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Clean sight glass without removing it

ethicalpaul
ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
Anyone ever try this method from The Ideal Fitter, 1916?
1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG

Comments

  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,015
    No. But by the end of step 1, I would have the glass removed, cleaned, and be back in the van.
    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,791
    HVACNUT said:

    No. But by the end of step 1, I would have the glass removed, cleaned, and be back in the van.

    How often do they break when removing them?

    @ethicalpaul I haven't needed to clean my gauge glass in 8 years thanks to Steamaster.

    That said, early on when I had to clean it due to oil, rust etc I did it by running water down through it while skimming the boiler, and then later on by blowing steam down through it by closing the bottom valve and leaving the drain open.


    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
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    edited October 2019
    HVACNUT said:

    No. But by the end of step 1, I would have the glass removed, cleaned, and be back in the van.

    Agreed, plus no need to handle acid :sweat_smile:

    Plus it can be difficult to generate one pound of steam, am I right @ChrisJ? :lol:
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,791
    > @ethicalpaul said:
    > (Quote)
    > Agreed, plus no need to handle acid :sweat_smile:
    >
    > Plus it can be difficult to generate one pound of steam, am I right @ChrisJ? :lol:

    I use muriatic acid for the pool all of the time.
    As far as a pound of steam I have no problem doing it with the king valves and return valve closed.
    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
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    edited October 2019
    OK let us know how it goes :smiley: (I don't have king valves...yet)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,791

    OK let us know how it goes :smiley:

    I won't be trying the acid method, as I said no reason to.

    Also, when I used steam to clean it I had the king valves + return valve shut to get some pressure going. If I tried it with the system heating the little wimper of steam that'd come down wouldn't do much.

    Is your gauge glass dirty Paul?
    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
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    No. Well a little, but mostly I just posted it because I thought it was an interesting thing from the past
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,394
    @ChrisJ , @ethicalpaul, @HVACNUT

    There's always a reason, everyone is thinking residential.

    Think a high pressure steam boiler in a hospital that can't be shut down with say 100 psi steam on it. It's so hot you can't get near the gage glass and do you really wan't to change a gage glass with gloves on?. I am not saying a gage glass can't be changed while the boiler is in operation but their are some risks involved including getting burnt and causing a leak that would require a shut down
    JUGHNEChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,791

    @ChrisJ , @ethicalpaul, @HVACNUT

    There's always a reason, everyone is thinking residential.

    Think a high pressure steam boiler in a hospital that can't be shut down with say 100 psi steam on it. It's so hot you can't get near the gage glass and do you really wan't to change a gage glass with gloves on?. I am not saying a gage glass can't be changed while the boiler is in operation but their are some risks involved including getting burnt and causing a leak that would require a shut down

    This is true.
    But I always figured that's why you can shut the valves to them. I also assumed one of the reasons old boilers had try cocks was in case the glass broke and you couldn't shut down.
    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
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,052
    ChrisJ said:

    @ChrisJ , @ethicalpaul, @HVACNUT

    There's always a reason, everyone is thinking residential.

    Think a high pressure steam boiler in a hospital that can't be shut down with say 100 psi steam on it. It's so hot you can't get near the gage glass and do you really wan't to change a gage glass with gloves on?. I am not saying a gage glass can't be changed while the boiler is in operation but their are some risks involved including getting burnt and causing a leak that would require a shut down

    This is true.
    But I always figured that's why you can shut the valves to them. I also assumed one of the reasons old boilers had try cocks was in case the glass broke and you couldn't shut down.
    We do it with 100psi on.
    It feels risky and we do use the valves to isolate the glass but none the less, even after doing over a dozen times, my sphincter gets so tight, you couldn't drive a 10 penny nail through it with a five pound hammer.

    You cant out run the steam or hot water. We do use gloves and a full face mask that curves under the chin.
    ethicalpaulChrisJSeanBeansIntplm.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,015
    @SlamDunk your nuts. I used to service Fulton high pressure boilers and no way would I change a glass while the boiler was under pressure. Even blown down at night, they're still smoking hot in the morning. I wouldn't trust a gauge glass valve to hold at any pressure. Stay safe.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,328
    @ChrisJ you are absolutely right about the try cocks. They are on a water column for when a the gauge glass is broken or.....being replaced . They are a secondary boiler water level indicator,
    Hopefully a commercial building will have two boilers to prevent the occasion of being without heat.
    Back in my cleaver brooks high pressure steam days we always would check and change the gauge glass during scheduled shutdowns. So @HVACNUT I'm with you on this one. The safer the better.
  • Fizz
    Fizz Member Posts: 537
    Last few years, remove gauge glass, use paper towel or light cloth, wrap it around narrow screw driver and clean inside, using water and sometimes dish detergent. No problems yet.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,394
    Despite all safety concerns their are times a GG would need to be replaced under pressure.........then the pressure is really on!!!!!!!! But take a hospital boiler with 100 or 200 psi steam on it it may take a day to drop the pressure.....can't always do that for a gage glass. That is why PM is so important.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,052

    Despite all safety concerns their are times a GG would need to be replaced under pressure.........then the pressure is really on!!!!!!!! But take a hospital boiler with 100 or 200 psi steam on it it may take a day to drop the pressure.....can't always do that for a gage glass. That is why PM is so important.

    I agree. It takes two days to bleed down to zero after isolating from header. Cant have a gage leaking for that long. The stop valves usually work. They also usually leak past the bonnet nut until valve is closed completely. The job has its risks. You just need to know what they are and dress for the occasion. Plus, have someone else with experience spot you.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    Is the gauge glass and associated hardware of these higher pressure systems the same as what we see on residential, or are they much much beefier?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,052
    edited October 2019
    Original glass was same as what I have on my residential.

    We have long since upgraded to a thicker glass. But, they still fail. Usually at the gaskets. You get only so many turns on the gland nuts to stop a leak before the glass just breaks.

    We have upgraded stop valves to something more robust than OEM.
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,394
    The gage glass on high pressure boilers are usually heavier glass, better valves and better washers. Anything over 15 psi is high pressure. But their are differences between a 150 psi system and a 250 psi system

    If you replace gage glasses often and they continue to leak check your boilers PH bad ph can etch the glass causing leaks
    ethicalpaul
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,052
    edited October 2019
    Funny coincidence...We had one of our boilers inspected by the state this morning and the inspector found the ball check in the stop valves missing at the bottom of the gauge and the top ball was missing its retainer. Great find! Valves and glass replaced.

    I don't know if I knew there were ball checks in these thing at one time and forgot or if this is new knowledge to me. Getting old is no fun if you can't bring your memories with you! I guess I'll chalk it up to learning something new.

    If the glass breaks, the steel balls plug the hole. They act as a check valve. Not water tight but enough to protect you.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,791
    Sadly, the glass is never coming out of my WG EG series unless it's busted.

    When I installed the boiler I was running out of time and the glass they gave me was a bit too long. The only way to install it was to loosen one of the valves and rotate it back with the glass going into it.

    I don't know how common that is.

    I really do want to get an extra one to have on hand just in case. Anyone know off the top of their head what diameter / length they are on the WM EG series?
    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