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Posted by HeatPro on August 23, 2008 at 18:28:22:
In Reply to: Desperately need decent boiler conditioner... posted by Steve on August 23, 2008 at 11:03:35:
1. No boiler manufacturer suggests using a boiler conditioner in the boiler, as when you remove the cast iron corrosion layer, you remove the protection from the raw cast iron to create faster corrosion. A crystal clear sight glass is 'tilting the windmill', as anything that stops normal corrosion is coating the insides, including the controls; which explains the 'sticking blow off valve.' It is 'normal' to have some red dirt come out of the blowdown and sight glass valve during the weekly service. Anything that cleans the inside of cast boilers or radiators is an acid or base to corrode metal faster, so your radiators got the benefit of that.
Normal service is to clean the solenoid, blow-down mechanism and low water cutoff yearly by removing them to manually clean them and apply new gaskets.
The red color is there to get you to use more. Steam systems with residential boilers are a shrinking sales field, because they are the least efficient of systems, not able to be zoned, and run at high fuel prices, so companies have to make more sales.
2. Any auto-water-fill overfills after a time as the solenoid seat gets an accumulation of dirt to stick onto the valve seat. It is just a time bomb waiting until you aren't home to turn the upstairs radiators into a sprinkler system so you can get new flooring. Most residential systems use the manual blowdown once per week; which prevents having an open valve to the entire regional water supply into your home.
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