The FRE-FLO heater is simply the best heater on the market for hard water and other high fouling applications. Invented by Joe Killebrew in 1938 for hard water applications, the FRE-FLO is still the industry leader today. While there are other straight tube designs on the market, none of them matches the convenience and practicality of the FRE-FLO heater.
The Killebrew FRE-FLO Heat Exchanger
The unique floating head design offers many advantages over other straight tube configurations. Because the head floats freely inside the shell, differences in thermal expansion between the tubes and the shell are irrelevant. This eliminates the need for costly expansion joints. Since the floating head is completely contained within the shell, there is no leaky packing joint typical of other floating head designs. Since the tube bundle is easily removed, it makes repairs much easier than with fixed tubesheet designs.
Cleaning the FRE-FLO is effortless. Simply remove the cover plate and run an ordinary condenser tube brush through the tubes. No need to break any piping connections. No need to bother with expensive and dangerous chemical cleaners. Because the FRE-FLO heater is so easy to clean, it can be done on a regular basis, allowing you to maintain the original heat transfer capabilities of your exchanger. This results in lower fuel costs and a much longer life than U-tube designs.
The FRE-FLO heater also contains a unique internal thermal well (I.T.W.). The I.T.W. allows you to install your temperature sensor directly in the water heater. This permits much more accurate temperature control and eliminates hot and cold surges. When the sensor is mounted in the piping instead, water temperatures can vary by as much as 20 degrees.