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Surging new Bunham 5006B after skimming multiple times

Thomb
Thomb Member Posts: 15
I installed a new Burnham 5006b , 400,000btu steam boiler in my 6 unit apartment building and if I skim the boiler from the surface blow off port and refill it with clean water it lasted about 4 days of making dry steam and then it starts surging and making wet steam and the water feeder overfills the boiler.I ran it with Tsp in it and skimmed it again, with the boiler running and again with it warmed up and shut off .Then I added 1 can of squick and refilled it and it worked good for 1 month ,then it started surging again so I skimmed it again the same way and added 1 can of squick again and it lasted another month.It seems like the dirty water is not at the top when I skim it and most of the dirty water comes out when I keep opening the blow down valve on the low water cut off.I did not put a mud plug or drain at the bottom of the return piping which I think I need to do because maybe the oils and dirt are in the bottom of the boiler too.I used a lot of the recommended Loctite 592 anaerobic ,Teflon lubricant on the nipples when I assembled it could that be floating around in the boiler still ,the old boiler had a lot of brown leak sealer poured in it also.I read Dans book and Looked and listened too a lot of you guys who do this all the time Thanks for your help.I will upload some photos of my boiler piping

Comments

  • Thomb
    Thomb Member Posts: 15
    here are some photos1

  • Thomb
    Thomb Member Posts: 15

  • Thomb
    Thomb Member Posts: 15
    photo
  • Thomb
    Thomb Member Posts: 15



  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,329
    edited February 2019
    What size is the header, and how are you skimming it (exactly)? Can you picture the skim tapping, as in not seeing it.
  • gfrbrookline
    gfrbrookline Member Posts: 683
    The NBP looks much better than most. What is your pressuretrol set at?

    I think the squick may be part of the problem. Try draining the boiler completely when cool and refill it without any chemicals and see how you make out. Steam doesn't work well with chemicals.
  • acwagner
    acwagner Member Posts: 505
    I had a Burnham boiler installed recently, although it's not nearly as big as yours. It included a new header and some other piping as well. I had to skim it every 2 days for the first week, and then weekly for about a month, and then every month until the end of the heating season. Now it runs smoothly. So, in my experience a single skimming won't do it on a new install. When it starts acting up, skim it again. It takes some time for all the oils to work their way to the boiler.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • Thomb
    Thomb Member Posts: 15
    The header is 3 inch , I ran the boiler for at least an hour and shut it off and filled it slowly and let it run slowly out the pressure relief port on the side with the valve removed into a floor drain until it was running out cold ,I also tried running the boiler and letting water feed into it slowly and drain it out the pressure relief port without the valve installed ,but it seems like I get more dirty water out from the blow down valve on the low water cut off after skimming out the relief port . It seems like all the dirty water is lower in the boiler. I also ran the boiler and fed water into it and shut off the return water from going into the boiler and let it drain out the condensate return pipe near the boiler.
  • Thomb
    Thomb Member Posts: 15
    Thanks acwagner that sounds like what I have been doing ,I also am going to put a valve on the bottom to see if I can drain out the bottom of the boiler
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,329
    edited February 2019
    I understand that 3” is up to manufacturers specifications, and you went over that even with the drop header and use of both risers. But for what it’s worth, while I use to rely on manufacturers specifications, 3” is now the minimum size header I install on even the smallest residential steam boiler. Ideally I would have sized your header at 5” or 6” even. In any event, I would remove the pressuretrol and the bushing behind it and get to the full size 1-1/2” that is there. Then skim from there. You could also remove the plug from the other side of the boiler (return) and wand clean the boiler.
  • Thomb
    Thomb Member Posts: 15
    Thanks Dan I was wondering if that's where you would use a wand is that at the bottom return plug and is that with a pressure washer I assume ? The pressure relief port on the other side is 1-1/2" that's where I skimmed from .
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,329
    edited February 2019
    Yes bottom return plug but really you just need pressurized water not a pressure washer. Check it out:

    SuperTechethicalpaul
  • Thomb
    Thomb Member Posts: 15
    Wow I think I need to do that, very informative video

    Thanks Danny
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @Thomb Be patient. I also have a fairly large Burnham and I tell everyone here, that has an unstable water line, that Burnhams seem to be very sensitive to any oils in the water. Using the PRV valve to skim requires that the skim be not much more than a trickle. The squick is a definite NO-NO. That stuff does not eliminate the oils, it just encapsulates it and it settles on the bottom for a while. It will then resurface. Squick, by itself will cause instability and foaming of the water. Drain the boiler completely, let it cool a while and then refill it. If the water is still unstable, skim it. When the water starts to bounce (more than 1/2 to 3/4", skim again and do so until it stays stable. Anytime I have to put even a small nipple or section of pipe on my system, it usually takes two long skims to get it back to normal. You have a lot of new piping and a new boiler. It will take a while. Don't get frustrated.
  • Thomb
    Thomb Member Posts: 15
    Thanks Fred you guys have put me in the right direction that is very reassuring .
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,230
    When I slimmed my Smith G8 steam boiler It took about 2 hours to fill a 5 gallon bucket. I think it took 4 or 5 half day skims to get that water oil free.

    After I knew all the oil was out I started using SteaMaster tablets (one or two max) to keep the PH high - ignore label dosage). This is the 6th year for that boiler and the water in the boiler is still good and clean, when I dump a gallon or two from the boiler drain I get a qt or so of dark water but everything else is clean water with a purple tinge to it.

    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