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Steam heat and smelly basement valve

I have a steam heating system in my house with a steam release valve in the basement. When the heat is on and steam is released through this valve it smells really bad, like a rusty smell. I drain the sediment from the furnace regularly. Is there anything that can be done about this smell? Is there any sort of system flushing procedure done by heating pros that would clean out the pipes and the boiler? Thanks!

Re: Steam heat and smelly basement valve


Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is used to clean out the boiler in such cases---but you'll have to call your boiler mfgr first because the procedure usually differs slightly for each boiler---enter the name & model number of your boiler at Google---in many cases the boiler's homeowner's manual is online & they have cleaning instructions at the end of the manual.

The mfgr usually has an 800 number you can call---in many cases the boiler is temporarily shut down, & the relief valve at the top of the boiler is unscrewed & a pound of TSP is added thru a funnel to the boiler water & the boiler is heated up to just below making steam (210 degrees) for an hour or two---then usually some water is drained from the boiler (blow down).

Consult the Yellow Pages for "Heating-parts" to get a list of heating/plumbing supply houses in your area that would carry TSP---check the package for how to use instructions and ask the counterman for any suggestiions on how to use it.

A product called Scout, which contains TSP is made by Hercules.


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