A steam trap is a device used to discharge condensate and non condensable gases with a negligible consumption or loss of live steam. They open, close or modulate automatically. The three important functions of steam traps are: 1) Discharge condensate as soon as it is formed. 2) Have negligible steam consumption. 3) Have the capability of discharging air and other non-condensable gases. It is a device which is used to remove condensate. Steam traps work best when sized specifically for the application they are used on. Generally it is better to oversize, as they will still discharge condensate when present and close or obstruct for live steam. However an oversized steam trap will wear quickly, waste energy (use steam), and if drastically oversized can cause process issues.
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