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Rusting screws?

coolfx35coolfx35 Member Posts: 30
edited November 9 in Strictly Steam
This steam boiler is 1.5 year old. At one point, I was unscrewing it to get the dirt out. Look at the rust on it already.

It's not leaking, but i think it's rusting and eventually will leak. What's the best solution for now? Can I spray Battery Cleaner with Acid Indicator on it?

See pictures.

Thank you..

Comments

  • coolfx35coolfx35 Member Posts: 30
  • coolfx35coolfx35 Member Posts: 30
    edited November 9
    should I just leave it alone? it will probably do a slow leak at some point.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,391
    I presume you are referring to the corrosion on the plug on the bottom of the gauge glass there? That's not rust (rust forms on iron) but rather mild corrosion on the brass. Probably from small amounts of humidity. I'd not worry about it, and I doubt very much that it will develop a slow leak within the lifetime of the boiler -- although if you take the plug out for some reason (there's no good reason to), you may well find that getting it to reseal is difficult. Teflon tape.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 7,964
    Are you having to add much water to the boiler?
    Was the boiler ever skimmed after installation?
    I would drain, refill, and clean the gauge glass.
    Tighten up the packing nuts on the valves.
    Then do a good skim.—NBC
  • coolfx35coolfx35 Member Posts: 30
    edited November 9
    Yes, the boiler was skimmed after the installation..

    The boiler is not leaking, I don't have to add water, although the water on the glass is little dirty as you can see from the picture. I think it always get dirty after a week.

    I was told by the plumber to drain dirty water once a week (1/4) bucket and refill with fresh hot water (it's connected to the water heater).

    The method i was told to do this is

    1) When the boiler is running, pipe is hot,
    2) turn off the emergency switch.
    3) Drain the dirty water using the side hose.
    4) Refill the fresh water slowly because cast iron is hot.
    5) then start the system so that oxygen can be removed from fresh water.

    Are these steps correct? I do want to make this boiler last as many years as possible, because last one lasted only 12 years. it wasn't a cheap investment.

    Thanks for your advice.

  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,558
    That's just scale left behind when water that seeped out evaporated. Close the valve, take it out, clean it up, tape the threads with PTFE tape and replace it.

    Some of us on here like to replace those petcocks with full-port ball valves.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • mikeg2015mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,036
    I’d put a full port 1/4 ball valve and you drain it occasionally. the gauge glass already looks like there’s 1” of mud in it. I start to question if if even reads correctly anymore. It it doesn’t flow freely, you get a false level higher than actual as condensate collects in it.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,095
    You say you refill the boiler weekly from the Hot water heater. Do you have a water softener and is the hot water softened? The salts are corrosive and should not be used to top-off cast iron boilers. It may have also affected that plug.
  • coolfx35coolfx35 Member Posts: 30
    I don't have water softener, must I get one? What do you recommend?

    I tested my water. Its harder than ny. But it's common in essex county. Is the hard heated water worse than cold hard water?
  • coolfx35coolfx35 Member Posts: 30
    If it means I can pro-long my boiler. I am willing to invest couple of thousand to soften my water. Boiler was hella expensive to replace.
  • GilmorrieGilmorrie Member Posts: 111
    You said pictures, plural - but I see only one. It shows green around copper joints. That is caused by the joint leaking, not rust. Correct the leakage.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,391
    coolfx35 said:

    If it means I can pro-long my boiler. I am willing to invest couple of thousand to soften my water. Boiler was hella expensive to replace.

    Do NOT, repeat NOT use softened water in your boiler. That's exactly what you don't want to do. The water in your area isn't hard enough to need any treatment at all.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,095
    @coolfx35 , as has been said, you do not want to use softened water. My comment above says it is corrosive. It has hi salt content.
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,558
    The most important thing to avoid if you have hard water is losing excessive amounts of water as steam, through bad vents, leaky radiators and excessive system pressure. Losing steam means you're losing pure water, leaving the minerals behind, so as you keep adding makeup water, hardness minerals will accumulate. As long as you keep your system working properly and aren't adding large amounts of makeup water, mineralization shouldn't be a problem.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
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