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Cleaning boiler - chemicals

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Hi all:

Been a long time since I posted. I had a great guy who did my installation some years ago (Smith boiler, Carlin insert). He has since taken a new job and is unavailable.

I have a new guy, and I need a cleaning. All I can remember is "chemicals bad." The other guy used to run and skim it, as I recall, no chemicals. New guy wants to put chemicals in (apparently will make the sight glass water a violet color).

Thoughts, advice, help, videos or whatever would be great if you can help me.

Hope everyone is well!

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  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
    edited March 2023
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    There is a wide variety of opinions on this. I feel that adding a product like 8-way in order to boost your PH to 10-11 is a good way to dramatically reduce corrosion. This does come with a color marker to help indicate PH level and is generally pink/purple.

    But I would not introduce any product with the goal of preventing surging, or removing oils, or any other voodoo. Basically you want the boiler running well on pure water then you can consider adding a ph-booster to prevent corrosion.

    Did he tell you why he wants to add it and what product he wants to add?

    I found Surgex to actually cause surging in my boiler and I would never recommend it. (It makes the water be neon-green, but it's a sort of off-white powder)

    PS: What is "a cleaning"? Did he list what he is going to do to your boiler?

    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    BobC
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    I use a product called Rectorseal Scale Flush https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008A3UEO6/ formerly called Steamaster. Sometimes it's hard to find, but it's available now, and one bottle will last for years. The new name is appropriate, because the first time you use it, it surely does flush out a lot of scale, rust and what-have-you. You can follow the directions to use it for cleaning, but as a water treatment you only need two or three tablets. Dissolve the tablets in a gallon jug with hot water. Keep shaking until you don't hear the tablets rattling around.

    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • john123
    john123 Member Posts: 83
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    How do you get the chemicals into the closed water system? Is there a special valve somewhere that will pull in the chemical water?

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,106
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    Pump it in with a good strong transfer pump and some washing machine hoses.You might want to drop some system water a bit and pre mix chemical -as per directions- follow that. In a brand new garbage can. Mad Dog

  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    I added a chemical port to the tee connected to my upper gaugecock fitting. I just remove the plug, open the valve, put a funnel in it and pour in whatever chemicals I want to add.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • john123
    john123 Member Posts: 83
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    @Hap_Hazzard: doesn't the water (at least from the second floor) all rush out when you open the valve?
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
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    john123 said:

    @Hap_Hazzard: doesn't the water (at least from the second floor) all rush out when you open the valve?

    It's a steamer, so the valve is above the water line. In a hydronic system, you would have that problem yes.
    Hap_Hazzard
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    I use ther steamaster tablets so I just push one into the boiler through my skim port with a stick. If you use liquids just pick up a transmission funnel and hose from Walmart or Amazon and nave at it.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge