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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Maintain steam traps 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
253599  Maintain steam traps 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Generic Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Manufacturing and Assembly 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
Learners in the field of mechanical installation and engineering maintenance, require the skills, values and knowledge reflected in this unit standard.

The learning outcomes in this unit standard also contribute to the exit level outcomes required for related qualifications.

Qualifying learners are able to:
  • Identify and discuss range of steam traps and their applications.
  • Plan and prepare for the maintenance of steam traps.
  • Maintain, repair, remove, replace and set up steam trap/s.
  • Maintain and care for tools and equipment.

    This unit standard would be assessed in the context of:
  • A steam plant or system within the workplace or a structured training environment.
  • The maintenance of steam traps in any process controlled environment.

    The skills, knowledge and values reflected in this unit standard form part of the Exit Level Outcomes required for the National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Fitting) or (Pipe-Fitting): NQF Level 3 or 4. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    This unit standard is one of a series of unit standards associated with flow control equipment and related maintenance to be performed by learners in the field of mechanical fitting.

    The credits allocated to this unit standard assume that a learner has already learned to:
  • Use hand tools.
  • Assemble mechanical components.
  • Maintain static seals.
  • And where required, sling loads safely. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    For the purpose of assessment, steam traps may be selected from a range which includes:
  • Thermostatic steam traps (liquid expansion traps, bimetallic and balanced pressure thermostatic traps).
  • Mechanical steam traps (Ball float and inverted bucket steam traps).
  • Thermodynamic steam traps.

    Applications include but are not limited to any one of the following:
  • Canteen Equipment; Oil Transfer/Storage, Hospital Equipment (steaming ovens, bulk storage tanks and autoclaves).
  • Industrial Dryers (multi-bank pipe dryers and rotating cylinders).
  • Laundries, Presses (calendars, garment presses, dry cleaning machines and tyre-presses).
  • Process Equipment (boiling pans, retorts, digesters, coppers, re-boilers, evaporators and vulcanisers).
  • Space Heating Equipment (heat exchangers, radiant panels, unit heaters, air heater batteries and overhead pipe coils).
  • Steam Mains, Tanks and Vats, Pressure Reducing Valves (different types of steam mains, headers and off-takes including process vats and pressure reducing valve stations).

    Environment contexts include but are not limited to:
  • Manufacturing and Engineering (Metals, Plastics, Tyre and Rubber, Electrical Power Generation, Automotive Manufacturing).
  • Chemical and Petrochemical.
  • Mining.
  • Transport (Maritime, Road, Rail and Aviation).
  • Civil Engineering and Construction.
  • Food and Beverages.
  • Other engineering-related industry sectors.

    The learner should be able to:
  • Work autonomously with minimal supervision and according to worksite and manufacturer specifications and occupational safety, health and environmental legislation.
  • Work in a workshop, plant or underground environment with varying levels of light, space and safety risks.
  • Work in a team environment. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Identify and discuss the applications of steam traps. 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
    The need for steam traps, considerations surrounding their operation, basic modes of operation and relevant standards are all to be assessed in this outcome, by identifying, discussing and explaining:
  • Classifications and types of steam traps.
  • Applications.
  • Distinct features and characteristics of various types.
  • Maintenance procedures. 
  • OUTCOME RANGE 
    Understanding confirmed:

    Respond to `what if` and `why` questions covering:
  • Steam traps, their characteristics and working principles.
  • The maintenance process, sequence, procedures and techniques.
  • Tools and equipment used.
  • Quality awareness: implications of steam trap maintenance that do not comply with operational requirements.
  • Applicable the appropriate methods and procedures for the maintenance of steam traps.
  • Safety.
  • Reporting and documentation requirements.
  • Discuss the implications of not adhering to the sequence of activities and operations as described in the specific outcomes and making decisions inappropriate to the task. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The classifications and types of steam traps are identified and discussed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION NOTES 
    Identification includes:
  • The identification of the main components included in the design and manufacture of steam traps.
  • Operation and functions.
  • Classification and types. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The applications and the distinct features and characteristics of various types of steam traps are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Maintenance procedures are discussed and explained in terms of worksite practice and manufacturers specifications. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Procedures include removal, replacement, routine servicing, strip and assembly and fault finding.
  • Factors such as water-hammer, dirt, steam locking, group trapping, vacuum conditions and temperature control of processes are discussed and explained in this outcome.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The terminology used when explaining and discussing steam traps, is in keeping with manufacturer and worksite norms and standards. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Understanding confirmed:

    Respond to `what if` and `why` questions covering:
  • Steam traps, their characteristics and working principles.
  • The maintenance process, sequence, procedures and techniques.
  • Tools and equipment used.
  • Quality awareness: implications of steam trap maintenance that do not comply with operational requirements.
  • Applicable the appropriate methods and procedures for the maintenance of steam traps.
  • Safety.
  • Reporting and documentation requirements.
  • Discuss the implications of not adhering to the sequence of activities and operations as described in the specific outcomes and making decisions inappropriate to the task.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Plan and prepare for the maintenance of steam trap/s. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Planning and preparation includes reading and understanding task instructions engineering drawings and shut-down scheduling, identification of the equipment to be maintained, obtaining maintenance schedules and manufacturer specifications for specific equipment to be maintained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The planning and preparation for the maintenance repair and/or removal of the steam trap/s is explained, in accordance with work instructions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Shut-down procedures are explained and performed according to plant procedures, in order to remove the steam trap. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Site and equipment are prepared for steam trap maintenance, repair and/or installation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The steam trap/s are inspected and assessed for its work requirements in terms of maintenance, repair and/or removal. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The evaluation of a faulty steam trap includes checking for leaking steam or the blockage of flow.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Maintenance equipment and resources are correct for the task, available on site by the agreed time, and checked for serviceability in accordance with regulatory and worksite practices. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Resources include personnel requirements, tools, equipment, vehicle/s for transport and mechanical handling, support materials, applicable documentation and personal protective equipment.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Where required, handling space is cleared, potential obstructions are removed and personnel are notified, prior to the maintenance, repair and/or removal task. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Pre-operational checks are carried out on removal and securing equipment, in accordance with work instructions. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION NOTES 
    Indicators:
  • System is confirmed to be isolated.
  • The steam trap is handled and transported according to specifications.
  • Steam trap is inspected and non-conformances identified.
  • Steam trap maintenance requirements are determined.
  • Steam trap maintenance consumables, parts and/or components are selected, lapped and sealed, fitted and adjusted to meet operational requirements.
  • Maintained steam trap is checked for conformance with manufacturer specifications.
  • Non-conforming consumables, damaged or sub-standard components and equipment are identified and appropriate corrective action taken.
  • Steam trap records are completed and processed. 

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Maintain steam trap/s. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
  • Maintenance includes identifying non-conforming components, removal, cleaning, re-using and/or removal of internal components.
  • Maintenance may also include re-lapping of disc-faces, replacement of seats and elements of thermodynamic traps and gasket renewal.
  • Problems include non-conforming components, incorrect seating of disc-faces, leaks, wear and damage, broken seals. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The steam trap is maintained in compliance with operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The steam trap is tested for conformance within operational requirements and according to manufacturer's specifications. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Operational requirements include correct pressure retention at predetermined pressure and meeting flow control criteria.
  • Diagnostic testing techniques include but are not limited to optical sight glasses, listening devices, ultrasonique techniques, temperature monitoring or integrate steam trap testing devices and sensors.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Work area is restored to a safe and serviceable condition. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    All work is performed safely with due care for self, fellow workers, machines, equipment, materials and environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Steam trap condition is recorded and reported. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION NOTES 
    Indicators:
  • System is confirmed to be isolated.
  • The steam trap are handled and transported according to specifications.
  • The steam trap is inspected and non-conformances identified.
  • The maintenance and repair requirements are determined.
  • Maintenance consumables, parts and/or components are selected, lapped and sealed, fitted and adjusted to meet operational requirements.
  • The maintained, repaired and/or installed steam trap is checked for conformance with manufacturer specifications.
  • Steam trap records are completed and processed.
  • Work is carried out in a safe manner in accordance with schedules and manufacturer specifications.
  • Maintenance process cycle time meets workplace requirements. 

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Care for and store system maintenance tools and equipment. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Tools and equipment include absorbent material, hand tools and cleaning equipment, fluids, lifting equipment and tackle. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The proper care and storage procedures for tools and equipment are explained in accordance with work site practices and specifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Work area is restored to a safe and serviceable condition. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Tools, equipment, lifting equipment and tackle is stored in accordance with manufacturer's specification and requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Malfunctioning tools and equipment is reported and the necessary arrangements for the repair thereof is made according to accepted worksite practice. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION NOTES 
  • A clean and tidy work environment is maintained.
  • No delays are caused as a result of poor planning for steam trap maintenance and identifying problems.
  • Applicable health, safety and environmental procedures are adhered to.
  • Non-conforming consumables, damaged or sub-standard components and equipment are identified and appropriate corrective action taken. 


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • The assessment will be governed by the policies and guidelines of the relevant SETA ETQA who has jurisdiction over this field of learning. The assessor will (at the very least) be accredited and have a technical qualification in this learning area.
  • The learner can be assessed in the language of his/her choice although s/he has to report incidents or conditions to someone else. The learner will be assessed on his/her ability to report in the language commonly used in his/her working environment.
  • The learner will be assessed in the workplace but s/he can submit documents, projects, test results and assignments that were not produced in the workplace.
  • The learner can be assessed against this unit standard to obtain credits or as part of an integrated assessment for a qualification. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Names and functions of:
  • Types of steam traps.
  • Steam traps and components.
  • Tools and equipment used in the steam trap maintenance process.
  • Quality terminology and concepts.

    Attributes, descriptions, characteristics and properties:
  • Typical steam trap faults and defects.
  • End users of steam trap.
  • Steam trap equipment and components.
  • Characteristics of different types of steam traps.

    Sensory cues:
  • Sensory cues (what I see, hear, smell, feel) utilised for identifying steam trap related defects and non-conformances and the causes thereof.

    Purpose of:
  • Preparing site and equipment for maintenance process.
  • Maintaining, repairing and/or installing steam traps.
  • Quality checks and procedures.
  • Reporting problems.
  • Identification of wear patterns on components.
  • Diagnostic testing of steam traps.
  • Integrated steam trap sensors.
  • Sealing and/or locking on completion.

    Processes, events, causes and effects, implications:
  • Implications of non-conformance.
  • Causes of and implications of not regulating pressure.
  • Causes and responses to common problems.
  • Maintenance sequence and process.
  • Implications and consequences of situations such as, e.g., using poor quality, damaged or faulty equipment in the maintenance process, delaying reports about problems in work area.

    Procedures and techniques:
  • Ensuring system is safe.
  • Identifying component defects.
  • Maintaining, repairing and/or installing steam trap components.
  • Diagnostic testing.
  • Preparing consumables, replacement components/parts for maintenance.
  • Quality checks and procedures.
  • Reporting procedures.

    Regulations, legislation, agreements, policies, standards:
  • Applicable safety, health and environmental protection legislation and standards.
  • Applicable company policies and procedures.

    Theory: Rules, principles, laws:
  • Applicable mechanical theory relating to the maintenance of steam traps, e.g. torque, pressure.
  • Steam corrosion, water-hammer concept, vacuum; temperature and pressure.
  • Applicable mathematical concepts.
  • Laws of thermodynamics.

    Relationships, systems:
  • The relationship of steam trap maintenance to the production process. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems:
  • Recognise and respond to non-conforming components/parts. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as a member of a team:
  • Interact with colleagues and team members in order to maintain a steam trap. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage my activities and myself:
  • According to procedures, following regular, consistent methodical work patterns.
  • Manage resources and my time. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information:
  • Collect sensory and numeric information from the maintenance process.
  • Classify the information and identify deviations from the norm. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively:
  • Record outputs and incidents. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically:
  • Understand and explain mechanical theory relevant to the steam trap maintenance process. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems:
  • Understand and explain the purpose of steam trap maintenance to the production process.
  • Justify my actions as appropriate. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    The term "maintain" is defined as inspect, determine faults, assess requirements for repair, remove, replace, repair, adjust, re-align, seat components, reassemble, install and test.

    Notes to Assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessments at title level are unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: Appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, directness, authenticity, sufficiency, openness and consistency.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    Credits may be obtained by applying to an accredited/approved training provider/institution in order to have prior learning recognised in lieu of work experience. Work experience must relate to the specific outcomes contained within this unit standard. The ensuing assessment of candidates seeking recognition of prior learning should not be so onerous as to deter them from doing so. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  59750   National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Reregistered  2021-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 
    Elective  59769   Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2021-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Belique Training Centre cc (ALBERTON) (TP) 
    2. Jericho Safety Consultants (Pty) Ltd (TP) 
    3. S & S Training & Construction (SPRINGS) (TP) 
    4. Wilbat Projects 148 (Pty) Ltd (ISIPINGO) (TP) 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.