For businesses that use steam, regular maintenance of steam systems is essential. Wastage of steam can be both expensive and dangerous. Regular maintenance of all types of steam traps – steam vents, thermostatic valves, steam traps on radiators, spence valves – can save money and problems.
Leaking steam traps waste steam and energy
Converting water to steam is one of the major consumers of energy in any business that uses steam. 970 BTU of energy are needed to turn a pound of water into steam. And yet steam is constantly wasted in steam systems.
If a steam system has not been maintained for 3-5 years, 15-30% of its steam traps may not be working. It is estimated that old and inefficient steam traps waste $8,000 in steam every year. Space heating systems without proactive assessment typically lose around 20% of the steam leaving the central boiler plant due to leaking traps.
Maintenance reduces wastage of steam
Despite the scale of the problem, steam losses can be reduced to less than 1% with high quality equipment and assessment programs. With a regularly scheduled maintenance program, leaking traps can be reduced to around 5% of the total number of steam traps.
Standard steam traps, including thermostatic valves, usually have a one-year warranty and a working life of three to seven years, depending on conditions like usage, regular maintenance and working environment.
Regular maintenance is the key to an efficient steam system. Weekly to monthly inspections are recommended for high pressure steam systems, which are defined as operating at 150 psig and higher. Low pressure systems – below 30 psig – need annual inspections.
A reliable and efficient steam system needs high quality parts. A regular partnership with a trusted supplier for inspection and maintenance is essential for the smooth functioning and high productivity of your business.