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Why do steam traps fail?



Steam trap failures affect the performance of the entire steam system. This costs energy and money, and escaping hot steam can also pose a serious safety risk. There are many reasons for failure. We have taken a closer look at some factors and reveal how they can be prevented.


Wrong steam trap type

Choosing the right type of steam trap is crucial. Choosing the wrong type of steam trap for the wrong application will reduce the performance and life of the steam trap.


Incorrect installation

Some steam traps already contain a built-in strainer, others require a separate strainer. If a strainer is missing, rust and other contaminants can cause damage to the steam trap.


Insufficient insulation

Insufficient or missing insulation leads to heat loss, which increases the cost of steam production.


Leaky valves

Leaky control or shut-off valves in the system result in increased steam production and therefore higher total energy costs.


Feedwater contamination

Improper feedwater treatment causes contamination, which in turn can lead to steam trap failure.


Condensate contamination

Condensate contamination can be caused by leaking heat exchangers or the use of multiple utilities. This causes the pH value to drop, the condensate to become acidic and the internal parts of the steam trap to start rusting.


Lack of or insufficient maintenance

In many plants, steam traps are poorly maintained or not maintained at all. The aforementioned factors go undetected and can lead to steam trap failure.


So what is the best way to monitor steam traps?

With our ultrasonic sensors, the characteristic signals of steam traps and valves are recorded. The process takes only a few seconds and is possible, either with mobile or with permanent sensors, during ongoing operation. The evaluation of the data is completely automatic and you get an overview of the actual state of your systems without having to wait long. By identifying defective steam traps and leaking valves, you can plan repairs or replacements, prevent shutdowns and reduce energy costs for steam generation.


Contact us, we will be happy to advise you.



Author: DI Mag. Markus Loinig

Email: markus@senzoro.com

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