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boiler with no skim port tee- where can I skim from?

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First, thanks for all the information on this forum. It has been very helpful in troubleshooting the steam system I recently "adopted."

The system has been surging, causing the low water cutoff to kick in and trigger the autofeeder, which floods the system and sends water through the radiator vents. I'm pretty sure I need to skim the boiler- but there is no tee installed. Here's a few photos showing the boiler configuration- in one photo, I circled a plug in red- can I skim directly from this?



Thank you!

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    That tee was installed incorrectly, but yes you could probably skim from there it will just be difficult to see what's going on.

    Also, I know you didn't ask, but that boiler isn't piped correctly and they way it is piped will exacerbate the surging problem, or could even be the sole source of the problem.

    I would suggest you need to skim only if that boiler is new, or there is new piping that needs the oils removed. It doesn't look that new to me, but looks can be deceiving.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,723
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    Total agreement. The steam is going to carry water straight up the supply which then becomes the main, it's pretty bad.

    That boiler is supposed to have twin supply pipes (you can see the plug on the side opposite the utilized supply tapping)

    If you could get that plug out you could skim from there (that's what I did on my similar boiler), but your piping is quite worse than mine was and I think you'll really have to finesse things to eliminate water carryover into your mains.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • raven52321
    raven52321 Member Posts: 4
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    Thank you! Yes, I was told that the piping is incorrect- and possibly causing water hammer and other problems. We recently renovated and replaced two large vertical pipes, and all of the valves on the radiators. I witnessed my plumber drop some kind of grease or silicone inside a pipe when he was replacing a valve. So I'm certain that we need to skim the boiler.

    As for the piping, I want to have it built correctly- and I suspect that it may be worth it to replace the boiler in the near future and have everything built to the manufacturer's spec. I'm told that my boiler is very old and will probably not last much longer
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    We recently renovated and replaced two large vertical pipes, and all of the valves on the radiators.

    I'm curious, what was wrong with the pipes, and why replace all the valves?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • raven52321
    raven52321 Member Posts: 4
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    I relied on my general contractor's advice, which I now suspect was misguided. There was a vertical pipe that constantly had moisture on it, and the areas around it were water damaged- I now suspect that the surging was just causing the water to come out the vent at the top and down the pipe. As for the valves, I was told that replacing them would stop the water hammer. How I wish I found this site before we did that work...
    ethicalpaul
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    I relied on my general contractor's advice, which I now suspect was misguided. There was a vertical pipe that constantly had moisture on it, and the areas around it were water damaged- I now suspect that the surging was just causing the water to come out the vent at the top and down the pipe. As for the valves, I was told that replacing them would stop the water hammer. How I wish I found this site before we did that work...

    Yes, some very misleading information there. That stinks.

    Where are you located? Not sure if you plan on some DIY work, or would prefer a good steam contractor, but with your location we may know someone good in your area.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • raven52321
    raven52321 Member Posts: 4
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    I'm located in Brooklyn- East Bushwick. I'm definitely looking for a good steam contractor, and would be happy to receive recommendations.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    @raven52321 check "find a contractor" on this site