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When speaking of Shell & Tube Exchangers, we tend to break them into "standard" and "custom" shell and tube exchangers. When we talk of tolerances of flow nozzles and support locations, those manufacturers that belong to TEMA (Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association) are expected to build each heat exchangers to within those accepted tolerance called out in TEMA.

See link below for TEMA Tolerances brochure.

Having published tolerances is most important for both the customer and the manufacturer, especially when speaking of "custom" heat exchangers as they are built to a fabrication drawing, without the use of a manufacturing "jig" or "fixture". Without the use of a jig or fixture, the skilled welder relies on measuring tools, which is fairly precise to the naked eye, but when measured exactly, the dimensions will not exact each time that part is manufactured. Building shell & tube exchangers with nozzle tolerances of +/- ¼” don’t tend to be an issue for process plant or system integrator customer’s as long as it is not more than the noted tolerance. In that instance it would need to be corrected, especially, for a TEMA Shop.

“Standard” heat exchangers tend to be built for OEM customers that rely on exacting dimensions for each delivery of the same shell & tube exchanger. In order to maintain quality assurance of each unit, the use of a jig or fixture to assist the skilled welder is a must. This will ensure each and every part, that is welded together, to make a shell & tube exchanger will have the very same dimension each time it is made. This allows customers to use a Thermal Products heat exchanger, with precision and speed in their product.

Having shell & tube exchanger's built to precise measurements is also import when looking to replace a heat exchanger in kind. In this case a Drop In Replacement tube bundle or complete heat exchanger is easiest for plant maintenance personal, hospital or school facility engineers, to install. It assures them that they will not need to make any required piping modifications on either the tube side or shell side.

Thermal Products offers Drop in Replacement heat exchanger and tube bundles for a wide range of heat exchanger manufactures. In most cases, Thermal Products will have the needed equipment to manufacturer a NEW heat exchanger or tube bundle that will fit right into place of the old heat exchanger you are removing. If we don’t, we will advise you during the quoting phase and include freight, in our proposal, for you to ship your old heat exchanger to us for duplicating.

If your heat exchanger is custom and can’t ship it to our facility for duplicating, but have a fabrication drawing, we can offer and build a NEW heat exchanger to your fabrication drawing. Please see our latest Drop In Replacement heat exchanger shipment below.

BEM Replacement Heat Exchanger

Above is a before and after picture of an old, tired heat exchanger and a new drop in replacement shell & tube exchanger that Thermal Products Inc designed and supplied as a drop in replacement heat exchanger to replace a modified Taco “E” BEU series heat exchanger. After meeting with the customer, a local state government, Thermal Products was able to offer one of our “Drop In Replacement” Heat Exchangers so piping changes would NOT be necessary. All critical center line dimensions were held.

Thermal Products offered a TPI-BEU-26-84-2, which is a 26” diameter shell, 84” tube length U-tube bundle, 2 pass tube side arrangement for steam to water application. We offered an all carbon steel constructed shell and head with ¾”, .049 wall copper tubes. The heat exchanger was built to ASME Code and stamped for 150 PSIG @ 375F. Higher temperature and pressure available upon request.

Although we supplied standard materials of carbon steel and copper tubing, Thermal Products, can readily supply Stainless steel shells and heads and stainless steel tubing, Cupro-Nickel tubing, admiralty tubing, Hastelloy, Titanium, AL-6XN among more.

If your shell and head or bonnet are in good condition, we can simply offer a replacement tube bundle instead.  Replacing your tube bundle only with one of Thermal Products quality Drop In Replacement Tube bundles would make your project far less difficult and time consuming.  In most cases, a Thermal Products replacement tube bundle comes with a .049 tube wall thickness, when most OEM tube bundles are supplied with .035 wall tubing, making your Thermal Products tube bundle more forgiving to tube side erosion from particulate in your water.  Simply call your local Thermal Products office with your heat exchanger model number or picture of your heat exchanger nameplate and we’ll provide a quote to you, in most cases, the same day.  All Thermal Products tube bundles come with gaskets.

All of our “Drop In Replacement” Heat Exchangers and Tube Bundles can fit identically to any of the heat exchangers made by Taco, Armstrong, Bell & Gossett, Thrush, ITT, Basco, Adamson, American Standard, Yula, Patterson-Kelly and many more, saving your company money and man hours.  Contact us today!

Visit our webpage for more information.

Replacement U-Tube Heat Exchanger getting ready for shipment to our customer!


Thermal Products was approached to replace a Bell & Gossett U-Tube exchanger Model SU-267-2 with a 26" diameter and 84" tube length with 2 passes. The need was to have the new heat exchanger be "in kind" or Drop In Replacement, not having to modify any piping for ease and ability to get up and running quickly.

The Heat Exchanger was one of Thermal Products model TPU-26-84-2 with carbon steel shell and head with 3/4" copper tubes.  

Although expediting was not required with this particular project, we received the order and shipped within our normal 6 week lead-time.  If you have a need for a Drop In Replacement Heat Exchanger or Tube Bundle we can do this in as quick as 24 hours from time of order.

Contact us today to discuss your needs!  Or visit http://thermalproducts.com/products/tpi-replacement-bundles

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