A 1/8th inch hole in steam main can waste 9 tons of fuel oil per year. Small leaks cost big money, don’t ignore them.
Even insignificant looking steam leaks drain considerable amount of energy wasting fuel and thus money. Repair of leaks in steam system, most often than not, get postponed for a later date.
Steam leaks, along with the evident monetary loss, lead to development of a corrosive environment. They restrict maintenance access and are dangerous for plant personnel. Thus steam leaks should be attended to and repaired as soon as possible.
A good operating practice would be that the plant operators or the designated authority survey the plant periodically to check for steam leaks. Once identified, these leaks should be repaired at the earliest to contain the losses.
Considering 6000 hrs of annual operation, at 7 bar steam escaping through a 1/8th inch (or 3 mm) diameter hole wastes 15 tons of coal or 9 tons of oil or 375GJ of gas annually.