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Steam Traps 2 Pipe System Tempil Sticks

Ed. W.
Ed. W. Member Posts: 26
Have replaced approx. 300 cage units, in a low pressure system, .5 to 2.0 PSI, mostly Hoffman 17c's,  I need to start regular maintenance procedures.  I plan to use Tempilsticks, but I have no idea what temperature would be appropriate for the traps.  Has anyone had experience with the sticks?  I am also looking at  a Fluke 561, IR Thermometer, but again do not know what temperature differential to look for.  Any help would be appreciated.

Ed. W.


  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469

    should be able to see a pattern in the differential temperatures. After all, you have 300 examples.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,289
    Infrared thermometer

    I use one, and I like to see at least 10 degrees difference.  I don't always... but there should be a consistent difference.  The problem is, of course, finding really comparable bits of metal to "shoot".
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    IR Trap Testing

    Hi- The IR thermometer should work well.  Like Jamie said, there should be about a ten degree (or greater) difference between the inlet and outlet of the trap. If the temperature is about the same (high on both sides of the trap) the chances are the trap has stuck open.

    If you have a bunch of open traps, your return line may have a lot of steam in it and this can screw up the readings. If you think this is happening, close the intake valves on all the radiators and test each radiator individually. ( I've never had to do this)      

    Take the IR reading from close up as the farther you are away from the trap, the wider the sample area is and you could then be including readings from the hot side of the trap. As Paul suggested play around with the IR thermometer a bit and you'll soon get the hang of it.

    Here's a IR photo of a hot trap done taken by Gerry Gill. It gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect.    http://www.gwgillplumbingandheating.com/webapp/GetPage?pid=496

    IR readings are a lot less hassle and quicker than using sticks.

    - Rod
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