Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Weekly posts for northern and central Alberta engineers, plant operators, and buyers.

New Technical Briefing: Mechanical Seal Support System Best Practices

by Katie Reid, on Thu, Oct 15, 2020 @ 14:10 PM

Mechanical Seal Support Best Practices_Mockup_SM

When rotating equipment fails, it’s often due to a seal failure. In fact, about 40% of all unscheduled critical pump shutdowns are caused by mechanical seal failures. Learn best practices from mechanical seal support expert Sean Hunsicker in a new recorded technical briefing.

Technical Briefings

If you have a pump, mixer, or other rotating equipment that regularly acts up, you're not alone. Most operators deal with equipment like this.

Last month Edmonton Valve hosted a presentation by Sean Hunsicker, Market Manager—Chem & Refining at Swagelok Company. His focus: how well-designed seal support systems can help you minimize downtime, reduce the probability of leaks, and simplify maintenance.

The technical briefing starts with looking at industry standards detailed in the fourth edition of the American Petroleum Institute's publication API 682: Pumps—Shaft Sealing Systems for Centrifugal and Rotary Pumps standard. The latest edition specifies that, among other things, optimal systems have a minimum arrangement of components.

Avoiding pipe threads and limiting the number of connections wherever possible is crucial when building seal support systems, because that minimizes potential for costly leaks.

Hunsicker's examples, drawn from 15 years' industry experience, show how proper design and installation of your seal support system is critical to keeping your rotating equipment available for production. If seal system fluid is dirty or contains particulate, for example, seal life can be negatively affected. Similarly, delivering the fluid at the wrong pressure or temperature can cause premature or even catastrophic seal failure.

Play the recorded technical briefing here:

Technical Briefings

About the presenter

Sean Hunsicker, Swagelok Chemical & Refining Market Manager, has developed and implemented market strategies for the chemical and refining industries for Swagelok's global distributor network. Additionally, he has provided market analysis and growth strategies for the Process Interface, Rotating Equipment and Plant Utilities market segments in mature and emerging markets. Sean is an expert in Mechanical Seal Support System best practices, troubleshooting, and implementation techniques. 

About Swagelok API 682 Seal Plans

Swagelok offers mechanical seal support system as kits and assemblies that are easy to install and are backed by The Swagelok Limited Lifetime Warranty. You can browse the offerings in a dedicated section of our website:

API 682 Seal Plans

For better operation and service of the seal and pump, Edmonton Valve goes beyond the standards to design systems specific to your application. This includes optional isolation valves, bypass loops, and instrumentation to assist the pump operator in both maintaining the system and monitoring the health of the seal.

"Standardization was a key driver to improve ease-of-use, consistency, and safety when dealing with multiple sites. Offering custom L porting tandem bypass valves to eliminate operator error and bleed off valves so operators can simulate a seal leak to test high flow alarms were just some of the improvements Swagelok helped deliver." —Mechanical Design Engineer, Chem/Petro (Canada)

How can we help?

For 50 years Edmonton Valve has provided Swagelok products and expert support to companies in northern and central Alberta. We are ready to provide technical details, examples, and no-obligation estimates. If we can help in any way, please give us a call at 780-437-0640.


Central & Northern Alberta’s leading fluid handling components supplier.

For 50 years we have provided professional support and an extensive local inventory of Swagelok products. We offer custom solutions, applications support, training, equipment, and tools to help ensure safe and reliable operations.

CONTACT US 780-437-0640

Learn More About Us



Edmonton Valve & Fitting Inc.
4503-93 Street NW
Edmonton AB T6E 5S9
PH: 780.437.0640

Drayton Valve & Fitting Ltd.
5614 - 55 Street
Drayton Valley AB T7A 1S9
PH: 780.542.7988

Fort McMurray Valve & Fitting Ltd. 266 MacKay Crescent
Fort McMurray AB T9H 5C6
PH: 780.790.0640

Join us!

    More... (blog home page)