FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
For additional information or questions regarding our award-winning technology, please contact our engineering team for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +(847)913-8400.
Where can THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® (Venturi Nozzle steam traps) be used?
Virtually anywhere steam is used. STEAMGARD® Venturi Nozzle steam traps can be used on a variety of applications in many different types of facilities, including saturated steam distribution lines; superheated steam distribution lines (up to 3000 psig and 950° F); steam tracing; tank heating; radiators or convectors; plating coils/ degreasers /embossed coils; steam heated dry cans/cylinders; humidifiers; flash tanks; sterilization equipment; and cooking kettles.
STEAMGARD® also can be used on applications that utilize a modulating control valve: Air handling coils; shell/tube heat exchangers; domestic water heating tanks; instantaneous water heaters; batch process tanks; steam absorption chillers; and process heating equipment.
STEAMGARD® maintains an extremely wide-range clientele base. From worldwide agreements with Fortune 500 companies to applications within US Navy aircraft carriers, nuclear power plants, hospitals, hotels, colleges & universities, government facilities, and manufacturing plants- our customers continuously rely on STEAMGARD® for significant steam system improvements.
Why do some of the largest companies in the world use the Steamgard® Venturi Nozzle steam trap?
THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® (Venturi Nozzle steam traps) are utilized by some of the most prominent institutions and businesses in the world (i.e., Princeton University, United States Military, Cargill, Johnson & Johnson) for the following:
Improved Reliability and Safety
THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® (Venturi Nozzle steam traps) are built with high-quality stainless steel and have a service life of +20 years.
Our Venturi Nozzle steam traps are designed to eliminate (and withstand) dangerous water-hammer. All Steamgard® Products are resistant to freezing and suitable for outdoor use in colder climates.
Energy Savings of 5 -20%
THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® (Venturi Nozzle steam trap) is an excellent Return on Investment (ROI) with a typical payback of 17 months.
Your facility will notice a significant reduction in carbon (GHG) emissions, steam usage, and water consumption after converting to THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM®
Performance Warranty & Maintenance Services
THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® (Venturi Nozzle steam trap) comes with up to a 10 Year Performance Warranty. Additionally, we offer comprehensive Inspection and Maintenance Services for your facility's steam traps needs (which is available upon request).
Improve Production & Simplified Maintenance
With no moving parts, our Venturi Nozzle steam traps are designed to continuously discharge condensate from your steam system. Each Venturi Nozzle steam trap is custom-built to fit your application's needs. THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® is extremely simple to inspect and maintain. Reduce maintenance costs for repairing/ replacing steam traps after converting to THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM®.
Best-In-Class Customer Service
We truly care about our customers and building long-term partnerships. We have a customer-centric approach to our business. We offer onsite technical assistance (available within 48hrs) and 24/7 Engineering support to our customers.
Additionally, we offer comprehensive Steam System Evaluations, Steam Trap Replacement Projects, Project Commissioning, Measurement and Verification, Maintenance Contracts, Direct Purchasing/Sales, and more.
Can the Steamgard® Venturi Nozzle Steam Trap work with varying loads?
Yes. THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® (Venturi Nozzle steam trap technology) work exceptionally-well on varying load applications. For example, the STEAMGARD® Model 10 can discharge 288 lbs. of condensate/hour at 15 PSIG. If this same Model 10 sees 144 lbs. condensate/hour (50% of capacity) the steam loss is only 0.2 lb/hr. If this same Model 10 sees only 43 lbs. of condensate/hour (15% of capacity) steam loss is only 1.9 lb/hr. This is less than the approximate 2 lb/hr of live steam an efficient mechanical steam trap will lose.
An extensive Independent Laboratory Study by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and Nicor Gas concluded the STEAMGARD Venturi Nozzle steam traps "have demonstrated the ability.. to discharge varying condensate loads safely across a range of steam pressures, in line with industry requirements. Even when testing outside the specified operational range of the Venturi orifice traps, these traps were found to operate effectively, discharging condensate with measured steam loss values comparable to new mechanical steam traps, within experimental error."
STEAMGARD® works efficiently on many applications that have varying condensate loads without any means of steam control.
What is the difference between an orifice plate and THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® (Venturi Nozzle steam Traps)?
Orifice (plate) steam traps are subject to several limitations. If incorrectly engineered, they can create excess steam or backup with condensate. Sharp-edged orifices are subject to “wire draw effect”, particularly at higher pressures; this causes the orifice to distort in the direction of flow and become larger.
Orifice traps are subject to plugging due to eddy currents present on the backside of the orifice. The eddy currents allow contaminants in the steam to settle on the back of the orifice and eventually plug the flow.
An orifice steam trap allows for no variation of condensate flow. It is simply a hole in a plate the size of which will only drain a specific amount of condensate per hour. It has no ability to operate correctly when the condensate load varies.
The unique design of the Steamgard® Venturi steam trap with its stainless steel nozzle is specifically fitted for each application. THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® has a multistaged Nozzle especially designed to create a variable back-pressure at the nozzle as the load changes.
This allows THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® to self-regulate its capacity across a range suitable for the vast majority of industrial applications.
Will the Steamgard® Venturi Nozzle Steam Trap plug if my steam system is dirty?
While any type of steam trap or condensate removal device can plug up, extensive studies have shown that “plug up” rates on THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® are a fraction of similar rates with mechanical traps.
STEAMGARD® minimizes plugging in two ways: First, the unit is installed in conjunction with a special 40 mesh stainless steel screen within the strainer, designed to trap particles or contaminants before they reach the Venturi nozzle.
We recommend blowing down or cleaning this strainer as often as you would clean the strainers in front of existing steam traps or control valves. Second, the Venturi nozzle in all STEAMGARD® units is manufactured with a staged discharge.
This design, which is totally different from the “simple” orifices found in many mechanical steam traps and orifice plates, facilitates the continual discharge of contaminants usually found in condensate. This continual discharge allows CO2, air and non-condensables to be passed continually, unlike “sub-cooling” or “intermittent discharging” steam traps.
Can the Steamgard® Venturi Nozzle steam trap vent air, CO2?
Yes. Continuous venting of air, CO2, and other contaminants is an important requirement of any steam trap — and it’s most effective when it’s continuous and results in complete condensate removal.
Unlike steam traps that operate “intermittently”, STEAMGARD’s continuous discharge allows continuous air venting, even at low pressure. STEAMGARD’s complete discharge also results in no “sub-cooling”, a characteristic of many steam traps that introduce an upstream water seal. This can result in a dangerous CO2 build-up that can lead to the formation of carbonic acid that causes serious corrosion problems.
Will it be difficult to size the Steamgard® Venturi Nozzle steam traps for my steam system?
No. Selecting the appropriate STEAMGARD® models requires a basic knowledge of the steam piping and equipment to be "trapped."
Proper sizing is imperative and our field engineers or engineering partners gather the appropriate sizing information for each application.
Can the Steamgard® Venturi Nozzle steam trap be applied to a facility experiencing issues with backpressure?
Yes. Our product line is precisely engineered to deal with a multitude of variables including issues with backpressure in the condensate return system. It should be noted that the Steamgard® Venturi Nozzle steam trap is designed to never "Fail Open". Malfunctioned steam traps that are "Failed Open", will have a significant correlation to the backpressure that exists in your steam system.
Upon request, our experienced Engineers & Field Services team can assist in technical troubleshooting your steam system to quickly identify the problems such as what is causing the backpressure.
For more information, please contact our corporate office at +(847)913-8400.
Can the Steamgard® Venturi Nozzle steam traps be applied on a vacuum return system?
Yes. STEAMGARD® Venturi Nozzle steam trap is a popular replacement for steam traps on vacuum return systems. STEAMGARD® Venturi steam traps cannot fail “open” as conventional steam traps usually do. This failure frequently results in the introduction of an excessive amount of live steam into the vacuum return, which can cause vacuum loss and pump failure.
By eliminating the excessive live steam losses inherent in conventional steam traps, STEAMGARD® helps to maintain consistent condensate return temperatures and a level vacuum. STEAMGARD®’s continuous and complete condensate discharge dramatically reduces heat-up times in systems utilizing a vacuum return system.
Will the steam trap retrofit project require a large number of different Steamgard® models?
No. Even though STEAMGARD® Venturi Nozzle steam traps are engineered for each specific application, our applications experience has proven that many large facilities require a surprisingly limited number of STEAMGARD® models. A major Midwestern refinery standardized on three different STEAMGARD® models to complete a 300 trap conversion of its existing steam traps.
Can the Steamgard® be used on a distribution line when ambient temperatures change?
Yes. For example: A steam distribution line operates at ambient temperatures ranging from 70° F to -20° F. The schedule 80 pipe is 12″ in diameter, 100 feet long, has 2 inches calcite insulation with aluminum cover, carries steam at 100 psig and has a warm-up time of four hours. From heat transfer calculations, we determine the winter load to be 39lb/hr; the summer load to be 32 lb/hr and the warm-up load to be 95lb/hr at the coldest winter temperature. The STEAMGARD® nozzle selected for this application has a restrictive diameter of 0.033″ and a condensate capacity of 121 lb/hr.
A typical mechanical, thermodynamic (TD) steam trap sized optimally for this same application will have an orifice diameter of approximately 0.080″ with a condensate load of 325 lb/hr at 100 psig.
The maximum steam loss from the STEAMGARD® nozzle under these operating conditions depends upon the condensate load: it varies from less than 0.7 lb/hr in the summer to 0.5 lb/hr during the winter to less than 0.01 lbs/hr during warm-up periods. A TD steam trap, operating perfectly, would consume 3-5 lbs/hr due to switching and two-phase flow losses. A TD trap’s cycle time is driven by ambient temperature; it will cycle faster when the ambient temperature is low, even in the absence of condensate. Under failed open conditions, the TD trap indicated here would loose approximately 30 lbs/hr.
Here is some additional information: The steam and condensate flowing in a pipe have the same momentum. The primary component of steam momentum is velocity; the primary component of condensate momentum is mass. As steam and condensate approach the STEAMGARD® nozzle, the condensate reaches the nozzle first because it’s denser. Steam, which normally travels at speeds approaching Mach 1, slows down behind the condensate and passes some of its kinetic energy to the condensate. The pressure profile along the axial direction of flow in the nozzle puts the least pressure at the throat of the nozzle.
This leads to an expansion of the steam and flashing off of some condensate. Both of these well-documented factors put a quantifiable limit on the live steam losses from Venturi nozzles.
For more details, please see American National Standard ASME ANSI MFC-7M, Measurement of Gas Flows by Means of Critical Flow Venturi Nozzles, 1987; and International Organization for Standardization Standard 9300:1999, 1990. Measurement of Gas Flow by Means of Critical Flow Venturi Nozzles