How to check and maintain steam traps?

asked 10 May, 14:44

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KnowledgeBase
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Steam traps are very important in steam systems. The task of steam traps is to discharge condensate. As with other equipment, they need a periodic maintenance.

  1. Traps need periodic cleaning. At a construction time, a way to prevent dirt from accumulation is to arrange a short length of pipe vertically below the supply to the trap (called a dirt leg) which can be cleaned easily and frequently. 

Traps can be seriously damaged by scale or pipe comings in lines. Well-Designed systems have strainers ahead of the traps which should be inspected and cleaned frequently.



  2. Traps are subject to severe wear if steam blows through continuously. They should be inspected for worn valve parts or a change in operating conditions.

When a steam trap fails to discharge, inspect the heating system and be certain that all units are drained with separate traps, thus guarding against short-circuiting, loss of energy, and reduction of operating efficiency.



  3. Traps operating under high pressure or superheated steam are often insulated in a manner similar to adjacent pipelines. They shall be fitted with dirt pockets, test valves, and drains which require inspection and cleaning.

 Steam traps installed in areas exposed to climatic conditions will lose heat if not insulated and may freeze unless adequately protected. Inspect and repair insulation as required.

  4. Steam traps handling large volumes of steam require more frequent inspection and proper venting for efficient operation. Vents shall be used to avoid air binding and ensure positive drainage. Gauge glasses shall be kept in proper repair, for they indicate whether or not the trap is working. Periodic cleaning and gauge glass replacement shall be considered as a high priority in the maintenance of steam traps.



  5. All steam traps require protection from corrosion to prevent unnecessary deterioration.

  6. All valves, joints, and gaskets should be kept tight to avoid steam leakage and ultimate energy losses.
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answered 10 May, 14:58

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cheng
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