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Surging

fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
Well as previously stated, skimmed the boiler first. Then I got around to installing clevis hangers, pitching, and insulating all pipes after the asbestos removal, atleast for the most part. Couple really small spots open due to fitment issues with other pipes. Drained the boiler and used water wand to clean inside until all water ran clear, added new sight glass, and a switched to straight pig tail from the horizontal one. Added rectorseal surgemaster, started up green, then turned red after boiler shut down and water ran back to boiler indicating the rectorseal didnt compelte its job. Still was getting surging that pulled all water out of sight glass. Surgemaster instructions state to use a second bottle, then drain if that doesnt work. I am thinking I need to skim again first. Then try another bottle before draining. I have a feeling that the water turning red is due to 9 of my 10 radiators being dipped, sandblasted, and repainted this summer and that residue is coming back to the boiler so this could be ongoing. The first radiator on the main line is the only one where the vent is getting clogged with water which sucks because the thermostat is in that room. I'm hoping this clears up with skimming and maybe another drain and fill. From a previous post I realize that the near boiler piping is about a half inch too small (2 inch vs manufacturer recommendation of 2 1/2). I'm hoping this isnt the reason it keeps surging. I dont mind getting the piping corrected but it needs to wait until after winter.

Damian


Comments

  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077
    Beware the dosage of water treatments. They will cause surging. Try like 1/4 - 1/3 of the directed amount
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    fxrgrunt
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,470
    Personally I would skip the Surgemaster, drain the boiler, skim it again (I assume you are using the top skim port, next to your pigtail) slowly. The trickle out of that tapping should be no more than the diameter of a pencil (so as to keep the surface of the water, in the boiler stable). Skim for an hour or so, if you can run a hose from the skim port over to a floor drain. When you are done, lower the water level back down to its normal level and, if you have them, add one or two Steamaster tablets, nothing else. If you don't have steamaster tablets, add nothing. Those other chemicals tend to cause foaming and/or surging.
    The fact you had the radiators refinished shouldn't matter. They are refinished on the outside, not the inside.
    I don't like those Cyclegard LWCO's either. It has nothing to do with the surging, they just shorten the life of your gas valve, probably by half or more because of the number of times they start and stop the boiler. The Safegard is a better option.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,272
    Agreed Fred!!
    also keep the pressure down, and MAIN venting up.—NBC
    fxrgrunt
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077


    🤷🏻‍♂️
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    Agreed Fred!!
    also keep the pressure down, and MAIN venting up.—NBC
    Pressuretrol is set at 0.5 with 1psi cut in. I just ordered a gorton 2 for my longer main (66ft) and will use two MOM 1s on the shorter one (47ft)
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    Beware the dosage of water treatments. They will cause surging. Try like 1/4 - 1/3 of the directed amount
    I wonder why they just dont give a better dosage considering its am issue.
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    Fred said:
    Personally I would skip the Surgemaster, drain the boiler, skim it again (I assume you are using the top skim port, next to your pigtail) slowly. The trickle out of that tapping should be no more than the diameter of a pencil (so as to keep the surface of the water, in the boiler stable). Skim for an hour or so, if you can run a hose from the skim port over to a floor drain. When you are done, lower the water level back down to its normal level and, if you have them, add one or two Steamaster tablets, nothing else. If you don't have steamaster tablets, add nothing. Those other chemicals tend to cause foaming and/or surging. The fact you had the radiators refinished shouldn't matter. They are refinished on the outside, not the inside. I don't like those Cyclegard LWCO's either. It has nothing to do with the surging, they just shorten the life of your gas valve, probably by half or more because of the number of times they start and stop the boiler. The Safegard is a better option.
    To be clear I should drain first and then skim after refilling vs skimming first? I have a T on the other side of the boiler which I made a tap with ball valve for skimming. I dont have steamamaster tablets. Are they worth getting? The radiators were dipped prior to sandblasting and being coated so stuff definitely hit the inside.


  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077
    edited November 17
    fxrgrunt said:


    I wonder why they just dont give a better dosage considering its am issue.
    Because they are in the water treatment selling business :sweat_smile:
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    fxrgrunt
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077
    To be clear I should drain first and then skim after refilling vs skimming first? I have a T on the other side of the boiler which I made a tap with ball valve for skimming. I dont have steamamaster tablets. Are they worth getting? The radiators were dipped prior to sandblasting and being coated so stuff definitely hit the inside.


    I skim first, then drain if I need to. I have the tablets but I've never used them yet. I just use the 8-way liquid.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,453
    I have mentioned this before, those side tapped boilers may have a reduced internal header....(probably one reason why you should use both side taps).
    If you skim out of the 2 1/2" you may only have the water draining out of the closest section.
    For this I added a 2 1/2" X 1 1/2" reducing fitting to get the entire boiler water to rise above the sections.

    If you remove the plug and look inside you see what I mean.
    fxrgrunt
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,470
    You've already recently drained and skimmed. I would skim first then drain and refill but the critical issue is skimming well, slow and long enough to ensure you get all the oils out of the boiler.
    I use the Steamaster tablets. I think they are worth it but I usually only add two tablets at the beginning of the heating season. The bottle suggests 4 or 5 times that amount but that amount also causes a very unstable water line.
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    JUGHNE said:
    I have mentioned this before, those side tapped boilers may have a reduced internal header....(probably one reason why you should use both side taps). If you skim out of the 2 1/2" you may only have the water draining out of the closest section. For this I added a 2 1/2" X 1 1/2" reducing fitting to get the entire boiler water to rise above the sections. If you remove the plug and look inside you see what I mean.
    My T is reduced to 2" because they sized the near boiler piping wrong. But I followed your advice and reduced the 2 down to 1 1/4". See attached picture.

  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    Fred said:
    You've already recently drained and skimmed. I would skim first then drain and refill but the critical issue is skimming well, slow and long enough to ensure you get all the oils out of the boiler. I use the Steamaster tablets. I think they are worth it but I usually only add two tablets at the beginning of the heating season. The bottle suggests 4 or 5 times that amount but that amount also causes a very unstable water line.
    I appreciate the info. I guess the hardest part is knowing if I'm skimming well. Also, without draining wont my water just stay red being the treatment didnt work?
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077
    Your setup looks good.

    I put an elbow on mine at the T so that I could adjust the exit height of the water (and it also allows me to use the skim port to put stuff in the boiler easily), but that's not necessary.

    That skim rate looks good in your photo. I go maybe a touch faster, but generally slower is better anyway.

    Eventually all the treatment will get flushed out in a long skim but honestly I wouldn't worry too much about the color--I think it's mostly just marketing shenanigans with maybe a little PH marker thrown in or something.

    Use litmus paper or a ph meter to end up around 8-9ph and you'll be good. Lots of people in the forum are skimming right now! :)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    fxrgrunt
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,470
    I am not sure if the red is from the chemical you put in the boiler or, as you said, if they dipped your radiators in some kind of acid bath when refinishing them. If the latter is the case, you may not get clear water until all the residual cleaning agent, from the refinishing process has washed back into the boiler. I would think that should happen after a week or two of full heating cycles.
    Skim again, slowly, drain the boiler and refill it, don't add anything to the water and watch it for the next couple weeks. If you see the water turn red, drain the boiler every two or three days until the red fades away. Skimming and draining is intended to remove what is in the boiler. You may have residue out in the system that just needs to wash back into the boiler.
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    Fred said:
    I am not sure if the red is from the chemical you put in the boiler or, as you said, if they dipped your radiators in some kind of acid bath when refinishing them. If the latter is the case, you may not get clear water until all the residual cleaning agent, from the refinishing process has washed back into the boiler. I would think that should happen after a week or two of full heating cycles. Skim again, slowly, drain the boiler and refill it, don't add anything to the water and watch it for the next couple weeks. If you see the water turn red, drain the boiler every two or three days until the red fades away. Skimming and draining is intended to remove what is in the boiler. You may have residue out in the system that just needs to wash back into the boiler.
    The red is from the surgemaster. It turns green when the water is clean and red when an alkaline agent is in the water indicating the treatment didnt work. So I'll skim to get that out and hopefully the oils will be out as well. I appreciate all of your responses.
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    Your setup looks good. I put an elbow on mine at the T so that I could adjust the exit height of the water (and it also allows me to use the skim port to put stuff in the boiler easily), but that's not necessary. That skim rate looks good in your photo. I go maybe a touch faster, but generally slower is better anyway. Eventually all the treatment will get flushed out in a long skim but honestly I wouldn't worry too much about the color--I think it's mostly just marketing shenanigans with maybe a little PH marker thrown in or something. Use litmus paper or a ph meter to end up around 8-9ph and you'll be good. Lots of people in the forum are skimming right now! :)
    You mind sending a picture of the elbow setup so I can get an idea of what you mean? I had to take the pressureblowoff on top off to funnel the treatment in.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077
    Sure. I also have a tee on it to let me pour stuff in, then I wash it down with some water. 

    During a skim I look into the tee to see the gunk sail by.

    Also while skimming the skim pipe would be more horizontal, but still slightly tilted up


    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    Sure. I also have a tee on it to let me pour stuff in, then I wash it down with some water. 

    During a skim I look into the tee to see the gunk sail by.

    Also while skimming the skim pipe would be more horizontal, but still slightly tilted up


    I like the setup and having the t to see inside. I imagine you tilt it to get the extra height as JUGHNE said above to make sure you skim all columns. 
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077
    edited November 20
    That's right, but in my case, I think my boiler design doesn't require that--I'm using the factory skim port so I think it's at the correct height already.

    But I used to have a Utica boiler tapped on one side just exactly like yours, and I used this same pipe there to help get the height up a bit, and it was likely the excellent @JUGHNE who advised me to do so!

    And to be real clear, this angle pictured is too high for good skimming because if the water's escape is higher than the exit port, then the oils will be floating above the port and will never escape.

    This is the angle I use for dumping stuff into the boiler.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    fxrgruntJUGHNE
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    edited November 20
    That's right, but in my case, I think my boiler design doesn't require that--I'm using the factory skim port so I think it's at the correct height already. But I used to have a Utica boiler tapped on one side just exactly like yours, and I used this same pipe there to help get the height up a bit, and it was like the excellent @JUGHNE who advised me to do so! And to be real clear, this angle pictured is too high for good skimming because if the water's escape is higher than the exit port, then the oils will be floating above the port and will never escape. This is the angle I use for dumping stuff into the boiler.

    So being I am back on this topic. I am going to get a 50 degree day today. So I will drain my boiler to get the surgemaster out, refill, drain, refill then skim. While I am draining I will probably put the new main vents on as well. I think I did the skimming correctly last time. The boiler was running, I shut it down and checked the pressure release prior to beginning to make sure it was good to go. Then began skimming. I read that you want it to run but not boil. What method do you guys use to get it right to that point where it is hot enough to skim but just right before the boiling point?
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077
    I think I said it before but I wouldn't bother to drain before skimming, there's no point, and it will deposit all the gunk on the sides of your boiler as it drains.

    Better to keep the stuff on the surface where it likely is now and slowly raise the water level to start your skim. Then you can drain it after the skim.

    You can open your skim valve and watch and listen as your water heats up. You will hear it start to get near boiling, it will start to emit condensation out the valve just like water in a pan on the stove starts to release condensation (mistakenly called "steam") before it boils.

    But honestly, I'm not sure it matters that much that it is hot. It may help a little.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    I think I said it before but I wouldn't bother to drain before skimming, there's no point, and it will deposit all the gunk on the sides of your boiler as it drains. Better to keep the stuff on the surface where it likely is now and slowly raise the water level to start your skim. Then you can drain it after the skim. You can open your skim valve and watch and listen as your water heats up. You will hear it start to get near boiling, it will start to emit condensation out the valve just like water in a pan on the stove starts to release condensation (mistakenly called "steam") before it boils. But honestly, I'm not sure it matters that much that it is hot. It may help a little.
    And I do remember that. I just kept thinking that I have to get the surgemaster out so I need the system cold to drain and refill. I guess being I shut the boiler off, I will skim cold, then drain. Refill, drain, heat up, skim hot, then run the boiler. Probably was going to need more than one skim anyways.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077
    The skim will effectively remove the surgemaster. You will be basically replacing all the water in the boiler.

    Also the skim will cool the boiler. You can slowly fill to skim level, then heat the water to hot (like say 180 degrees or so), then skim.

    I feel you are overly concerned about the temperature of the water. Are you worried about cracking your boiler or something?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    The skim will effectively remove the surgemaster. You will be basically replacing all the water in the boiler. Also the skim will cool the boiler. You can slowly fill to skim level, then heat the water to hot (like say 180 degrees or so), then skim. I feel you are overly concerned about the temperature of the water. Are you worried about cracking your boiler or something?
    You got that right. I guess I keep reading all this stuff about shocking it when you drain it and fill it so I got worried.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,077
    edited November 20
    Yeah, I wouldn't go out of my way to drain a 212 degree boiler and then immediately fill it with 50 degree water, but we are talking about slow temperature changes with the skimming.

    This isn't like heating a dry boiler to 500 degrees and then hitting it with cold water.

    If you do the skimming first, it will be hot, then slowly cool off, then you can drain it as much as you think you need and then refill it without worry because it won't be hot after the skim.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgruntfxrgrunt Member Posts: 78
    Yeah, I wouldn't go out of my way to drain a 212 degree boiler and then immediately fill it with 50 degree water, but we are talking about slow temperature changes with the skimming. This isn't like heating a dry boiler to 500 degrees and then hitting it with cold water. If you do the skimming first, it will be hot, then slowly cool off, then you can drain it as much as you think you need and then refill it without worry because it won't be hot after the skim.
    Understood. I appreciate you bringing me off the ledge on that. Been a hypochondriac this past year after having to remove the asbestos, replace the roof, and replace the windows haha.
    ethicalpaul

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