The purpose of a steam trap is to lock in steam in the heating element, releasing condensate and other condensable gases from the system. So when steam traps fail, naturally they affect the entire system causing it to waste a lot of energy and fuel. You’ll notice an increase in production and maintenance costs. Failed steam traps may even create safety risks if not properly taken care of. So what causes steam traps to fail and what can you do about it to prevent them from failing? The number one cause for failing steam traps is dirt. Dirt can cause steam traps to clog preventing condensate to be discharged. Sudden surges in pressure can damage internal components of a steam trap as well. This is mostly due to improper piping or incorrect installation of the steam trap. Using over-sized traps when not needed may cause them to not function properly. It is good to note that larger steam traps, though better at discharging condensate, they tend to wear out a lot faster than smaller traps. With the possibility of failing steam traps, it would be wise to invest in proper maintenance. Now how do you determine if a steam trap in the system is failing? What signs do you need to watch out for? One sign you may notice are drops in temperature, where heat being transferred has been hindered due to a failed steam trap that is closed. A sign of a failed steam trap that is open is a plume of steam escaping from some part of the condensate system. Regular visual inspections must be made to check for any leaking traps or other problems that are visually noticeable. Reviews in the design of the system must be made to determine if there are any design flaws to be fixed. Remove and or replace old steam traps or any other component that may be affecting the system. Purchase proper testing equipment. These are just a few of the things you need to do to properly maintain your system as not to spend much on production costs and to keep your system running smoothly. Now you may be searching for new steam traps, either for maintenance as replacements for old components, or as spare parts in case of emergencies. You may even be putting up a new heating system or similar form of installation. In that case you may find the parts you are looking for at this link, http://www.steamtraps.us/spirax-sarco-steam-traps.htm. Spirax Sarco steam traps are guaranteed to be reliable, efficient, and durable for whatever heating installation you may have. Time is money, and a failing steam trap can cause you to lose money. It increases your production cost and if not handled as soon as possible may damage your system causing you to not only increase maintenance costs, but also temporarily hinder production.