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Rusty boiler water

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Posted by Mike B on January 13, 2004 at 14:22:54:

Hey gang.

I've got a boiler in house that I just purchased that seems not to have been cleaned or blown down in quite some time. Seller told me that it's about 5 years old. The house is more like 90.

I shut it down for a bit and drained a couple of buckets of rusty water from the valve at the bottom of the boiler chamber. Then took the sight glass and valves apart as they were completely plugged with sediment. Also cleared the lower nipple to the sight class of sediment as well. Everything back together as it should be.

I got a quart of some rust blaster stuff at the local hardware store that had directions for clearing out old systems, and mannaged to put that in w/o too much trouble, closed up everything and refilled the boiler to half way up the glass. The water in the glass was nice and clear blue (what the directions said to expect) so all things good so far. Started up the boiler again and made some steam.

Here's where things start to get odd I think.

Once I started to get some pressure up the water goes down the glass to about an inch from the bottom. Cool. It starts to bounce up and down a bit, maybe an inch or so. Also ok I guess. Once the steam started up the pipes however, I also noted water running down the sight glass from the top. That over a couple of days introduced enough sediment in the glass that it's cloged up again. I'm thinking that, that is not normal.

I'm a little concerned about the near boiler pipeing as well. The steam leaves the boiler into a tee which is pluged at one end (I assume for skiming) but the pipe that is connected to the tee runs horizontal for about 4 feet before it gets to a 90 Deg elbow and heads up. This outlet tee is physically very near the sight glass. Does this sound reasonable to any of you guys??? I'd have thought that the outlet should have gone vertical right out of the Tee.

Also, installer had the pressure cut in stet at 3 PSIG, with a 2 PSI differential. I adjusted the cut in down to 0.5 PSIG, and now the burner cycles on and off whilst the thermostat is calling for heat. And now the one radiator in the house that was always cold seems to be working well. I'd previously replaced the vent, and had to drain some water out of it. With the pressur up, it would work for a while and then flood, but seems fine now.

So the big question is... when I dump water from the boiler after all this, How clear is clear supposed to be. I know red sludg is not good, but I've never got one of these things to run clear like water out of the tap. Is light red OK?? And any oppinions or thoughts on the near boiler pipeing???

Sorry this is kind of lenghty.

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