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Annual Maintenance in Maine?

raydoll Member Posts: 23
edited September 2018 in Strictly Steam
It's annual service time.
I'm still looking for a knowledgeable tech in mid coast Maine.
I've got a Burnham v8H-7 (2 years old)
VXT water feeder (1 year old)

If I can't find anyone else I'm going to have service done by my oil company but I'll need to tell them specifically what needs doing.
Aside from the burner service I think the boiler needs to be skimmed again (only was done once after install)
Is a boil out compound necessary?
Does all the water need to be replaced after skimming to get bottom sediment?
How often should water in boiler be changed? I was under the impression that less water changeout was better for the longevity of the system.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,822
    Skimming won't hurt, but may not be necessary. I'm not a fan of boil out compound or much of anything else in the boiler water, unless the water is really acid. The bottom sediment -- if you are really worried about it -- can be flushed from a bottom drain (I hope you have one) until it is more or less clear -- but that doesn't need to drain all the water.

    The boiler water probably never needs changing in whole. Your impression is correct.

    The boiler does, however, need to be thoroughly brushed down on the flame/flue gas side. There should be access panels for that. Then the crud needs to be vacuumed out of the firebox. Then you do the burner service -- with instruments!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • raydoll
    raydoll Member Posts: 23
    No need to flush out wet returns or anything like that?
    The reason I'm asking about skimming is because the only skim that's ever been done only took the guys about 20 mins which seemed a little lacking to me although they assured me that it was enough.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,822
    It does no harm to flush out the wet returns, assuming that you have a fairly simple way to do it. Otherwise, I'd only worry about it if you have reason to suspect that the returns are clogging.

    Skimming for only twenty minutes does seem a bit brief. However, if the water level in the boiler is reasonably steady -- say no more than an inch or two of bounce (total up and down) when the thing is running... maybe not.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,183
    Get the boiler steaming and watch the water level. If it moves more than 3/4" or so you should skim. If the water line is steady and the sight glass is clear

    leave it alone

    Blow down the low water cut off if it is a float type.
  • I am guessing geography is not your strong suit. Annual maintenance is for Spring/Summer.

    And so is Maine!

    We wouldn't go near you Labor Day to Memorial Day.

    Let us know though is you find anyone good up there!
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems