What Steam Traps Are, Why to Use them, and How to Buy Them

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If you’re responsible for a business that relies on steam systems, then it’s important you understand the most important elements of those systems and how to choose and maintain them. This will play out in greater operating efficiency, lower repair costs and, ultimately, a better bottom line for your business.

So let’s take on one of the most crucial parts of any steam-based system: steam traps.

What Steam Traps Do

Steam traps are essentially automatic valves that filter out condensed steam and non-condensable gases (e.g. air) without allowing steam to escape as well. This makes sure the steam is used to power the system in question. Essentially, steam traps do three important things: they keep systems filled with a high steam concentration while preventing excess condensate; they remove byproducts from steam systems to allow for more efficient heat transfer; and they make it possible to recycle hot condensate and reduce costs. It is common to use steam traps on radiators as well as any kind of mechanical system that uses steam as a driving force.

Types of Steam Traps

There are several types of steam traps. Mechanical traps rely on the density disparity between steam and condensate; a float is used to detect weight variance. Thermostatic traps work based on temperature differences so that thermostatic steam trap valves are operated by temperature-sensitive devices. Thermodynamic traps use pressure differences and volumetrics to directly act upon the valve.

Steam Trap Shopping

So if you’re choosing a steam trap, what kind do you want? If you’re looking for quality, then Spirax Sarco steam traps are generally the best option. Spirax steam traps are available in all major design categories, so they’ll work in almost any system, and they’re also engineered to very high standards. This company is a big name in steam systems, that should give you some confidence — especially if you’re relatively new to the technology.

Are you looking to purchase Spirax steam traps? Let us know in the comments what kind of system you’re working with.

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