Float & thermostat steam traps play an important part in steam distribution. F&T traps don’t vent air to the atmosphere. They let air pass by into the return lines. This is crucial because steam won’t enter a pipe or a heater that’s filled with air. If the air can’t get out, the steam can’t get in, and you will wind up with high fuel bills and very little heat.After the air gets out, the trap closes against the steam, allowing it to give up its latent heat to the heater. Once that happens, the F&T trap opens to allow the condensate to quickly drain. F&T traps set up the “high-pressure” and “low -pressure” sides of the system and allow the steam to flow. If a trap should fail, steam will enter an area where it doesn’t belong. That usually leads to water hammer damage (with lots of noise!), and poor steam distribution.
Since F&T traps work on water level and not temperature, it’s very difficult to check their operation with a thermometer. The temperature of the condensate leaving the trap is usually the same as the temperature of the steam entering the trap. The best way to check an F&T is to open a valve downstream of the trap’s discharge and look at what comes out. Good traps discharge a mixture of water (condensate) and puffy flash steam. Failed traps discharge “live” steam and very little water.
For years, we’ve made our Hoffman F&T traps with two inlets and two outlets so you’ll have more piping options. You’ll always have an “extra” outlet, and many of our contractor friends use that outlet as a trap tester. All you have to do is install a nipple and a valve in the spare outlet. Then, when you want to test the trap, just open the valve and watch what comes out. For safety, our friends install a plug in the outlet of the valve to make sure no one gets scalded, should the valve be opened accidentally.
The “extra” outlet is also a great place for just letting air pass down the line, usually to a vented condensate receiver. But if there’s a point where the return line drops below the inlet to the condensate pump’s receiver, the piping will form a water leg through which air won’t vent.
That’s not a problem with Hoffman F&T traps, however, because you have that “extra” port working in your favor. Hoffman lets you vent right at the trap, and that gets the steam moving quickly throughout the building.
Hoffman F&T traps include our Durastat thermostatic element. The Durastat is at the heart of our thermostatic Bear Trap, the trap that resists water hammer and has gone through over 10 million cycles without a failure.
Our entire line of F&T traps has stainless steel internal parts. Hoffman F&T traps meet and in many cases exceed the ratings of traps offered by Spirax Sarco, Armstrong and Dunham Bush. In addition, we have configured our 3/4″ through 2″ sizes so you can use them as direct piping replacements for the Spirax Sarco offering.
In other words, Hoffman fits! And in more ways than one. We give you the advantage of that “extra” port for a trap tester or an air vent, plus the water hammer resistance of our stainless steel Durastat element, and all at a competitive price.
Fit Hoffman F&T traps into your next steam job. Take advantage of these extra features and the benefit those features bring to your customers. You’ll stand out from the crowd!