Hot Tip #26 – Temperature Sticks

At $10.00 each, these may be the best maintenance tool you can purchase!

We have seen laundries that have spent hundreds of dollars on different types of tools to measure process temperatures. Many times the user has become very dissatisfied with their purchase!

Inferred temperature guns are the most common tool that we hear complaints about.

A few users love them; most users have learned that they have very few uses within a laundry.

The operation manual for these guns, it states that they cannot be used on reflective surfaces.

Most of the surfaces we need to measure the temperature have reflective surfaces, such as an iron chest.

Temperature sticks are great! They are cheap, do not require batteries, can’t fail because they were dropped, do not require a skilled operator, and never get out of calibration.

I recommend that every facility have at least two, one at 325 degrees F. and a second at 250 degrees F.

If you are running your boiler at or above 100 PSIG, both temperature sticks will melt when touched to a service that is in contact with steam at boiler pressure. 100 PSIG = 338 degrees F.

For a laundry, that is most of your pre-trap process equipment; steam delivery piping, ironer chest, garment presses, etc.

If your condensate return system is below 15 PSIG (250 F.), which it should be for most laundries; then the second temperature sticks (250 F.) will not melt when touched by this system.

The 325 F temperature stick (stick #1) should melt at the inlet of all steam traps that are operating at boiler pressure. If it does not melt you know that the trap is stuck closed or that the trap is undersized.

The 250 F temperature stick (stick #2) should not melt at the outlet of any steam trap. If it does melt you know that the trap is stuck Opened.

The steam temperature at the inlet of the trap should be > 325 F. at all times.

The temperature of the condensate (measured 6 inches downstream of the trap) should be < 250 F. at all times.