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Gen Qs on Skimming the oil burner

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Tuggy
Tuggy Member Posts: 46
edited March 31 in Strictly Steam
In order to skim this boiler can I use the red arrow valve to drain while using the blue arrow valve to slowly fill? (there is no other tapping to skim btw)



How do I know when the boiler is at the proper temp (just before making steam AFIAK) to shut off, open the skim valve and open the bypass water-feed to start skimming? I don't think there's a temp gauge on the boiler itself.

Finally, is washing soda needed? If so, how much? Or can I just use fresh water alone?

A wider shot of the boiler:



Here's a short video of the sight glass with the boiler at full steam. Is that inch of up/down movement too much in there? indicative of problem?

Here's the pressure setting:




LAST note: I've been noticing my auto-fill kicks in once every several days for 10-15 secs so I suppose there's a leak somewhere, so idk if skimming now even makes sense until that is addressed (idk when that might be..) I believe a few valves on a few radiators slow drip some water when the system is full running.

Comments

  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
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    yeah, no, well, kinda,

    that's the right valve for filling, slowly,

    it's hard or impossible with that boiler bib to determine you have the correct outflow,
    consider loosing the hose, and removing the bib,
    then you can easily see and control the outflow,
    you want a slow stream, up to, but not more than, 1/2 that nipple/tee,

    control the flow rate at the fill valve.
    known to beat dead horses
  • Tuggy
    Tuggy Member Posts: 46
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    neilc said:

    ..
    consider loosing the hose, and removing the bib,
    then you can easily see and control the outflow,
    you want a slow stream, up to, but not more than, 1/2 that nipple/tee ..

    Really? I wouldn't be able to get the same stream by opening up that bib/valve all the way? Then opening the bypass feed slightly to control the in-flow?

    My understanding is the stream-out is supposed to be pencil-thick sized at most. I don't understand how completely removing the bib would be better than simply opening the valve all the way. ?

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,833
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x1CCcXWLgw The actual skimming starts at time stamp 6:40 (6 minute 40 seconds). You can actually see the surface of the water inside the boiler so it never goes above the top of the skim tapping.

    It appears that you only have a 3/4" pipe, that will increase the time needed for skimming. You need the surface of the boiler water to (waterfall) over the end of the skim tapping, as shown in the video. If the water level goes above the top of the pipe, then you are no longer skimming,
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
    edited March 31
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    If the water level goes above the top of the pipe, then you are no longer skimming,

    and that's hard to tell thru a hose bib, and hose,
    so yeah, pull the hose bib and watch what you're doing like is shown in the video.

    you want to control your flow with your feed valve bypass.
    known to beat dead horses
  • Tuggy
    Tuggy Member Posts: 46
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x1CCcXWLgw The actual skimming starts at time stamp 6:40 (6 minute 40 seconds). You can actually see the surface of the water inside the boiler so it never goes above the top of the skim tapping.

    It appears that you only have a 3/4" pipe, that will increase the time needed for skimming. You need the surface of the boiler water to (waterfall) over the end of the skim tapping, as shown in the video. If the water level goes above the top of the pipe, then you are no longer skimming,

    So it will take several hours ea time, as opposed to maybe 2, if I had a bigger outlet. Yikes
    neilc said:

    If the water level goes above the top of the pipe, then you are no longer skimming,

    and that's hard to tell thru a hose bib, and hose,
    so yeah, pull the hose bib and watch what you're doing like is shown in the video.

    you want to control your flow with your feed valve bypass.
    I will watch the video. Thanks.

    Having to break out pipe wrenches to remove the bib and then re-dope to put back on for every skim is a lot more work than I thought I'd have to do, other than just opening a valve and time...

    I posted a 10 sec vid clip in the OP of the sight glass motion during full burn-

    Do you guys think it's worth the effort to start skimming this from the way the water looks in there?

    Or can you not tell from that clip.
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
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    that inch of up and down may not be much to worry about,
    but,
    is there an oily, dirty layer there also, doing the up down thing?
    or is that a shadow of sorts?
    do you see moisture coming over thru the top of the glass?
    either or both would indicate skimming,
    that hose bib isn't that much extra work.
    known to beat dead horses
  • Tuggy
    Tuggy Member Posts: 46
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    neilc said:

    ..is there an oily, dirty layer there also, doing the up down thing?
    or is that a shadow of sorts?
    do you see moisture coming over thru the top of the glass?

    When the boiler is at full bore it does look like there might be a very thin
    yellow-ish layer at the top of the water.

    And it looks like a little tiny bit of water (no detectable color) does weep down the inside of the glass (from the top down) every couple seconds.

    Skim worthy?

    If I do I likely won't take off the bib because the oil igniter is right below that tap so id have to hold a bucket over that which is unrealistic.

    I might just connect a long hose and route it to the ground drain outside the boiler room and just let it "trickle run" for hours.

    Maybe repeat that every 3rd or 4th day.

    Would that not get the job done?
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
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    "Skim worthy?"
    Yes, definately,

    If I were doing it I would cover the burner and electronics with a garbage bag, and prop the bucket(s)
    or rig an open receiver pipe to a hose adapted drain,
    I want to see the trickle at the skim port,

    I would need to see that hose bib, but they usually have a convoluted route so the washer can seal on a seat, and that's where the oils and water collide, and I'm just not sure you'll get a proper, oil on the surface, flow and skim thru that bib,
    known to beat dead horses
  • Tuggy
    Tuggy Member Posts: 46
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    neilc said:

    "Skim worthy?"

    I would need to see that hose bib, but they usually have a convoluted route ..

    Is this a good enough view? The bib was just replaced 6 weeks ago. You can see the oil igniter directly below this which is a problem. It looks like a horizontal flow out from that nipple, so I'd think a slow trickle from the hose for a few hours at a time would do it, no? Whether or not I am seeing the flow itself..


  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,785
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    Neil is correct you will need to remove the draw off valve . The perfect flow rate is when the water level is half way up the port opening . That valve is in your line of sight. .

    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
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    Take the valve out. Put a short nipple in the tee that is on the boiler. Then put the run of another tee on that nipple. Put a plug in the other run of that new tee for cleaning and inspection. From the branch of the new tee put a long nipple with a 90 on the end, then put your drain valve in the 90 with the valve pointing down.

    You can remove the plug if you need to to make sure the boiler connection is clear. With the drain valve pointing down you can use that for skimming you can see how much water is coming out and it will be to the side away fromthe burner.