Hot Tip #11 – Steam Trap Installation

Unions provide a simple means for removing traps from a system for repair or replacement. If one union is used, locate it downstream from the trap. A trap can be removed between the union and the next connection point upstream (shutoff valve, strainer, or drip leg). If two unions are used, place them either at right angles or parallel. Avoid placing two unions in-line in either horizontal or vertical piping. Two unions in line make it difficult to separate the trap from the rest of the system if the lines are well anchored

If your facility has a number of traps that are identical in size and type, such as with ironers, a great deal of downtime can be avoided by standardizing connections. Use the same length inlet and outlet nipples on all traps and supply them with the same fittings, including unions. Keep a standby trap with identical fittings as a spare. Whenever a trap tests poorly, the unions can be loosened, the standby trap substituted, and the original taken in for repair.

A by-pass valve that is inadvertently left open defeats the function of the steam trap. If continuous service is necessary, place a standby trap in parallel with the primary trap.