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  • Bad Practices Reveal Inefficient Valve Insulation Cover Jackets

    The purpose of installing insulation blankets is to prevent radiant heat loss and save energy. However the wrong blanket styles or poor installation can result in exposed surface areas and unnecessary heat loss. Check out these videos of bad practices we highly suggest avoiding. 

    For highly efficient blankets, Campbell-Sevey recommends Shannon Insultech Thermal Blankets. These blankets provide immediate energy savings, with the added benefits of quick installation, quick removal and quick reinstallation.

    A Unique Insulation System

    INSULTECH Thermal Blanket Systems are offered for the purpose of “Energy Savings” on steam valves and fittings. INSULTECH is a high quality insulation, custom fit to match Gate Valves, Pressure Reducing Valves, Flanges, Strainers, Steam Traps, Heat Exchanger Heads, Boiler Heads, PRV Stations, Condensate Pumps and similar equipment. This blanket system is CAD designed to match each and every fitting. They guarantee the fit and the blankets carry an 18 month warranty.

    Contact Campbell-Sevey to see how these custom fit blankets can reduce your energy costs and provide fast payback.



  • Steam Tip 25: Installing Turbulators on Firetube Boilers

    Consider Installing Turbulators on Two- and Three-Pass Firetube Boilers 

    Firetube Boilers 

    The packaged firetube boiler is the most common boiler design used to provide heating or process steam in industrial and heavy commercial applications. The American Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA) surveyed sales of high-pressure [15- to 350-pounds-per-square-inch-gauge (psig)] firetube and small watertube boilers between 1978 and 1994. ABMA found that firetube boilers comprised more than 85% of the sales of these boilers to industry. 

    Although firetube boilers are available in ratings up to 85,000 pounds of steam per hour (lb/hr), they are generally specified when the required steam pressure is under 150 psig and the boiler capacity is less than 25,000 lb/hr. Watertube boilers are designed for larger, high-pressure, and superheated steam applications. 

    In a firetube boiler, hot combustion gases pass through long, small-diameter tubes, where heat is transferred to water through the tube walls. Firetube boilers are categorized by their number of “passes,” or the number of times that the hot combustion gases travel across the boiler heat-exchange surfaces. For example, a two-pass boiler provides two opportunities for hot gases to transfer heat to the boiler water. Hot combustion gases enter the tubes in a turbulent flow regime, but within a few feet, laminar flow begins and a boundary layer of cooler gas forms along the tube walls. This layer serves as a barrier, retarding heat transfer. 

    Turbulators, which consist of small baffles, angular metal strips, spiral blades, or coiled wire, are inserted into the boiler tubes to break up the laminar boundary layer. This increases the turbulence of the hot combustion gases and the convective heat transfer to the tube surface. The result is improved boiler efficiency. Turbulators are usually installed on the last boiler pass. 

    Turbulator installers can also balance gas flow through the tubes by placing longer turbulators in the uppermost tubes. This practice increases the effectiveness of the available heat-transfer surface by eliminating thermal stratification and balancing the gas flow through the firetubes. 


    Turbulators can be a cost-effective way to reduce the stack temperature and increase the fuel-to-steam efficiency of single-pass horizontal return tubular (HRT) brick-set boilers and older two- and three-pass oil- and natural-gas-fueled firetube boilers. Turbulators are not recommended for four-pass boilers or coal-fired units. A four-pass unit provides four opportunities for heat transfer. It has more heat exchange surface area, a lower stack temperature, higher fuel-to-steam efficiency, and lower annual fuel costs than a two- or three-pass boiler operating under identical conditions. New firetube boilers perform better than older two- and three-pass designs. 

    Turbulators can also be installed to compensate for efficiency losses when a four-pass boiler is being converted to a two-pass boiler because of door warpage and loose and leaking tubes. 

    Turbulators are substitutes for more costly economizers or air-preheaters. They are simple, easy to install, and low cost. Their installed cost is about $10 to $15 per boiler tube. Current turbulator designs do not cause a significant increase in pressure drop or contribute to soot formation in natural-gas-fired boilers. Turbulators are held in place with a spring lock and are easily removed to allow for tube brushing. 

    Turbulators come in various lengths and widths and should be installed by a qualified installer. To avoid combustion problems, the boiler burner should be retuned after the turbulators have been installed. The installer must also verify that the stack temperature does not fall below the flue gas dew point. 

    Price and Performance Example 

    A manufacturing facility installed 150 turbulators into its firetube boiler. Tests conducted both before and after turbulator installation indicated a reduction in the stack gas temperature of 130°F. More combustion heat was being transferred into the boiler water. Because each 40°F reduction in the boiler flue gas temperature results in a 1% boiler-efficiency improvement, overall boiler efficiency has improved by about 3.25%. Fuel costs have decreased by approximately 4%. 


    Consider a two-pass firetube boiler that consumes 60,000 million Btu (MMBtu) of natural gas annually while producing 15,000 lb/hr of 100-psig saturated steam. What are the annual energy and cost savings, given that the installation of turbulators improves the boiler efficiency from 79% (E1) to 82% (E2)? Natural gas is priced at $8.00/MMBtu. 

    • Annual Energy Savings = Annual Fuel Consumption (MMBtu) x (1 – E1/E2) or 60,000 MMBtu x (1 – 79/82) = 2,195 MMBtu 
    • Annual Cost Savings = $8.00/MMBtu x 2,195 MMBtu/yr = $17,560 

    If the boiler has 250 tubes and the installed cost for the turbulator is $15 per tube, the simple payback on the investment in the energy efficiency measure is: 

    • Simple Payback = (250 tubes x $15/tube)/$17,560/year = 0.21 year 

    This tip is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and is adapted from material provided by Brock Turbulators and Fuel Efficiency, LLC, and reviewed by the AMO Steam Technical Subcommittee. For suggested actions and resources, click to download the complete US Department of Energy Tip Sheet.

  • What Type of Manufacturer Should You Use for Heating and Cooling Coils?

    In the HVAC Coil Manufacturing Industry there are primarily three types of manufacturers – OEM, Air Handler, and Custom. Which you use depends largely on your application and the reliability needed, but only one provides the perfect fit and capacity every time. 

    OEM Coil Manufacturers build coils specifically for equipment with larger production runs. Because of the large volume, production efficiency reduces overall costs so they are an ideal fit for manufacturing companies installing coils in their equipment.

    Air Handler Manufacturers typically design and build coils for their own equipment. In the event that they have extra capacity they will build coils for other companies, however their first priority is to their own manufacturing needs.

    Custom Coil Manufacturers are an ideal fit for many HVAC situations. The coils are custom built to nearly any type and capacity to fit your precise replacement or new design needs. We know that there are several custom coil manufacturers out there. Through Campbell-Sevey, our customers have access to both plate-fin HVAC and heavy-duty coil designs. 

    Modine is a top tier provider of custom-designed and built coils for the industrial and commercial heating, cooling, air conditioning, ventilation, and refrigeration markets. Their ability to offer heating and cooling coils for indoor comfort as well as building heat recovery for energy savings allows them to create the right coil solution for our customers' applications. They are also highly responsive in cases where quick manufacturing is needed. They can, and do, build custom coils in 48 hours when needed.

    Armstrong's heavy duty coil division is a great solution for industrial or power plant applications. Whether it's combustion air preheat for large boilers, high temperature product processes, or spray dryer applications where plate fin coils would experience inadequate discharge temperatures or premature failure, they have the proper materials and construction methods to build the heaviest duty coils on the market. They understand appropriate internal circuiting construction methods for steam coils to prevent freezing and water hammer that would lead to premature failure.

    At Campbell-Sevey, we also size inlet piping, strainers, control valves, steam traps (for steam heating), vacuum breakers, check valves, and outlet piping to operate properly together. We take responsibility for the whole package.

    Get the solution that best fits your needs

    At Campbell-Sevey, we work directly with you to determine your needs and provide solutions that best fit your requirements. To learn more contact the team at Campbell-Sevey.

  • How to Resolve Low Temperature Issues in Food Processing Sanitization

    Within the Food Processing Industry in the Midwest, there were numerous instances of companies requesting assistance in their wash down stations. These food plants include beef, pork and chicken processor companies where the processing areas must be sanitized using very hot water at 165 degrees F or higher. The stations might or might not use a nozzle delivering the water through a hose. 

    There are strict temperature regulations for the decontamination of processing areas within these applications. Often there are no reliable check valves installed around the mixing valve, which has been proven unreliable because it allows the cold water supply to enter the hot water supply system during periods of non-use. 

    During these non-use periods the water migrates, causing the hot side of the system to lose temperature. Migration over the weekends can really develop low temperature problems. When temperature is not correct the operators turn up the heat which puts them at risk for scalding. 



    Campbell-Sevey recommends the DFT model SCV Check Valve to meet safety needs and criteria. This is not a new application for the BSS model as they have been used in this application dating back to the 1950’s & 60’s. DFT has proven to be the valve that holds up for long periods of time and eliminates the hot to cold-water migration problem. 

    If you have have steam, air or hot water issues within your plant. Contact the steam at Campbell-Sevey. We are experts in full system applications and can help solve your most challenging issues. 

  • The New T-Shirts Are In! Pick Yours Up!!!

    We are Livin The Dream! 

    Campbell-Sevey's new "Livin' The Dream With Steam" t-shirts are hot off the press. So get yours now!

    These shirts are extremely comfortable, even during the heat of summer. 

    Stop by the office to pick up your FREE T-SHIRT in the size that is fit for just for you – 15350 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, MN.



  • Wondering Why Your Steam Piping Is Making That Funny Noise?

    Want to know why your condensate pump sounds like someone dropped a bag of marbles in it? 

    You know you need a vacuum breaker, but you don't really understand why?

    Need some training so you understand what’s really going on in your steam system? 

    C’mon over to Campbell-Sevey!  

    We talk all about all of these things in our engaging full day seminar. Campbell-Sevey's live steam training room, with glass bodied steam traps and glass piping, provides a rare inside look at how steam systems and traps really operate. 

    Plus, your boss is buying lunch since it’s included in the cost of the class. What could be better than a free lunch at Famous Dave’s? Click to learn more and register for our next session. 


  • The Impact of Tariffs on the Steam Industry

    With recent government announcements of tariff hikes on steel and aluminum imports, the impact on the steam, air, and water industry is expected to be significant. 

    Raw materials like steel and aluminum typically account for over 50% of costs associated with process equipment. With tariffs on imports increasing by 25%, we encourage our customers to budget an extra 10% - 25% for equipment to cover the added costs. 

    Already prices of raw materials have increased sharply since January 2018 as shown in the charts below:

    This will impact many of our vendors: Armstrong steel products, Johnston boilers, condensate pump packages, BFS deaerators, boiler stacks, flash tanks, and separators to name some of them.

    We encourage customers to order equipment early if possible, to minimize the impact the tariffs will have on their budgets. If you have questions regarding how this may impact your company, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey


  • Changing Refrigerant? You May Need to Change Cooling Coils Too

    Changing from R-22 to R-410A or some other refrigerant, means you need to change your cooling coil. 

    As of 2010, R-22 (often referred to as Freon®) was discontinued for use in new air conditioning systems. Because R-410A can absorb and release more heat than R-22, newer air conditioning compressors can run cooler, reducing the risk of compressor burnout due to overheating.

    However, because R-410A also functions at a higher pressure than R-22, if you were to put R-410A refrigerant into a system designed for R-22, the pressure would be too much and the unit would break. Therefore you the cooling coils need to be changed also. 

    Contact Campbell-Sevey where we can help resize the coils for you to best fit your needs.  


  • Test Your Knowledge: Recirculation Noise

    Noise created during steam recirculation noise can not only be annoying, but cause damage to steam systems. So what causes recirculation noise in a steam system?

    1. High differential pressure across orifice
    2. Insufficient back pressure downstream
    3. Improper sizing of baffle 
    4. Orifices discharging into tank below water line
    5. Too much back pressure cause by globe value

    And the answer is...

    Both 1 and 2!

    Recirculation noise is a result of high differential pressure across orifice which causes cavitation downstream (formation and consequent collapse of steam bubbles). It can also be caused by insufficient back pressure downstream. 

    If a circulator pump or hydronic heat piping contains unwanted air, cavitation in the pump due to the presence of the air can make a pump abnormally noisy as well as make a bubbling or gurgling sound in the building hot water heating pipes.

    The noise happens most commonly with pump duty point 150 psig and higher at shut-off. Recirculation noise typically isn't heard at lower pressure. A manifold sized to accommodate multiple recirculation flows can also cause it as it reduces back pressure when running less pumps. 

    The effect...

    • Recirculation cavitation creates loud reverberating popping noise similar to pump cavitation
    • May pit pipe wall and nearby fittings over time
    • Unhappy employees in boiler room
    • Recirculation flashing does NOT damage pump or affect pump performance


    When re-working a noisy installation there are three approaches you can take:

    Add a Globe Valve

    Add a glove valve on header to tank to introduce back pressure and inhibit flashing. 




    Add Second Orifice

    If the tank includes a single recirculation connection, requiring a recirculation manifold, consider adding a second orifice nipple downstream as space allows. Size each orifice to take half the drop.

    Install Individual Recirculation Lines 

    On the front end, install individual recirculation lines with orifices discharging into tank below the water line, letting the water be the baffle. This is the most mechanically "sound" solution.

    Eventually air leaking into a heating system (or low water volume in the hot water heating system) leads to loss of heat so it is something that should be corrected. For more information on which solution may work best to resolve your recirculation noise issue contact the team at Campbell-Sevey.

  • Selecting the Right Control Valve

    Control valve selection and installation is a vital process that can have a profound effect on the effectiveness of a fluid system.  Specifically, process conditions and how they impact the selection process are important to understand.

    To help identify some of the key factors and process conditions that affect the decision, DFT Valves has created a new eBook detailing a number of important details. In Selecting Control Valves, you will learn:

    • How the type of valve can influence the impact of certain process conditions
    • The relationship between flow rate and pressure and what this can mean for your system
    • How temperature and pressure directly impact the selection process
    • Tips to find the proper information needed in control valve selection

    To learn more about these and a number of other factors in the control valve selection process, download the ebook or 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