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  • Steam Trap Surveys? But It's Hot Outside!

    So who thinks about doing steam trap surveys in the summer?

    By now you know leaking steam traps can cost as much as $300 - $3000 per trap in energy losses and that steam trap surveys can significantly increase plant efficiency, but what you may not realize is that now is the time to get them done. 

    The entire process from steam trap survey to installation takes time. The complete process includes:

    • Schedule the survey
    • Enter data
    • Generate reports
    • Present data
    • Secure and release funding
    • Purchase parts/traps
    • Installation

    Because of these steps involved, now is the time to started so they can completed by heating season. So kick off summer by contacting Campbell-Sevey to schedule your steam trap survey today.  

  • The Space Savings Benefits of GRZ Grease Ducts

    Van-Packer's Model GRZ is suitable for the removal of smoke and grease laden vapors from commercial, industrial, institutional, and similar cooking applications. 


    THE Model GRZ fire rated, zero clearance grease duct saves space. The ducts are commonly smaller and allow multiple ducts to be run in a common shaft with minimal clearance space. It can also be installed with no shaft requirements, because the Model GRZ in itself is considered a fire rated enclosure when fire stops are used at the floor openings. 

    When fire rated duct penetrates a fire rated partition (floor, ceiling or wall), other manufacturer’s instructions require that the duct be centered in a precisely sized hole. The GRZ fire stop penetration design allows the space between the outside surface of the duct and the inside of the hole to vary from 1” to 4”. GRZ grease ducts provide for a more flexible application, reducing labor cost, and exceeding UL 2221 standards. 

    UL 1978 TESTED

    According to the NFPA, cooking equipment is responsible for 57% of restaurant fires – which causes fires in the grease duct.

    All Van-Packer grease duct products are tested, listed and labeled to UL 1978, Standard for Grease Duct. In addition, Models GZ and GRZ grease ducts are tested, listed and labeled to UL 2221, Tests of Fire Resistive Grease Duct Enclosure Assemblies. The requirements of these standards far exceed conditions encountered in the real world. 


    In many circumstances, wrapped, welded, carbon steel duct, may sag and deform during a grease fire due to the intense heat that is produced in a grease fire. A wrapped duct often has no reinforcement when built, so in a fire can collapse, as shown in the photo. Van-Packer's unique integral design keeps their duct Model GRZ from collapsing, even when exposed to temperatures of 2000 Degrees. Under ETL’s rigorous testing, it was rare for the duct to even slightly deform, and far exceeded UL 2221 acceptance criteria. 


    Campbell-Sevey is proud to carry Van Packer's Model GRZ because we are confident that a grease duct system designed and installed with it will be safe and in service for many years to come. To learn more click to download the Model GRZ spec sheet or contact the team at Campbell-Sevey.  


  • Steam Tip 24: Upgrade Boilers with Energy Efficient Burners

    The purpose of the burner is to mix molecules of fuel with molecules of air. A boiler will run only as well as the burner performs. A poorly designed boiler with an efficient burner may perform better than a well-designed boiler with a poor burner. Burners are designed to maximize combustion efficiency while minimizing the release of emissions. 

    A power burner mechanically mixes fuel and combustion air and injects the mixture into the combustion chamber. All power burners essentially provide complete combustion while maintaining flame stabilization over a range of firing rates. Different burners, however, require different amounts of excess air and have different turndown ratios. The turndown ratio is the maximum inlet fuel or firing rate divided by the minimum firing rate. 

    An efficient natural gas burner requires only 2% to 3% excess oxygen, or 10% to 15% excess air in the flue gas, to burn fuel without forming excessive carbon monoxide. Most gas burners exhibit turndown ratios of 10:1 or 12:1 with little or no loss in combustion efficiency. Some burners offer turndowns of 20:1 on oil and up to 35:1 on gas. A higher turndown ratio reduces burner starts, provides better load control, saves wear and tear on the burner, reduces refractory wear, reduces purge-air requirements, and provides fuel savings. 

    Efficient Burner Technologies 

    An efficient burner provides the proper air-to-fuel mixture throughout the full range of firing rates, without constant adjustment. Many burners with complex linkage designs do not hold their air-to-fuel settings over time. Often, they are adjusted to provide high levels of excess air to compensate for inconsistencies in the burner performance. 

    An alternative to complex linkage designs, modern burners are increasingly using servomotors with parallel positioning to independently control the quantities of fuel and air delivered to the burner head. Controls without linkage allow for easy tune-ups and minor adjustments, while eliminating hysteresis, or lack of retraceability, and provide accurate point-to-point control. These controls provide consistent performance and repeatability as the burner adjusts to different firing rates. 

    Alternatives to electronic controls are burners with a single drive or jackshaft. Avoid purchasing standard burners that make use of linkages to provide single-point or proportional control. Linkage joints wear and rod-set screws can loosen, allowing slippage, the provision of suboptimal air-to-fuel ratios, and efficiency declines. 


    Consider purchasing a new energy-efficient burner if your existing burner is cycling on and off rapidly. Rotary-cup oil burners that have been converted to use natural gas are often inefficient. Determining the potential energy saved by replacing your existing burner with an energy-efficient burner requires several steps. First, complete recommended burner-maintenance requirements and tune your boiler. Conduct combustion-efficiency tests at full- and part-load firing rates. Then, compare the measured efficiency values with the performance of the new burner. Most manufacturers will provide guaranteed excess levels of oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide. 


    Even a small improvement in burner efficiency can provide significant savings. Consider a 50,000 pound-per-hour process boiler with a combustion efficiency of 79% (E1). The boiler annually consumes 500,000 million Btu (MMBtu) of natural gas. At a price of $8.00/MMBtu, the annual fuel cost is $4 million. What are the savings from an energy-efficient burner that improves combustion efficiency by 1%, 2%, or 3%? 

    Cost Savings = Fuel Consumption x Fuel Price x (1 - E1/E2) 

    If the installed cost is $75,000 for a new burner that provides an efficiency improvement of 2%, the simple payback on investment is: 

    Simple Payback = $75,000/$98,760/year = 0.76 year 

    Maintenance Requirements 

    Conduct burner maintenance at regular intervals. Wear on the firing head, diffuser, or igniter can result in air leakage or failure of the boiler to start. One burner distributor recommends maintenance four times per year, with the change of seasons. A change in weather results in a change in combustion. 

    Fan Selection 

    Fan selection is also important. Backward-curved fans provide more reliable air control than forward-curved fans. Radial-damper designs tend to provide more repeatable air control at lower firing rates than blade-type damper assemblies. 

    Steam Tip Information is adapted from material supplied by PBBS Equipment Corp. and Blesi-Evans Company and reviewed by the AMO Steam Technical Subcommittee. For additional information, 

    This tip is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and is adapted from material supplied by PBBS Equipment Corp. and Blesi-Evans Company and reviewed by the AMO Steam Technical Subcommittee. For suggested actions and resources, click to download the complete US Department of Energy Tip Sheet.  


  • QMax Expands Products and Services

    QMax has expanded their products and services to include QMax CST, their carbon steel tracing product used for hot oil tracing, and in-house fabrication capabilities. 

    QMax CST (Carbon Steel Tracing)

    QMax CST is SA178 Gr A boiler tubing formed to a 1” x 2.25” rectangle and contoured on one side to match the outside diameter of the process pipe. Specifically designed for long-run hot oil tracing, it can be pre-fabricated to customer specializations / drawings or it can be provided as parts and pieces to be fabricated in the field.  

    The QMax CST offers consistent results whether the goal is:

    • Process Temperature Maintenance
    • Minimum Pipe Wall Temperature Maintenance
    • Light-duty Process Heat-Up
    • Critical Process Freeze Protection

    The profile of QMax CST is customized to each individual pipe size to ensure optimum results for each application. They also provide process pipe fabrication so that the QMax CST can be pre-installed on the pipe saving time and money on capital projects. 

    QFX Fabricated Jackets

    QMax jackets are designed to create a "heat shield" effect around components such as flanges, nozzles, valves, pumps, meters, strainers and more, to eliminate freezing and cold spots around the equipment. These jackets are custom-made from carbon or stainless steel to fit process equipment and can be fabricated as bolt-on or weld-on. 

    QMax FX Bolt-On - These fabricated jackets are offered for most process piping equipment including fittings, valves, pumps, meters and strainers. These jackets are all custom fabricated and made to order but can be produced very quickly. Carbon steel is the standard jacket material, but other materials are available such as stainless steel, titanium and other exotic metals. The QFX jackets have a large heating chamber which provides efficient temperature control over the total surface of the equipment.

    QMax FX Weld-On - These fabricated jackets are offered for equipment such as fittings, valves and strainers. The jackets are custom fabricated and are welded directly to the process equipment. Like the Bolt-on option, various metals may be used. 

    QMax FX Technical Specifications:

    • Jacket Material: made to order 
    • Maximum Temperature: 900 F 
    • Standard Rating: 150 psig at 600 F (call for higher ratings)
    • Standard Connection Type: 1/2 inch FNPT (Many other connection types available)

    For more information on all QMax products to determine the best solutions for your applications, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey.

  • What Causes Condensate Carryover on Cooling Coils?

    Condensate carryover happens when dehumidification takes place on chilled water or DX coils. Typically drain pans are placed under air cooling coils to take care of any water that is generated when cooling air below its dew point. But there are situations when water is carried past the drain pan, which can be an issue when you have it running down duct work. The amount and distance of water carryover is influenced by the following: 

    • Sometimes localized or general air velocity across a coil exceeds 500 ft./minute. This is usually the result of bad design and will almost always cause a problem.
    • Outside air usually carries a lot more moisture than re-circulated air. Some areas, like the Gulf states, need larger and wider drain pans just to handle normal conditions. However, that can be the case even during high humidity months in Minnesota as well.
    • Multiple coils in a bank stacked 3 or 4 high. These systems often require intermediate drain pans under each coil since carryover at the top of the bank would travel a long distance.
    • New coils have less air resistance than older, dirty coils so face velocity is higher and this can increase the possibility for carryover. When installing new coils one sometimes has to you rebalance fan drives to maintain proper air velocities.

    The most important design attribute for preventing condensate carryover is ensuring that air velocities don't exceed 500 feet/minute across the face area of any cooling coil. 

    If you want more tips on coils, steam system maintenance, or how to maximize energy efficiency, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey.  


  • Are Your Steam Costs Rising? Time to Check Your Steam Traps

    It takes a lot of money and energy to generate steam, so it makes sense to operate your steam system as efficiently as possible. A good place to start is to make sure your steam traps are in good operating condition. 

    Steam traps are a common and important part of every industrial facility that generates steam. As such, it is essential for plant managers to get the most out of their steam traps and optimize a plant’s productivity. As this chart by NC State University shows, even one leaking steam trap can result in significant steam and revenue loss:

    As you can see, a single steam trap with a hole even the size of a BB can cost thousands of dollars in steam loss. When multiplied over numerous traps and an industry-wide average of 5-20% leaking at any time, the losses can be very high, on the order of $60,000 annually for each 100 steam traps in a building/system. For instance, In 1998 DuPont saved $1 million a year at one New Jersey facility simply by testing and repairing defective steam traps. 

    The Main Functions of Steam Traps

    The three main functions of a steam trap are to remove condensate as soon as it forms, to prevent live steam loss and to remove air from the system. These are accomplished by venting gases, discharging condensate and trapping live steam. By doing this, steam traps prevent plants from wasting energy and losing efficiency. Plant managers should conduct annual steam trap surveys which can accomplish a variety of goals:

    • Improve efficiency: Built-up condensate or air and other non-condensible gasses can slow start up and reduce process efficiency on heat exchange devices. 
    • Reduce safety risk: Backed up condensate from steam traps that fail closed can cause catastrophic failure of steam line equipment.
    • Increase energy savings: Every leak detected and fixed directly reduces steam loss and increases energy savings. 
    • Reduce the impact of trap failure: By proactively testing steam traps, plant managers can detect trap failures quickly and minimize any loss.
    • Detect larger issues: If steam traps regularly fail in an area it may be caused by other equipment issues such as poor piping layout, or other failed components.
    • Prevent downtime: By proactively surveying traps, plant managers can avoid equipment failure and eliminate downtime.

    Steam Trap Surveys and Monitoring 

    Steam Trap Surveys are one way we have of capturing wasted energy. Campbell-Sevey's trap technicians visit every steam trap in your facility and gather more than 25 data points on each one. These data are carefully logged into proprietary software that calculates annual energy losses. 

    Armstrong’s SteamEye Steam Trap Monitoring System can also be installed on every steam trap and steam safety valve. This system resides on a plant's computer network and will monitor the condition of every trap and safety valve continuously. When failures occur, it will notify system operators instantly, reducing the time from failure to repair from years to minutes.

    Campbell-Sevey works with local utilities to utilize all available rebates for you as well. And, of course, replacement traps and repair parts are locally stocked. For more information on Campbell-Sevey's steam trap and safety valve surveys, or to see if SteamEye Monitoring is right for your system, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey


  • 5 Important Coil Facts to Consider

    Selecting the right coil for your system is a balance between the proper number of rows/fins, desired coil pressure and long term vs. short term savings. Here are some important factors to consider any time a coil is needed:

    1. Rows/tubes cost more than fins. An 8 row coil can cost considerably more than a 6 row coil. To do so without affecting performance more fins can be added per inch. A typical 5/8" OD tube has 6-10 coils per inch. By increasing that to 14 fins/inch you can reduce the number of rows needed. 

    2. Coil circuiting is an important factor in coil performance. Circuiting is about selecting the number of tubes that you need to feed, and how many passes the water makes through the coil. This will determine the tube fluid velocity by your gallons per minute (GPM). The higher the GPM the fewer passes needed.

    3. Fins do most of the heat transfer. The majority of heat transfer within a coil, about 70%, is done through the fins with the tubes handling the remaining 30%. Because of this, it is important that the connection between the fins and coils provides maximum heat transfer contact in order to maintain high efficiency.  

    4. It's important to consider maintenance cost factors. Coils need to have regular maintenance performed during their entire life cycle. When deciding what coils to invest in, it's important to consider the cost of that maintenance along with product cost, size, and materials. Sometime a design or size that saves $500 in actual costs can increase required maintenance by $5,000 or more. 

    5. Coils typically last for 15-20 years. With proper selection and regular maintenance, coils can perform at high-effiiciency for a long time. That's why it's important to think long-term when considering any coil purchase. If done properly they are a great investment.

    At Campbell-Sevey, our team considers all these factors when making coil recommendations and works directly with you to make sure they will fit your performance needs. Contact us to learn the best options for your coil project.  


  • CS Insight: Charlie Finally Goes to Prom

    So what do you do when you've missed the opportunity to ask someone to the prom? Wait 35 years and ask again. Campbell-Sevey sales rep Charlie Thomas did just that recently. Here's the incredible story in his own words.

    "It was almost 40 years ago when a friend of mine met me at Deephaven beach for a day of tanning on the sand and cooling off in the lake. She brought along a bikini clad friend of hers, Kalyn, and I was suddenly and completely wrapped up in her incredible teenage beauty. With some difficulty, I pressed through my teenage immaturity enough to stumble through some sort of bumbling conversation. On our bikes, I followed Kalyn home that day, which spawned a long high school relationship for us. Although over three annual opportunities, I was an idiot for not being brave enough to ask her to our high school prom. 

    "After high school, each of our separate lives contained break ups, marriages, child rearing, and divorces. Years later we found ourselves back in a relationship with each other, now having the advantage of decades of life experience. While many things had changed through the years, the desire for time with each other was still very much alive in us both.

    "Kalyn is a Wayzata high school science teacher, and this year the chance presented itself to attend prom as a couple (as chaperones this time). I jumped to take advantage of the opportunity, replicating what would have been our high school experience as closely as I could. I surprised her with a corsage/boutonniere, tuxedo, and I rented a fancy car. My parents even came over to take pre-prom pictures! 

    "It was truly a magical night. Needless to say, it was totally worth the wait!"

    Congratulations Charlie! We are thrilled you finally got up the nerve to ask. 



  • Top 3 Reasons to Use Custom Coils

    Steam heating coils are used in nearly every industry for various industrial ventilation and process drying applications. Because it can be challenging to find a standard coil that fits your exact needs, many companies have custom coils created for them. This provides several distinct advantages:

    1. Nearly any type and size of coil can be created

    Every steam system is unique, requiring solutions that are also unique. With custom coils there is flexibility to produce nearly any type of coil you need, regardless of size or capacity. If all you need is a hot water booster coil for low pressure steam, don't invest in a standard coil that is far more than what is required. 

    2. Improved efficiency by lowering operation steam pressure

    With steam coils, the lower the operating steam pressure in the coil, the more energy efficient the design. Process coils are sometimes designed to use high pressure steam when lower pressure steam will do. It's a matter of redesigning the heat transfer surface area. In HVAC coil design, fins are responsible for 70% or more of heat transfer while tubes are only responsible for the remaining. By adjusting the number of fins or tubes within the passes the desired heat transfer is achieved as efficiently as possible.

    3. Coils can be created for any industry application

    Every industry has different coils needs based on the application. For instance, steam or hot water face velocities are not the same as chilled water or direct expansion. For steam or hot water, 800 feet/minute is ideal. For chilled water or refrigerant, 500 feet/minute is ideal. A custom coil takes those requirements into account. Custom steam coils can be manufactured for a variety of industries including:

    • Grain/seed processing facilities 
    • Pulp/paper processing facilities 
    • Dairy processing facilities 
    • Food processing facilities 
    • Power plants
    • Heat recovery systems
    • Petroleum/chemical plants
    • Textile factories

    For more information on creating a custom coil to meet your specific needs, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey


  • Test Your Knowledge: Energy Assessments

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program, plants that do energy assessments of their steam systems typically uncover opportunities for reducing energy and cost savings range from _____________ per year?

    1. 3%-7%
    2. 5%-10%
    3. 10%-15%
    4. 12%-18%
    5. 15%-20%

    And the answer is...

    3. 10%-15%

    Steam systems account for about 30% of the total energy used in industrial applications for product output. These systems can be indispensable in delivering the energy needed for process heating, pressure control, mechanical drives, separation of components, and production of hot water for process reactions.

    As energy costs continue to rise, industrial plants need effective ways to reduce the amount of energy consumed by their steam systems. Industrial steam systems can include generation, distribution, end use, and recovery components, as shown in the diagram. End-use equipment includes heat exchangers, turbines, fractionating towers, strippers, and chemical reaction vessels. Steam systems can also feature superheaters, combustion air preheaters, feedwater economizers, and blowdown heat exchangers to boost system efficiency. 

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program, making steam systems more efficient throughout industry could reduce annual plant energy costs by several billion dollars and environmental emissions by millions of metric tons. Typically, plants that assess their steam systems uncover potential steam system energy use and cost savings that range from 10% to 15% per year.

    Facts & Figures

    • About one-third of the nation’s total energy use is consumed in U.S. industrial facilities; nearly one-ninth is used by steam systems.
    • Industry consumes more than 40% of the nation’s total use of natural gas.
    • Even plants with energy management programs can often save 10% to 15% more using best practices to increase their energy efficiency.
    • System improvements can often reduce the energy costs of a typical industrial steam system by 10% to15%.


    • Energy efficiency improvements can reduce utility bills and improve your plant’s bottom line.
    • Many improvements require little or no extra investment, are easy to implement, and have payback times of less than a year.
    • Strategies that increase energy efficiency often reduce operating and maintenance costs, minimize waste, and enhance production.
    • Energy efficiency helps to reduce negative impacts on the environment and can enhance corporate community relations programs.

    Click to download the entire report from the U.S. Department of Energy and see a list of typical ways to increase steam system efficiency. For more information on doing a Utility Systems Study within your plant, contact the team at Campbell-Sevey


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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