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Water questions.

ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,056Member
So we decided to get a pool for the kids which led me to do some testing which led me to wondering a few things.


The previous steamer in this house was a Burnham V8 and it rotted out once in 3 years and again after 5 years.

I noticed when I installed my EG series the water seemed awfully rusty before I started using Steamaster.

When I started testing the pool water and my tap water directly I found the ph to be 7.5-8. There's a good amount of calcium in it but what's odd is my total alkalinity is 160-175 ppm.

Does that high TA have anything to do with the water becoming corrosive in a steam boiler? And why would it be so high to begin with?

I have city water and it doesn't taste or smell bad. Leaves white minerals on things though.
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

Comments

  • hot rodhot rod Posts: 8,617Member
    That is not a crazy high TA, 20- 200 mg/l is typical drinking water numbers.

    Did you test it yourself? With a color indicator test, those can be tricky to get exact readings, have another person look at the color match.

    Any other tests, chlorides, TDS?

    With multiple boiler issues it may be wise to send a sample to a lab to see exactly what else is in the water that could be the problem.

    I think steam guys like a bit high alkalinity to coat and protect the iron, but not too much to cause scaling.

    The water company may be adding treatment also. Polyphosphates are sometimes added when turbidity gets high. It will lock up scaling mineral address taste, staining and scaling.

    See how much info the water supplier will provide, and send a sample off for analysis.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 7,300Member
    Even perfect tap water will contain dissolved oxygen, which is the enemy of cast iron. How much makeup water is being added? Usually the auto feeder will add fresh water at the end of a cycle, and so the oxygen is not boiled out until the next firing during which time it can do its mischief. The short life of your boilers points to a problem.—NBC
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,056Member
    edited June 9
    > @nicholas bonham-carter said:
    > Even perfect tap water will contain dissolved oxygen, which is the enemy of cast iron. How much makeup water is being added? Usually the auto feeder will add fresh water at the end of a cycle, and so the oxygen is not boiled out until the next firing during which time it can do its mischief. The short life of your boilers points to a problem.—NBC

    They weren't my boilers. We bought the house as the second one was starting to leak.

    My water usage is low, around 6 cups a month during a cold snap. Even so, I'll never run it without water treatment because I saw how rusty the water became.

    My EG series was run with plain water for only the first few months of its life in 2011. As far as I know, the inside of it still looks like brand new via the skim tapping.
    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
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,056Member
    edited June 9
    > @hot rod said:
    > That is not a crazy high TA, 20- 200 mg/l is typical drinking water numbers.
    >
    > Did you test it yourself? With a color indicator test, those can be tricky to get exact readings, have another person look at the color match.
    >
    > Any other tests, chlorides, TDS?
    >
    > With multiple boiler issues it may be wise to send a sample to a lab to see exactly what else is in the water that could be the problem.
    >
    > I think steam guys like a bit high alkalinity to coat and protect the iron, but not too much to cause scaling.
    >
    > The water company may be adding treatment also. Polyphosphates are sometimes added when turbidity gets high. It will lock up scaling mineral address taste, staining and scaling.
    >
    > See how much info the water supplier will provide, and send a sample off for analysis.

    Hi Rod,

    I'm using a Taylor K-2006T kit which does not use color match for TA but rather you add drops until color disappears. Unless that's still considering the same.

    TDS is usually around 150-200 ppm.

    I haven't been too concerned with scaling etc because steamaster is supposed to keep it from happening and allow minerals to be released during blowdowns.


    I assumed the TA was crazy high because it is too high for a swimming pool and it seemed like no one has that issue. That could very well just be a mistake and a poor assumption on my part.
    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
  • hot rodhot rod Posts: 8,617Member
    correct, pool water, drinking water and boiler water, different applications. as you mentioned, adding chemicals is one way to adjust the water to what is ideal for each application. Alkalinity (minerals) is what gives water a good drinking taste, strip too much away, like RO drinking water and it tastes bland or flat, to me any way. Most bottled water is run through RO, stripping everything out, good and bad minerals and ions. Then as the label shows they add mineral packages back in so it drinkable, and if sweeteners are added they would like it to be addictive :)

    I'm of the opinion bad boiler fill water should be stripped with RO or DI then add back in exactly the ingredients and components the system requires. With todays multi metal systems, that could be dozens of chemicals blended into boiler treatment products.

    But now you have a chemical romance with your systems, pool, boiler, drinking water. You need to nurture that relationship.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
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