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Make the Most of Your Steam System With Our Steam Energy Conservation Seminar.


  • Steam Tip 17: Install Removable Insulation on Valves and Fittings

    During maintenance, the insulation that covers pipes, valves, and fittings is often damaged or removed and not replaced. Pipes, valves, and fittings that are not insulated can be safety hazards and sources of heat loss. Removable and reusable insulating pads are available to cover almost any surface. The pads are made of a noncombustible inside cover, insulation material, and a noncombustible outside cover that resists tears and abrasion. Material used in the pads resists oil and water and has been designed for temperatures up to 1,600°F. Wire laced through grommets or straps with buckles hold the pads in place. 


    Reusable insulating pads are commonly used in industrial facilities for insulating flanges, valves, expansion joints, heat exchangers, pumps, turbines, tanks, and other irregular surfaces. The pads are flexible and vibration-resistant and can be used with equipment that is horizontally or vertically mounted or that is difficult to access. Any high-temperature piping or equipment should be insulated to reduce heat loss, reduce emissions, and improve safety. As a general rule, any surface that reaches temperatures greater than 120°F should be insulated to protect personnel. Insulating pads can be easily removed for periodic inspection or maintenance, and replaced as needed. Insulating pads can also contain built-in acoustical barriers to help control noise. 

    Energy Savings 

    The table below summarizes energy savings due to the use of insulating valve covers for a range of valve sizes and operating temperatures. These values were calculated using a computer program that meets the requirements of ASTM C 680—Heat Loss and Surface Temperature Calculations. Energy savings is defined as the difference in heat loss between the uninsulated valve and the insulated valve operating at the same temperature. 


    Interpolating from the table above, calculate the annual fuel and dollar savings from installing a 1-inch thick insulating pad on an uninsulated 6-inch gate valve in a 250-pound-per-square-inch-gauge (psig) saturated steam line (406°F). Assume continuous operation with natural gas at a boiler efficiency of 80% and a fuel price of $8.00 per million Btu ($8.00/MMBtu). 


    • Annual Fuel Savings  
      • = 5,992 Btu/hr x 8,760 hr/yr/ (0.80 x 10Btu/MMBtu) 
      • = 65.6 MMBtu
    • Annual Dollar Savings 
      • = 65.6 MMBtu/yr x $8.00/MMBtu
      • = $525 per 6-inch gate valve


    Insulation supply companies are located regionally; this expedites delivery and helps meet site-specific job requirements. Most supply companies can take measurements on-site to ensure the best fit on irregular surfaces. For customized applications, manufacturers can provide instructions regarding the installation and removal of insulating pads. 

    Noise Control Benefits 

    Specify insulating pads that contain built-in barriers for noise control. 

    Insulation for Steam Traps 

    Effectively insulate inverted bucket traps with removable and reusable snap-on insulation. Thermostatic traps and disk traps should be insulated according to manufacturers’ specifications to ensure proper operation. 

    Before removal of all or any existing insulation material, check for asbestos in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

    Campbell-Sevey recommends Insultech Thermal Blankets which are custom fit to your exact equipment. Check out our story and video on Thermal Blankets Provide Immediate Energy Savings to learn more.

    This tip is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and originally published by the Industrial Energy Extension Service of Georgia Tech. For suggested actions and resources, click to download the complete US Department of Energy Tip Sheet. 

  • Increase Hydronic Piping System Performance with Aar-O-Vent Air/Dirt Eliminator

    The Aar-O-Vent® high performance air and dirt separator is a product we highly recommend as a way to increase performance and protect against corrosion in hydronic systems. 

    Heating/cooling system efficiency and component life is greatly dependent on water quality. Air and dirt particles can cause pump cavitation, corrosion and increased component wear. In a closed loop system, the Aar-O-Vent eliminates air bubbles, entrained air and dirt particles quickly and easily.

    Each Aar-O-Vent model uses a patented stainless steel coalescing filter medium that eliminates virtually any dirt particles, air bubbles and/or entrained air from the water by means of an air eliminator or blowdown valve. 

    How Air Elimination Works in the Aar-O-Vent

    • Large air bubbles in the system water enter the Aar-O-Vent and collide with the coalescing medium. They quickly rise to the top of the vessel and into the air elimination device.
    • Micro bubbles coalesce and form larger bubbles. The larger bubbles then rise to the top of the vessel and into the air elimination device.
    • Entrained air is pulled out of solution and forms micro bubbles. The micro bubbles coalesce forming larger bubbles. The larger bubbles rise to the top of the vessel and into the air elimination device.
    • As air bubbles collect at the top of the vessel they create an air pocket. This pocket of air pushes the water level down inside the vessel. As the water level drops, the float inside of the air elimination device also drops releasing the air to atmosphere.
    • The air elimination device releases air as fast as it can be separated. It will not allow air back into the system, even if a vacuum occurs.
    • Once the air has been released, the water level will rise inside the vessel. This causes the float to rise and close the air elimination device. 
    • This cycle will continue as new water is introduced into the system piping. With each pass of system water the Aar-O-Vent will eventually eliminate up to 99.7% of dissolved oxygen content in the system piping.

    How Dirt is Eliminated in the Aar-O-Vent

    • Dirt particles in the system water enter the Aar-O-Vent and collide with the coalescing medium.
    • The coalescing medium creates an area of less turbulence allowing the dirt particles to fall out of the flow path and to the bottom of the vessel.
    • Dirt particles will continue to collect at the bottom of the vessel until they are flushed out through the blow down valve.
    • Floating debris can be flushed out by opening the skim valve located on the top of the vessel.
    • Should the need to clean the coalescing medium arise, the removable head provides ease of removal and cleaning.

    The Aar-O-Vent’s simple design allows for minimal maintenance. There are no moving parts other than the air elimination device itself. The stainless steel construction provides durability and long service life. Other features include a gauge tap on the inlet and outlet connections, a removable bottom cover for cleaning the coalescing medium and a blow down valve for flushing collected sediment. Available sizes for the separator range from 1.5" to 24" or larger. 

    Click to learn more about the HVR and SVR Aar-O-Vent series or contact the team at Campbell-Sevey to see how the Aar-O-Vent could improve the performance of your system.

  • CS Insight: Tami Smits – From a Driven Dead Head to Raising Kids With Drive

    If you’ve ever been to Campbell-Sevey’s offices chances are you’ve seen Tami. As an Admin Assistant for the past 10 years, she’s been handling many of our administrative and accounting tasks. But that’s just what she handles while she’s here. Tami handles a whole lot more in her life beyond our doors.

    Swimming, Sailing and a Long-Time Connection to Campbell-Sevey

    The summer before Tami entered 5th grade, her mother Joyce married Bob Sevey and worked with him at Campbell-Sevey for over 30 years. Bob was a competitive sailor and introduced Tami to the sport.

    “I grew up swimming and sailing competitively.” Tami said. “I spent my weekends either at swim meets or sailing regattas.” Tami was one of the first 7th graders to earn a letter at Minnetonka High School after she was asked to be on the varsity swim team. While she did really well, by 10th grade she suffered from “Burn Out Syndrome”. During that time, however, she still enjoyed sailing.

    Grateful Dead Hippie

    Once Tami headed off to college her interest turned to attending music concerts. She attended over 50 live Grateful Dead shows when Jerry Garcia was alive, in locations like Las Vegas, California, Chicago, Indiana, Milwaukee and so on.

    “I wasn’t a typical Dead Head that followed the band on tour for an entire summer. I picked various spots and flew or drove to see them with friends about 3 times a year.” Tami said. “I also spent a lot of time seeing local hippie type music. That is how I met my husband Michael about 25 years ago.”

    Family Life with Teenagers

    Tami and Michael live in Excelsior and have two active teenage boys: Tanner, 16, and Wyatt, who turns 15 in December. Both boys played youth football and baseball growing up.

    Tanner, a Junior at Minnetonka High School, spends a portion of each day participating in the VANTAGE program. His area of study is Digital Journalism, where he’s gaining experience in writing and delivering copy for radio and television, while developing critical thinking skills.

    “They are learning the entire broadcast journalism production cycle from pre-production through storytelling, concepting, storyboarding, scripting, treatments and pitches to final production and editing.” said Tami. She added, “This is great because Tanner is the biggest sports fan I know and he would be great as a sportscaster or sports columnist. He can recite stats of almost any college or pro football player and is currently undefeated in his Dad’s Fantasy Football League.” Tanner also enjoys rec basketball and hanging with friends.

    Wyatt, a Freshman at Minnetonka High School, started playing hockey as a kindergartner and has really excelled as he’s grown. During the Summer of 2016, he starting training privately with fellow Campbell-Sevey employee Adam Talatinick, a former goalie that played Juniors and College Hockey. Adam has done extensive coaching for South St. Paul and Hopkins and was excited to coach Wyatt.

    “The lessons from Adam where game changers for Wyatt. His game improved dramatically, as did his drive and determination to be one of the top players in his age group.” Said Tami.

    Last season Wyatt was one of four skaters in his age group to make the Minnetonka Bantam A team and this Fall he landed a spot on Minnetonka’s top Bantam Hockey team, the AA Team.

    “He spent countless hours training over this past summer. He learned that hard work pays off.”

    The Rewards of Being a “Hockey Mom” 

    “I guess you could say I am a Hockey Mom. I spend countless hours in the car as Wyatt trains. We are at the rink at 6am once or twice a week for private skating lessons. I always tell him that ‘great athletes are born in the AM’, and then he practices nearly daily with his team.” While Tami grew up in a competitive household, she admires Wyatt’s additional determination and drive beyond what she had. “I admire his work ethic and accomplishments. We love watching him play.”

    But what’s most important to Tami are the lessons both boys are learning. “The key to all of this is the excellent life skills they learn from being coached, working hard and being driven. No matter what happens, we know the life skills they learn will take them far in life. I’m excited to see what the future holds for both of them.”

    Other Interests

    Currently Tami’s social life revolves around hockey games as she spends most of her vacation time at tournaments and most of her money on new hockey sticks ($300 a stick). Still what interests her most is spending time with family, binge watching Netflix series, reading her kindle and volunteering her admin skills to various sports organizations within the community. As for the time she spends at work, “I love being part of the Campbell-Sevey family.” 


  • Test Your Knowledge: Boiling Point of Water Above Sea Level

    What is the boiling point of water at 2000 feet above sea level?

    1. 218º - The higher the elevation the more heat it takes (3º for every 1000')
    2. 214ºF - It takes a little more heat (1º for every 1000')
    3. 212ºF - The boiling point is the same no matter what the elevation is
    4. 208ºF - It takes less heat the higher you go (-2º for every 1000')
    5. 182ºF - Elevation plays a big difference in boiling point (-15º for every 1000')

    And the answer is...

    208ºF – The boiling point of water decreases 1º Fahrenheit per 500’ above sea level, therefore at 2000' the boiling point would be 208ºF. However, if you live in Denver the boiling point drops to 202ºF. In La Rinconada, Peru, the highest permanent settlement in the world, you can boil water at 183ºF. Or if have the mad desire to boil some eggs at the top of Mount Everest you can get it done as soon as the water hits 162ºF.

  • Why CTE Technology Is So Efficient

    Developed from direct contact water heating science, which was first introduced more than two decades ago, Complete Thermal Exchange (CTE) technology has revolutionized high efficiency water heating methods, rapidly become the new standard in water heating and energy savings.

    While traditional direct contact water heating can offer significant energy savings when compared to a conventional steam boiler system, the Armstrong Flo-Direct® CTE gas fired water heater offers an unparalled 99.7% high heat value (110% approx. low heat value) efficiency rating throughout each phase of its operation cycle.

    The sustained operational efficiency of Flo-Direct® CTE gas fired water heaters creates the most energy efficient method of hot water production currently available.

    Cost Savings of a 7,000,000 B.T.U. CTE Water Heater over Boilers with Heat Exchangers

    • Natural Gas cost per 1,000 cubic feet $9.00 p/1,000 cu.ft
    • Hours per day continuous usage 10 hours
    • Days of operation per year 350 days
    • Gallons per minute average usage 112 gallons/min.
    • Temperature of heated water 180 F. output
    • Temperature of incoming water 55 F. input
    • Temperature change (degrees delta) 125 F. change
      • Boiler efficiency 82%
      • System efficiency 90%
      • Resulting Boiler/System efficiency 74% (when new)
      • CTE Heater Efficiency 99.7%

    Advantage of CTE Water Heaters

    The Flo-Direct® CTE direct contact water heaters, meet five standards not available with the older or more traditional methods of direct contact water heater technology:

    1. Same Efficiency Thoughout Operation - CTE units maintain a minimum of 99.7% high heat value (110% approx. low heat value) efficiency in all modes of operation, not just under optimal conditions.
    2. CTE Units Have Multiple Thermal Passes - Water and the combustion gasses (or heat from the combustion) repeatedly come in contact. This ensures that the maximum amount of heat or energy from combustion is transferred to the water.
    3. Lower Maintenance (No Scale Build Up) – The Flo-Direct® CTE gas fired water heater’s unique design prevents scale build-up because there are no “hot spots” internally or externally, and because calcium is prevented from completely falling out of suspension during operation. As a result, the mineral content of the influent water and the effluent water will be equal.
    4. Less CO2 Emissions – Many traditional-method direct contact water heaters spray water directly on the flame – called “flame quenching”. Flame quenching promotes incomplete combustion, and produces alcohols, aldehyde, formic acid, higher order acids, carbon monoxide, as well as carbon dioxide and water vapor. Flo-Direct®, using CTE technology, avoids this process altogether.
    5. Maintains Higher Water Quality – CTE units have an integral water quality integrity system to ensure that effluent water quality is equal to the influent water quality.

    With unparalled 99.7% high heat value efficiency rating throughout each phase of its operation cycle, it’s no wonder CTE gas fired water heaters have become the new standard. To see the impact a CTE water heater could have on your system, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey.

  • Steam Tip 16: Minimize Boiler Short Cycling Losses

    Boiler “short cycling” occurs when an oversized boiler quickly satisfies process or space heating demands, and then shuts down until heat is again required. Process heating demands can change over time. Boilers may have been oversized for additions or expansions that never occurred. Installing energy conservation or heat recovery measures may also reduce the heat demand. As a result, a facility may have multiple boilers, each rated at several times the maximum expected load. 

    Boilers used for space heating loads are often oversized, with their capacity chosen to meet total building heat losses plus heating of ventilation and infiltration air under extreme or design-basis temperature conditions. No credit is taken for thermal contributions from lights, equipment, or people. Excess capacity is also added to bring a facility to required settings quickly after a night setback. 

    Cycling Losses 

    A boiler cycle consists of a firing interval, a post-purge, an idle period, a pre-purge, and a return to firing. Boiler efficiency is the useful heat provided by the boiler divided by the energy input (useful heat plus losses) over the cycle duration. This efficiency decreases when short cycling occurs or when multiple boilers are operated at low firing rates. 

    This decrease in efficiency occurs, in part, because fixed losses are magnified under lightly loaded conditions. For example, if the radiation loss from the boiler enclosure is 1% of the total heat input at full-load, at half-load the losses increase to 2%, while at one-quarter load the loss is 4%. In addition to radiation losses, pre-and post-purge losses occur. In the pre-purge, the fan operates to force air through the boiler to flush out any combustible gas mixture that may have accumulated. The post-purge performs a similar function. During purging, heat is removed from the boiler as the purged air is heated. 


    A 1,500 horsepower (hp) (1 hp = 33,475 Btu/hr) boiler with a cycle efficiency of 72.7% (E1) is replaced with a 600 hp boiler with a cycle efficiency of 78.8% (E2). Calculate the annual cost savings. 

    Fractional Fuel Savings = 

    (1 – E1/E2) 

    (1 – 72.7/78.8) x 100 


    Multiple Boiler Operations 

    The most efficient boilers should be brought on-line as loads increase, with less-efficient units taken off-line first as loads drop. Subject to emissions, operations, or firing rate limits, shift loads from a boiler where steam production is expensive to one where it is less expensive. 

    Use automatic controllers that determine the incremental costs (change in steam cost/change in load) for each boiler in the facility, and then shift loads accordingly. This maximizes efficiency and reduces energy costs. If possible, schedule loads to help optimize boiler system performance. Powerhouses containing multiple boilers that are simultaneously operated at low-fire conditions offer energy-saving opportunities for using proper boiler allocation strategies. 

    Boiler Downsizing 

    Fuel savings can be achieved by adding a smaller boiler sized to meet average loads at your facility, or by re-engineering the power plant to consist of multiple small boilers. Multiple small boilers offer reliability and flexibility to operators to follow load swings without over-firing and short cycling. Facilities with large seasonal variations in steam use operate small boilers when demand drops rather than operating their large boilers year-round. 

    This tip is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and originally published by the Industrial Energy Extension Service of Georgia Tech. For suggested actions and resources, click to download the complete US Department of Energy Tip Sheet. 


  • Installing Hot Water Booster Coils

    The purpose of Booster coils is to “boost” heat to a space. The coil heats or reheats the air using hot water anywhere from 140˚ F - 200˚ F. For many applications they can be an ideal solution because they produce high capacity with limited water quantity. 

    How did the term “booster” originate?  

    Most heating coil applications have a main heating coil that takes air from the lowest entering air temperature to an intermediate air temperature. Since the temperature in one individual space may vary from another due to sun exposure or other factors, a duct mounted booster coil allows for individual control to "boost" the heat in their space.  

    Typical booster coil design

    Typically booster coils are a 1 or 2 row coil that achieves high performance by increasing water velocity obtained by the way they are circuited. Most ducts are sized for 800 to 1200 feet per minute (FPM) face velocity. This is about 9 - 13 miles per hour (MPH) and gives you an idea of the speed of air as it moves through the air duct.  

    Booster coils usually need to be sized between 500 to 750 FPM and require a “duct transition” in order to have the air slowed down to go through this larger face area coil. This is necessary to eliminate the risk of drastically increasing the working brake horsepower to produce the required volume of air.

    Specific requirements needed to calculate a coil:

    1. The maximum height and length of the coil This is needed to determine which way a coil that is above a ceiling or in-between joists can be expand to keep the air velocity at a reasonable speed.
    2. Required CFM volume of air
    3. Entering air temperature and either desired leaving air temperature or desired BTUH load required
    4. Entering water temperature and either desired leaving water temperature or desired GPM water volume – There’s a lot of difference between a coil selection at 180˚ F entering water and 140˚ F entering water temperature. There’s also a large difference when the leaving water is based on a 20 or 40 degree temperature difference (Example: 180˚ F in and 160˚ F out vs. 180˚ F in and 140˚ F out).
    5. Required maximum air resistance (inches of water)
    6. Required maximum water resistance (feet of water)
    7. Flange or slip and drive type mounting
    8. Coil construction – This will include fin thickness if you want to wash and clean coils and whether you want brazed copper sweat connections or threaded MPT connections.

    Special booster coil situations

    Occasionally a special situation may arise regarding a booster coil. Here are some typical situations you may encounter and how to alleviate problems.

    • Low water flow – This can happen on many coils under 500 CFM, because the calculated water volume (GPM) is so low that the coil actually develops “laminar flow” – flow of water so low that it destroys heat transfer. This problem can reduce a coil capacity by 75 to 80 percent.  Simply use a smaller diameter tube and the water velocity can usually be raised above 1 FPS.
    • Air stratification – A coil’s efficiency is based on using the entire effective area of the coil, however unequal air flow can be created when entering air is too close to a fan or a bend in the ductwork. To reduce stratification a baffle or turning vanes may be required so the coil can receive air properly across the effective area.
    • Lack of access – Dirty coils reduce heat transfer and increase resistance and operating expenses, yet many hot water coils are mounted in ducts so tightly that there is no access to the fins and tube surface. Simply provide access through a hand hole door to clean the coil at least every 4 to 5 years.  

     Contact Campbell-Sevey

    Usually, a booster coil will not match up to the corresponding duct-work size. Air velocities through the duct-work are almost always higher than allowable coil face velocities, therefore transition needs to be done. Contact Campbell-Sevey if you have questions on how best to transition the duct-work to get to the coil.

  • Quick Guide to Armstrong Meters

    Armstrong makes a wide variety of flow meters to meet the needs of nearly any application, but which one is right for your specific needs? 

    Here's a quick guide that covers key aspects to consider such as:

    • Line Size
    • Permanent Pressure Loss
    • Accuracy of Flow Coefficient
    • Required Straight Run of Piping
    • Rangability
    • What Fluid/Gas is Being Metered

    Click to download a pdf of the Armstrong Meter Guide. Then contact the team at Campbell-Sevey with any questions you have to ensure it's the best option for you. 

  • Test Your Knowledge: What is the Total Cost of Steam?

    In the following pie chart, which of the following two are responsible for the highest expense and the least expense when it comes to generating steam?

    1. Fuel (highest) and Depreciation (least)
    2. Direct Compensation (highest) and Property Tax (least)
    3. Electricity (highest) and Environmental Waste Control (least)
    4. Fuel (highest) and Water (least)
    5. Repairs/Improvements (highest) and Supplies (least)

    And the answer is...

    4. Fuel and Water

    Fuel is the most expensive part of producing steam, making up 44.88% of the total costs. That's why steam efficiency can make such a dramatic impact on costs. On the other end, water is the least expensive part of producing steam. 

  • Campbell-Sevey's 80th Anniversary Celebration - What a Great Time!

    Thank you to everyone who attended our 80th Anniversary Customer Appreciation Celebration on September 8th. It was incredible to see so many of the people we've gotten to know so well over the years in one place. 

    It was 1937 when Campbell-Sevey originated our company as the Hoyt A. Sevey Company. 80 years later we are still going strong thanks to the great companies and products we represent and the great customers who trust us to serve them well.

    Thank you to everyone for helping us celebrate our 80th Anniversary in style!

    Click to see the special photo gallery we created featuring over 150 photos of all the smiling faces. 


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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