The steamer in your shop is a real workhorse, and most jewelers cannot afford to be without it. Keeping your steamer at peak performance is relatively easy and requires a simple maintenance schedule. Most steamers have cast iron tanks and rust when exposed to air. Brown discoloration is normal and will not hurt the quality of steam produced. Most rust concerns can be avoided by keeping your steamer full of water every day.
Develop a daily routine for steamer maintenance:
1. Fill every morning.
2. Follow manufacturer's maintenance instructions and blow out steamer weekly.
3. Check daily for leaks.
4. Use a steam cleaner additive regularly to help prevent calcium build up.
[Item # 54-4430]
5. Always replace the heating element and thermostat at the same time.
6. Always unplug your steamer before working on it. Make sure it is cool and not under pressure before beginning work.
[From the Bench August 2009]