Inspection of steam traps

Why checking steam traps?

Like other industrial armatures steam traps are subject to wear the wastage and may be failed in it's function by dirt/disposal. The principle of operation is based on following questions:

  • Does the steam trap work correct?
  • If it doesn't, does the damage cause a leckage or a blockade?

Leacking steam traps cause waste of steam. They display a considerable economica deficit because they raise the operating costs. As well as the waste of energy the leakage of water is to be considered, because the system has to be refilled with fresh water. Furthermore an increase of pressure inside the condensate net has to be reckoned. Additionally a rise of pressure inside the condensate net has to be expected with drainage difficulties on other drainage stations.

The range of the waste of steam depends on the size of the leckage width as well as on the condensate quantity. The drainage stations have to be viewed critically concerning the possible loss of steam, because only small quantities of steam accure. This kind of drainage stations are mostly on steam pipes and trace heating system. Loss of steam on drainage stations with great amount of condensate is unlikely, because of the big fluid volume.

Blocking steam traps don't cause waste of energy or water, but depending on the blocking rate they may decrease the heating power. Water hammer caused by condensate blockages may cause damage inside the steam-condensate-system.

Plants without periodic checks/maintenance care have a failure rate from experience of 15 - 25 %. With periodic and at least once a year progressed check and maintenance, the failure rate may be decreased to approx. 5 %.

Test systems

Running steam traps can be checked by sight glasses, level measurement and sound measurement.

Sight glasses are specific aramtures to show the flow action inside pipelines.

Level measurement is based on the conductivity of the steam trap. A damaged steam trap may be recognized by a steam trap with an upstream test chamber including level detector. The output signal is shown on the test console (remote control).

A compact system to control the steam loss is available for certain steam traps. The analysis is carried out by the test consoles.

Sound measurement is based on the impact sound that is radiated by the body of running steam traps. Depending on the test system, the recorded sound is shown on the display unit as a needle amplitude, a scale or a graphic curve.


Yearly costs caused by steam losses

  Quantity of built-in steam traps  
  Yearly failure rate
(Experience at first check approx. 15 – 25 %)
A Quantity of damages steam traps  
B Loss of steam per steam trap (kg/h)  
C Yearly operating hours  
D Yearly loss of steam (kg) [A x B x C]=
E Costs of steam per ton of steam  
F Yearly loss in EURO [D/1000 x E]=


Sample calculation

A Quantity of damages steam traps 10
B Loss of steam per steam trap (kg/h) 3 kg/h
C Yearly operating hours 8.000 h
D Yearly loss of steam (kg) 240.000 kg
E Costs of steam per ton of steam 30,00 Euro/t
F Yearly loss in EURO 7.200,00 Euro


We offer as a service:

  • Listing of installed steam traps, includins the plant identification and steam trap data on PC
  • Inspection of steam traps with a VKP 40
  • Documentation, including overview of all steam traps with personnel review, statistic of failure rate and listing of damaged steam traps with place of installation, building type and connection
  • Reparation or rather exchange of damaged steam traps

By the way:
Dependent on the type and the connection, a new steam trap already is available for less than 150,00 €. If you are interested in further information or a quote, please don't hesitate to contact us.