We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Steam Trap?

By Donn Saylor
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A steam trap is an instrument utilized to eliminate water and non-condensable gases from steam lines. Steam traps serve three key responsibilities: maintaining a low level of steam consumption, getting rid of water as it forms, and eradicating air and non-condensable gases. Typical steam traps are simply valves that operate automatically, opening, closing, and regulating as necessary to ensure the three functions are performed without incident.

There are four different types of steam traps. They are mechanical, temperature, thermodynamic, and venturi. While each of these types operates on the basic foundation of an automatic valve, they are constructed differently from one another—and different types are better suited to different devices.

A mechanical steam trap has a floating instrument that keeps constant measure of steam levels. The float rises and falls according to the degree of condensation, triggering the valve to open and close as necessary. An inverted bucket steam trap, which resembles an upside-down bucket, and a ball float steam trap, which contains a sizable ball as the floating device, are two examples of mechanical traps.

Temperature steam traps function in a slightly different way. The temperature level causes the air in the steam tank to increase or contract. This movement automatically turns the valve off or on. A thermostatic steam trap falls in this category; these types of temperature traps contain a thermostatic vent that releases air and non-condensable gases from the steam chamber.

A thermodynamic steam trap operates on the tank's response to the flow of fluids and steam as they move through the chamber. When steam moves into the valve area, a natural force is created that moves a special thermodynamic steam disk against the valve, shutting it off or turning it on as necessary to control the steam. These types of traps operate even if only a small amount of steam is in the chamber, which can cause a significant amount of wear and tear on the trap itself.

Venturi steam traps, sometimes referred to as orifice traps, are uniquely constructed, but effective. They contain a venturi valve, which designed to restrict the flow of a liquid or gas by passing it through a constricted area of the tubing. The unusual shape of the valve causes the steam to build up and dissipate by the time it reaches the low-pressure chamber of the valve. As a result, very low levels of steam are emitted from the tank.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.