Immersion Heaters: Installation and Maintenance Tips

One of the major reasons why immersion heaters are core components of some of the key industrial thermal fluid systems is their relative ease of use. Their simple structure and highly efficient functionality means that they are easy to install and require minimal maintenance. This process can be made significantly easier by implementing all the precautionary measures while installing and maintaining immersion heaters.

Before installing an immersion heater for industrial processes, it is crucial to choose the right kind of heater fit for your purposes. Wattco offers a wide variety of immersion heaters which are highly customizable to perform specific heating functions. When purchasing thermal fluid heaters that are the right fit for your organization, it’s important to perform a detailed assessment of some of the key functions required in the operations and then choose the right kind of immersion heaters for those operations.

Several Flange Heaters immersed in a tankinstance, while considering thermal oil heating systems for the oil industry, there is a wide range of products to choose from. Flange heaters are utilized for heat applications requiring moderate heat source. On the other hand, circulation heaters suit best for minimal, or incremental, heat applications.

Installation Tips

When it comes to the installation of immersion heaters for industrial applications, we need to take into account the following considerations.

The Megohm Reading

This is a useful pre-installation considerations. It is essential to gather a resistance reading about the heater before connecting it to the electrical power source. This is due to the fact that the transportation and storage of the heater exposes it to moisture. The moisture absorbed by the refractive surface or the element can cause problems post installation. Therefore, in case of a low megohm reading, you must carry out certain precautionary measures beforehand.

One of these precautionary measures is to bake the heater in the oven for several hours to increase resistance. Baking allows the moisture to escape, thereby improving the performance of the heater. Another alternative procedure is to energize the heaters in the air at a low voltage. Removing the moisture before installations is an effective way of avoiding any potential problems.

Wiring specifications

The foremost consideration when choosing the right wiring system for the heater is that it must comply with the National Electric Code (NEC) guidelines and specifications. Among these specifications, the wire’s temperature rating is paramount. Since the heating application may require a heavy-duty wiring system, the minimal temperature rating of the wire should be around 200°C or higher.

Mounting and immersion

Although these instructions may seem basic, these are common mistakes which, if avoided, can yield much better results. Mounting and immersion, when done right, can maximize the efficiency of the heater considerably. For best results, the immersion heaters must be mounted horizontally to ensure a convective heating current. They must be elevated above the tank bottom to avoid any buildup of sludge. Another important consideration is the immersion level. The whole of the heating element must be submerged in the liquid at all times. If the level of the fluid drops in the tank, there must be switches in place to automatically turn off the heater.

Maintenance Tips

Although immersion heaters are well-known for their low-maintenance needs, by following a few basic maintenance tips, you can ensure the heater’s longevity and increased performance.

Turning off the power

This is a basic precautionary measure you need to take while performing maintenance procedures. It is essential to switch off all connections to the power system before conducting the maintenance activities. Not only does this protect the heating device from damage, it also prevents potential accidents.

Regular maintenance procedures

Even if the heater seems to be functioning optimally, it is essential to conduct periodic maintenance procedures to avoid any problems which may arise. If you wait for the problems to occur, it might be too late. Therefore, you should perform maintenance checks on an annual or semi-annual basis. These may include gathering megohm readings from time to time, ensuring that the locks and bolts are firmly in place, and any signs for corrosion and scaling on the heater.

Overheating prevention

There must be temperature control mechanisms in place to prevent over-heating of the element or the liquid. These mechanisms are particularly crucial for the functioning of circulation heaters. In case there’s a blockage in the supply mechanisms, the thermal fluid system must sound an alarm or provide an indication.

Cleaning procedures

Regularly cleaning the heater and the tank is more than just a maintenance procedure. It’s a way to prevent safety hazards and ensure the safety of the equipment. You need to conduct regular checks for corrosion or deposits on the heater element or the tank surface. The buildup of scale on the heater sheath can lead to over-heating. This can be prevented through temperature sensors that constantly monitor the performance of the heater.

Looking for more information on industrial immersion heaters? We urge you to read more on the Wattco Blog or look through some of our industry case studies. Whether you’re looking for an immersion heater for oil, water tanks, or any other purpose, our products are built to perform and last. Contact our experts for more information.