In order for your steam system to function properly, its pipes should be in good condition. Leaking pipes can wreck havoc on your steam system and your budget, as even a small leak can result in a significant increase in energy consumption and costs.
(See chart below: A 1/8″ orifice can cause a loss of 52,500 pounds of steam per month at an annual cost of $3,150.00!)
Steam pipe leaks commonly occur at pipe connections. Temperature changes, vibrations, or other disruptive conditions can cause any type of valve or fitting to leak. Some leaks are easily located in exposed piping. Others aren’t as obvious-they can be hidden under floors and in areas with less traffic, causing problems you might not readily notice.
If you take good care of your steam pipes, your steam heating system will take good care of you when the cold weather arrives.
First, find your leaks. An effective way to analyze steam loss is to have a professional steam trap survey. During a steam trap survey, our experts will “walk down” the entire steam system to identify faulty steam traps. This thorough examination can also reveal leaks in the steam piping, which can then be addressed by our professionals.
If you don’t have any leaks, take steps to reduce your risk. Work with a reputable chemical company to ensure that your boiler has the proper water chemistry, as neglect can invite trouble. Make sure that your piping has quality connections and has been installed by a skilled, well-trained pipefitter. Have your system maintained by professionals who understand how steam systems work.
ACSI’s piping experts know the importance of design and proper installation, and they know how to maintain your particular application. They can answer any questions you have about your system and address any issues that might arise.
Cost of various sized steam leaks
Frank Lacny, President
American Combustion Service, Inc.