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Finding Skim Port

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Hello, I'm getting a lot of bounce in my sight glass and believe that it's resulting in my auto feeder over feeding the boiler. After reading a handful of posts on here it seems like I need to skim the water of excess oils that are in the water tank. I watched some videos online, but am having trouble finding the skimming port on my particular boiler. I'm only seeing the drain down valve and float valve. Can someone use the photos provide here to help me locate the port to skim my boiler? We just moved into a house with a one pipe steam system a few months ago, so this is all very new to me! Thanks!





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  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,738
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    Do you know how old the installation is? Looks like the installer didn't open up the casing to expose the skim port. See attached screenshot of it's location, Burnham calls it 'Surface Blow-Off'.



    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    Maybe the J box is covering it? There's the small one near the gauge glass or the safety valve tapping better than nothing but not large enough
  • abastinelli
    abastinelli Member Posts: 7
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    We're not totally sure, the boiler was dated for something like 25 years ago, but it was a bit unclear of when it was actually installed.
    KC_Jones said:

    Do you know how old the installation is? Looks like the installer didn't open up the casing to expose the skim port. See attached screenshot of it's location, Burnham calls it 'Surface Blow-Off'.



  • abastinelli
    abastinelli Member Posts: 7
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    Maybe! I'll pop off that j-box and see what's behind it later today. Thanks!

    Maybe the J box is covering it? There's the small one near the gauge glass or the safety valve tapping better than nothing but not large enough

  • abastinelli
    abastinelli Member Posts: 7
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    Could it be this circle that looks like it could be punched out?


  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,738
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    That is almost certainly it.

    I asked about the approximate age, because after many years I would doubt skimming is the problem, but if you are up for it, it can't hurt. Will also give you practice if the boiler ever gets replaced.

    How much bounce are you seeing in the sightglass? All of them will bounce some.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • abastinelli
    abastinelli Member Posts: 7
    edited November 2021
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    The install did happen a while ago, but before closing on the house we had the previous owners replace some of the piping that had rusted out and were leaking. You can see the new piping in the photos above with the blue pipe joint sealer. We also just had the low water float switch replaced.

    The water in the sight glass has been bouncing about an inch to maybe two inches. The other night it triggered the low water detection and over filled the boiler by about 2 gallons.

    I thought maybe the new pipes and possibly the new low water detector introduced some oil into the system.

    I'm moderately handy, how easy is it to punch out that plate and put a pipe onto the fitting?

    And thanks so much for your help! This website and forum have been a godsend for me (as someone who didn't even know what a one pipe steam heating system was 6 months ago LOL).
    KC_Jones said:

    That is almost certainly it.

    I asked about the approximate age, because after many years I would doubt skimming is the problem, but if you are up for it, it can't hurt. Will also give you practice if the boiler ever gets replaced.

    How much bounce are you seeing in the sightglass? All of them will bounce some.

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,738
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    Ok that makes a lot more sense. Opening that hole isn't the issue, getting the plug out of the boiler will be.

    Others have done this. Work from the pressure relief that is already connected. Remove the elbow that's there and you can skim through that port. This will require extreme patience as the smaller pipe will me skimming even slower than normal.

    On a side note, the pressure relief valve is supposed to have a non ferrous pipe connected and run down to within, I think, 4" of the floor.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • abastinelli
    abastinelli Member Posts: 7
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    Sounds great, I'll do that. So if a normal skim takes an hour per time, should I double that time when using the pressure relief port? More? And I should do it a few days in a row, correct?

    Thanks again!
    KC_Jones said:

    Ok that makes a lot more sense. Opening that hole isn't the issue, getting the plug out of the boiler will be.

    Others have done this. Work from the pressure relief that is already connected. Remove the elbow that's there and you can skim through that port. This will require extreme patience as the smaller pipe will me skimming even slower than normal.

    On a side note, the pressure relief valve is supposed to have a non ferrous pipe connected and run down to within, I think, 4" of the floor.

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    @abastinelli

    If you skim for an hour that will probably be enough. You want a slow skim, the water flow should be the size of a pencil
  • abastinelli
    abastinelli Member Posts: 7
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    Great, thank you!

    @abastinelli

    If you skim for an hour that will probably be enough. You want a slow skim, the water flow should be the size of a pencil