Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Weekly posts for northern and central Alberta engineers, plant operators, and buyers.

Winter Is Coming, Are Your Tracing Systems Ready? Edmonton Valve Can Help

by Katie Dennis, on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 @ 09:08 AM

Even though we are still in the summer months, and we don't want to mention the "W" word, but now is a great time to look at your tracing lines.


Figure 1 (above) shows a Steam Tracing System from the "Best Practice for Steam Tracing" PDF. Download this Swagelok Energy Advisor resource AND the Steam Tracing Design Considerations and Installation PDF from Swagelok Energy Advisors.

Did you know that Edmonton has seen temperatures below freezing in every month except for July (Source: http://bit.ly/1KNKPhF). It is hard to think that in just a few months we will need to be turning on our freeze protection systems in the plants.  Are you ready for it?

When starting up your tracing systems there are a number of areas that you should be paying attention to now and asking yourself the following questions:

Do you have a strategic operating plan for the startup of your tracing system?

Opening up your steam or glycol supply valve is not the recommended way to start up a tracing line.  Systems need time to come up to pressure and temperature.  In steam systems you have make sure air and condensate are vented and drained to maximize efficiency.  Safety must be paramount in bringing these systems up, as there is potential for water hammer, especially at start up.

Do you know how well the components are working?

Have you walked your system to see if the valves are shutting properly?  Are the steam traps functioning?  Is insulation in place?  Remember to check the small insulated tubing lines as well to make sure that the ends are sealed to prevent moisture build up inside the insulation.  Have you identified all parts?  If you need to shut down a line for repair, how easy is it to find the valves on the supply and return so you can safely de-energize the lines?

Have you fixed all the leaks and blockages that you found last winter?

It is much easier to fix problems now, when the weather is warm, than in the winter when you are under the gun to get the line back up.  If you have a list of required repairs, take care of them now.  If you don’t, put a plan in place to identify problems areas for repair next year when you do.

If you answered "no" to any of these questions or need assistance in any of these areas, please let our associates at Edmonton Valve know.  We have a great team that can help you with any of your steam and glycol tracing requirements.

Additional resources

In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780.437.0640


Topics:Energy Advisors

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