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How to drain boiler without a floor drain (16 Posts)
How to drain boiler without a floor drainSo I have been skimming my steam boiler to get rito flush out d of the droplets in the sight glass but I am seeing some murky water when I do the weekly flush so I think I need to completely drain the boiler to flush out sediment. I have drained the wet return, which was not a problem as its up a foot from the floor but the boiler drain is just an in or two off the floor.
The floor drain has been plugged with sand for some reason by the previous owners and I don't have a sump pump (or a sump hole for that matter) so how do I drain the boiler. I'm thinking there may be a way to siphon the water to the wash sink but I am not sure how that would work. ANy ideas?
draining boilercan you put in a dishwasher drain connection under the sink, as low as possible, and still be below the boiler bottom? for a syphon to work, it needs to be draining from a higher point, to a lower point, even if there is a hump in between.--nbc
Sink is raised upGood suggestion. Unfortunately the sink is raised up on a footing so there is still going to be 10 inch difference. Boiler drain is literally as close to the floor as you can get.
out the window ..If your house is on a hill, you can run a garden hose from the drain at floor level, up and out a cellar window, and then down the hill till the hose end is lower than the basement floor level. That's how I do it - no pump needed.
Curious...How are you going to establish a siphon? Remember, this is a steam boiler.
(You been eating all the Cheetos again, or did you try and suck start a siphon on a steam boilers mud leg?)
No inuendos intended. But, still could be tricky getting a siphon to roll :_)
I know how I would do it, but wanted to see how YOU'D do it ;-)
MEIt's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
I prefer Fritos myselfWhen you hook up the hose, put a shutoff nozzle on the other end like you're going to water the garden. Open the boiler drain, then open the garden nozzle into the sink or a bucket. Once it is flowing well shut off the nozzle. The hose is full of water at that point, pre-primed and ready to go. Now run the hose out the window and low enough to be below basement floor level. Open the nozzle and start watering your lawn with the boiler water. Wave to the neighbors when they wonder why you're watering your lawn in January.
That's how I'd do it...but with a little different bent.
I'd hook the hose to the mud leg of the boiler using a double female washing machine hose(remember, its steam and not a whole lot of pressure). and I'd put one of those M X F hose adapters with a ball valve on the other end, and then connect it to an outside faucet..
Open the boiler drain, then open the M X F ball valve adapter, then open the lawn faucet. Once the boiler end quits bubbling (fully purged fairly quickly), close off the lawn faucet, and close the 1/4 turn M X F ball valve adapter, disconnect the hose from the lawn faucet and take the walk down the hill, and let it rip.
The greater the difference in height, the greater the flow potential.
I would then go back inside and open the make up valve for the steam boiler to keep water readily available, to keep flushing the rust out of the mud leg and avoid breaking the siphon. The steam boiler should be OFF during this operation.
BUT, I agree with others. I'd rather try and resurrect the floor drain, because you never know WHEN you might need it, and there is nothing worse than coming home from vacation to a basement chock full of water...
Resurrection may be as simple as using a shop vac, and a little water to clear the floor drain bowl. Test and flush with a 5 gallon bucket of water. When you are done, put 1/4 cup of 30W motor oil into the trap to keep the trap seal from evaporating and allowing nasty sewer gas to come back into the house. If the floor drain ever sees any substantial flow action, it may be necessary to replenish the motor oil seal.
Thanks for allowing me to humor you :-) You're a good sport. And a smart one too ;-)
MEIt's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.This post was edited by an admin on January 31, 2012 11:07 AM.
Clean out the floor drainWhy don't you take a shop vac to the floor drain and then a snake. The floor drain is there for a reason, if you ever have a catatrophic leak, it would be woth it's weight in gold.
Just my opinion.
Afraid what I might findJust as the drain is there for a reason I suspect the previous owners filled it in for a reason. I know they had alot of work done to the sewage system and that may be why they filled it in. On the other hand they may have fixed the original problem so that it would not be an issue to open up the drain again. Is there any chance that raw sewage may back into the floor drain? come to think of it, I actually don't see where the drain is connected to the sewage pipe so could the floor drain be just open to the ground?
Floor Drains:If you have a drain in the floor that doesn't work, and you see the main drain/sewer leave the building in a horizontal plane, through the wall, it is a good possibility that the floor drain is there for looks. The floor drain may have been connected to a municipal sewer but if there is ever any flooding of the municipal sewer, water seeks its own level. Some municipalities won't allow floor drains below grade in cellars unless they go into sumps with back flow devices.
Small utility pumps can be had for $100 or less.
Let's hopeI don't get a leak in the sewage line or I will be up a certain creek. If I get a sump it wouldn't protect against a sewage line leak I guess as that is the only way out but it may be good to have for draining the boiler and water main brakes. And I am 1 mile from the Atlantic...(not in flood zone but still)
Looks likeYou are going to have to go--boiler drain w/hose into 5 gal bucket. In the bucket, put a small sump pump, pump into sink. If you have to get the boiler bone dry, use hose to small cordless drill powered pump.steve
That would be finebut as NBC pointed out, will the boiler drain all the way or only to the rim of whatever vessel I use?
Utility Pumps:This pump will do you fine. Some of us have used these for years for doing about anything you can imagine.
I use one of these for pumping anti-freeze into systems and anywhere I need to "suck" something out. Otherwise, I use an air compressor. If it were a hot water boiler, I would drain it with my air compressor. You can't do it with a steam boiler unless you block all the air vents. And that isn't practical.
Wet vacuum & short pail..........Malex: We keep an assortment of altered five gallon ( & smaller ) pails on our trucks; some are as small as 2" tall to fit in tight places, mostly for draining sink traps or toilet tank connectors. You could combine a short pail and wet vac to get down to the last drop..............................
Mucky water during weekly flush.Basic question, where is the water coming out of, during the weekly flush? If the LWCO, does that mean that the crud could be coming from the LWCO?
Do you have the capacity to isolate the boiler from the steam header and returns? If so, would it make sense to fill the boiler all of the way up and use hose pressure to flush it out?
How large are the bottom drain port(s)?
Can you fill the system up to the first or second floor radiators to flush out the wet returns repeatedly?
If the wet returns are filled up with "crud", cleaning out the boiler without flushing the returns, may mean you will be cleaning out the boiler again.
To the steam professionals, Does it make sense to open the bottom drain of the boiler while steaming? Will that help push the sediment out? Obviously steam burns and hot water scalds are a definite concern.