What Do Steam Traps Do?

Many facilities, including hospitals, universities, as well as manufacturing plants, have a boiler system to produce steam that generates heat for temperature control.  One of the critical components of a steam piping network is a steam trap, which discharges condensate, air and other gases from steam while not permitting steam to escape.

Are you using mechanical steam traps?

Most likely. And there may be a significant opportunity in your facility that is being overlooked.

If you are using energy that creates steam, there are likely mechanical steam traps (float & thermostatic or traditional bucket) littered throughout your facility.  These steam traps have moving parts (i.e. discs, floats, levers) with a high failure rate causing a breakdown at various times.  These breakdowns are typically in the form of a leak or blockage, causing energy loss and unplanned time and effort from your labor force to identify and replace one or more of the moving parts, or the entire steam trap.

While the replacement cost of a mechanical steam trap on the surface may not be individually significant, a facility that contains hundreds of steam traps would most certainly be impacted by the compound effect of replacement cost as well as repair and maintenance parts, labor, overhead, and energy loss.

Switch To Using Venturi Steam Traps Instead

Why? Because variable load venturi steam traps have no moving parts, and carry a 20 year warranty. Studies have shown the impressive reliability that, depending on the amount of traps in your facility, can yield thousands of dollars in savings on an annual basis.

3+ Reasons To Make The Move:

1: Venturi Steam Traps Improve Safety In The Facility

“Where People Meet Pipe” is always a dangerous place to be in any plant environment and when those pipes are filled with steam, the dangers multiply exponentially. Due to the longer life span of venturi steam traps, your labor force will encounter less interruptions related to repair and maintenance of steam systems, thus lessening the interaction with steam and creating a safer workplace.

2: Venturi Steam Traps Increase Labor Efficiency

Finding and retaining personnel is more challenging than ever.  Because of the efficiencies gained with this method, there is less need for maintenance personnel dedicated to repairing and replacing traditional steam traps.  Your labor force can be utilized in higher value concerns.

3: Venturi Steam Traps Are More Environmentally Friendly

An efficient steam trap system enables considerable steam savings where carbon dioxide emissions are reduced through reducing steam waste through failed traps.  Plus, saving water, related treatment supply and boiler fuel (gas, oil, coal or electricity) would more likely provide the most significant savings.

4: Venturi Steam Traps Save Cost & Increases Profits

For example, a blowing leak in just one steam trap would result in the following losses: 

That is just the cost of loss on 1 trap! On the other hand, venturi steam traps may be more expensive but when you are replacing your mechanical traps at a much faster pace, your cash outflow will no doubt be significantly more.  There are no moving parts on the venturi traps and as a result, no spare parts are required to be maintained in-house.  Let’s go through an elementary example to provide the quantitative impact of venturi versus mechanical.  Every facility and situation is unique and different but the scenario below will provide an attention grabbing result.

Here is an example of comparing the annual cost:

Over the course of time, annual savings based on replacement cost alone would be approximately US$33,000. After 5 years, savings would be US$165,000!  Taking into consideration the time value of money, the savings would be even higher.

Overall More Efficiency In The Facility

Overall, there may be labor efficiencies, environmental benefits as well as financial savings to be generated at your facility from venturi steam traps which provide an opportunity to reinvest cash flow into other areas of the operation as well as provide increased return on sales to stakeholders.

Let’s make the switch to efficiency.  

Contact us for consultation and complementary steam review and analysis.