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PVC ball valve for skim?

Don_175
Don_175 Member Posts: 126
I would like to skim our boiler. There is a 1.5” skim tap with a plug. A brass valve is close to $40 but a threaded PVC valve is $12. If I use black iron for the nipples and a 90 degree elbow, can I add the PVC valve on the vertical nipple? I would also use a black iron tee to watch water flow on horizontal section.  It says PVC valve good to 140 degrees but the trickle of water should be relatively minor. I don’t anticipate doing this regularly so I would remove when done. Thanks 

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,631
    No. PVC is only good up to 120 degrees or so. You should really just go with the brass valve. You could maybe save some cost with a globe or gate valve.
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,005
    During the heating season, how likely is it that the temperature of boiler water will be less than that?

    You don't need brass or bronze. Keep shopping for a lower price, especially if you don't keep it installed.

    Aside: Cardinal rule on posted on HH rules of the site, "Do not post pricing. This could lead to price fixing, which is illegal."
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    Do you even need a valve?
    Just an open pipe with tees or 90 to direct the small stream down to a bucket without splashing.

    The flow should be controlled by the water supply coming into the bottom of the boiler.
    You want the water level to just skim over the top of the boiler. And slowly float the oils off the top of the water.

    Cap piping when done.

    As you said this is not done often.
    Hap_Hazzard
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,631
    Could also turn down to a 90 and reduce to a 1/2" or 3/4" valve which would cost much less. I like the valves with npt on one end and hose thread on the other and an attached hose thread cap.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Don_175
    Don_175 Member Posts: 126
    Found brass one on eBay. Thanks guys. 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,669
    I used to have a ball valve on my skim port.
    I no longer do as debris etc destroyed the ball. After that I switched to a brass coupler and a brass plug.

    I then dropped the brass plug and damaged the threads so I then used a steel plug I had on hand. That's where I'm at. A brass coupler runs about $20 at SupplyHouse.

    You could probably use steel, but I felt with brass I could always be sure it would come apart.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
    come out with a nipple full size a reducing 90 down then a cheap 1/2 or 3/4" boiler drain. You only need a trickle. Remove the boiler drain and plug it when your done. Or as @JUGHNE said you don't have to have a valve.
  • Corktown
    Corktown Member Posts: 34
    edited January 2022
    After reading several threads, it seems like some folks don’t use a ball valve in this application and others do. Would the intended purpose of the ball valve near the end of the skim piping be so one could fine tune the flow of water out of the skim port or is it used more as a “rapid shut off“?

    Or something else? ....
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    I believe you want to fine tune the water flow with the cold water supply coming into the boiler.
    If you throttle the outlet on top you may not get the top, skim the cream if you will, off the water surface.
    IMO.
    CorktownHap_Hazzardmattmia2
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 247
    Corktown said:

    After reading several threads, it seems like some folks don’t use a ball valve in this application and others do. Would the intended purpose of the ball valve near the end of the skim piping be so one could fine tune the flow of water out of the skin port or is it used more as a “rapid shut off“?

    Or something else? ....

    I have a locking ball valve, and a plug in the end of it (I had one lying around anyhow) for easy access to add water treatments, and to skim if I ever needed to again. The plug is on there not super tight. Enough to prevent a big blast in case someone opened the valve by mistake.

    You would regulate the flow by limiting the flow of makeup water into the boiler. You want the skim opening to be a straight shot out the end of the pipe.
    Corktownethicalpaul
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    If I had a skim port, I'd put a ball valve on it. :'(

    I found a ¾" port under the relief valve that I use, but it's not in the best location, and it takes a long time to skim through a ¾" pipe, but that's okay. You guys have fun with your 1¼" skim ports. :'(
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,669
    If I had a skim port, I'd put a ball valve on it. :'( I found a ¾" port under the relief valve that I use, but it's not in the best location, and it takes a long time to skim through a ¾" pipe, but that's okay. You guys have fun with your 1¼" skim ports. :'(
    1 1/2......

    :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    ethicalpaul
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    Ball valves, as a rule, are strictly on/off valves. They're not designed for throttling because they open all the way in a quarter of a turn, and the change in flow per degree of rotation is far from linear or anything approaching intuitive.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    Corktown
  • Don_175
    Don_175 Member Posts: 126
    Do you guys leave the skim pipe on? I used a 6” nipple and full port ball valve. My manufacturer says to remove when done skimming. I had put the plug in the valve in case anyone opened it while the boiler was hot. Would it be a problem to leave the skim apparatus in place?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,669
    Mine is on and plugged, no valve.

    Here's mine a week ago after I gave it a good cleaning and before the Steamaster tablets had time to dissolve.  


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Don_175
    Don_175 Member Posts: 126
    Yeah. I figured it was fine to leave on. Thanks 
  • StevenNYC
    StevenNYC Member Posts: 31
    @ChrisJ
    ChrisJ said:

    Mine is on and plugged, no valve.

    Here's mine a week ago after I gave it a good cleaning and before the Steamaster tablets had time to dissolve.  


    Really cool site glass. What brand is that? I like the drain valve to keep it clean. Are those all quarter inch fittings?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,669
    StevenNYC said:
    @ChrisJ
    Mine is on and plugged, no valve.

    Here's mine a week ago after I gave it a good cleaning and before the Steamaster tablets had time to dissolve.  


    Really cool site glass. What brand is that? I like the drain valve to keep it clean. Are those all quarter inch fittings?
    I think they're all 1/4" npt.

    Google "Redline gauge glass".
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    StevenNYC
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Mine is left on with a ball valve and no cap because no one messes with my boiler
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el