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Implement a Steam Trap Management Program


Steam trap performance can significantly impact safety and overall plant efficiency, however they also tend to be neglected for long periods of time. This can prove to be costly – as much as $300 – $3000 per trap in energy losses alone. When adding in additional costs of downtime, failure of auxiliary equipment and emergency labor, implementing a steam trap management program proves to be essential.

4 Reasons to Implement a Steam Trap Management Program

  • Leaking Steam Costs – Leaking steam costs waste money through steam energy loss.

  • Production Impacts – Failed steam traps can affect production with inefficiencies and unnecessary shutdowns.

  • Maintenance Costs – It’s cheaper to proactively maintain steam trap efficiency than to reactively make repairs using emergency labor.

  • Safety of Personnel – Personnel injury can occur due to catastrophic failure of equipment or piping components.

What a Steam Trap Management Program Entails
A steam trap management program must be sustainable over the long-term to achieve results. To begin, the program must be benchmarked. You can only manage what is measured. This is done using trap survey forms, testing equipment, and a facility map. Once complete, a working document identifies opportunities, and implements an action plan.

Here are two examples of management programs in action:

1. Minneapolis Airport (see article)

  • Over 700 steam traps in its steam system
  • Prior to steam trap program, no way of know if a steam trap failed
  • Initially installed SteamEye monitors on 66 steam traps
  • Implemented complete SteamEye monitoring system in 3 phases
  • Steam traps are now automatically tested every 5 minutes
  • Complete steam trap population status is now available 24/7

2. Flint Hills Resources (FHR)

  • 18,185 operating steam traps in its system
  • Annual steam trap survey for the last 15 years
  • Annual steam trap failure rate reduced to 2%

Saving and benefits are fully realized as trap failures are corrected. Data tracked should include number of leaking traps replaced, the amount of steam-loss prevented, and the monetary savings associated with preventing that steam loss.

For more information on how Campbell-Sevey’s can help you implement a Steam Trap Monitoring Program, contact our steam experts.


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