d) Equipment. Proper equipment for inspection pays for itself in improved
ap uptime and savings in manpower.
(e) Establish Inspection Schedules. A balance between the cost of
inspection and potential savings in operational costs must be achieved.
( f ) Accurate Records. Records that are easy to keep, which induce
accurate entries, and support the program are a must.
( g ) Improve Condition of the System. A longer range, but integral,
o b j e c t i v e in establishing a formal program is to bring the condition of the
steam traps to a level where inspection and maintenance are routine
money-makers rather than an uphill battle.
F o r a detailed description for implementing of each of the steps, refer to
Steam Trap User's Guide, UG-0005, April 1985, Naval Civil Engineering
Laboratory, Port Hueneme, CA.
2 TRAP INSPECTION. The cost of steam lost through a leaking trap in one day
can exceed the cost of a new trap. If a trap is not discharging condensate at
i t s designed rate, the reduction in efficiency of the steam-using equipment
can waste more money in one day than the cost of the trap. Good inspections
t h a t pinpoint problem traps for early repair or replacement are important.
W h i l e the trap is the focus of the inspection, external conditions of the
t r a p p i n g station should be inspected as well. Supports, bracing: insulation,
e x t e r n a l leaks, and corrosion should receive attention from the inspector
during each trap inspection. The following paragraphs describe inspection
s c h e d u l e s , safety precautions, methods of inspection, trap failure,
t r o u b l e s h o o t i n g , and inspection reports and records.
2 . 1 Inspection Schedules. The frequency of steam trap inspections should be
based upon the condition of the system, age of the traps, and percentage of
traps found to be faulty in a baseline survey. A general guide for continuing
i n s p e c t i o n f r e q u e n c i e s after the baseline survey is as follows:
Trap Failure Rate
every 2 months
less than 5%
every 3 months
2.1.1 One manufacturer recommends inspection frequencies based on system
pressure as shown:
0 - 30 psi
30 - 100'
100 - 250
Quarterly or monthly
o v e r 250
Monthly or weekly
2.1.2 More thorough but less frequent inspections are more effective than
frequent inspections of the same equipment. The primary goal in scheduling
inspections is to achieve a balance between the cost of inspection and steam
loss and integrity of the system. Exposed traps should be monitored daily