Observation signs your steam traps need attention!
Look familiar? Steam blowing out of the side or top of a building is a common site in most metropolitan areas. It is so common that most passing by believe its normal. The fact is steam blowing out of a condensate tank vent like this picture is a very good indication that there are steam traps leaking in the system. Humidifying the neighborhood with leaking steam traps is akin to driving down a city street throwing money out as you pass. The trickle down financial losses are even greater. Steam system leaks like this waste water, boiler chemicals, latent heat and fuel. Steam leaks also destroy condensate pumps when unwanted live steam invades the condensate return line. Live steam in your condensate piping causes water hammer as well.
The department of energy has published a steam tip fact sheet that can be found here: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/05/f16/steam1_traps.pdf
There are good examples of steam losses due to steam trap failures. Our experience aligns with the failure rates published. Having a steam trap maintenance plan will save serious money and lower your carbon footprint.
Another area to pay attention to are your condensate tank temperatures. A steady temperature rise over time in condensate receivers indicates steam traps failing as well. It pays to have a plan and stay on top of steam trap failures. Most gas utility companies have a robust incentive program to help with steam trap survey and repair costs by hiring an approved contractor. Give us a call. We can help.