How Does a Pigtail Siphon Work?

Updated February 21, 2017

Industrial factories utilise steam as a pressurised fuel for energy consumption. This steam needs to be regulated by a gauge, but the gauge must have a way of being safe from the powerful heat and pressure of the steam itself. This is where pigtail siphons (or siphons) come in.


Pigtail siphons are looped pipes filled with water that are placed in piping configurations directly before an instrument gauge, normally to measure steam pressure, in order to shield steam and possible surges from the gauge's sensitive mechanics.


The trapped water within the loop of the pigtail siphon stops superheated steam vapour, and allows the heat to disperse through the water, rather than letting it pass and damage or destroy the gauge on the other end.


Pigtail siphons are meant for vertical applications when installed in a piping configuration. If it is in a horizontal application, it is referred to as a coil siphon and has a slight dip in its loop design to provide for the trapped water in a horizontal position.

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Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities.