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  • Need a part? Check out our Product Center

    Many of you know that our CS Product Center ( is an incredible database unlike anything in the industry. It features nearly every product we carry along with spec sheets, drawings, brochures and videos. 

    Campbell-Sevey has integrated that database within our quotes. All of our electronic quotes feature a product link that goes directly to the product on the website. That product page includes the full description of the product along with a “download center” with all pertinent documents.

    To serve you even better, Campbell-Sevey has local stock of parts for the following manufacturers available for same day shipment: 

    • Armstrong
    • Spence
    • Kunkle
    • Thrush
    • Durabla
    • Klinger

    Click here to access a complete list of all of our products. Then call our 24-hours parts and service line for technical support by phone at 952-935-2345. 


  • Test Your Knowledge: Which Device Is It?

    Which of the following helps minimize water hammer, helps drains condensate, and minimizes temperature swings?

    1. Inverted Bucket Steam Trap
    2. Vacuum Breaker
    3. Fluid Air Coil
    4. Mechanical Condensate Pump
    5. Pilot Operated Regulating Valve

    And the answer is...

    2. Vacuum Breaker

    A Vacuum Breaker is a simple, reliable device that allows air to enter a steam piping system when a vacuum is induced. When a steam system shuts down, the remaining steam condenses into water, which takes up a much smaller volume than the original steam. This creates a vacuum, which can lead to water hammer and tube damage if not relieved of in a timely way. 

    Check out this video which shows the proper use of a vacuum breaker in a steam system.

    Here are our top 4 reasons for including a vacuum breaker in your system:

    1. It helps allow for complete condensate drainage under all operating conditions: on/off or modulating applications. 
    2. It helps minimize water hammer. 
    3. It helps minimize temperature swings and uneven temperatures. 
    4. It helps minimize product waste.

    All heat transfer components, whether shell-and-tube exchanger, plate-and-frame exchanger, air heating coil or any other device, require vacuum breakers. As the video shows, because the condensate piping after our coil is clear glass, you can watch condensate backing up into the coil without a vacuum breaker.  Once the vacuum breaker is allowed to operate, the coil can remain free of condensate under all operating conditions, which eliminates many issues that can shorten equipment service life and/or cause operation problems.

    The footage for that video was taken in our Steam Training Room located in Minnetonka, Minnesota, where we have regular training classes.  We utilize a steam boiler, glass piping, and functional glass-bodied steam traps to describe and demonstrate a variety of steam basics and advanced concepts in the 4 main areas of a steam system: Generation, Distribution, Utilization, and Condensate Return.

    Contact us for more information on the proper use of vacuum breakers or sign up for our Steam Energy Conservation seminars to learn more. 


  • What Armstrong University Courses are Specific to Your Industry?

    For equipment to operate at peak efficiency it's important that operators are well trained. That is especially true in certain industries where unique applications may apply – humidity levels, sterilization, air quality requirements, etc. 

    Armstrong University offers online courses to address the many issues industries face each day. Industry specific courses include:

    For industries not shown, Campbell-Sevey can assist with course recommendations based on your needs and equipment. Click to learn more about the wealth of insight and information is conveniently accessible through Armstrong University. 

  • How Expansion Joints Prevent Catastrophic Failures

    To avoid catastrophic failutres a critical requirement in any steam system is accounting for pipe expansion. 

    As pipes heat up with high pressure steam, pipes can grow up to 8 inches for every 100 feet. That growth can exert forces that break loose pipe guides and cause catastrophic failures. In order to avoid that two highly effective ways to accommodate thermal expansion is with slip and ball type expansion joints. Check out the video above which illustrates how both types of joints work. 

    Slip Type Expansion Joints

    Advanced Thermal Systems (ATS) offers packed slip type expansion joints that provide an economical, safe, and reliable method of absorbing large amounts of axial pipe expansion and are ideal for systems with long straight pipe runs. Special configurations are available to accommodate as much as 24" of expansion in both single and double (48" total) expansion joints for service conditions to 1000 psig at 750°F. 

    Flexible Ball Type Expansion Joints

    ATS packed ball type expansion joints provide an economical, safe, and reliable method of absorbing large amounts of single and multiple plane displacements including rotation. Ball joints are ideal for systems with vertical pipe runs and/or natural offsets. These joints are designed to accommodate 15° to 33° of angular flex and 360° of rotation.

    Standard ball and slip joints include such special features as:

    • A high performance injectable packing which is suitable for operation at temperatures up to 1000°F.
    • Packing cylinder designs that allow in service packing of the joint and uninterrupted process at pressures up to 1000 psig.
    • Low friction nonmetallic internal and external guides to offer further protection of the hard chrome plated sliding slip.

    Because expansion joints’ internal and external guides must be concentric it's important to have the most reliable joint possible. For recommendations on the right slip or ball type expansion joints for your system, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey


  • Steam Tip 26: Consider Installing a Condensing Economizer

    The key to a successful waste heat recovery project is optimizing the use of the recovered energy. By installing a condensing economizer, companies can improve overall heat recovery and steam system efficiency by up to 10%. Many boiler applications can benefit from this additional heat recovery, such as:

    • district heating systems
    • wallboard production facilities
    • greenhouses
    • food processing plants
    • pulp and paper mills
    • textile plants
    • hospitals

    Condensing economizers require site-specific engineering and design, and a thorough understanding of the effect they will have on the existing steam system and water chemistry.

    Use this tip sheet and its companion, Considerations When Selecting a Condensing Economizer, to learn about these efficiency improvements or contact the team at Campbell-Sevey for help.

    A conventional feedwater economizer reduces steam boiler fuel requirements by transferring heat from the flue gas to the boiler feedwater. For natural gas-fired boilers, the lowest temperature to which flue gas can be cooled is about 250°F to prevent condensation and possible stack or stack liner corrosion.

    The condensing economizer improves waste heat recovery by cooling the flue gas below its dew point, which is about 135°F for products of combustion of natural gas. The economizer reclaims both sensible heat from the flue gas and latent heat by condensing flue gas water vapor (see Table 1). All hydrocarbon fuels release significant quantities of water vapor as a combustion byproduct. The equation below shows the reactants and combustion products for the stoichiometric combustion in air of methane (CH4), the primary constituent of natural gas. When one molecule of methane is burned, it produces two molecules of water vapor. When moles are converted to pound/mole, we find that every pound of methane fuel combusted produces 2.25 lb. of water vapor, which is about 12%of the total exhaust by weight.

    Since the higher heating value of methane is 23,861 Btu per pound (Btu/lb), 41.9 lb of methane is required to provide one million Btu (MMBtu) of energy, resulting in 94.3 lb of high temperature water vapor. The latent heat of vaporization of water under atmospheric pressure is 970.3 Btu/lb. When one MMBtu of methane is combusted, 91,495 Btu of water vapor heat of evaporation (94.3 lb x 970.3 Btu/lb )is released up the boiler stack. This latent heat represents approximately 9% of the initial fuel energy content. The bulk of this latent heat can be recovered by cooling the exhaust gas below its dew point using a direct contact or indirect condensing economizer. It is possible to heat water to about 200°F with an indirect economizer or 140°F with a direct contact economizer.

    Energy Savings Potential

    The available heat in a boiler’s exhaust gases is dependent upon the hydrogen content of the fuel, the fuel firing rate, the percent of excess oxygen in the flue gases, and the stack gas temperature.

    Consider a natural gas-fired boiler that produces 100,000 lb/hr of 100-psig saturated steam. At 83% efficiency, the boiler firing rate is about 116 MMBtu/hr. At its full firing rate, the boiler consumes over 4,860 lb of natural gas each hour while exhausting 10,938 lb of high temperature water vapor each hour. The water vapor in the flue gas contains over 10.6 MMBtu/hr of latent heat. As shown in Table 2, the total heat actually available for recovery is strongly dependent upon the stack gas temperature at the condensing economizer outlet.

    Assume that an indirect contact condensing economizer is retrofitted onto this 100,000 lb/hr steam boiler to heat 50% of the makeup water from 55°F to 200°F and flue gases are cooled to 100°F. At these conditions, 12.75MMBtu/hr of total energy is available in the exhaust, of which 7.55 MMBtu/hr will be recovered to heat makeup water in the condensing economizer. More energy could be recovered if additional heat sinks are available. 

    Given 8,000 hours per year of boiler operation, and a fuel cost of $8.00/MMBtu, the annual energy recovered is valued at:

    Annual Savings = 7.55MMBtu/hr x 8,000 hrs/yr x $8.00/MMBtu/0.83 = $582,170


    District Heating System

    A boiler plant that provides up to 500,000 lb/hr of steam for a district heating system installed a direct contact condensing economizer. This economizer saves up to 20 MMBtu/hr, depending on the boiler load. Since condensate is not returned from the district heating system, the recovered energy is used to preheat plant makeup water from 45°- 60°F up to 132°F, resulting in a steam system energy efficiency improvement of 6.3%.

    Food Processing Plant

    A food processing plant installed an indirect contact condensing economizer on a 20,000-lb/hr boiler. The condensing economizer reduced the flue gas temperature from 300°F to 120°F, while capturing 2.0 MMBtu/hr of sensible and latent heat. Energy recovered by the condensing economizer heated makeup water, reducing deaerator steam requirements from 5,000 lb/hr to 1,500 lb/hr.

    For additional information on economizers, refer to Steam Tip Sheet #3 Use Feedwater Economizers for Waste Heat Recovery. This tip is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. For suggested actions and resources, click to download the complete US Department of Energy Tip Sheet.  

  • Water Hammer Problem: Here Are The Top Solutions from the TRAP Magazine Challenge

    Condensed from Armstrong TRAP Magazine


     With the steam line pressure running from 125 lbs. to 150 lbs. there will always be sufficient differential for the traps to discharge to the return line. But this is not an ordinary condensate return line -- with the condensate temperature fairly close to the steam pressure in the return line. The return line is handling the discharge from condensate pumps which are assumed to be taking condensate from low pressure traps and boosting the pressure so that it will flow back to the boiler room. The return line, is therefore, probably running full of condensate at the temperature of anywhere from 180˚F to 210˚F. Very likely it will be a lot lower than the temperature of the flash and condensate from the drip trap. Under these conditions water hammer could be quite a problem.

    What do you think? If you agree that water hammer is likely, what do you suggest as an alterative hookup to the one shown in the accompanying sketch? Please give full reasons for your conclusions. The engineer that offers the best practical solution will receive an award post haste to compensate for their effort.


    Ninety-three percent of those replying said there would be water hammer. In fact, several engineers proved with calculations that flash steam would form in sufficient quantities when the high temperature trap discharge met the lower pressure to make water hammer almost inevitable. The TRAP Magazine judges agreed that under the conditions stated in the problem, water hammer would very probably occur, even though some readers reported that under somewhat similar conditions they had no problem.

    Suggested solutions fell into the following categories:

    1. Discharge the trap to atmosphere. This was eliminated as being unnecessarily wasteful. 

    2. Discharge the trap to a receiver. 

    3. Discharge the trap to a heat exchanger. 

    4. Discharge the trap to a flash tank.

    Solutions 2, 3, and 4, while perfectly valid means of avoiding water hammer, generally would be more expensive and complicated than the situation calls for.

    Again, it’s recognized that there are circumstances where any one of these solutions could be considered ideal, but the solution named as best must apply generally.

    5. External radiation. These included long drip legs ahead of the trap, long return lines from the trap, fin type radiation, tempering coils, etc. Such systems did not get the nod because of the needless expense, as well as the waste of heat.

    6. Ejectors. Solutions employing ejector ran a very close second to the winner.

    Reader T. Mackie, Head Plumber, Royal Alexandra Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba, exemplifies this school: “It is my belief there will be water hammer and to overcome this difficulty it would be my suggestion to install an ‘ejector’ such as Penberthy XL96” of the proper size and installed as illustrated in the accompanying sketch (Figure 2).

    “The high pressure discharge from the trap while passing through the ejector will pick up water from low pressure return and so will reduce the temperature of the high pressure discharge to nearer the low pressure temperature and in this way avoid water hammer.”

    The advantages of such a system are obvious. It is simple and inexpensive. It works. It wastes no heat.

    7. Special means of admitting the high pressure discharge into the 50 psi return header.


    This category contained the winner. W.F. Gundlack, C.E., Twin Cities Arsenal, Federal Cartridge Corporation, New Brighton, MN, came up with a hookup remarkable in its simplicity. Figure 3 demonstrates this. In the opinion of the TRAP Magazine judges, admitting the flash steam in the direction of the flow of the condensate in the manner shown will be sufficient to prevent water hammer. Mr. Gudlack also offered the installation of tempering coils (Figure 4) in conjunction with the curved nipple as an even surer cure for water hammer, but this should not be necessary in most cases. The award therefore goes to W.F. Gundlack on the basis of providing the simplest, most practical and proven solution. 


    J.M. Parish, Mechanical Engineer, Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, TX was close to the winning solution when he stated “...inject the trap discharge into the condensate line though a properly designed nozzle,” but did not include enough detail.

    A similar solution employing the same method of admitting the flash steam but using perforated piping (Figure 5) was advanced by readers, P.F. Krol, Cranford, NJ and J.M. Perish, Freeport, TX. In this system, flash steam is admitted more gradually and over a greater area, though still at right angles to the condensate flow, which may cause some turbulence.


    With the water hammer problem out of the way, several engineers went on to improve the general piping from that which was originally shown, particularly in consideration of the fact that this is an outdoor installation and freezing is a definite consideration.

    The TRAP Magazine presented an unmodified customer’s drawing and was criticized about some omissions. Figure 6 therefore rights this situation by revising the original to conform with the “American Standard Code for Pressure Piping”.

    1. Drip pocket.

    2. Shut off valve as close as possible to steam main and at high point on outdoor installation.

    3. For free blow to atmosphere also getting sediment out of dirt pockets.

    4. Permit shut off for trap inspection or removal; necessary if bypass is used, otherwise convenient.

    5. Strainer -- not necessary on larger Armstrong inverted bucket traps.

    6. Test valve -- optional.

    7. When valve (3) is opened for manual blowdown, there will be a pressure drop in the line to the trap which may cause trap prime to flash and make the trap lose its seal. Such traps should be protected by installing an Armstrong Internal Check Valve, (7) or by a swing check valve between the trap and valve.

    8. Pop Drain protects trap against freezing, automatically drains trap when the steam pressure is below 8-9 psi. Check valve (7) should not be used with pop drain, although strainer (5) with blow down valve is essential. Check valve (9) may also be omitted.

    9. This check valve prevents backflow into the trap.

    10. Permit shutoff for trap inspection or removal; necessary if bypass is used, otherwise convenient.

    11. Bypass valve

    12. Shutoff valve as close as possible to return header and at high point on outdoor installation. 

    One reader questioned the use of a bypass on an outdoor installation. Many would subscribe to omitting the bypass particularly when using Armstrong traps which seldom need attention. If a bypass is used, provision for draining it to prevent freezing is recommended.

  • Test Your Knowledge: Emergency Low Boiler Water Level

    You find the boiler water-level gauge glass to be empty and the burner firing. What is your course of action? (Assuming the gauge glass to be clear & good working order)

    A. Blow down the gauge glass to determine where the water level is

    B. Increase the feedwater supply to maintain the water level

    C. Start the emergency feedwater injector to restore normal water level

    D. Shut down the boiler to minimize damage to the boiler tubes

    And the answer is...

    Answer: D. Shut down the boiler
    Normally a boiler is provided with two independent sensors for emergency low water level burner cut-outs. So this would never happen. However, if it does, don't take any chances! Shut off the burners immediately!

    Before you start raising the level in the boiler you have to find out if any part of the furnace walls has been overheated. If you raise the level over a glowing steel-wall then the boiler might produce more steam than the safety valves can handle and a nasty explosion would be the result.

  • Where are Heat Exchangers Used in Industrial, Educational and HealthCare Steam Systems?

    Shell and tube heat exchangers or plate heat exchangers use a primary fluid such as steam to heat a process fluid. What many people don't know is that heat exchangers, like the Graham Heliflow Heat Exchanger, have many applications, even in difficult conditions.

    Graham created the Heliflow to be exceptionally versatile, yielding heat transfer rates that can be more than 40% better than typical shell and tube designs. The Heliflow Heat Exchanger encompasses a spiral coil, comprised of multiple parallel tubes mounted within a casing. The case/coil construction creates a spiral flow path providing true counterflow. 

    The many advantages of the unique Graham Heliflow make it an efficient heat exchanger for a wide range of applications; some of which include: 

    • Liquid-to-liquid
    • Cryogenic
    • High pressure
    • Clean steam generators
    • Blowdown
    • Natural gas heaters
    • Vent condensers
    • Mechanical seal coolers
    • Compressor inter/aftercoolers
    • Supercritical fluid
    • Feedwater preheaters
    • Lethal service
    • Steam or process fluid vaporizers
    • Boiler or process sample coolers
    • Hot water heaters
    • High temperature
    • Freeze condensers
    • Hydraulic/lube oil coolers


    The Graham Heliflow is ideally suited for applications that have a liquid-to-liquid service requiring a heat exchanger.

    When designing the exchanger, the "dirty" fluid should be on the shellside of the unit. The Heliflow makes shellside cleaning easy. Cleaning can be done in-place, without breaking shellside or tubeside pipe connections. The flow pattern is 100% countercurrent that maximizes the temperature differential and thermal efficiency.


    Graham has conducted extensive research and development in the area of cryogenic vaporizers. Our research and many years of proven experience in this area confirm that the Heliflow heat exchanger is excellent for cryogenic applications. The unique tube coil of the Heliflow can easily accommodate the large temperature differentials that are typical in cryogenic units.

    Heliflow Heat Exchangers often use cryogenic fluids as the cooling medium; alternately, Heliflows can be used to vaporize fluids, such as N2, O2, CO2, or other fluids. For information on this subject, refer to the Graham article titled Convective flow boiling in coiled tubes.

    High pressure

    High pressure applications are another way to utilize the Heliflow Heat Exchanger. The tubeside of the exchanger does not rely on gaskets for sealing, and can be designed to 15,000 psig. A key advantage that a Heliflow offers is that it has no flat sided pressure bearing surfaces that quickly become thick as design pressure increases.

    A Heliflow uses tubing and pipe to contain the tubeside's usually high operating pressure fluid.

    The shellside of the unit can be rated for pressures up to 5,000 psig.

    To read more on the subject, go to:  Heliflow High Pressure Applications.pdf

    Clean steam generators

    The Graham Heliflow meets the need for clean, chemical-free steam. This technology has been developed over the past 60 years to take advantage of the Heliflow coiled tube geometry. The stacked tube layout eliminates problems caused by thermal expansion and cycling. In addition, this design promotes nucleate boiling, resulting in superior heat transfer efficiency.

    The Graham Clean Steam Generator is designed to produce clean, chemical-free steam from clean feed water, using plant steam as the energy source.


    Boiler blowdown and process sample coolers are perfect applications for a Heliflow heat exchanger. The compact size of the Heliflow fits into tight spaces. Also, the Heliflow design can withstand the cyclic nature of blowdown service.

    Natural gas heaters

    When natural gas is passed through a pressure reducing station, it decreases in temperature. The compact Heliflow design is often used to increase the temperature of the natural gas.

    Vent condensers

    Heliflow Heat Exchanger technology is at the heart of Graham's vent condensers.

    Vent condensers are often used on storage tanks to reclaim products contained in the tank and control the harmful emissions that escape from the tank to atmosphere. During the day, the sun heats the fluid in the tank. The increase in the system's temperature will cause the vapors in the tank to expand and increase vaporization of the volatile components as their vapor pressures increase. By installing a vent condenser on the vessel, the condensable vapors are reclaimed and refluxed back into the storage tank.

    In addition to the venting caused by temperature changes, vapors are exhausted to atmosphere as the tank is filled. The vent condenser experiences the greatest thermal duty when the tank is being filled. The heat exchanger, therefore, should be sized based on the filling case.

    Graham has taken the lead in reducing VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions with our design of specialized vent condensers. These units often are used to recover valuable product and reduce the load on downstream pollution control equipment at the same time.

    Contact Campbell-Sevey

    To learn more about which heat exchanger is right for your situation, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey.

  • Are Your Energy Dollars Vaporizing Into Thin Air?

    E-Tech's custom-engineered Condensing Economizers capture your wasted revenue – and may be eligible for some government grants and rebates.

    During combustion of natural gas, water in the combustion air changes phase from liquid to gas. As a result, combustion products of natural gas typically contain 11% to 12% moisture, which represents up to 9% of beginning fuel content. With typical economizers, this energy escapes into the atmosphere with heated boiler gases. But a condensing economizer allows its recapture. 

    Using feedwater-cooled finned tubing, a condensing economizer cools exhaust gases below their dew point, releasing latent heat bound up in the vapor. The amount of recaptured heat is considerable — about 1,000 Btu per pound of condensate. The CO2 reduction is also significant: one cubic foot for each cubic foot of natural gas saved.

    E-Tech condensing economizers yield extremely high efficiencies — upward of 96%. Their vapor-condensing environment presents an ideal heat recovery solution for industries that use non-sulfur bearing fuels, whose acidic by-products can corrode most carbon and alloy materials.

    For more information, click to download this two page overview or contact the team at Campbell-Sevey.

  • How Webster Boiler Burners Reduce Energy Costs for Hospitals, Schools & Industrial Applications

    Engineers and plant managers in hospitals, schools and industrial facilities are constantly looking to drive down costs by improving energy efficiency in their steam boilers. Most run boilers constantly to produce steam and require high turndown and short payback on their equipment purchases.

    For new applications and retrofits alike, Campbell-Sevey suggests replacing conventional burners with high efficiency Webster boiler burners. They are low excess air burners that incorporate a unique high swirl firing head to achieve boiler horsepower ratings in the 200 to 2,200 HP range using less fuel and electricity than conventional burners. And the lower horsepower blower motors on JBE(X)’s models can result in significant total energy savings depending on the burner size and operating conditions.

    What's unique about Webster is that they combined their unique high swirl firing head technology with a more efficient in-line combustion air fan to provide superior mixing of the fuel and air, and lower motor horsepower requirements. 

    This combination allows the JBE series burners to operate with low excess air across a large operating range. Less excess air means high fuel efficiency, and high efficiency combined with high turndown means very low heat loss in your boiler that can result from cycling when a burner is stopping and starting. 

    The end result is that the new Webster JBE will provide fast payback and the best possible return on your burner investment.

    For more information on Webster boiler burner options, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey


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952-935-2345  address15350 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, MN 55345

Products We Carry

  • Hot Water Boilers
  • Watertube Steam Boilers
  • Firetube Steam Boilers
  • Deaerators
  • Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG’s)
  • Automatic Recirculation Valves
  • Economizers
  • Gas-Fired Water Heaters
  • Gas-Fired Humidifiers
  • Boiler/Generator Flue Stacks
  • Continuous Emissions Monitors (CEMS)
  • Pressure Reducing Valves
  • Safety and Relief Valves
  • Control Valves
  • Pressure Independent Control Valves
  • Expansion Joints, Guides, Anchors
  • Flash Tanks
  • Flow Meters
  • Balancing Valves
  • Check Valves
  • Separators
  • Pumps
  • Pressure Booster Systems
  • Piston Valves
  • Heating/Cooling Coils
  • Plate and Frame Heat Exchangers
  • Shell and Tube Exchangers
  • Water Heaters
  • Steam Humidifiers
  • Vacuum Systems
  • Condensers
  • Steam Traps
  • Wireless Steam Trap Monitors
  • Tube Bundles
  • Direct Gas-Fired Space Heaters
  • Direct Gas-Fired Make-Up Air Units
  • Unit Heaters
  • Strainers
  • Air Vents
  • Liquid Drainers
  • Heat Transfer Packages
  • Digital Water Mixing Valves
  • Air Cooled Condensers/Dry Coolers
  • Steam Filters
  • Electric Condensate Pumps
  • Steam/Air-Powered Condensate Pumps
  • Packaged Condensate Pump Skids