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Seasonal Startup

cubicacrescubicacres Member Posts: 264
We started up our single-pipe steam boiler for the season last night after draining a few gallons of purple water out via blowdown valves at the bottom (We added 2 steamaster tablets this spring & filled it up to within 1/2 inch of the top of the sight glass, then ran it for 15 minutues before shut-down for summer storage).

We had a few questions:
1. Anything else reccomended to do as we turn it back on for another season?
2. We saw the old boiler had steel funnels/pigtails with the pressuretrolls, do brass ones do a better job over time?
3. The sight glass is dirty again-is another skimming recommended/does crud form at the top of the water line during shut-down season?
4. If the water is still pink/purple, does that indicate the steamaster is still working?

Comments

  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,550
    Brass pigtails will foul slower than steel ones but both should be checked yearly to make sure they are clear.

    It takes a while to get all yje crud out of a boiler, many long skimming sessions. After the first season mu sight glass has remained clean.

    The color indicates it's still there but you might want to check the PH with some litmus paper, you want it to be be between 8-10. If it's higher you could get foaming which is not good.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Member Posts: 732
    The manual for your boiler should give you a detailed list of tasks to perform.
  • cubicacrescubicacres Member Posts: 264
    Thanks. We didn't recall seeing the WMC EG75 user manual mentioning startup procedures much, but we'll take another look.

    During our first summer shut-down it was a humid summer without a de-humidifier in our basement until we recently got one running. The black steel riser/header/near boiler pipes all have a thin varnish/coating of red rust on the outside. Is this a normal occurance, or something we should be concerned with? The rust on the near-boiler pipes was disappointing to see from an aesthetic perspective within a year of installation, but we're not sure if that's normal.

  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,550
    Iron rusts unless it's painted, surface rust has no impact on the boiler.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,650
    Insulation on the supply pipes will cover that rust, which is probably only an appearance issue, and they will look and work better.—NBC
  • cubicacrescubicacres Member Posts: 264
    Thanks. We had it insulated shortly after installation, then took it off for the leak detection hunt and noticed the rust on the surface occured that summer.
  • MilanDMilanD Member Posts: 991
    My new pipes in the boiler room also rusted like this after 1 summer. Having a large fresh air makeup grill mounted on the outside wall, room is basically same as outdoors during the summer. If you have the same, install some kind of cover over the makeup air grill and run a dehumidifier. For pipes, scrape and paint if it's bothering you. Paint will protect them too.
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,550
    Years ago I used to run a dehumidifier in the cellar just to keep the rust on my power tools at bay. A few years later the square bucket broke and they wanted an arm and a leg for a new one.

    That forced me to actually think. I went up the hardware store and bought a piece of Lexan to replace the cracked 8x14(?) pane in one of the basement windows and before I puttied it in place I cut a 4" hole in it and mounted a 4-1/2" muffin fan on the inside surface. I plug that fan in every year in mid May and unplug it every October. No more rust and no more big electric bills - that fan draws 13W while the dehumidifier probably drew 400W. The fan has been in that window for 15 years and sill works fin, I do block it off when it's bot running to cut the draft and stop any mice that might be looking for a warm place to spend the winter.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • MilanDMilanD Member Posts: 991
    @BobC - so you are running it as an exhaust fan?
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,550
    Yes, it's a 100cfm muffin fan that exhausts 24/7 from May - October.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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