The Dynamic Uses of Electric Tank Heaters

The Dynamic Uses of Electric Tank Heaters

The many benefits of electrical heating make electric tank heaters an appealing tool in industry, as well as in private use. Electrical tank heaters offer more precision control of liquid temperature, a high concentration of power per unit, a high speed of response and ultimately, a quiet, clean process that virtually emits no chemical pollution. While there may be a somewhat higher cost of energy consumption in electric heating, the cost is mostly offset by the higher efficiency not seen in direct fuel heating. Water heating by electricity is generally achieved through the use of immersion heating systems that are directly inserted into the water tank. These systems promise fast heating time, high levels of efficiency and minimal maintenance requirements, making them ideal in industries requiring fast heat up time, such as industries that make use of large-scale chemical processes, petrochemical tanks and large water containers.

Tank heater using immersion element

There are generally two components to the immersion heating system: an insulated electrical resistor (usually insulated with ceramic) and a temperature sensor. The sheath material surrounding the heating system must be chosen based on the extent of corrosiveness seen in the liquid medium. There are several kinds of immersion water tank heaters.

 The flanged immersion heater uses direct heat application to the liquid medium, and involves the combination of several different alloys to minimize the effects of corrosion on the system. The flanged heater is commonly seen in industries involving lubricant oils, heavy and light oils, as well as mildly corrosive liquids and soap and detergent solutions. Titanium sheath materials are encouraged when the heater will be used in a highly corrosive liquid medium. However, stainless steel can be used in industries that require sanitary precautions, such as in processing of food.


The screw plug immersion heater is drilled directly into the water tank or else installed into a pipe. These water tank heaters are general used in smaller scale industries, such as in food and beverage processing, laboratory clinics, hydraulic oils and flammable liquids. Screw plug heaters can also be used in heating of gas mediums.

Circulation heaters involve a pump that recirculates the liquid medium through a closed loop system. With these systems, viscosity of the liquid medium must be taken into consideration. Circulation oil tank heaters often use steel as the sheath material, as it is fairly inexpensive compared to its stainless steel counterpart. These systems are commonly used in industries dealing with lube oil and waste oil.

Finally, the over-the-side heaters make use of several tubular elements, as well as a water-resistant terminal housing system, and can be made to fit both standard and non-standard tank sizes. This is a cost-effective heating system, with many practical uses in the petroleum and chemical industries. These systems can withstand many harsh environments due to the use of high-quality alloys in production.


 Immersion heaters have a variety of uses in other industries not yet mentioned. In the trucking industry, immersion oil tank heaters have been used as a backup system to ensure the maintained heating of reservoir oil1. Cooling of the oil can lead to engine damage due to the increased viscosity of the liquid, which prevents the oil from effectively being pumped into the engine. Immersion heaters provide security in diesel powered engines by assuring a backup heating system. Immersion heaters have also been widely used in fossil fuel industries to maintain materials in their molten state.

With the ever-growing need for energy efficiency and cost effectiveness in industry, the immersion heater is becoming more pervasive. With its broad applications seen in industries such as food, trucking, fossil fuels, oil processing, detergent synthesis and various chemical processes, the immersion heater is an indispensible necessity.


1.Frank, Kevin L. and Gehri, Aime A. “Positive Temperature Coefficient Bar Shaped Immersion Heater.” 27 October 1998.


Latest blogs

Common Industries that Wattco works with

Case Studies View All

Why is Mineral Oil Used in Thermal Heaters?
Thermal heaters, also known as thermal fluid heaters, employ the use of a thermal liquid such as wat...
Read More..

What to Use When Heating Wax
Situation A popular chemical compound that often requires heating is wax, which is an organic compou...
Read More..

What is Passivation? Why do We Need to Passivate Flanged Heaters?
  Most of the parts of flanged heaters are made of stainless steel—an alloy that is mainl...
Read More..

What is a Digital Controller?
Control panels are essential elements of any electrical device. Control panels are especially i...
Read More..

Vegetable Oil Heating
Food Industries and Vegetable Oil Viscosity In Cleveland Ohio, a large food manufacturer called WATT...
Read More..

Wattco News View All

A Closer look at Circulation Heaters
Wattco manufactures and designs circulation heaters for maximum efficiency. As a result, these heate...
Read More..

WATTCO will be exhibiting at the 2018 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) April 30 – May 3 2018
Come join us at Booth 915 at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) where you will find WATTCOR...
Read More..

How to Prevent Liquids from Freezing Using Immersion Heaters?
  Industries whose productions are aqueous or liquid based like the oil and gas sector, strive to p...
Read More..

Read More..

What is a Pressure Vessel?
Pressure vessels are carefully fabricated, enclosed containers designed for the purpose of holding e...
Read More..

Most Popular Blogs View All