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feedwater for domestic steam boiler
My home has a 13 year old Burnham Independence IN-4 steam boiler. Our domestic water supply is very hard and treated with chlorine and fluorine and has been used in the boiler for all but the last year. I have had to add approximately 2 pints of water every two weeks during the heating season here in Pennsylvania for as long as I can remember, and have not been able to find any leaks anywhere, including after removing the top of the housing and looking inside the flueway. I have only one condensate return and I replaced about 1/2 of it with new black pipe, so I know it is clear. All piping is above the floor. I replaced the near boiler piping with a drop header and also opened up the second steam tapping, piping that into the drop header, like shown on the installation manual, and in the Lost Art of Steam Heating.(thank you!). The PH is between 10 and 11, and I am attempting to monitor and reduce the PH to between 9 and 10.
Also important to know is that during my leak checking, I over-filled the boiler to a point above the top of the housing and no leaks occurred that were visible.
a couple of questions: 1) is a pint a week excessive? 2) because I wish to limit additional buildup of scale, and possibly reduce the amount of scale in the boiler, while reducing the PH, would it hurt the boiler cast iron by adding baking soda to distilled water or to reverse osmosis water, for all additional feed water. I figured plain distilled water may harm the cast iron, OR, possibly not harm it because surely there must be a lot of scale buildup.
My system holds only about 8 gallons of water, including what is in the return. So, if I do add baking soda, any idea how much to lower the PH to 9-10 from current 10-11?
Thanks always for any guidance you can provide, I appreciate it.
You cannot provide too much information. Steve