Energy used to generate steam

Steam Trap Assessment

According to a U.S. Department of Energy report, the amount of fuel used to generate steam for heating and manufacturing processes in 3 major industries is more than 5.3 million Btu annually. The energy savings potential for were estimated to exceed 12% for each of the three industries.

Ultrasound is used to improve energy efficiency in steam systems by:

Detecting faulty steam traps an effective steam trap maintenance program.

Finding and confirming repairs of steam leaks in valves, hoses, fittings, boilers, and more.

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Ultrasound Steam Trap Assessment Advantages

Traditional methods of steam trap evaluation and leak detection can be time-consuming and ineffective. Using the UL101 Ultrasound Detector is quick and effective. Implementation of a routine ultrasonic inspection program can have a payback between 2 weeks and 24 months. A proactive steam trap inspection program can reduce energy loss through steam traps and leaks quite dramatically.

For example:

$25,000 energy loss - A facility that repairs steam traps only when there is obvious indication of a problem

$4,000 energy loss - The same facility that proactively inspects traps and tracks results

U.S. Department of Energy Recommendations

Less than 30 psig - annual inspection

30 to 150 psig - monthly/quarterly inspections

More than 150 psig - weekly/monthly inspections

CTRL UL101 Advantages

A steam trap can fail open or fail closed. Traps that have failed open result in the loss of steam and energy. Water is also lost when condensate is not returned. Heating costs will rise and boiler plant costs rise significantly. When a trap fails closed, heating capacity is lost and damage can be done to the steam heating equipment.

Experienced maintenance personnel are familiar with the characteristic sound difference between the passage of steam and condensate. The UL101 accurately reproduces these sounds. The trap is stuck open if there is sound all the time and, if there is no sound, the trap is stuck closed.


Pressing the tip of the solid probe (attached to the UL101 receiver) against the steam trap. The user can easily hear the trap functioning and determine its operating condition.

When it is difficult to reach a steam trap safely, the PowerBeam 300 can be used because of its ability to enhance the distance and narrow the reception of the UL101 Receiver.

Properly Working Steam Trap The operator, using the UL101, can hear the rising of the valve and passing the rush of steam until closed. This indicates the valve is functioning properly.

Failed Open/Closed If the operator only hears silence or only hears steam rush/roar, the steam trap is either open or closed all the time.

Partially Closed The operator will sometimes hear the trap close partially when it should close completely. This means that they will hear a tiny rush or drip, when they should hear silence. A steam trap that is not working properly is probably due to clogging or worn parts and needs to be cleaned or replaced.