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FAQs About InfraSonic™ Steam System Surveys

– Why is it important to perform Steam Surveys?
– What is an InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey?
– How does an InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey work?
– How to prepare for InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey
– What standards apply to InfraSonic™ Steam System Surveys?
– What should your report include?
– Why should you use Jersey Infrared Consultants?

Why is it important to perform Steam System Surveys?

Many sites produce or buy steam for heating or manufacturing purposes. Essential components of a steam system, steam traps are mechanical devices that can have a direct and substantial impact on your bottom line.

Today’s energy costs, combined with an average industry failure rate exceeding 50% of installed traps, facilities lose hundreds of thousands of dollars per year!
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What is an InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey?

An InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey combines infrared thermography and ultrasonic testing. The result is a comprehensive study of a facility’s steam system including temperature patterns and operations of stream traps.

Infrared thermography is a form of non-contact, non-destructive testing used to detect and document thermal patterns of the steam traps and associated lines. Infrared imaging radiometers, when operated by a properly trained thermographer, provide valuable information about the temperature of the trap, and supply and condensate.

Ultrasonic testing, also non-contact and non-destructive, uses an ultrasonic translator to listen to the trap operate. Typically, these units are very sensitive and can detect leaks in the early stages. Trap cycle time, trap orifice and air vent can be checked.
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How does an InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey work?

Steam is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that forms when water is heated above 212°F. In a pressurized system, steam is capable of storing and transporting large quantities of energy. Once steam has formed, further heating can increase the amount of energy, resulting in higher temperature and pressure.

Once steam leaves the boiler, it begins to lose energy; starts to cool; and condenses back into water. This water is removed from the steam lines by steam traps, and returned to the boiler by condensate lines.

The first step in an Infrasonic™ Survey is use an infrared imager to look at the infrared patterns and check the temperature of the steam supply lines, the condensate lines and the steam trap. Temperatures below 212°F indicate that steam is not present and the cause must be identified.

The next step is to perform an ultrasound test. Properly working traps are generally quiet except when cycling. Typically a hissing or a rushing sound indicates a failed trap.
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How to prepare for InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey

Proper preparation for an upcoming InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey can help keep costs to a minimum and provide better data. Be sure the system is under load; have keys and access codes for all secured areas; and notify tenants or key personnel as appropriate. Have either knowledgeable staff or complete drawings indicating the location of all traps available. As with any infrared survey, a clear line of sight is required and any protective guards or insulation should be removed.
The order in which equipment is surveyed, otherwise known as Routes, should take into account the logistics of moving from location to location and any changes in load demands occurring during the day. If traps do not have an identification tag, plans should be made to attach a tag at the time of the survey.
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What standards apply to InfraSonic™ Steam System Surveys?

Standards that apply to InfraSonic™ Steam System Surveys are authored by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and Infraspection Institute. They cover topics including procedures, certification of personnel, equipment use and performance standards, and safety. Following these standards will help ensure quality results from your InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey. A list of standards followed by Jersey Infrared Consultants can be found at Standards.
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What should your report include?

Reports should be clear, easy-to-understand, and available in written and/or digital formats. The report will include the following sections:

Introduction covers the procedures followed and provides information to assist understanding the report including priority assessment for problems.

Thermographers Comments will discuss the areas surveyed, number of problems identified and special notation of any serious problems.

Database provides a detailed list of all equipment surveyed, including location, type of trap, identification, size and pressure, status at the time of the survey, and notation of problems.

Problems should be documented with a Thermogram, control photograph with an indication of the problem area, and a description that includes the following information:

  • Equipment ID and location
  • Ambient temperature (°C and/or °F)
  • Temperature of the trap, supply or condensate line (°C and/or °F)
  • Ultrasonic results (where appropriate)
  • Detailed comments concerning the problem

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Why should you use Jersey Infrared Consultants?

The high standards we set for service and reliability have earned us a reputation for excellence. All InfraSonic™ Steam System Surveys are performed by Infraspection Institute Certified Infrared Thermographers® using state-of-the-art equipment with direct traceability to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Jersey Infrared Consultants’ safety compliance, background check, and drug screening programs are a part of our commitment to providing an unequaled level of client care and quality service.  Our reports are clear, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive. They are delivered in a timely fashion in both written and electronic formats.

Our staff regularly conducts training classes, publishes technical articles, and participates in continuing education, enabling us to remain THE firm to hire for your InfraSonic™ Steam System Survey.

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