Steam Trap Monitoring Best Practices

Technology BY Ankita
Steam Trap Monitoring

Many industrial facilities undermine the importance of steam trap monitoring. However, if the steam traps do not function properly, the efficiency of a system will go down dramatically. Further, the failure of a steam trap can cause severe operator injuries.  

So, if you are using steam traps in any industrial plant, you have to monitor them properly. The frequency of monitoring the steam traps will depend on the amount of pressure a steam tap has to deal with.  

The more the pressure, the lesser the gap between the two monitoring schedules. For example, if the pressure taps have to deal with pressure of more than 250 Pound-force per square inch (PSIG), the monitoring of the steam tap must happen on a regular basis.  

What Are Steam Trap Monitoring Best Practices?  

Many industries, including brewing and refining, rely on steam distribution systems. The production of steam is an energy-intensive process.

Further, steam comes with a massive amount of energy, and as a heat source, you can control it properly. However, if the steam traps do not work and the distribution system is ineffective, there will be a huge waste of resources.  

Steam trap failure can happen primarily because of two reasons. It can remain open and release excess steam. Also, it can stay closed, causing no release of steam. With regular monitoring and diagnosis of the steam traps for mechanical failure and fluctuation in temperature, complete failure of the steam traps can be avoided.   

Identify Steam Traps

Identify Steam Traps

Steam traps are used to control the flow of steam in a system, and they’re found in many industries. In order to monitor their performance, it’s important to identify a steam trap’s location and type. There are several types of steam traps:

  • Relief (or relief valves) – These devices are designed to open when pressure exceeds preset limits on high-pressure systems to prevent damage from overheating or overpressurization
  • In-line – These devices maintain constant flow rates through condensers, dryers, and other equipment by controlling the amount of condensate that can escape into return lines before it reaches its maximum capacity
  • Siphon – These devices use a vacuum created by condensate to draw steam from a boiler’s water-supply system into the return line. Some of the most common types of steam traps are:

Monitor Steam Trap Performance

You can review the steam trap performance data and identify trends that indicate a problem with your steam traps. For example, if the pressure at which steam is being removed from your plant increases over time or decreases without any obvious reason (such as a change in weather), this could indicate that one or more of your steam traps are failing. 

You should also compare operating parameters like temperature and pressure against their expected values for each trap–if there’s any discrepancy between these two sets of numbers, then something needs fixing! 

Read Also: The Importance Of Industrial Dedusting Systems For Workplace Safety

Calibrate Your System

Calibrate the steam trap monitoring system periodically so that it can function well. There are two methods of calibration: manual and automatic.  

Further, you have to determine the right frequency for the calibration of your steam trap system. Consider how steam traps are used and how old they are to decide the right frequency of calibration.  

Calibration ensures that all of the sensors are operating at an optimal level so that they can detect leaks correctly and send alerts when necessary. Calibration also helps prevent false positives from occurring (when there actually isn’t a leak).

This prevents unnecessary downtime due to false alarms as well as unnecessary energy costs caused by having equipment unnecessarily running when no leaks are present in your pipes or tanks.

Benefits of calibration include:

  • Ensures optimal performance of sensors by adjusting sensitivity levels based on environmental factors such as temperature changes over time;
  • Reduces false positives;
  • Helps avoid unnecessary downtime due to false alarms;

Reduces unnecessary energy costs caused by having equipment unnecessarily running when no leaks are present in your pipes or tanks; Prevents unnecessary repair costs due to false positive alarms.

Use A Tool To Monitor Your Steam Trap

There are several tools available to help you monitor your steam trap performance. These tools have the ability to identify steam traps, monitor their performance and help you with maintenance. They can also be used to calibrate your system or review operating parameters and steam trap performance data on a regular schedule.

The best thing about these tools is that they provide instant access to information that can help improve operating efficiency while reducing equipment costs.

Review Operating Parameters And Steam Trap Performance Data On A Regular Schedule

Review the data to see if there are any trends, such as increasing or decreasing pressures, temperatures, or flows. If the trends indicate that something is not working properly with your steam system, then it may be time to make some changes. For example: if your steam pressure is starting to increase regularly over time; this could indicate that one or more of your traps are not functioning properly anymore (i.e., they’re leaking). In this case, it would be wise to replace those traps before they cause bigger problems for you down the road!

Get A Handle On The Performance Of Your Steam Traps Today

Performance Of Your Steam Traps

Steam trap monitoring is an important part of maintaining a steam system. If you’re not sure how to monitor your steam traps, there are several options available. You can use a steam trap monitoring solution by Pulse Industrial or conduct manual inspections and audits of your facility’s conditions.

Such a tool provides real-time data about your facility’s steam trap performance, allowing you to review operating parameters and steam trap performance data on a regular schedule.

It also identifies potential problems with equipment before they become major issues that could threaten production or cause damage in other areas of the plant. The information provided by this tool helps maintenance professionals identify when it’s time for repairs or replacement so that they can take action quickly before things get worse!

Can Real-Time Steam Trap Monitoring Be The Way Forward?  

To make steam trap monitoring more effective, you must start using smart utility management systems. Compared to the manual inspection method, these systems are effective in real-time monitoring of the steam traps and providing insights about the overall health of the steam systems.  

With the integration of these smart utility systems, you can take a step forward toward decarbonization. Further, with steam trap monitoring and management best practices, you can ensure a reduction in the use of fuel. Thus, you can cut down the production cost and make the production process more sustainable.  

Preventive Steam Trap Monitoring For Efficient Steam System Management  

Preventive steam trap monitor focuses on assessing the pressure rating of your steam trap system. It also assesses the temperature, condensation, and overall functioning of the equipment.  

Most steam traps today come with automatic valves. These valves ensure that the steam is released from the right space and in the right amount. Steam traps can be of various types by nature. You will find the following types of steam traps in different facilities and manufacturing plants.  

  • Mechanical 
  • Thermostatic 
  • Thermodynamic 

I have already mentioned that high-pressure traps need regular monitoring and maintenance. However, if you are using low-pressure traps with a pressure rating below 30 PSI, you can go for a monthly or annual check. In addition, to optimize the efficiency of your steam management system, you can replace the steam traps once every three/four years.  

With preventive monitoring, inspectors can detect issues like a warmer-than-usual boiler room, incorrect conditions, or unnatural temperatures of the steam trap. These all indicate problems in steam traps. Further, sometimes, a high energy bill can be an indication that your steam trap system is not working properly.  

It goes without saying that preventive steam trap monitoring helps avoid major safety hazards and dysfunction of the equipment. It is also essential to avoid energy wastage and reduce carbon emissions.  


Steam trap monitoring makes the operation of equipment more efficient. Regular monitoring of steam traps further helps to optimize the use of fuel and avoid major hazards. Moreover, with proper monitoring, you can abstain from the complete breakdown of your steam management system and encourage sustainable practices.  

If you are working in the capacity of a working manager, you have to make arrangements for regular diagnosis or monitoring in a scientific way to enhance the shelf-life of your steam management system and stop bleeding money on unnecessary repairs.  

What is your take on the importance of steam trap monitoring, and what the best practices are according to you? Don’t forget to share your insights with us!  

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Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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