New Boiler - Steam Heat

I live in an older home with steam heat and a really old boiler. It needed some work so I decided to get a new one. When I got the new boiler I saw one thing odd. There is no valve to blow out all the sediment. I contacted the installer and they said that newer boilers dont have blow out valves. My question is, what happens to all the sediment? With all the crud that came out of the old boiler on a weekly basis, you would think it would kill a boiler in only one season of use... Granted if its not needed, Ill probably spend the extra few $$ to get an auto filler so I never have to check the thing again.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Go to the Wall for your steam questions. http://forums.invision.net/index.cfm?CFApp=2
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mini Moebius wrote:

I'm not familiar with residential boilers and there may be some truth to it. Check the manufacturer for recommendations.
Every industrial boiler I've ever seen or operated has a blowdown valve. Proper blowdown is one of the most important parts of operating high pressure boilers. I'd also opt for the auto fill valve.
The amount of blowdown will vary with the amount of sediment and the amount of make up water used. Water has minerals and when made into steam, the minerals stay behind. If some steam leaks, more water cmes in and brings in more minerals. After a time, the minerals build up as solids. If the total dissoved solids gets too high, operation of the boiler is affected.
--
Ed
snipped-for-privacy@snet.net
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Actually, cleaning a residential steam boiler is a lot more important than just removing water sediment from "a little" steam loss. The single pipe systems (a majority in NE) are vented at the radiators, i.e. there is always steam loss during the heat cycle, so quite a bit of water is added to the system. This is why some people prefer steam systems over HWBB because the air humidity is kept higher. Then, during the cooldown cycle the system is vented and air is allowed into the pipes. Moisture + oxygen + heat + black iron pipes = a ton of corrosion junk in the boiler. I usually drain a pound of muck from my boiler every month.
Looking forward to radiant floor heating next year,
EJ

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Your installer should have given you an owner's manual with the new boiler. If you check it Iam 100% certain that it will include instructions on draining the boiler and the location of the valve. If it is indeed missing, call your installer and have him finish the job.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The blowdown valve is part of the water level sensor, at least in my system. I cannot imagine it any other way. The water level sensor MUST be clean and working freely, and when doing a blowdown, the sensor float is checked -- if the system is running. If that sensor gets jammed with corrosion, then your life and property are in danger! The water level goes down, but the sensor does not shut the system down because it is stuck, and the boiler gets red hot and a fire starts! The automatic water fill is not as important in my opinion. They tend to get stuck open, and so you may flood the boiler. But having no blowdown to clean and check the level sensor seems like a scam to me. Keep in mind that the blowdown valve does not clean out the sediment from the boiler; it cleans the sediment in the water level float cavity. As always, these are mostly my (educated, I hope) opinions. --Phil
Mini Moebius wrote:

--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Phil Munro wrote:

Boilers have a sensor as you describe and they must be blowndown on a regular basis. Some have two sensors. One will turn the water on when the level is low, the other is strictly a safety to shut the boiler down at a low water level. It is set a bit lower than the first and is a backup if the first one fails.
Boilers should also have a blowdown valve at the lowest point to flush out sediment.
--
Ed
snipped-for-privacy@snet.net
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Yes, except that the lowest point blowdown valve is really just a drain valve, I think. On my two-pipe system, the drain valve is on the water return pipe just where it goes back into the boiler, and I have converted it to a ball valve to allow for the best possible flow when draining a little off the bottom. --Phil
--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

out
On residential boilers I'll defer to others. With high pressure commercial or industrial boilers, it is a requirement to have a blowdown valve at the lowest point. Industrial settings are much different. Chemicals must be added, blowdown must be done on a regular basis (usually once per shift), etc. The purpose is to prevent buildup of dissolved solids and sediment. Many states require the operator have a license. Type of license varies according to boiler size in horsepower. You will often see the term "high pressure" used for boilers. Any boiler that exceeds 15 psig is considered high pressure. Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.