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1.10 Steam and Water Leakage

This part of the Energy Efficiency Manual gives you the energy conservation measures for your steam and hot water distribution systems. Steam plants and central hot water plants may lose a major fraction of their energy input through leaks, including piping leaks, steam vents, and steam traps. You will learn how to find steam and water leaks and how to repair them.

A major source of steam and water loss in steam plants is leaking steam traps. All steam traps fail after a limited period of time. Unfortunately, they fail in a manner that is virtually invisible unless you know the special methods of testing steam traps. This Subsection explains the best methods for testing and repairing steam traps. Test methods include test valves, sonic and ultrasonic leak detectors, external temperature, and other methods.

Several types of steam traps are common for different types of commercial, industrial, and residential applications. You will learn about all the common types, including float and thermostatic, inverted bucket, disc, and orifice traps. Each type is limited to certain applications, and you will learn to select the correct types for your applications.

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Steam and Water Leakage