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Electric Steam Boiler

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Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 4,107
edited July 2023 in THE MAIN WALL
We removed the two heating elements on an electric steam boiler for the steam rooms at a health club that had stopped working.  The water quality is bad and the elements and tank are full of minerals. 

 

8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
Mad Dog_2

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,661
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    Yuk. I presume this is a consumptive use? If so, not surprising...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    MaxMercy
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,251
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    Neato...Mad Dog 🐕 
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
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    So people are just sitting in those steam rooms breathing it in?
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,176
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    So people are just sitting in those steam rooms breathing it in?

    Steam is steam. What else is in the water stays behind when you boil off all that water. That is why it is inside the boiler and stuck to the elements. But you already knew that! Evaporation has the same effect. a humidifier pad makes the water turn into humidity... not the minerals in the water. That is why there is a need to replace humidifier pads during maintenance.

    Edward Young Retired

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

    GGrossethicalpaulIn_New_England
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,491
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    The hot wall temperature of the element is like a magnet for the minerals in the water. The build up starts day one. Much of the sludge is what falls off from the element overtime.
    Eventually enough build up prevents the element from getting the heat energy to the water.

    Is there some way to reduce the amount of minerals in the fill water. My e even one of the mg Eric or TAC devices.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
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    I'd never heard of steam rooms until now. Saunas yes. Never knew an electric steam boiler was used for this purpose. Not concerned about the minerals, but whatever other volatile components get carried out with the steam. Chloramine, disinfection by-products are two I've heard of. A little research shows that they can be a breeding ground for bacteria and molds because the humidity and warm but not hot temperature isn't enough to kill them. If it's kept clean and so is the water and sitting in there has health benefits, good.
    CLamb
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,491
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    A simple carbon block filter would filter out the smelly stuff like chloramines.

    I doubt much bacteria lives at those temperatures??

    We sell high psi close off zone valves to Mr Steam, (not pictured :) some models flush after every steam cycle to help keep the scale and sludge reduced. Although it does waste some water.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    GGross
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    We installed this one two years ago. They used to have a maintenance guy that cleaned the tank and elements every 6 months, but he's gone after they reduced their staff because of Covid.

    They removed the water softener and installed a whole house filter. A cheaper way to go, but does nothing to filter dissolved solids; but even with the softener, they were still getting a lot of mineral buildup.

    A water analysis will put us in the right direction.

    I'm the service rep. for Steamist in the Bay Area; kind of a side gig that I've been doing for 12 years. The guy I replaced was electrocuted and died.





    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
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    I meant the steam room not the boiler when I mentioned germs. I'd be surprised if most gyms are doing any kind of filtration before the water enters the boiler.
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    I meant the steam room not the boiler when I mentioned germs. I'd be surprised if most gyms are doing any kind of filtration before the water enters the boiler.

    I don't see any installations that treat the steam for germs or contaminants; only aromatherapy. This one meters Eucalyptus oil to the steam.

    The steam rooms are usually aired out and scrubbed every night. It's essential, otherwise it can get away from you. Mold buildup and the associated smell.

    Steam is a big draw for gyms and health clubs. The members complain when its not working.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    GGross
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,491
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    It would be interesting to try one of these conditioners

    I think RO or DI water would be too aggressive. An ion exchange water softener not  quite enough removal?

    supposedly these devices keep minerals in suspension  and they flush thru 

    https://www.zilmetusa.com/zproduct/activflo-lite
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream