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What does Squick do? The definitive video!

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ethicalpaul
ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
You may or may not be aware of what Squick is supposed to do, but now here is my video showing exactly how Squick affects wet steam caused by oil in a boiler, and in a test container. I also review and discuss the Squick patent from 1963 and even give my opinion about the product, shocker!

I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions about my process you can leave them here or on the video. The video is too long, so there's a nice table of contents in the video description but you may miss pearls of ignorance if you don't watch the whole thing. And of course there is a 6 minute section where the video is rotated because I'm too lazy to re-export the thing and my hard drive is full, sorry about that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0CkJUr0JRY
NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
nikita

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    I love it. I'll take the time to watch the whole thing sometime. I have to admit that I am so glad that Cedric runs as well as he does... with no attention to speak of!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,544
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    I watched about 95% of the video. Good job @ethicalpaul

    So yeah, the Squick works. Skimming is better. I think mixing it with water and pouring it in the safety valve opening is fine.

    Should contractors skim? Yes!!

    Will most of them skim? No

    Is Squick better than nothing? Yes

    It's good for the contractors that won't pipe the boiler right anyhow.

    Maybe those guys can use Squick

    But they won't be able to read the instructions for using it anymore that they read the piping instructions

    They will throw the whole can is because more is better
    ethicalpaul
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
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    Good video!  I knew Squick had been around for decades so it had to have some value in some situations.  Now I know more
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
    edited January 2022
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    Thanks, all 3 of you. 

    The thing is, it really doesn’t want to mix with water. But it’s so light and fluffy it might kind of “flow” through an elbow if fed through a funnel or paper cone
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Zipper13
    Zipper13 Member Posts: 229
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    It's nice to see see a post that doesn't totally hate on treatments! They seem like they are often overused and over prescribed by the manufacturer but they can and do help in some situations.

    Sounds similar to "Scout" which I have found rids my boiler of banging on start up. It hates to mix with water, but it comes in a bottle far larger than the volume of the power so adding water to the jar and a very vigorous shake will make it kind of mix enough to pour it into a 2"x1" reducer I've added as a funnel to add chemicals through. It's also a cleaner so I do drain off maybe half a gallon every other week to get the loose crud out. so I'll usually have to add a second treatment through the season. It's been a couple seasons, but my previously neglected boiler is running far better now.
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
    edited January 2022
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    I'm glad you are having good results @Zipper13. I'm not familiar with Scout--I'll keep my eyes open for it.

    But I will offer that if your boiler bangs on start up then there is likely a piping issue that you might look at having addressed. If you start a thread with photos people may spot something that is causing it. Look for places in your main piping and radiator supply piping where a sag or low spot will collect water. Since it happens at startup, any water that has collected in a sag will be cool and can cause water hammer as steam hits it. Then it warms up and the banging stops.

    Also, I would not advise draining 1/2 gallon every other week. It may not do much harm, but there should be no reason for it. Old boiler water is good boiler water in my opinion. Let the loose crud build up over a season and blow off (or drain) a half gallon or gallon maybe once a year at the end of the season. Or maybe even just every other season. And remove, inspect and clean your probe-type LWCO every year or two.

    I think people in your shoes (and my shoes) of having come into ownership of a boiler that was neglected for possibly a decade tend to be a little overzealous as a result regarding "gunk" which yes can be crippling to a boiler that isn't serviced for many years but with a little periodic attention it's not a big issue.

    Unaddressed leaks are in my mind the biggest single thing to be vigilant about.

    I do have an open mind about treatments, but my current thinking is I just use them to maintain my desired ph of 10-11 (as a corrosion inhibitor--8-way is my current go-to and is a good value) and I think of the other touted benefits as mostly marketing. As many have said (and they aren't wrong), plain water works fine.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
    edited January 2022
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    Scout followup:
    I had a look at it and it seems to contain TSP and our friend from the Squick video diatomaceous earth (that's the part that won't mix with water).

    So I would classify it as a cleaning product that one might consider as a one-time post-installation cleaner/oil absorbant. Even though the Hercules (Oatley) company's marketing folks want you to keep buying and using it over the lifetime of your boiler, I don't see a reason for that.

    A lot of manufacturers do recommend a one-time use of TSP and then flushing after new installation to wash out a lot of the oil but if you want to do that (and I did with my boiler), plain old TSP is a lot cheaper than this stuff ($17 per quarter pound!!)

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Hercules-35100-4-oz-Scout-Steam-Boiler-Cleaner-4-oz?gclid=CjwKCAiAz--OBhBIEiwAG1rIOnM6CYopeT_PpNstli6mZrzbsgs2G9fu7Fv0w7eE5U9v1_IGsxtbZBoC1NMQAvD_BwE
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Zipper13
    Zipper13 Member Posts: 229
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    @ethicalpaul The SDS for Scout available from Supply House also shows Barium Sulfate and Diatomaceous Earth as other ingredients. Another source shows amorphous aluminum silicate at up to 90% of the mixture. I don't have a bottle handy to check the label but it seems there is more than TSP in there for Scout.
    And I'm sorry to have derailed this thread away from Squick! I was just interested that both seem to be poorly mixing fine power treatments
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
    ethicalpaul
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
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    @ethicalpaul

    Video suggestion. -- since you have easier access to the top of your boiler than the rest of us I think there are opportunities.  you could do some sort of longitudinal study taking pictures of the top of the boiler ever year in the areas where boilers rot out.  Borescopes/endoscopes seem to be getting cheaper every year.

    Also you might be able to see the crud build up in the bottom of the boiler.  Maybe test how well different bottom blow-down pressure's clear the crap.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
    edited January 2022
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    Those are great ideas, thanks @cross_skier !!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,544
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    @ethicalpaul

    We will all use your boiler as a test lab. If it ever fails due to this we will all chip in and buy you a new one LOL :):):)
    Corktown