Create an Efficient System by Inspecting Steam Traps Often

Unfortunately, there are far too many people and companies that ignore the steam traps in their equipment. However, this complacency is likely costing steam users much, much more than they even realize. There are far too many plants that concentrate on maintaining their boiler, while ignoring the rest of the steam system, which can be extremely wasteful. Some of the losses that are seen include energy, as well as having to replace any damaged equipment and the misuse of man-hours. It is not uncommon for some businesses to discover a system loss that reaches into the thousands of dollars range.

The good news is that the majority of the losses are able to be averted when you have a vigilant management system in place for your Hoffman Steam Traps . One program to implement which can help prevent serious issues with your steam trap is surveys. The steam trap survey will help to create a window into the steam system. Once the maintenance engineer is able to see what is going on with the system, they are able to take the proper corrective action.

The corrective action can add a significant amount to the company’s bottom line as a source of “found money.” In a number of business circles, it has been estimated that an in-house savings of only $10.00 is equivalent to approximately $1,000 in sales. Put simply, if you could generate $10,000 in steam system savings, it would be the same as generating one million dollars for your company.

However, in order to effectively create savings with your steam system, you have to understand the basics of the equipment. Loss of steam may occur on both the supply and the return side. The elements including trap type, sizing, slope angles and layout of the pipes can all contribute to the steam that is produced being effectively used. There are a number of personnel in plants that will work to understand the steam system, which includes traps; however, there are just as many plants that do not put forth this effort. It is important for these facilities to seriously consider naming certain individuals as in charge of maintaining the efficient function of the steam system.

The significant cost savings that can be achieved should be motivation enough to ensure proper steam trap operation. With this in mind, consider if your steam trap system is being properly maintained.

The Importance of Thermostatic Radiator Valves

The thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) was first introduced in Denmark in the 1970s as an easy and affordable way to control zone temperatures through a larger building that featured a wet heating system that was fed by one, centrally located boiler, which was also where the term “central heating” originated.

TRVs such as the Danfoss Radiator Valve , are useful for commercial buildings, such as factories and offices and are also extremely popular in a number of European apartment buildings where there is one boiler in the basement of the building that feeds a number of different flats. When this situation is present, the boiler is constantly on and the hot water is always circulating in the network of pipes, so that the boiler operates at superior efficiency.

In this system, the flat dwellers control the temperatures in their homes by using the TRVs and learning to judge the proper setting for ultimate comfort.
That arrangement is completely different than the British system, where every individual flat or home has an individual boiler, which is commonly programmed so that it fires up for a period of two hours in the morning and then six hours during the evening. In these systems, the TRVs can actually be irrelevant and create more issues.

It is importation to understand that you should never fit a TRV to the radiator that is in the same room as the wall-mounted thermostat for the room, as the two different thermostats will begin to fight each other in order to deny or gain heat from the boiler

These are also completely inadvisable in a bathroom, where the heat that is created from the shower or bath can actually shut down the operation of the TRV just when the warmth is necessary for the prevention of condensation.

The TRV is considered a somewhat primitive device that relies on the thermal properties of the trapped bubble of gas, wax or liquid in order to contract and expand and therefore will turn the valve on the radiator on or off. Once these valves are fitted, they are very rarely checked or even recalibrated, which means there is no way of determining if they are properly working.

The radiator valve is a crucial component of any heating system. Understanding this factor will help you ensure your system is performing at optimum levels, providing superior comfort for both residential and commercial settings.

How to Find a Reliable Supplier of Radiator Parts

It is essential that you maintain your radiator on a regular basis if you want to ensure it performs at its peak. However, when you need to replace or repair a part of the system, it is essential you have a reliable and quality company you can order supplies from. However, with all of the options that are available, you may be confused about which company offers the best and the highest quality parts. No matter if you need a complete replacement radiator, or simply a new Danfoss Ra2000, finding a quality supplier can make a huge difference in the results you see.
Some tips to help you find a quality supplier are highlighted here.

Reputation and Referrals

Do you know another person or company that has ordered radiator parts in the past? If so, you may want to ask them who their supplier is. You can also find out helpful insights regarding this particular supplier such as their turnaround time, the type of parts they offer and their quality of parts. While you should not make your decision based on a referral alone, this can be a great jumping off point for finding a quality supplier.

Years of Service

Another important consideration is how long the supplier has been offering radiator parts. You need to ensure you are dealing with a company that will be around for an extended period of time. This will help you develop a relationship with the supplier, helping you to gain better prices in the long run. While a new company will not necessarily provide you with poor service, you need to ensure they offer a clear understanding of the parts they have for sale.

Quality of Products

Not all radiator products are created equally. This means that you need to take the time to find a supplier that offers the brand of part you want for a competitive rate. You should not settle for a sub-par part simply because it is priced at a lower amount.
When you use the tips here you can feel confident that you have located a quality radiator part supplier and that the parts you receive will be the quality you need for superior performance of your equipment. Keep this in mind when you need to purchase any type of equipment of product to make sure that you do not purchase a part that will have to be replaced immediately.

The Function and Types of Steam Traps

An Armstrong Steam Trap is a device that is used to discharge non-condensable gasses, in addition to condensate, without eliminating the steam necessary for the equipment’s specific application. Most steam traps are nothing more than a type of automatic valve that opens and closes or modulates automatically. The steam trap has three main functions: to discharge the condensate; to not release steam; and the discharge of air in addition to other non-condensable gasses.

The Basic Operation of the Steam Trap

In its most basic form, the steam trap is a type of disc or a short pipe nipple that has a small hole drilled though the part. It is always installed at the lowest point on your equipment for superior performance. While there are some basic types of steam traps, the most common ones that are seen today include the mechanically operated option or the thermostatically operated option.
In addition to understanding the operation of a steam trap, you must also understand the different options that are available and how they work, which include:

  • Mechanical Traps

This type of steam trap features a float that falls and rises in direct relation to the level of condensate and usually has a mechanical linkage that is attached that will open and close the valve. Most mechanical steam traps have an expected life of three years. Float traps and inverted bucket traps are the most common types of mechanical traps in use.

  • Temperature Traps

The temperature trap features a valve that is driven on and off the seat due to contraction or expansion that is caused by a difference in temperature. Bimetalic traps and thermostatic traps are common types of temperature steam traps.

  • Thermodynamic Traps

This type of steam trap works by responding to steam entering the part. As the steam comes in, the static pressure that is above the disk forces it to press against the seat of the valve. As the steam begins to condense, the existing pressure exerted against the disk will decrease and the trap will cycle.
Understanding the basic function of the steam trap, as well as the types and options available, will help you determine the best option for your factory, commercial space and equipment. If you purchase the wrong type of steam trap, it can lead to a poorly functioning piece of equipment, which leads to reduced productivity and sales and profits that falter.

External Management of Sarco Steam Traps for Enhanced Performance

Many industrial facilities utilize steam to generate energy and complete different operational processes. While these different industries generate and use large quantities of steam on a regular basis, they usually do not possess the complete expertise needed to manage their respective steam systems. While personnel is usually trained to operate these systems, rarely are these employees designated solely for maintenance and repairs.

This often leads to unforeseen repair needs that could have been easily avoided if the steam system’s upkeep was done consistently. Regular maintenance often results in high levels of energy efficiency, as leaks and other types of damage are avoided, with any existing problems being addressed in a timely manner. This leaves very little room for the damage to result in wasted fuel or steam.

External Management of Sarco Steam Traps for Enhanced Performance

Fortunately, commercial and industrial facilities can now turn to external providers when it comes to the upkeep of their systems, which leads to more efficient steam generation and use. This measure will also enhance the safety of employees and could significantly increase overall productivity. As mentioned in an article published by MidlandsBiz Profiles on September 13, 2013, Spirax Sarco—producer of efficient Sarco steam traps and systems—is one of these external providers:

“Spirax Sarco’s Steam System Asset Management programs are designed to provide ongoing in-plant steam trap and utility leak maintenance. Spirax Sarco’s extensive steam system knowledge and experience ensure Total Cost of Ownership is minimized and driven down to the lowest point possible.

Spirax Sarco’s asset management programs enable complete steam system optimization by identifying and then implementing opportunities discovered for energy and utility efficiencies, productivity gains, improved plant availability and uptime, improved health and safety, and regulatory compliance.”


As Spirax Sarco is a manufacturer of steam traps, and boiler and pipeline control valves for handling and steam fluids, they are adept at managing systems composed of their products. Experts recommend that commercial and industrial facilities in need of steam system management acquire these services from the companies that produced the current systems they’re using. As for parts, they don’t have to necessarily be acquired directly from the manufacturer.

Parts can be obtained from an authorized supplier like A.L.B. Industrial Supplies, Inc., which offers a wide selection of steam system parts from all the leading manufacturers. Some reputable suppliers don’t require their clients to place minimum orders, and offer same-day delivery services to anywhere in the country. When the utilized components are authentic, it facilitates ease of maintenance and ensures system performance of the highest level.

(Article Information and Image from Spirax Sarco steam system asset management program for the fuels and chemical industry; MidlandsBiz Profiles; September 13, 2013)

Managing Steam & Condensate Systems with Spirax Sarco Steam Traps

Heat is the most common form of energy utilized within the various operations found in modern industry. Steam remains one of the most efficient ways of generating and distributing heat within industrial and commercial facilities. However, with the advent of carbon taxes, climate change, and the steady reduction of the planet’s fossil fuel supplies, the mass production of steam continues to increase in cost as time goes by.

Managing Steam & Condensate Systems with Spirax Sarco Steam Traps

At the moment, there are no effective alternatives when it comes to mass producing the energy generated by steam. Hence, industries whose operations depend on steam must ensure that their systems are in the best operational condition possible. This measure ensures that all of the fuel used to generate steam, and the steam itself, are put to good use.

To guarantee efficiency, condensate and air must be removed from these systems with high-quality Spirax Sarco steam traps. One method that so far has only been explored by select industrial companies is having specialists manage their systems for them. While it may seem costly initially, operators of industrial and commercial steam powered systems can benefit quickly from such expertise.

The following excerpt from an energy management article published on December 2, 2013, on BSEE provides more information:

“Whatever business they’re in, another thing that steam system users tend to have in common is that steam is not their core area of expertise. And with the much-discussed skills gap affecting many organizations, and in-house estates and maintenance personnel facing increasing demands on their time, calling in specialists to provide service and support for the steam system can be the most realistic, cost effective way of keeping things running at their optimum.

From steam system audits and water treatment to project management and training, there are a wide range of support services available from external suppliers.”


By having their systems periodically serviced by reliable providers, industrial facilities can focus more on operation or production without having to worry about the escalating costs of their steam use. Many experts consider it best if the system manufacturer takes charge of managing the contract itself. Efficient Sarco steam traps, pumps, and other steam system components are best managed by the manufacturers of the system.

This of course would only be possible if the chosen system and its parts are all authentic and sourced from certified suppliers like A.L.B. Industrial Supplies Inc. Legitimate parts make overall system management easier, as any problems will be easier to identify, with quality concerns at a minimum.

(Article Information and Image from Five top tips for maximizing productivity; Building Services & Environmental Engineer (BSEE); December 2, 2013)

Using Spence PRV Regulators to Prevent Pressurized Steam Accidents

While emphasis is placed on choosing the right domestic or industrial steam systems to ensure the consistent production of steam while using the least amount of energy, equal importance should be placed on ensuring that these systems are safe to use. Most people consider steam to be water that has been boiled into vapor that is more or less harmless. While on most accounts this assumption proves true, excess amounts of steam, particularly when pressurized, can be a significant hazard.

Using Spence PRV Regulators to Prevent Pressurized Steam Accidents

As detailed in a report published by The Biola University Chimes on November 3, 2013, pressurized steam that isn’t regulated by pressure reducing valves or regulators could lead to dangerous explosions:

“Steam in Biola’s power plant reached an abnormally high pressure Sunday around 1:30 p.m., forcing excess vapor to rise from the building, according to Los Angeles County fire captain Skip Berry. An alarm sounded for approximately 20 minutes before power plant operator Joseph Hidy arrived on the scene around 2:11 p.m. and silenced it.”

“Had a safety valve not been in place to relieve the pressure, the plant would have exploded, Berry said.”

“It was a buildup in steam pressure, so that was the relief valve releasing the extra steam and pressure so it wouldn’t blow up,” he said. “The thing operated the way it should’ve.”


In the aforementioned scenario, the appropriate pressure relief valve was installed in the plant’s system. This effectively released excess steam and relieved pressure, which would have otherwise mounted, causing damage to the facilities and injuring the workers. While PRVs are paramount to ensuring that pressurized steam does not endanger the system or those who use it, it is also important to ensure that the correct PRV of the highest quality is installed.

Those who are looking to replace their current PRVs or any other part of their steam system can find authentic parts from reliable suppliers, like A.L.B. Industrial Supplies Inc. These include Spence PRV regulators, Armstrong Steam Traps, Danfoss Valves, Hoffman Steam Traps, Mepco products, and Spirax Sarco Steam Traps. Utilizing products of the highest quality will reduce repair costs and reinforce safety measures.

A durable Spence valve for domestic and industrial steam systems boasts nearly frictionless operation, which leads to longer service life. Spence steam valves can be used for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications, such as steam boilers and pressure reducing stations, as well as air compressors and cookers. Experts recommend that operators source their valves from suppliers that offer extensive inventories. These suppliers should also be able to recommend the products that would work best for their clients’ systems.

(Article Information and Image from Pressurized steam causes white smoke to emanate from power plant; The Biola University Chimes; November 3, 2013)

Choose Durable Mepco Steam Traps and Valves for Your Home Interiors

When it comes to redecorating any type of domestic space, one aspect which receives plenty of attention is the inclusion of different furniture and appliances. Depending on the purpose of the room, these could include television sets, stereos, custom cabinets, computers, inter-changeable lighting, as well as tables and chairs, among many others. In the excitement of being able to put together a room that stands out, some minor yet very important details tend to receive less focus.

Choose Durable Mepco Steam Traps and Valves for Your Home Interiors

One such detail is the room’s radiator valves, which are used to control the heat or steam output of radiators. The selected valves are vital in determining how easy it will be to obtain the desired temperature in the room. According to an article from eHow, radiator valves are generally categorized into two types, which makes the selection process easier for homeowners and interior designers:

“Manual Valves

Manual valves must be turned off and on by hand, according to the desired temperature in the room. Turning them on only part-way will allow some hot water into the radiator, allowing for fine temperature adjustments. Some manual valves include a metal ball within the valve to control flow when the valve is turned all the way on. These are called free ball valves.

Thermostatic Valves

Thermostatic valves include a heat sensor hooked to a thermostat. By changing the temperature of the thermostat, you control the setting of the valve. Thermostatic valves are used with analog and digital thermostats and are an important tool for integrating central heating and cooling systems in homes and commercial buildings. The valve mechanism is similar to the mechanism in a manual valve but it includes electronic components.”


To ensure that valves with the best look and desired functionality are selected, property owners should order supplies from reputable suppliers such as A.L.B. Industrial Supplies Inc., which delivers its products anywhere in the country. Products on offer include Spirax Sarco radiator valves, durable Mepco traps, and more. There are plenty of radiator valves for interior designers and homeowners to choose from.

What’s vital is that the chosen radiator valves benefit the people who will be using these radiators. Manufacturers of Mepco valves, and similar components, offer steam traps and hydronic products that are not only designed to complement the interior of rooms, but also provide enhanced functionality.

(Article Information and Image from Types of Radiator Valves; eHow)

Durable Armstrong Steam Traps Reduce Emissions and Waste Less Energy

Owners and operators of steam systems would naturally go for steam traps that are efficient yet eco-friendly. Eco-friendly steam traps waste less energy, burn less fuel, and reduce emissions. An article published by Spirax Sarco discusses some of the basic requirements of a good steam trap:

“By definition, a steam trap must trap or hold back steam whilst at the same time not restricting the passage of condensate, air, and other incondensable gases. The basic requirements of good steam trapping have already been outlined but it is worth repeating that the performance of the plant is paramount. The trap selection follows on the basis that the requirements of pressure, condensate load and air venting have been met in the provisional selection. However, system design and maintenance needs will also influence performance and selection.

Modern design and manufacturing techniques have produced steam traps which are more robust than those of their predecessors. This allows the steam trap to last longer under normal conditions, and will also be better able to withstand the effects of poorly designed systems.”


Although the aforementioned considerations are important, environmental preservation remains a top priority when purchasing a durable Armstrong steam trap. Reputable suppliers of steam traps, valves, and regulators, like A.L.B. Industrial Supplies Inc., also carry other brands—like Nicholson, Spence, Spirax Sarco, Tunstall, Barnes & Jones, Hoffman, and Mepco. Brands like Armstrong provide benefits such as minimal steam loss, long and reliable service life, as well as air and CO2 venting.

Durable Armstrong Steam Traps Reduce Emissions and Waste Less Energy

As reliable Armstrong steam traps are designed to waste less energy and reduce emissions, this translates into energy savings as well as a cleaner, healthier environment. While steam traps lose efficiency and begin to waste energy as they wear, Armstrong inverted bucket steam traps last much longer and provide greater reliability. The inverted bucket steam trap is powered by a unique leverage system that multiplies the force provided by the bucket to open the valves against pressure.

The inverted bucket steam trap has only two moving parts—the valve lever assembly and the bucket. This means that there are no fixed points or complicated linkages, and no components that might stick, bind, or clog. The individual parts of the inverted bucket steam trap are also wear- and corrosion-resistant, as they’re made of stainless steel.

(Article Information and Image from Considerations for Selecting Steam Traps; Spirax Sarco)

The Basic Functions of a Steam Trap and Common Steam Trap Applications

Durable steam traps came into widespread use at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Late 19th century industries were dominated by steam, which was used to generate power, perform work, and deliver heat to industrial process systems. Due to the widespread use of mechanical equipment today, steam traps—from manufacturers like Armstrong, Barnes & Jones, Spence, Spirax Sarco, and Mepco—are used to provide thermal efficiency, while effectively removing condensate to prevent mechanical damage inside process equipment, turbines, and piping.   

The Basic Functions of a Steam Trap and Common Steam Trap Applications

An article written by Terry Acers, which appeared in Valve Magazine, gives us more information about the functions of steam traps:  

“Steam traps are automatic valves that differentiate between steam and condensate. Their primary function is to discharge condensate from ­collection points in distribution piping and process equipment, and then close tightly on steam to prevent unnecessary energy loss. As the steam space in most systems is full of air at ambient temperatures, a secondary function is to vent air during startup.”


When steam releases heat energy in the heat exchanger while boiling hot water, or from any other process application, the steam reverts back to water. This water, which is technically known as condensate, must be separated from the steam and removed from the system to avoid backing up the system. Other non-condensable gasses, such as carbon dioxide, must be separated from the steam and removed from the system to facilitate steam flow and proper heat transfer, and to prevent components from corroding.

Listed below are the general application categories for steam traps.

Drip Applications

This process involves removing the condensate that forms in steam lines when steam loses heat energy due to radiation losses. Drip traps don’t require large condensate capacities and don’t necessarily need to discharge large amounts of air. This type of application is by far the most common one, and inverted bucket traps are often used for drip trap applications because of their ability to handle large amounts of dirt.

Process Applications

This type of application is used to remove condensate and air directly from the heat exchanger. Process trap applications require a higher condensate handling capacity and must discharge larger amounts of air. The most common trap choices for process applications are float and thermostatic traps, as well as thermostatic traps.

Tracing Applications

Steam tracing helps increase a product’s temperature via jacketed pipes or tubing filled with steam. A common tracing application involves wrapping high viscosity oil pipelines in steam tubing to lower the viscosity of the oil. An efficient steam trap—which can be ordered from reputable suppliers like A.L.B. Industrial Supplies Inc.—needs to be installed at the end of the steam tubing to remove unwanted condensate.

(Article Information and Image from The Mighty Steam Trap; Valve Magazine)