Do your steam traps have you in a trap by housework


									                    Do your steam traps have you in a trap?
The rising cost of natural gas has led to higher fuel bills and a corresponding reduction in
the operating profit for drycleaners. It is difficult for cleaners to control the many
different areas of cost increases in their plants. Labor rates, compliance costs, waste
disposal, interest rates, and supplies are just a few things that have drycleaners working
harder for less profit. But now, a new device can help reduce the cost of natural gas by
eliminating the biggest waste of steam in the cleaning plant!

The new Master Trap is a unique type of steam trap that will eliminate the excess steam
loss associated with inverted bucket traps. To fully understand the importance of this new
idea, here is a quick review of the role of the steam trap in a typical drycleaner or

The boiler is the heart of every plant. Our industry depends on steam to press our
garments, dry our laundry, heat our stills and even, the water for washing. So it should
not surprise anyone that operating the boiler is the biggest component of our utility bill.
What makes a boiler installation successful is a combination of a good layout, proper
sizing of piping, insulating of header pipes and drops, and locating of steam traps and
check valves. The problem is that even a new steam trap can be the cause of wasted

The purpose of the steam trap is to stop the steam in order to remove the heat and to
allow non-condensable gases and air to pass through the system. This is very important
because even a small amount of air will cause temperature losses in the system.
Condensate forms in the pipes as the steam gives up its heat. This hot condensate is very
valuable as it contains many Btu’s of heat that can be reused to reduce the amount of gas
required to produce more steam. The steam trap actually separates the high-pressure side
of the system from the atmospheric or low-pressure side. Eliminating non-condensable
gases and condensate, helps prevent water hammer, which can damage internal parts of
steam valves, coils and steam traps. As high-pressure steam leaves the boiler, it can
create great force when it slams into water that is left standing in the steam pipes.
Repairing this damage can be very costly, especially if it breaks the coils in a dryer or dry
cleaning machine.

So, the role of the steam trap is very important to protecting the system. But what
happens when a steam trap malfunctions? The trap will fail in one of two ways. First, if
the orifice becomes plugged, the trap may fill with water and eventually the water will
back up into the press. When the operator pushes the valve for steam, the water will soak
the press head and padding, which often ruins the pad. If the plugged trap is on a laundry
press, the water will cool the polished surface from the inside making it difficult to get
the garments to dry. In the second type of failure, the trap may remain open, allowing
large quantities of steam to enter the return line and escape the system through the
condensate tank vent.
When a steam trap fails open, the boiler will run longer and burn more fuel to keep the
system pressure stable. Often, the pressure will fall too low to allow presses and
machinery to operate at all. A system experiencing steam trap bypass, can have increased
fuel consumption of more than 40%! How can this happen? It simple, but it’s necessary
to understand how a bucket trap works.

Over the last 30 years, drycleaners have adopted the inverted bucket steam trap as the
industry standard. The bucket trap became popular because it was rugged, easy to
service, resisted damage from water hammer, and most important, it was about half of the
price of other types of steam traps. But, the inverted bucket style has a few problems
when used in drycleaners and laundries. The bucket trap relies on a seal of water inside
the body to keep the trap from leaking. However, when a pressure drop occurs in the
piping, such as a steam valve opening quickly, the water inside the trap, which is near
boiling temperature, can suddenly turn into steam. The result is that the trap loses its
water seal and the bucket inside drops allowing even more steam to pass through the trap.
The trap may remain in this open condition for several minutes or longer. The result is
the boiler is being robbed of capacity and it will need to run longer or fire more often to
overcome this condition. Just how much steam can be lost? If left in the open position for
an hour, a single bucket trap will waste up to 3 bhp (boiler horsepower). If the plant has a
10 HP boiler, one third of its capacity is being wasted. Since the average plant has about
twenty (20) traps, it’s not unlikely that several traps could be open at one time. The
obvious result is a large percentage of the fuel cost is being wasted.

The Master Trap will solve all the potential problems associated with inverted bucket
traps. It has a superior method for eliminating air and CO2. The unique, thermostatically
activated bellows vent, will remove non-condensable gases immediately as they enter the
trap. Master Trap discharges condensate the same way, at the same rate that it enters
the trap, regardless of heavy or light steam loads. Pressure changes do not negatively
affect the Master Trap. Bucket traps have a very small air vent hole and do not
discharge air as rapidly. Remember that air that is allowed to remain in the system can be
absorbed by the condensate. This will lower the Ph in the condensate making it more
acidic. Low Ph condensate can cause pitting and corrosion that will be very damaging to
the boiler and all other parts of the steam and return system.

The special stainless steel internal parts of the Master Trap insures long dependable
trouble free service. Stop wasting steam now and start saving thousands of dollars per
year on fuel bills. Master Trap eliminates bypass while discharging air and other gases
rapidly which helps to reduce the chances of damaging water hammer! Fast removal of
condensate as it enters the trap keeps equipment hot, improving pad life and
pressing quality. Stop the return tank from overheating and damaging the boiler feed
pump. Master Trap will make the entire system run better and save energy at the same
Discharge temperature for condensate return lines & holding pressure:
                   Master Trap vs. Bucket Trap

 Boiler  Steam in         Bucket Trap      Master Trap    Bucket Trap     Master Trap
 Steam Temperature        Temperature     Temperature       Holding        Holding
Pressure                  of condensate   of condensate    pressure        pressure
                            return line     return line    After use       After use
                           after Steam     3 feet from
                               trap        Steam trap
                           (Steam Out      (Steam Out
                          Temperature)    Temperature)

 Psig.   Temperature Temperature Temperature               Psig.             Psig.
              Fº              Fº              Fº
  70         316.0          281.0           132.8            35                70
  80         324.0          287.0           145.4            40                80
  90         331.0          292.0           158.0            45                90
 100         338.0          298.0           172.4            50               100
 125         353.0          309.0           195.8            62               125
*Above temperatures may vary depending on volume of condensate, and pipe insulation.
Compared under normal working conditions

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