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how to test steam traps
Thu 18 Jan 2018

How to monitor and test steam traps

Steam leaks can be costly and therefore need prompt attention to keep your steam system operating at maximum efficiency. In this blog, BM Engineering Supplies describes how to test steam traps effectively using steam trap monitoring systems.

How to test steam traps

Indiscriminate steam trap maintenance is costly. However, accurate identification of a faulty trap has historically proven difficult. A poor diagnosis can lead to inefficient traps remaining in operation, or perfectly working traps to be replaced unnecessarily. So any maintenance programme should be built around solid testing procedures.

Traditional diagnostic methods have often included optical sight glasses, listening devices, temperature monitoring and ultrasonic techniques. Whilst these indicate flow, they lose accuracy as system conditions alter. It is not unheard of for experienced operators to encounter difficulties Interpreting signals.


Steam trap monitoring systems

For that exact reason, integrated steam trap monitoring systems have been developed to increase testing reliability. These devices consist of a sensor, fitted inside the steam trap, which detects the physical state of the medium through conductivity. 

Flash steam disturbance does not impede accuracy, resulting in definitive readings, and monitoring can be done locally, remotely, manually or automatically. It can also detect immediate failure, therefore minimising waste and maximising investment.

An integral thermocouple in the sensing chamber helps to predict blockages. This especially useful for Hydrocarbon and Processing Industries that call for process continuity. For steam users opting for steam traps without integral sensors, or for larger traps, sensors can be installed in separate sensor chambers.


BME technical support

Since launching in 1999, BM Engineering Supplies (BME) has grown to become one of the leading suppliers of valves to many process industry businesses in Scotland and has more than 40 years of combined experience in the valve industry.

We are an official supplier of Valsteam ADCA’s comprehensive range of steam equipment including steam traps, steam control valves, reducing valves, heat exchangers, separators, and ancillary equipment such as air eliminators and steam injectors.

With that in mind, our technical team has extensive in-depth knowledge of steam trap, and other steam product, applications. We can therefore offer unbeatable advice and practical solutions to ensure that your steam applications run as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Speak to one of BME’s knowledgeable advisers about all your steam equipment requirements today by calling 0141 762 0657 or email sales@bmengineering.co.uk

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