We just bought our first house and it has a steam heating sytem. The water in the sight glass looks pretty dirty and looks even dirtier when the heat is on. When we first moved in the water was filled to the top of the glass (maybe even higher). Once a week we drain some water out of the boiler (from the low water cut off unit) until it runs clear. Each time the water is super dirty/rusty for about the first quart. Is this the best/proper way to flush it? Also will the dirty water effect the system and performance? The people who had been servicing the sytem for the previous owners told me that it was normal for the water to be dirty. Also, we were told by the home inspector that the low water cut did not respond. Would that also be related to the water quality?
If the water isn't flushed through the low water cut off regularly, it fails to operate. If after a few weeks of flushing it, it still fails to operate properly, get it replaced.
There is a way to service the boiler to remove a majority of the built up rust residue. Speak to your plumber.
Thanks Ron, We have been flushing a little out each week since early Sept (the hot water is tankless, so the boiler runs regularly). My guess is the previous owners didnt flush it regularly. I tried draining it down to near empty last night and the burner did not shut off, so we will be having the low water cut off replaced.