Important Measurements for Testing Steam Traps

In this webinar, Kelly Paffel of Inveno Engineering presents – “Important Measurements When Testing Steam Trap Stations – The relationship between steam pressure and temperature makes temperature measurement extremely helpful in understanding many different operating conditions of steam components that are found in the steam and condensate system.

Infrared temperature measuring is a very quick and versatile tool for steam systems. Like all testing equipment, infrared requires training to ensure success. All diagnostic tools have positive features and negative attributes. It is important to understand the negative attributes to ensure an accurate temperature measurement.

Temperature measurement devices must be an integral part of a steam trap station testing program. These devices are by no means the only piece of diagnostic equipment that should be used, but they can help provide valuable information that would otherwise not be available.

When using high-frequency ultrasound, the main question is where the sensitivity should be set to conduct the test. If the testing instrument is set to too high a sensitivity, all the steam traps will test as failed; using too low a sensitivity will indicate that all steam traps are operating properly.

The solution is using a field-proven comparison method, which will provide an accurate test on each steam trap. The comparison method uses three or more test points on the steam trap station. Two of the test points are the sensitivity baseline settings on the ultrasound unit, and the third is for testing the steam trap. The comparison method allows the steam trap station assessor to establish a base reading to filter out any competing ultrasounds that can be generated upstream or downstream of the steam trap. Without using the comparison method of testing, it is very difficult to assess the steam trap’s performance because the assessor will not know the correct sensitivity setting.

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