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wet steam and main vent

alanm
alanm Member Posts: 71
wet steam coming out of some radiators and I noticed water spitting out of Hoffman 75 main vent at end of run..does this mean main vent is bad? boiler new and skimmed with chemicals (just found out) about a year ago..they have since come back and skimmed twice..suggestions?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,912
    Probably wet steam. Any idea what chemicals were used? Generally one doesn't want any in a steam boiler, and they can cause wet steam.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    I would drain and refill the boiler a couple of times, after a cool down period, and see if the situation improves. It may still need a proper skimming to get any oil out.
    See if you can find the port, provided by the factory as a skim port.—NBC
  • alanm
    alanm Member Posts: 71
    Do not know the chemicals. Can I drain myself or need contractor? ALso is that main vent bad when watering is sputtering out of the top! Thanks. Alan
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    You can do it yourself-do you have a floor drain?—NBC
  • alanm
    alanm Member Posts: 71
    No floor drain. Where would I find how to drain? Should I also replace main vent?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    Maybe you should have a pro come, and do these things while you are there to take notes for next years maintenance.
    List of yearly chores:
    1. Clean pigtail.
    2. Verify LWCO operation.
    3. Check pressure gauge operation, by installing second, 0-3 psi gauge.
    4. Clean burner, and check.
    5. Check supply piping for insulation.
    6. Maybe a few incidentals as well.—NBC
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,667
    known to beat dead horses
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    @alanm, can you tell what pressure the boiler is running at? Can we see a picture of the Pressuretrol? It may be that the boiler is running at a high pressure and condensate can't get back to the boiler while in a heating cycle.
    Pictures of the boiler and piping above and around it would also be helpful.
    As to should you replace the Hoffman 75, it is most likely too small anyway but I would want to understand why it, and the radiator vents are spitting water before we can determine if the vents are bad.
  • alanm
    alanm Member Posts: 71
    It is running as low as it can go. See attached photos. thanks..
  • Neild5
    Neild5 Member Posts: 163
    If you open the pressuretrol (with the system off) there is a white dial, make sure it is as low as it can go also.
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,785
    If there are still residual oils in your boiler, it will cause foaming. Foam will form on the top of the boiler water and it will be pushed down all of the mains. As the foam and bubbles gets all the way to the vents, it will be pushed out the vents, causing them to drip. Don't worry about dripping vents until you see what you have when the boiler is cleaned up.

    Skimming is almost always necessary to get a new boiler cleaned up. Skimming is the processes of slowing draining water off from a hot boiler at the water line. In doing so, the oils floating on the surface of the water are slowly removed. My boiler had to be skimmed 15 to 20 times over the course of 2 weeks before the foaming problem completely went away. But, it was a MUCH bigger boiler and there was a LOT of new piping too.

    Have you called your installer back to finish cleaning the boiler?
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • alanm
    alanm Member Posts: 71
    I will check the pressure....installer was out 3 times to skim....anyway to tell before they skim again, whether it needs to be? anything to visually see? how about the main vent...with water spitting out of the hole on top of Hoffman 75, ...do I need new one?
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,785
    You probably do not need a new Hoffman 75. You will not be able to tell until the foaming issue is corrected.
    Another thing you can look at is your sight glass on the boiler. If the boiler is not foaming, the top part of the glass will be clear, almost as if it were dry. But, if the boiler is foaming, you will see little streams of water flowing down the inside surface of the glass.

    To help you visualize what is going on, thing of a pan of water on the stove. You can put a lid on a boiling pan of water and nothing happen, it will boil but not foam. The steam will push the lid off just enough to let steam out, but nothing else will happen. NOW, consider a pan of water with potatoes in it. Once the water boils a little bit, it will begin to foam, especially if you have a lid on. Very quickly the pan will fill with foam and the foam will quickly raise the lid and boil over. In your foamy boiler, the foam has no where to go except throughout all of the pipes, heading toward any vent it can find. As the bubbles get to the vents, little bits of water will be pushed out. A Hoffman #75 has a float that will close if the water level rises up to the vent. But, your vent is not filled with water, just pesky foam. Foam will not raise the float. Fix the foaming issue.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,585
    Really great description, @Dave in QCA
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • alanm
    alanm Member Posts: 71
    no water marks on upper part of sight glass...?