Answering Your Top FAQs on Steam Traps
f you deal with steam systems in any capacity — whether that’s in radiators or steam-powered industrial mechanisms — then you will almost certainly need to know something about steam traps and steam trap parts. But the problem is that much of the information on steam products is highly technical and difficult to understand if you don’t already have a background in this area of industrial engineering. To help you get started, here are five of the most frequently asked questions regarding steam traps, all answered in plain language.
- What Is a Steam Trap, Exactly?
Steam traps can be thought of as a combination of a vent and a valve. They perform three important functions: maintaining steam where you want it, draining condensate and removing non-condensables from the system.
- Why Are There So Many Steam Trap Types?
Over the past century, more than 1,400 steam trap designs have been manufactured. But actually, all fall into one of three categories: thermostatic steam traps, mechanical steam traps and thermal dynamic steam traps. These types are separated by how the valve is operated.
- What’s the Big Deal With Inspections?
Standard guidelines for inspections have to do with the amount of pressure in a system; high-pressure steam systems (150 pounds per square inch and above) should be inspected every week or every month, whereas low-pressure steam systems (below 30 pounds per square inch) need to be inspected once a year or so. These inspections have to do with safety, which is why they should never be skipped. There are other reasons to make sure your steam traps are in good condition and operating efficiently, too: Old, inefficient steam traps can lead to $8,000 worth of waste every single year.
- Are Some Steam Traps Better Than Others?
Yes, some brands are better respected than others by people who work in the industry. If you’re looking for the highest quality, then Spirax Sarco steam traps and Armstrong steam traps are a good place to start.
- How Should I Choose a Supplier?
In addition to choosing the right steam traps and steam trap parts, you’ll need to find a supplier for those products. In fact, choosing the right supplier can help you with that process; if you’re relatively new to this world, choosing a supplier that offers a fair amount of guidance and some education (in the form of customer support, infographics, blogs, etc.) is a good idea. You should also investigate a company’s reputation and ask for some references before placing any orders.
What other questions or comments do you have regarding steam traps or steam trap parts? Share your feedback below.