Purchasing the right steam trap can be a bit of a minefield as there are so many types and manufacturers available. Budget steam traps can look very attractive as they are often a great deal cheaper than the high-quality equivalents; In this latest Blog under process steam we will look at what you really save purchasing budget steam traps. If for any reason, you haven’t the time to read this Blog please contact our technical sales team; alternatively click read more to continue.
Budget Steam Traps, wrong type for the process
In our experience, many businesses not only buy budget steam traps, they install the incorrect steam traps; with a view to save money. For many who don’t know how specific steam traps function, a steam trap is a steam trap. The most typical of these instances are Thermolier Space Heaters fitted with thermodynamic steam traps.
Thermodynamic steam traps are probably the lowest costing steam trap available and for this reason they are fitted on many systems incorrectly. Thermolier Space Heaters are basically a steam coil and a fan; with adjustable screens to direct heat. By fitting thermodynamic budget steam traps, the flow of condense is restricted due to this being a cycling trap. If you add to this fact that budget steam traps of this type are prone to air binding you have start-up issues.
Where a heat exchanger is a coil type as with a Thermolier Space Heater an excellent quality free float steam trap should be fitted. Again, you will find float type budget steam traps available from several manufacturers. The certainty offered with a TLV Free Float steam trap is your budget won’t be stretched and it ensures a long service life. For instance if you purchase a budget steam trap of the float variety, it could just about last the length of the 12 month warranty. Incurring the cost a new steam trap, installation and the inconvenience of installing a replacement.
Budget Steam Traps Line Drains
In our view for line drains with the availability of free float line drain technology on lower pressure steam systems; the words budget steam traps cover many things. If an in-line, relay point or line end dirt pocket is laid out correctly, the solution is a free float line drain steam trap. Fitting a cycling steam trap to any installation like this is likely to offer a slower start up. The traditional budget steam traps for line drain are the thermodynamic type and in some cases bucket traps. These are both cycling traps and can have issues with air binding.
Cycling steam traps have their place as part of some systems, for example; free float steam traps are not suitable for presses of the type predominantly used in the rubber industry; these are better known as platen or rubber compression presses. Other line drain issues like shallow dirt pockets lead to water hammer and cannot be solved by installing or reinstalling budget steam traps. A correctly sized free float line will offer excellent start-up loads thus reducing water hammer issues. If water hammer on a daily or weekly start-up steam system is a problem though, please contact our technical sales team as we can offer other solutions based on experience.
Budget Steam Traps Capacity Issues
All steam traps have a maximum capacity based on manufacturers data and our experience with TLV Free Float steam traps is; the fact that TLV are very cautious across their entire product range about this data. The case being that many products are understated; something that is apparently very true where pressure reducing valves are concerned.
In our experience of some budget steam traps it appears to us the capacities are somewhat overstated and only recently we have replaced budget steam traps that weren’t up to the task. When sizing free float steam traps, we always allow for more than the stated requirement. This gives our customers the certainty of condense removal efficiency and a long-term solution to their process efficiency. Certainty in heat exchanger function offers end users production efficiency, reduced energy losses and cost-effective solutions.
We understand why purchasers buy budget steam traps, at the time of purchase they’ve reduced their outgoings. That initial cost saving is soon lost in replacement steam trap costs and loss of production due to process failure. In addition, inferior quality budget steam traps will never offer the same efficiency as the high-quality option and in many cases the cost differences are usually in the tens of pounds.
Here at Besseges (Valves Tubes & Fittings) Ltd) and valvestubesfittings.com we offer the right solution for all your process steam requirements; and are proud of our record as a TLV authorised distributor and a pipeline supplier.