Steam Trap Testing Surveys

Major manufacturers of Steam Traps recommend a survey and testing of the traps in a facility.

The normal rate of failure on steam traps, because of the harsh conditions they operate under, figure a failure rate of approximately 15% per year.

Steam is effective, can be reused, has low toxicity, is easily transported, very efficient.

The cost of a 3/6” leak at 5 psig for a heating system for a gas fired boiler, 16 hours / day is approximately $730.00.

This is quite significant and if 15% of the traps fail in 1 year, and there are 100 traps in the facility, this adds up to almost $11,000.00 dollars.

A steam trap survey locates all the traps, tags them and in the report locates each trap by an X, Y, and Z axis in the building.

The traps are tested visually, ultrasonically, with an infrared thermal image, and with a temperature differential. Ultrasonic testing is performed using an ultrasonic probe with ear phones attached and the infrared thermal image can locate the trap and its failure mode.

We have also been to locations where the traps have been installed upside down.

Normally there are two types of steam traps, utilized; intermittent and continuous flow. Intermittent cycle from open to closed and continuous flow are self explanatory.

A failure is usually detected by a continuous rushing sound, or a non clicking sound which indicates a trap failure.

Steam traps are relatively simple design and repairs can be made when parts are available.

A steam trap survey is an inexpensive method of determining which traps are failing and the return on the investment is astonishing.

Any questions or comments, please contact Systems Testing and Analysis, Inc.