Tips For Handling a Steam Leak

Are you sick and tired of feeling like money is always slipping out from underneath your factory budget? Well, undetected steam leaks are a giant wallet drainer in that regard and will cost your business thousands if you don’t address it fast (not to mention the danger it poses to your employees).

That said, not everyone knows the proper procedures for identifying, responding to, and preventing a steam leak. So what can you do?

Well, that’s where we come in. With this guide on tips for handling a steam leak, you’ll feel better prepared the next time a steam accident strikes. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

How to Respond to a Steam Leak

So what happens if a massive steam leak gets reported in your facility? Well, the first thing you’ll want to do is evacuate all workers from the area, as the hot steam can cause severe burns.

If you want to go investigate (or send a team to do so), make sure they are all equipped with the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) for the situation. Check with facility personnel to see if you can send someone in to shut the steam off. You should also consider that steam leaks can be tied to asbestos, meaning that all PPE’s should include hazmat gear. 

If possible, check any steam traps you use as well. Improper application of these traps can lead to leakage, requiring you to swap in the correct trap. If problems escalate beyond your control, you’ll need to call in a professional to handle the problem with safety and accuracy.   

How to Prevent a Steam Leak

One of the best ways to prevent steam leaks is to learn the different symptoms and causes of the leaks. For example, a common cause of steam leaks comes from pipes expanding or contracting too much due to the heat/cold passed through them. When they expand, the bolts holding the pipe together loosen, and it isn’t long until steam starts pouring out.

To counter this, you can screw the bolts back on to close the gap and install pipe extensions around the area to alleviate the load placed on that pipe. Carbon steel pipes are also recommended over stainless steel since they have more temperature resistance (and greater strength).

Weakened valves are another frequent perpetrator of steam leaks. To fix this, make sure your valves and plugs stay in good condition and emphasize using single-use valves over dual-use ones (as steam leaks from dual-use valves more easily). 

Finally, there are other symptoms you can keep an eye out for steam leaks. If the boiler room is very hot or it’s difficult to maintain even pressure, a steam leak could be the culprit. Excessive levels of carbonic acid can degrade pipes and lead to leaks too.

Dodging Steam Problems

So, now that you have these tips for handling a steam leak, what’s your next course of action? Well, if you want to get your pipes a tune-up or receive a thorough inspection to stave off any steam problems, feel free to reach out to us and schedule a consolation today. 

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