A float steam trap operates on the basis of a lever mechanism where a float ball is connected to a valve. As more condensate is offered, the liquid level rises. As a result, the float ball rises, opening the valve further and releasing a larger amount of condensate. It goes without saying that the reverse happens when less condensate is presented.
The float steam trap has many different applications. It is most commonly used in heat exchangers. Casing vessels and calender rolls are also examples where float condensate traps can be used.
A thermodynamic steam trap works on the basis of differential pressure. If condensate is offered, this condensate pushes the valve open. The condensate can flow away via a channel. As this condensate heats up, steam is created above the valve. As the steam above the valve increases, the pressure above the valve will also increase and the pressure below the valve will decrease. This pressure difference causes the valve to close. When the hot steam has cooled down this process is reversed and the valve opens again.
A thermodynamic steam trap is mainly used when very dry steam is required. Usually a thermodynamic steam trap is used for the dewatering of pipes. Less common is the use of a thermodynamic condensate trap for tracing.