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Boiler water PH

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This may be a question more suited to a chemist than anything but here goes…
My boiler feed water is approximately 8.5-9.5 PH. However, when I test the actual boiler water, I get a reading of 13-14. Any guess what may be going on? 
Derheatmeister

Comments

  • Daveinscranton
    Daveinscranton Member Posts: 148
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    It seems unusual that your boiler water would test that basic. (High pH).  First thought is that something is wrong in the testing.  

    If it is a pH of 14, which could happen, by seriously dosing the boiler with a lot of potent base, you could drain it, wash it out and refill.

    If it is indeed pH of 14, be careful.  Very caustic. The eye is especially vulnerable to base (high pH) splashes.  Not good for skin either.

    Old chemist, not a heating pro.

    best wishes 
    erussell58
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
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    To my knowledge there is nothing in the function of a steam system that will raise the PH like that. In fact the condensate returning will typically have a low PH <7. I use treatment to get my boiler water to ~10-11, but the wet return measures around 5.5.

    Getting up to 12-14 is either massive amounts of water treatment or a faulty test strip.

    How is the boiler working? I would expect a lot of surging at that PH level.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    erussell58
  • erussell58
    erussell58 Member Posts: 29
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    That’s exactly what I thought as well. I am using a professional grade ph strips that I purchased from a reputable company. However, they could be bad… 
    I will order some different strips to see if that makes any difference 
    my water is foaming very bad… in fact, all the way up the sight glass
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,676
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    This may be a question more suited to a chemist than anything but here goes…
    My boiler feed water is approximately 8.5-9.5 PH. However, when I test the actual boiler water, I get a reading of 13-14. Any guess what may be going on? 

    Curious,
    What's your boiler water's TDS vs the feedwater TDS?
    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
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    KC_Jones said:

    To my knowledge there is nothing in the function of a steam system that will raise the PH like that. In fact the condensate returning will typically have a low PH <7. I use treatment to get my boiler water to ~10-11, but the wet return measures around 5.5.

    Getting up to 12-14 is either massive amounts of water treatment or a faulty test strip.

    How is the boiler working? I would expect a lot of surging at that PH level.</p>

    I share KC's thoughts above except for the one about the surging at high PH. My video experiments showed me that high PH (which I achieved via Rectorseal 8-way) had no effect on surging, at least with my new boiler. I had cranked my ph to 13-14 without any surging.

    Things that I have seen affect it were other water quality issues (oil, possibly dirt, definitely other water treatments) and of course really high water level.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Daveinscranton
    Daveinscranton Member Posts: 148
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    pH scale is not linear by the way.  Each pH unit is a factor of 10.  So a pH of 12 is 10 times more basic than pH of 11 and so on. Neutral pH is 7.  Below 7 is acidic.  Above 7 is basic.
    erussell58
  • erussell58
    erussell58 Member Posts: 29
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    ChrisJ said: I don’t know the TDS of either but we are sending out water samples to the lab
    This may be a question more suited to a chemist than anything but here goes…
    My boiler feed water is approximately 8.5-9.5 PH. However, when I test the actual boiler water, I get a reading of 13-14. Any guess what may be going on? 
    Curious, What's your boiler water's TDS vs the feedwater TDS?

  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,542
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    This may be a question more suited to a chemist than anything but here goes…
    My boiler feed water is approximately 8.5-9.5 PH. However, when I test the actual boiler water, I get a reading of 13-14. Any guess what may be going on? 

    Is this Steam or Hot water?
  • erussell58
    erussell58 Member Posts: 29
    Options
    This may be a question more suited to a chemist than anything but here goes…
    My boiler feed water is approximately 8.5-9.5 PH. However, when I test the actual boiler water, I get a reading of 13-14. Any guess what may be going on? 
    Is this Steam or Hot water?
    This is steam. Weil-McLain 688