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Steam Boiler accessories

Krum Member Posts: 23
Hi Guys,
I want to ask if I need:
- Boiler blowdown cooler – to prevent sanitary piping from melting. Boilers are running at 3.5psig - temp is not too high.
- Device to preheat condensate after boiler feed tank before introducing it back to the boiler.
- Device for chemically treating the water – we already have a water softener.

Thank you in advance



  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
    Ion exchange water softener? Feed the boiler from before the softener. Boilers do not last long when fed ion exchange softened water.

    How big is this puppy? I assume it is some sort of commercial or industrial application, or you wouldn't be running 3.5 psi. And I presume it is a consumptive use, or you wouldn't be blowing the boiler down more than needed for a float LWCO (around a gallon a week or less). If so, what is the sanitary piping material? If it's any of the plastics -- PVC, ABS, etc. -- then you do need a cooler for the blowdown. The blowdown water --if the boiler is running -- will be right at 212, which is too hot for any plastic. The simplest approach is a tank -- open top and uninsulated --to hold the blowdown for delayed release.

    Unless you have a lot of returning condensate, a feed water heater isn't going to be particularly helpful. If you If you have a lot of live steam exhaust, though, then it would be. A condensate return heater is a waste of time.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,102
    I have a small commercial job where each blowdown device will yield about 2-3 gallons at the temp you might have. There is a 5 gallon steel bucket under each. The bucket has a small 1/2" nipple brazed into the bottom. 5-10' of garden hose then take that to a PVC floor drain. The water cools in the bucket and thru out the hose. It is all easily drained by the time the next blowdown is needed.

    This was the method for several years on an old boiler at 2.75 PSI and apparently the PVC has survived.
    I would think the hose would fail first.

    Or you could run small copper tubing instead of the hose, the copper would give up a lot of the heat. The longer the better.

    The feed pump output is throttled way down and goes into the Hartford Loop very slowly mixing with the equalizer water.
    High speed return water will kill the steam and make for a bouncy water line. IMO.

    Some add a port on the top of the boiler to add chemicals. Bell increaser to form a funnel design.
    One site would add chemicals thru the cond pump tank and it took out the seal...so not a good idea.

    Saw another injection feeder that would add a shot of chemicals every time the water feeder was activated.....sold and loved by the chemical sales company.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,244
    Maybe you can blow the boiler down into an indirect water heater and run the boiler feed water through its coil. Two problems solved with one invention!

    Show me the moneyyyyy!
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829

    Most all plumbing code have a temperature limit on the water you can discharge into them. I think it's around 125 deg. Others will comment.

    If you are using the boiler for process use and have to add a lot of make up water then you man need a feedwater heater. You can buy boiler feed tanks with preheaters in them (a sparge tube) in the tank uses steam to preheat the water.

    If it is a process job you will need a good water treatment company