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Boiler water dirty

Tech52 Member Posts: 3

Hello everyone, I'm a HVAC/boiler operator at a local hospital. I have 3 Kewanee high pressure steam boilers we run at around 90 psi. The reason I am posting is that in the past month the boiler water has turned black inside the boilers and we can't narrow down why. Our chemical company says readings look good. Conductivity not too high. I have no color in my DA tank. Water softener working fine. My first thought was a bad heat exchanger but everything looks good. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,260

    does your chemical company have a lab to test a water sample. Or know of one?

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Tech52
    Tech52 Member Posts: 3

    Yes, they took a sample and we also lost three boiler tubes since we got this water in one boiler. They took sample of water and a piece of the tube to test, but we haven't heard anything back yet.

  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 988

    what are you using the boilers for? cooking? laundry?

  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,806
    edited May 14

    :))))) What is the problem ?

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,624

    Are you burning heavy oil? A failed steam or boiler water to fuel oil heat exchanger would do this but if you had oil in the water I would think you would have a host of other problems.

  • Tech52
    Tech52 Member Posts: 3

    We use our boilers to supply autoclaves and supply our heat exchangers for hot water heating loop. Only run natural gas with diesel oil backup. I've taken care of the boilers for 6 years and haven't had any problems with the water, however we just got a new chemical technician assigned to us from our chemical contractor in the last month. It may be just a coincidence tho lol.

  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,343

    What do the logs say? What chemicals? What quantities? When were they added. By whom?

    Does the hospital have a log of who, what, when, where, why, and how was done to their boiler water and treatment systems? If you don't, time for you to implement a new procedure. If the chemical company balks at this, time for a new chemical company.

    You can also get a water report from your city if you are on city water. That would give you an idea of what you are starting with before your softener and treatment.

    I DIY.