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QUESTION ABOUT STEAM BOILERS

007007 Member Posts: 2
HELLO

MY QUESTION .. WHAT DIFFERENCES ARE THERE BETWEEN A SHORT SECTION BOILER VS. A TALLER STEAM BOILER.

IS THERE A DIFFERENT  LONGEVITY ?

SHOULD CHEMICALS BE USED WITH A CAST IRON STEAM BOILER?

                        THANKS JIM SULLIVAN

Comments

  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Steam Boilers

    Hi Jim- Welcome to "The Wall"!  Perhaps you could tell us a bit more about your application- is this for a residential steam boiler or for commercial use? Is there a make/model boiler you specifically have in mind?  As to the use of chemicals in steam boilers, this depends again on the type of application. Larger commercial steam boilers probably, for residential steam boilers -  it is generally frowned upon.

    - Rod 
  • HenryHenry Member Posts: 888
    Chemicals

    Heating boilers need NO chemicals. They need a good well maintained water softener ar 90% of condensate is back into the boiler. Our biggest boiler replacement in the heating sector comes from chemical injection! The chemical sales people are voodo! Why would anyone spend $3K on chemicals on 300 gallons of blowdown in a winter season ( BIG install)!

     Stay away from chemical guys! Yes we do need them in industry where there is little return!
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 9,666
    softener

    I'm curious about the water softener comment.

    I thought water softeners were highly frowned upon when it comes to boilers, or is this a special type of softener you are speaking of?
    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
  • HenryHenry Member Posts: 888
    Softeners

    Water softeners reduce hardness (solids). While some say that they can bring salt into the system, this is ONLY from a defective softener. After backwashing with a brine solution and then being flushed by fresh water, NO salt is present in the media therefore no salt enters the boiler.

    Think of chemicals as suspended solids. When you boil water in your kettle, you precipate solids. The same with chemical agents. Certain chemical agents will evaporate with the steam, most don't. Once I get to my office Tuesday, I will post on this blog pictures of this past winters chemical disasters!
  • BioBio Member Posts: 268
    Something about Softener Tanks

    Softener's Tank uses "softening resin", this will absorb calcium and magnesium from tap water (AKA Hard water) making it into soft water, the brine tank comes in play when the softener goes into regeneration (can bet set to daily, weekly, etc...), salty water from the brine tank will go into the softener tank, the sodium (salty water) being a stronger ION will absorb the calcium and magnesium (ION exchange) from the resin and then flushed to the drain (All, sodium, calcium, magnesium) allowing the resin to do it all over again, resin will eventually get exhausted over the years depending on the size of the tank, that is why you will have to periodically check for hard water on the outlet of the tank, if its exhasted it will have to be replaced, I'm not sure if its the salt (sodium) that will make the damage to the system but most likely the calcium and magnesium in tap water that can eventually be Calcified in the system, which is the job of the Softener to begin with, Im a H/O and this is just my 0.2 cents
  • Chemicals can be good...

    for all boilers, no matter the size, so long as they are good and used properly.



    Soft water can kill systems because it can easily turn acidic.  Acidic condensate will eat the metal parts in the system.    The general target is to have the water somewhat base.   A proper chemical treatment can keep the water in the base range where it will create no corrosion, but will have additional additive that prevent the foaming that occurs when water is this base. 



    I use Rhomar products in all the boilers I maintain when the owner wants a high quality maintenance program.   After a years use, the water stays clean with almost no crud.
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert





    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,349
    How ion-exchange water softeners work

    As the name implies, ion-exchange water softeners remove hardness ions (chiefly calcium and magnesium) by exchanging them for sodium ions. They use an ion-exchange medium that preferentially binds divalent cations (ions carrying a +2 charge) by giving up its relatively weakly bound univalent sodium ions. To maintain its neutral charge, of course, it has to give up twice as many sodium ions as the Ca++ and Mg++ ions it accepts. When the medium is regenerated the process is reversed by simply increasing the concentration of sodium ions available--soaking the medium in brine--so the available sodium ions effectively crowd out the calcium and magnesium.



    The addition of sodium depends on how hard the water is and how well the system is maintained, but, just as a point of reference, physicians usually recommend that their patients on low-sodium diets avoid drinking softened water.



    Is it the same as adding salt to the water? Well, technically, since the principal anion (negatively charged ion) of hard water salts is bicarbonate, it's really more like adding baking soda, but is sodium bicarbonate really any better than sodium chloride? Well, for one thing, dissolved salts swap partners like mad, so many dissolved chloride compounds will gladly trade their chloride ions for a bicarbonate, so if there's enough chloride available, you get salt. If you don't, you're stuck with sodium bicarbonate. And I mean stuck with it. It never precipitates.



    We're all familiar with the way heating water makes the hard water minerals form a layer of limescale on every available surface. The reason this happens is that the bicarbonate ions turn themselves into carbonate ions by giving up water and carbon dioxide, which is evolved as a gas, leaving behind calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, which are not at all soluble in water. But sodium doesn't allow its bicarbonate to undergo this reaction. It's happy with things the way they are. You can boil soda water all you want and you've still got soda water--just hotter and a little more concentrated.



    I should probably mention that sodium bicarbonate, baking soda, is not the same thing as washing soda or sodium carbonate. Some boiler manufacturers recommend washing soda for cleaning and skimming steam boilers. They don't recommend baking soda.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
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