets in the upper part of that glass so it may well need a good skim but I don't know that I'd mess with trying to wash the inside out. If you want, you can open the drain valve, that should be located near the bottom of the boiler, and drain and refill the boiler a couple times to get sediment out of the bottom of the boiler.
  • marcusjhmarcusjh Posts: 76Member
    Here's a photo of the other side of the furnace. I was told the coil is in behind the water temp box.
  • FredFred Posts: 8,278Member
    I really am not sure what that set up might be. Clearly they cut the cabinet skin back and I doubt there were boiler tappings at that location. Maybe someone else will know what was done??? It sure looks like you need to address the corrosion on those pipes/mixing valve. It's gonna leak on you one of these days.
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385Member
    That is where your tankless coils is, on the side, and an old Taco mixing valve and piping mess. That looks to need more attention than a skim.
  • marcusjhmarcusjh Posts: 76Member
    Jeeez, someone told me it wasn't a big deal, and that it was only the brass and steel reacting to each other or something. Ugh.

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