300 N. Findlay St., Dayton(937) 254-6910

Steam Trap Losses - what it costs you

in TLV Steam Traps

Have you had times when you can see the white cloud of your breath in the winter and the interior of the plant is white with thick clouds of vapor?

This is a time when the outside temperature is low and more vapor than usual is generated - a cause for concern for the persons doing trap maintenance. It is recommended that a failed trap be replaced as soon as it is found.

Even one failed trap can have steam leakage resulting in losses of hundreds of dollars/pounds/euros per year. Though it depends somewhat on the other conditions, traps on applications of 150 psi or less will typically have a service life of many years, making it possible to recover investment costs in approximately 1 year in most regions. Vapor is not only unsightly - let’s calculate the monetary losses that shouldn’t be overlooked if the vapor results from steam leakage.


Use the samples below and enter the numbers, then click “Calculate” to find the cost of losses.


Steam Leakage

Hours in Operation Unit Cost of Steam

Small leak - 9 lb/h

Leak - 15 lb/h

Blowing - 33 lb/h

Day shift only - 2000 h/yr

Multiple shifts - 4000 h/yr

Operating continuously - 8000 h/yr

$10 / 1000 lb


The following formula is used:

Cost of losses ($/yr) = A x B x C

A = Steam leakage (lb/h)
B = Operation hrs (h/yr)
C = Unit cost of steam ($/1000 lb)



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