They are valves that were created to discharge condensation and vent air without losing steam. Just like any mechanical item that uses various mechanisms, over time you are going to have increased wear and tear. When this happens you run into a common, yet real problem when your steam trap begins to leak. When steam traps begin to leak wasting energy, affecting production immensely, creating safety issues, and raising your maintenance costs. In order to control a leaking steam trap, you have to be very proactive before the leak gets out of control. Some of the most common reasons for a steam trap leak are dirt, unplanned pressure surges, and oversized traps.
Following these few steps below will help in lessening your chance for a leak.
- You want to develop a regular routine and maintenance on the steam trap. Keeping up the checks, and maintenance will find problems before they become too massive. In this step also you are going to want to map out and tag each of the steam traps to make sure everything is being inspected.
- Periodically test your control valves. This is just another part of your maintenance to make sure you are keeping your pressure levels down. Some motors are unable to handle extremely high temperatures and will fail over time. Doing this will help to make sure everything is staying regulated.
- Check the thickness of the piping. Over time the steam and condensate will start to erode your pipes. If your thickness starts to get really low you are going to have cracking, which you guessed it, can start a leak.
- Test your traps using temperature. The inlet and outlet are going to have roughly a 10-degree difference. Performing this test will also tell you if your equipment is capable of handling the overall capacity.
Performing these actions above are just a few items on a checklist that can help maintain your steam trap, and hopefully, prevent a problem before it’s too late.