Steam tracing refers to using steam to indirectly elevate the temperature of a product using jacketed pipes or tubing filled with saturated steam. Steam tracing is often the preferred alternative in industrial plants where the steam distribution and return system is wide spread and in close proximity to the piping and equipment to be heat traced. One of the best ways to maximize steam tracer efficiency is to use steam that would otherwise be wasted; in other words, flash steam. The return on the investment the plant makes in the equipment required to recover this flash steam is quickly paid back, typically within a year. On the negative side, steam is more expensive to install and maintain than electric heat tracing. Periodic leaks and inadequate controls in a steamtraced system waste energy and demand frequent repair and replacement.