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testing steam traps

Kevin_26
Kevin_26 Member Posts: 7
Just wondering what the most effective way of testing steam traps? Ultra sonic or infarred thermometer or something else. and do you reccomend replacing the complete trap or the guts, cost not a factor.

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,344


    I would go with replacing the internal parts if you can get the trap apart. If not replace the whole thing.

    I do not own but have used an ultrasonic with good results. They take a little getting used to. An infarred
    may not always be reliable as you always get some flash steam at the trap outlet. You can usually find the ones that have failed badly with your eyes and ears. Keep at it until you have no steam out of the condensate tank vent if you have one
  • Al Letellier
    Al Letellier Member Posts: 781
    testing steam traps

    Putting all this new technology aside, the best way to test a steam trap is to observe the discharge of the trap. I know that in the real world, all traps don't have a union on the discharge side, but if so, take it apart and run the system. A steady discharge of steam or condensate shows a bad trap. At the radiators, I have the best luck with an over-the-counter stethescope....you can hear a bad trap. F&T and bucket traps seldom need replacing as a whole, but check thermostatic traps carefully. A cracked, pitted or worn seat needs a whole new trap.

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    DuggieFresh5
  • John Shea
    John Shea Member Posts: 247
    I have found that...

    the only SURE way to test them is to set up a testing station.

    I had an idea to test them in place, however, I'm not sure how well it would work: Drill and tap a 1/8 NPT in the pipe coming out of the trap for a plug. This might work good for testing the closing of the trap for steam, not sure how much you'd be able to tell as far as the condensate, though.
  • DuggieFresh5
    DuggieFresh5 Member Posts: 48

    testing steam traps

    At the radiators, I have the best luck with an over-the-counter stethescope....you can hear a bad trap. F&T and bucket traps seldom need replacing as a whole, but check thermostatic traps carefully. A cracked, pitted or worn seat needs a whole new trap.

    Al,
    What are you listening for? A steady hiss of steam or the clicking of the trap opening and shutting? I think I'm going to try it just to "see" what I hear...