Inefficient steam systems cost money. According to theexperts at Michigan Steam , one steam leak can cost anywhere from $900 to $74,000 per year depending on the size of the pipe and the extent of failure in the steam trap. How can your business avoid this catastrophic cost? It really takes just four steps.
1. Find the problem — before it gets bigger
Your first step is a professional steam trap survey. Customers frequently call in steam technicians to evaluate an old system for repairs, upgrades, modernization, or replacement. The Macomb Group partners with steam specialists at Michigan Steam, who provide complimentary steam system evaluations. A professional system survey will provide you with accurate results to pinpoint weak spots in your system.
2. Determine the right solution
Michigan Steam also provides onsite support and engineering evaluations and is an authorized provider of quality Spirax Sarco products. Michigan Steam representative Paul Turner is an engineer, not a salesperson, so he approaches each job with the goal of making the whole system run properly — not just providing a patch. “What we offer that’s truly different is our support,” Turner says. “We have exceptional products, and we also have the experience to provide support at the client’s site.”
Before recommending any equipment maintenance or replacement, Turner determines whether there is a steam trap failure or other steam leak, which can be extraordinarily costly. Michigan Steam offers full system support, including Spirax Sarco equipment for steam generation, distribution, and utilization; condensate handling; and environmental controls.
3. Remember, the solution is less costly than the problem
Once the problem is identified, the steam solution experts provide all the options for repair or upgrade. Frequently, a complete system replacement is not necessary. Turner notes that sometimes customers are surprised when the solution is simpler than they expected.
“A full system replacement might not be the most cost-effective or energy-efficient solution. It might be as simple as replacing a part to lengthen the life of a current system,” Turner says. “Sometimes the repair is the most cut-and-dried thing, the thing that makes the most sense.”
He adds, “People are very interested in reducing their carbon footprint and saving on energy costs. We can eliminate or reduce the amount of discharge, reduce the carbon footprint, and reduce emissions from a system. We can also tie that into energy savings. We understand the benefits and can help customers realize the savings.”
4. Stay on top of testing
A steam trap failure isn’t just costly; it can be extremely dangerous as well. A system that fails when open can release carbon emissions into the air. A system that fails when closed will build up pressure and may blow up.
The Macomb Group and Michigan Steam offer complimentary steam trap testing and steam system evaluations. They also provide steam trap testing training to enable an in-house maintenance staff to conduct regular maintenance checks. See the Quick Tip in this issue ofThe Macomb Pipeline to learn seven trap maintenance best practices!