Common steam trap problems and how the venturi orifice overcomes them

Steam traps play a crucial role in maintaining energy efficiency within industrial settings by removing condensed water from steam systems. They come in various designs but essentially have the same function: draining condensate. However, mechanical designs are more prone to failure. These malfunctions, which often leave traps partially or fully open, result in significant energy, water and financial losses due to wasted steam, increased maintenance requirements and the need for replacements. What are the most common malfunctions in mechanical steam traps and how do Venturi orifice steam traps overcome them?

Steam traps blocking

Blockages are caused by particles in the steam system that get trapped in the steam trap. This causes a blockage that leads to a loss of efficiency in the system, as steam is not properly condensed and removed.

To prevent this issue, the ECOFLOW Venturi trap is fitted with a filter. For highly contaminated systems it is possible to fit a fine mesh filter. This design helps ensure that the steam trap operates more reliably and requires less maintenance.

Leakage of live steam

A leaking steam trap allows live steam to pass through it without condensing. This issue not only wastes energy but also reduces the overall efficiency of the steam system by losing steam that could be used for heating or driving equipment.

Unlike mechanical steam traps that have mechanical components Venturi orifice steam traps do not have any mechanical moving parts. This design removes this failure mode and consequently, the leaking of live steam.


Steam leakage can lead to a pressure surge in steam lines and ultimately to the so-called Waterhammer phenomenon. This incident not only increases the noise level drastically but can also cause significant damage to pipes and steam traps. As a result, the steam traps have to be replaced.

The ECOFLOW technology eliminates the conditions that lead to Waterhammer. By ensuring that there is no steam leakage, the rapid deceleration of condensate which causes Waterhammer, is removed, thereby protecting the system from shock waves.

Energy losses due to lost/leaking steam

Lost or leaking steam represents a direct energy loss for the system. As a consequence, the steam produced by the boiler is not fully used for its intended purpose, leading to inefficiencies and increased operating costs.

The physical working principle of the Venturi orifice effectively removes condensate from the steam system without allowing live steam to escape. This means that steam is used more effectively throughout the system, reducing energy losses.

CO2 emissions due to additional gas usage from lost steam

When steam is lost or leaks from the system, more fuel needs to be burned in the boiler to replace the lost steam, leading to higher CO2 emissions.

Since the Venturi orifice technology removes the lost or leaking of steam, less fuel needs to be burned in the boiler to produce steam. This reduction in fuel consumption directly translates to lower CO2 emissions, making the steam system more environmentally friendly.

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