4 Common Problems to Watch Out for With Steam Turbines

4 Common Problems to Watch Out for With Steam Turbines

Steam turbines are among the most essential pieces of equipment at an industrial site. These intricate devices have many moving parts that require specialized care.

When maintaining your steam turbines, there are a few common problems to watch out for. Recognizing these issues early will help you increase the longevity of your heavy machinery. Learn about these situations so you can make the most of your complex equipment.

Blade Damage

One of the most important components in a steam turbine are the blades. These mechanisms are responsible for converting heat into mechanical energy. Without this process, turbines would be unable to generate electricity.

Since turbine blades are so active within the machine, they are susceptible to high rates of wear and tear. Corrosion, heat, and poor maintenance can cause these components to break down. When performing your steam turbine inspection, make sure to pay attention to the steam turbine blades.

Excess Vibrations

Another common problem to watch out for with steam turbines is excess vibration. The spinning nature of the turbine blades can cause your machine to shake. While this movement isn’t entirely abnormal, too many vibrations can lead to massive issues later on.

Excess movement can make internal mechanisms rub against and wear each other down. Vibrations also compromise bearings and make your machine unstable. Lubricating components and repairing any loose parts can help you mitigate some of the more serious issues.


As the name suggests, steam turbines run off of steam. You need a steady heat source to create the steam that turns to blades to operate the turbine. However, this doesn’t mean overheating isn’t a cause for concern.

If your turbine generates more heat than it can handle, parts like drive shafts may begin to warp. This bending can cause catastrophic damage. Not only does overheating reduce efficiency, but it can also present a safety hazard for operators.

Steam Leakage

If you don’t keep up with steam turbine maintenance, you can expect your machine to sustain damage. Typically, you can tell that something significant is going on if you’re experiencing steam leakage in your equipment.

Steam leaks through gaps and loose components. Seal rings can untighten through excess vibrations, overheating, and old age. Developing a comprehensive maintenance schedule to check for all of these common steam turbine problems will help you avoid steam leakage.

Understanding frequent steam turbine issues will help you get ahead of the problem before it’s too late. If you notice any of these things in your own equipment, contact Advanced Turbine Support ASAP. With our borescope technology, we can perform in-depth inspections to get your machines operating at maximum efficiency.

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