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Steam Boiler Problems

Steam boilers are usually closed vessels large or small in size, based on the need for which water is heated. The water which is heated or vaporized in the boiler is then routed out. This is then to be used for various purposes and heating applications such as power generation, central heating, cooking and sanitation. Heat in the steam boilers is generated generally through the combustion of fuels such as wood, coal, oil or natural gas.

To read about more steam boiler operation and their problems, below are a few questions answered by Experts.

. Should the valve above and below the sight glass in a steam boiler be opened or closed?

Normally in a steam boiler system, the top and bottom valves from the sight glass should be open at all times. Water is not added through these valves instead a separate water supply should be present which fills the boiler. Usually a half copper water line is connected to the steam boiler. Water can be added slowly when the boiler is not hot. Generally water in the sight glass should be half to two-thirds full. If the level of water is higher than this, some water may need to be drained out until it reaches this level. The reason the sight glass could be full is the fill valve could be leaking and slowly overfilling the boiler. Another possibility would be that there was already too much existing water in the steam boiler system to begin with.

How does one blow-down a Burnham V8 steam boiler? The water seen from the sight glass is dirty.

In order to blow-down a Burnham steam boiler, the power switch should be turned off. Next a bucket can be placed under the drain and open fill. This step should be repeated twice. However this exercise may not clear the sight glass as there is a possibility it could be stained and in need of a replacement.

On a peerless steam boiler installation, why does the spark igniter come on and the flame turn off and on intermittently?

The problem in this case could be that the steam boiler system is probably not sensing the flame in the fire box. In such a scenario, the steam boiler first tries to relight the fuel which is being injected. In case there is still no signal from the flame sensor, it resets, flushes the fire box and tries to light up again.

Does a steam boiler system need to be bled?

No, there may not be a need to bleed the steam boiler system. This is because; steam boiler systems tend to bleed themselves of air by allowing steam to enter the radiator with air valves. After this, the steam condensates and the valves in turn allow air to enter the radiator. W This facilitates the steam to drain back into the steam boilers return. Typically it is hot water systems which need to be bled and not steam boiler systems. The phrase “bleed a radiator” is associated with hot water systems.

The steam boiler system shows water at the 2/3rd mark on the glass tube, but why does it run out of water within two days of occasional heating?

In this case, the steam boiler installation is losing water and this happens due to the following reasons:

1. An underground or under the floor return line could be leaking. This point can be disregarded if there aren’t any underground lines

2. Several defective air valves. In case this is a steam boiler system with one pipe for steam, the air valves at each radiator could be defective and leaking steam

3. A hole in the boiler above the water line. The hole would allow steam to go up a chimney and it would appear as if there were no leaks at all. Hence what can be tried is that the steam boiler should be fired to the point it produces steam Users then observe the chimney to check if steam escapes. It will be quite obvious when the steam starts escaping. Another option would be to fill the steam boiler past the top of the glass until it exits out of the relief valve. Now it can be checked whether water is leaking from the boiler or not.

Steam boilers are one of the main and important components in a heating system. Any issues users may face with them need to be examined and attended to carefully. This is because they are dealing with a source of heat and pressure. This also entails those steam boilers maintenance should be carried out regularly and properly. This usually ensures proper steam boiler operation. To get a fair idea regarding steam boiler operation and steam boiler troubleshooting, Experts can provide step by step guidance, information and expertise.
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