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This Friday's case, The case of the high conductivity

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RayWohlfarth
RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,529
The customer sent the water treatment company report for the two steam boilers we sold. The report showed high levels of conductivity in the condensate water, which indicates carryover. The reading was 800 micromhos and should be below 25. The report further said carryover lowers the efficiency and life of the boiler. The treatment report suggested that my boilers (vertical firetube) were the problem. I knew the piping was large enough and verified the steam velocity was low. The question was why was the conductivity high in the condensate?
I'll let you ponder this and will let you know on Friday when the newest video is posted.
Thanks
Ray
Ray Wohlfarth
Boiler Lessons

Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,757
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    The customer took the water for testing out of the boiler drain instead of out of the condensate return line is my guess.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    PC7060
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
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    Is this the one where the maintenance guy was pissing in the boiler?
    GGrossethicalpaulMarjPinardEdTheHeaterMan
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,090
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    Copper returns?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,859
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    JUGHNE said:

    Copper returns?

    I have copper returns and my wet return TDS measures 1-2 PPM which I consider a mixture of rust and error in the cheap TDS meter I'm using.

    I'd guess several things.
    Either Paul's guess.
    Or there's an issue with the water quality causing carry over.

    Or, they are letting pressure build during low demand and then a sudden large demand is pulling excessive flow out of the boiler, and water with it.

    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
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 919
    edited May 2023
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    I have 3 possible ideas that may have contributed to the problem. Each possible item could have been used alone or in conjunction with one or both of the others. Item #1) The customers make-up water was coming from wells that produced very hard water. #2) The customer was using soft water for his make-up water. #3) The customer was not using the correct amount of boiler treatment chemicals. High carryover could have resulted in the very high amounts of fresh water make-up which would have added to the 3 items above. High carryover is caused by many possible problems including fluctuating steam loads.

    When you say "vertical tube boilers" if you mean Fultons, I always had a problem with carryover when using these boilers. I will be anxious to hear the explanation for the cause of the problem you wrote about.
    ttekushan_3
  • ttekushan_3
    ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 960
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    External source of return condensate contamination? Maybe from leaking underground return or condensate line accidentally used as a drain. 

    True story: vent pipes from backflow preventers we’re found to be dripped into floor level steam heating dry return main way out on the shop floor. It wasn’t easy to see and went undetected until one started dripping and the boiler feed tank started slowly taking on water. Fortunately it was fresh water, but still…
    terry
    mattmia2CLamb
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
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    External source of return condensate contamination? Maybe from leaking underground return or condensate line accidentally used as a drain. 

    that was my actual thought but i couldn't see how it could happen. maybe buried returns that are taking on groundwater.

    i suppose some feed pump problem could be causing it to flood sometimes. or even better, a vent problem on the tank and maybe a bad check valve is sucking water back out of the boiler in to the tank. Actually we don't know there is a tank and pump.


    Oh, Oh, i know, it is there are 2 boilers, something isn't right between the condensate connection between them or the steam supply to them so when one is off it floods and dumps in to the return.

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,153
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    You got to love it when your are right and the blow hard (AH) is wrong. Nice story Ray <3

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    CLamb
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
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    Very interesting. I will be watching more.
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,529
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    @EdTheHeaterMan it did feel good Thanks
    @random12345 thanks I appreciate it 
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    PC7060