20929 Bridge Street, Southfield, MI 48033

20929 Bridge Street, Southfield, MI  48033
20929 Bridge Street, Southfield, MI 48033
4121 Brockton Drive SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
6200 Baron Drive, Bridgeport, MI 48722
6910 Treeline Drive, Suite A, Brecksville, OH 44141
Serving the industry since 1927
Phone: (800) 589-6120 - Fax: (248) 354-3710
March 16th 2009
Trap Selection and Sizing, Part 1
Sometimes it appears that trap selection and sizing is more of an art than a science. Appearances
aside, there is a great deal of science behind the selection, sizing, and piping of steam traps. Over
the next several weeks we will examine the science of steam trap sizing.
Today we will look at the selection of the type of trap for our example system of a hydronic heat
exchanger with a modulating control valve. The ITT Hoffman steam trap engineering manual,
(HS-203C), lists the advantages and disadvantages of various types of traps.
A Float and Thermostatic trap is used for our heat exchanger example because we have a low
pressure system with a modulating control valve. The advantages of this trap in this application
are fast venting of air using the thermostatic vent and continuous modulation of the trap.
Removing air from the trap is critical to proper operation. If the air is not removed, the
condensate cannot enter the trap and we may back up condensate into the heat exchanger causing
damage to the tubes. Modulation is important because this application has a wide variety of
capacities from design all the way down to a couple percent of design load.
An inverted bucket trap may be a lower first cost, however, in this modulating application there
are several negatives. An inverted bucket does not modulate, it cycles. On low load, the bucket
trap may lose its prime and blow live steam into the condensate piping. The bucket trap has
limited air removal capabilities and the bucket trap may require manual priming.
Next week’s article will describe how fouling factors in heat exchangers play a part in steam
trap sizing.
Thank you for using products sold by R. L. Deppmann Company in Michigan and Ohio!
Disclaimer: R. L. Deppmann and it’s affiliates can not be held liable for issues caused by use of the information on this page. While the information comes from many
years of experience and can be a valuable tool, it may not take into account special circumstances in your system and we therefore can not take responsibility for actions
that result from this information. Please feel free to contact us if you do have any questions.
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