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How do I take off the Pigtail to clean it

ksd99
ksd99 Member Posts: 74
Hi,
I purchased an old house and I want to make sure the pigtail is not clogged, I look at the broiler and cannot figure it out, I bet you guess I am mechanically challenged. I would let a professional do it, but there are none in my area of Michigan. I better learn and take control. Any help would be appreciated.
New owner of 1 Pipe Steam Boiler - learning all I can- no real steam pro in S.W. Michigan - if you know of 1 -let me know.

Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,312
    Post a picture from a ways back?
  • ksd99
    ksd99 Member Posts: 74
    Here you go, I plan on doing it tomorrow. I am not mechanically incline so it will be a challenge.
    New owner of 1 Pipe Steam Boiler - learning all I can- no real steam pro in S.W. Michigan - if you know of 1 -let me know.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,986
    edited February 2019
    Picture doesn't seem to be attached :smile:

    Also, if you're not mechanically inclined, you might want to wait until it's not bitterly freezing cold where you are...my pigtail broke when I removed it for the first time after I bought the house.

    Also welcome from a former West Michigander
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ksd99
    ksd99 Member Posts: 74
    Here you with the pic.....it’s actuslly going to be 30 tomorrow. Heat wave. I so want to clean it and if I do break it I have a new one just Incase. I also wanted to installment gauge. Let’s see if I can post the pic.

    Ii amactuall from Chicago but I have a home in mich.
    New owner of 1 Pipe Steam Boiler - learning all I can- no real steam pro in S.W. Michigan - if you know of 1 -let me know.
  • ksd99
    ksd99 Member Posts: 74
    I am going to clean the water glass too. The water is clear but there crud on the walls of it.
    New owner of 1 Pipe Steam Boiler - learning all I can- no real steam pro in S.W. Michigan - if you know of 1 -let me know.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,828
    Oh now that's just not kind. Is there enough room to turn the pressuretrol where it is? And enough to turn the pigtail when the pressuretrol is off? What you need to do is take the cover off the pressuretrol and make note of where the wires go. Then with the power off to the boiler take the wires off and take the pressuretrol off the pigtail, then pour water into the pigtail -- if it flows through easily, stop right there and reassemble the whole thing. Otherwise, you can try running a wire through the pigtail -- or just take it off and put the new one on. If there is enough room to swing it. From the picture I can't tell -- but it may be close.

    On the sight glass. I'd leave it be until summer. Then make sure that you have a new glass on hand and the little O-rings which seal it at the top and bottom. They are unbelievably fragile and, as I just said on another thread, I make it a policy to never reuse an o-ring.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ksd99
    ksd99 Member Posts: 74
    I was thinking the same thing - it is really tight back there.
    New owner of 1 Pipe Steam Boiler - learning all I can- no real steam pro in S.W. Michigan - if you know of 1 -let me know.
    Intplm.
  • ksd99
    ksd99 Member Posts: 74
    Thank you.
    New owner of 1 Pipe Steam Boiler - learning all I can- no real steam pro in S.W. Michigan - if you know of 1 -let me know.
  • Chris_L
    Chris_L Member Posts: 206
    Unless you know the pressuretrol isn't working right, I wouldn't suggest trying to take the pigtail off, particularly in this weather.

    It looks like it is brass. It is above the water line. It is very unlikely to be clogged.

    You can easily check. Take the cover off the pressuretrol. Turn the wheel down as low as it will go (1 or lower). (Looks like you've got the cut-in as low as is an go, which is good.) Turn the heat up--3 or 4 degrees. The system should build pressure. Watch the pressure gauge. See what the pressure is when the boiler shuts off.

    If you are right next to it, you'll hear a click when the pressuretrol shuts it off. If the gauge reads 2 psi or less when it trips, the pigtail is unlikely to be clogged. Nothing more to do.

    As for the sight glass, you don't need to take it apart to clean it. Close the two valves at the top and bottom of the glass, and take off the plug on the bottom. You can then (carefully) clean it from below. If you get a small ball valve to replace the plug, you can periodically open it while the boiler is running to clean the glass.



  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,968
    edited February 2019
    Could be the angle of the picture but that could be challenging.

    When you want to remove the pigtail IF YOU FIND THE PRESSURE CONTROL WONT SPIN OFF DUE TO HITTING THE JACKET then do this:

    take the wires off as @Jamie Hall mentioned
    take a small pipe wrench or Channelocks and loosen the pigtail just a bit to break it loose
    Take a hacksaw and cut through the pigtail....leave an 1 1/2" pc coming out of the tee. Now you have the ptrol and cut pigtail in your hand. Removes the small pc from the tee.

    Install a 1/4" brass union on your new pigtail and a 1/4 x 1" brass nipple into the tee. Then you can reinstall the whole thing without turning it
  • ksd99
    ksd99 Member Posts: 74
    Maybe the maintenance guy didn’t do it because of it. This concerns me.
    New owner of 1 Pipe Steam Boiler - learning all I can- no real steam pro in S.W. Michigan - if you know of 1 -let me know.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,968
    It's not difficult. Wait for a day with moderate temperatures. Have the tools and parts and do it
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,312
    From the scratches on the jacket it looks like the pigtail will unscrew. Also there is blue Teflon tape on the joints.
    So it looks like it did come off and go back on.

    If the P-control will hit the jacket, you can tighten the pigtail slightly and that will roll the control towards you giving more clearance. Reverse the procedure to reinstall.
  • ksd99
    ksd99 Member Posts: 74
    Thanks all.
    New owner of 1 Pipe Steam Boiler - learning all I can- no real steam pro in S.W. Michigan - if you know of 1 -let me know.
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