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How to Prepare Your Steam System for Winter

How to Prepare Your Steam System for Winter

Actions to ensure success for your system during temperature drops

Article written by FCX Performance, Inc

The quality of the steam in your system can be crucial to product quality and production. Many processes in your system can only be truly successful if high quality steam is being used in the system.


Any components of your steam system that are outdoors in the winter should be insulated. Components like traps and valves can be insulated with removable insulation blankets for ease of access. These blankets can be removed to operate or maintain the valve or trap as needed. Often times insulation is installed initially by a contractor on steam lines but is cut away during maintenance. It is important to keep up with the insulation in a steam system so that when winter time comes, the system will be less affected by the plunging temperatures.

Proper Drainage

Proper drainage is important year round, but especially during the winter so that nothing freezes in your pipes. Pop drains in steam traps are a great way to prevent issues that can occur if steam is shut off. If the internal temperature drops below a certain point, the drain will open and empty the condensate onto the ground to prevent freezing. The ability to manually drain outdoor components in the winter is crucial to prevent issues caused by the cold weather.


Before the winter weather begins, it is important to make sure your humidification system is running properly. The colder the outdoor air is, the less moisture content will be in the outdoor air. This causes your humidification load to be the highest during the coldest days which is why it’s important to make sure it’s working before you really need it.

Steam Tracing

The product in the pipes of some systems need to stay hot, which becomes much more difficult in the winter. Temperature is maintained by running small steam lines on the outside of the pipe with insulation surrounding the pipe and tracing lines. Before winter, you should ensure that the traps on these tracer lines are working properly so that they don’t freeze, damage product, or create maintenance issues.

talk with an expert

If your steam system is going to be affected by winter weather, contact one of our experts to see what you can do to prevent potential issues!


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