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Steam Heater – Scepter™ Tank Heater

Direct Injection Steam Tank Heater

This versatile series of steam heaters are designed for the direct injection of steam into tanks for heating water-compatible products in a quiet, vibration-free, and 100% efficient fashion. In addition, the tank heater develops a strong stirring action to help keep any solids or particulates in suspension.

This stirring action also helps to produce uniform temperature throughout the tank volume allowing accurate thermostatic control. Constructed of type 316 stainless steel the standard Steam Heater Scepter™ Tank Heaters are available in one inch through ten-inch pipe sizes and may be mounted in a tank from above, below or with a side port configuration.


They are available with/in threaded pipe connections for the steam inlet from one inch through three-inch pipe sizes and flanged connections available on all sizes and ratings (or select ratings). Each option employs the special Komax® Equalizer Mixing module with a pipe that is about 2/3 of the Equalizer’s® outside diameter.

When inserted into a tank of liquid, a vacuum effect is created by the momentum of the steam exiting the Komax Scepter. The liquid surrounding the unit is then drawn into the Equalizer. Water and steam are divided and recombined by the mixing elements in each of the module’s chambers and exit as a set of co-rotating vortexes. These form multiple impingement mixing zones at the exit of the Equalizer module to produce complete contacting of steam and the product to be heated (liquid) in a vibration and noise freeway. No auxiliary air supply is required for quiet operation.

Download Scepter Tank Heater Brochure (pdf)


Bill Neville, the Plant Engineer, contacted the Komax Systems representative, Austin & DenholmInc., in Vancouver. ADI recommends installing a Komax “Scepter” direct steam tank heater. After the Scepter installation, the vibration and banging totally disappeared.

Existing specifications:
  • Chest or tank volume: 37,140 U.S. gallons.
  • Starting temperature: 43 deg. F.
  • Final temperature: 122 deg. F.
  • Steam source: 65 psi, saturated.
  • Heat Input Required: 24..5 MM Btu.
  • Total Heating Time: 2 hours.
  • Temperature Rise Rate: 40 deg F/hr.
  • Steam Flow Rate: 10,000 #/hr.
  • Control Valve Position 100% open.
  • Valve Pressure Drop: 5 psi

After the Komax Scepter installation, the mill found it also produced a faster heating time and provided very good tank circulation


A major industrial account in the state of Maine needed to heat a large rectangular tank of water in less than 30 minutes to provide quick start-up to its production. After seeing the simplicity of the Komax “Scepter” direct steam tank heater with no moving parts they ordered one.


The 6-inch diameter Scepter Heater was installed in August 1999. The unit operates with no vibration, noise or water hammer. The direct steam injection Scepter increases the temperature of the water from 80 degrees to 140 degrees F. Based on standard steam spargers the plant engineers had calculated the heating time would be at least thirty minutes.

The engineer in charge of this new installation was amazed that the Komax Scepter Heater was able to achieve the temperature increase in just six minutes!!! This time savings have led to a quicker overall startup for their system and has been a significant money saver for the customer.

  • Tank size 6 x 6 x 20 feet
  • Tank volume 5,000 gallons of water
  • Steam flow rate 20,000 lbs/hr
  • Komax Scepter Size 6 inch, 150 lb. flanged unit
  • Heat up time – 6 minutes for a 60 degree F rise
  • Vibration NONE
  • Water Hammer NONE

Design Example for the Komax Scepter direct injection steam heater

We have a tank volume of 10,000 gallons containing a water-like product and wish to raise the temperature by 50° F in 30 minutes with 40 psig steam available. Our temperature rise is 100° F/hour. Enter the design graph at 10,000 gallons and move to the right to intercept the 100° F/hour line giving the saturated steam flow rate M required as 7,000 pounds/hour. Now move down this steam flow rate line to meet the 40 psig intercept. The graph shows we’ll need a three-inch pipe size heater.


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