Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Difinitive Steam Trap Testing?

Using a fairly accurate infrared thermometer, or equal, regularly check different points on the return piping (where you can get at uninsulated iron) for temperature, and chart them on paper. Note outdoor temp with your record keeping, as the returns temperature will go up and down with the weather. Bad traps cause the temperature to just go up and up. You'll notice right away, if you get to know what is normal running temperature. Returns can run surprisingly cool.



  • Don_197
    Don_197 Member Posts: 184
    Difinitive Steam Trap Testing?

    Hi Everyone,
    We are located in Spokane, WA and I am researching for my department to find out if there is a DIFINITIVE method of testing steam traps. I have been into this for less than a day, and quite possibly dumber about it than I was when I started. I have discerned that there are three accepted methods (visual, temperature drop, and listening devices, oh and acually a fourth which would be real time monitoring) but have not found anything pointing me toward the best, most useful, or choicest method. I thought I'd very much like to hear what you gentlemen have to say on the matter.


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,295

    We used an "electronic sthescope" with good results once we got the hang of it.

  • Don_197
    Don_197 Member Posts: 184
    A Difinitive Answer?

    Thanks for the responses guys......but this did not help. I need to know how to walk up to a trap I've never seen before, and tell whether it is bad or not. How did you use the stethoscope? What told you that the trap was bad?

    Thanks Again,

  • Glen
    Glen Member Posts: 855
    infared thermometer

    just point at incoming and exit piping. Instant response. temperature difference will depend on several factors - but the underlying note is that you will have a measurable temp difference for a correctly functioning trap.
  • Craig_8
    Craig_8 Member Posts: 33

    we use this


    specifically the UP100C

    after using it you'll want to smack yourself in the head for attempting to use any other method.

    with this stethoscope, a functioning trap makes a sound like gurgling water every couple seconds when it opens and a click when it closes. a bad trap sounds like 100 PSI of steam basting through a 1/4 inch hole (even if your only running 2 PSI.

    Its expensive ($1000) but worth it if your gonna be testing traps.

    If your in a building with many failed traps, steam can be backing up though the returns, equalizing the temperature on both sides of a good trap. an infared thermometer cannot distinguish this from a bad trap. the ultraporobe can

    also i have used it to find failing wet rotor circulators before they lock up.

    also it great
  • Don_197
    Don_197 Member Posts: 184
    Now That's Difinitive!!!!

    Thank you for the posts guys. The $1,000.00 hurts but That Is Difinitive!!! Great Answer!! Thanks Again 8-)

    Don Smet
This discussion has been closed.