21 September 2023

Steam distribution system Components | Pipes | Drain Port | Branch lines #1

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Steam distribution system Components


Most important components


2.Drain points

3.Branch lines




7.Steam traps

8.Air vents

9.Condensate recovery system




  • Pipe material: carbon steel or copper
  • Correct pipeline sizing is important
  • Oversized pipework:
  • Higher material and installation costs
  • Increased condensate formation
  • Undersized pipework:
  • Lower pressure at point of use
  • Risk of steam starvation
  • Risk of erosion, water hammer and noise
  • Size calculation: pressure drop or velocity
  • Pipeline layout: 1 m fall for every 100 m


  1. Drain points
  • Ensures that condensate can reach steam trap
  • Consideration must be give to
  • Design
  • Location
  • Distance between drain points
  • Condensate in steam main at shutdown
  • Diameter of drain pipe


  1. Branch lines
  • Take steam away from steam main
  • Shorter than steam mains
  • Pressure drop no problem if branch line < 10 m

Branch line connections

  • Top: driest steam
  • Side or bottom: accept condensate and debris


  • Drop leg: low point in branch line

  • Sometime steam runs across rising ground
  • Condensate should run against steam flow

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