How to Fix a Cracked and Leaking Steam Trap
A steam trap has to be inspected regularly to ensure proper maintenance and efficient use. A cracked and leaking steam trap should be repaired or replaced immediately to avoid wasting money on energy costs. Here’s how to fix steam trap issues.
Step 1 – Inspection
Create a map of the location of all steam traps to make it easier for maintenance and inspection. This allows easier navigation for future repairs and inspections. To check if a steam trap is cracked and leaking, a visual inspection is necessary. However, there is a sure way of inspection called the ultrasonic method, but this depends on the type of steam trap used. Make sure to get to know more about the steam system and how it can be tested for leaks. If there are indeed cracks or leaks, proceed with the steps below.
Check individual parts as well to check if any of them are broken. An individual part can be replaced without having to replace the entire steam trap. However, if the device is damaged considerably, it is best to replace the entire set with a new one. Take note of the part number or the product number and purchase a similar trap from a supply store.
Step 2 – Disassemble the Damaged Trap
Close all isolation valves first before proceeding. Do not remove a hot trap. Give it time to cool off or pour cool water on it before detaching it from the steam system. Open the strainer blow-down slowly and then test tee valves as well to relieve it of any pressure. While holding the trap body, remove the capsule. Detach the entire trap from the piping of the steam system.
In order to get the disassembly done correctly, it is important to get a copy of the device’s servicing manual as each trap is different from many others. If the physical copy is lost, secure a digital one at the company’s website.
Step 3 - Installing the New Steam Trap
Make sure to buy the correct replacement steam trap as this is necessary to the overall efficiency of the steam system. Check the service manual for the part number and purchase one from a supply store or directly from the manufacturer.
Install the replacement into the piping gap. Attach the device correctly using pipe fittings. Make sure to read the instruction manuals to ensure that each opening is correctly connected to the right pipe. Tighten the fittings with a wrench to ensure they are airtight. Install the glass steam indicator in the piping that connects directly to the steam trap. This indicator is important in identifying if the device is working properly.
Turn the steam system on and make sure to check if the steam trap is operating correctly. While the steam is passing through the device, check to make sure that there are no leaks. Use an ultrasonic testing method for accuracy.