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.

Can I use a thermal leak detector to diagnose problems with steam traps?

tanandan Member Posts: 4
edited February 2015 in Strictly Steam
I started diving into Holohan's "We've Got Steam Heat" and one thing he suggests if you've got a noisy two-pipe system is to check the proper working order of your traps. The test simply involves testing the temp on either side of the trap to see if there is a marked difference in temperature (10-15 degrees). If there is, the trap is working. If it's not, it's probably letting steam get into your returns.

I was just about to buy one of these: http://www.supplyhouse.com/Mr-PEX-5240748-Strap-On-Pipe-Thermometer-for-3-8-1-5-Pipe-0-248F.

Then I stumbled upon this: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-TLD100-Thermal-Detector/dp/B0044R87BE/ref=cm_cd_ql_qh_dp_t

Does anyone know if a leak detector like that would work? Does it have enough range in terms of its highest measurable temp? Can it sufficiently focus on a very small area of exposed pipe (~1")?

I'm actually worried I won't be able to get one of those strap on thermometers into place given the small amount of exposed pipe between the radiator and traps.

Or does anyone have another way to perform the trap test I described?

Many thanks. This forum has been absolutely amazing as a new home owner and aspiring steam aficionado.