Thermal Fluid Heater Maintenance Tips For Lifespan & Efficiency

Thermal fluid heaters allow for the liquid heat transfer necessary in all sorts of applications from the biodiesel industry to wastewater treatment.

They are an affordable and effective heating option available for indirect or direct heating. But to get the most value in lifespan and efficiency out of your thermal fluid heater it is important to follow routine maintenance.


The value of routine thermal heater maintenance

Even with indirect thermal fluid heating, there is wear and tear over time. Keeping up with routine maintenance helps maintain efficiency as well as reducing your repair and replacement costs.

Thermal Fluid Heater MaintenanceSludge & contamination build-ups, loose connections, and other issues can reduce thermal heater efficiency. Performing regular maintenance checks and cleanings prevent these problems from occurring, or helps address them early so there is no chance for issues to escalate.


In addition to improving efficiency, this routine maintenance prevents damage from occurring or worsening. This means lower costs in repairs and replacements, as well as less downtime in production.

Anything that causes a thermal fluid heater to operate at lower efficiency makes the heater work harder. This can lead to premature damage and reduce the lifespan of your equipment. In addition to routine maintenance, you can look out for this by monitoring energy usage.

If the energy output is unusually high this is a likely sign of an issue, and it’s time to inspect your heater. Be aware of influencing factors such as weather. For instance, an outside application is likely going to require more energy in the winter, since it has to work harder to offset the cold temperature.



Visual inspections are a valuable tool to prevent incipient heater issues and a key part of routine maintenance. In addition to routine maintenance, professional inspections are recommended on an annual basis. Hire a pro to inspect the unit to make sure everything is working properly.

In addition to inspecting the thermal fluid heater itself, they will also inspect the insulation and piping. Good insulation maintains efficient heater operations, reducing operational costs. Checking the pipes helps find weak spots or potential leaks before they become costly repairs or replacements.


Repairs VS Replacements: When is it better to replace?

When an issue is revealed you have the option to repair or replace. Common logic dictates that repairs are a less expensive option. However, there are situations where replacing units or parts is the better option.

When choosing between repair and replacement consider:

  • Costs
  • Value
  • Time


Repair costs

Flanger Immersion Heater TanksRepair costs can start to add up quickly, in some cases costing as much as ¾ the cost of a new thermal heater. Which really drives home the importance of routine heater maintenance.

The more the repairs cost, the more sense purchasing a new unit makes. Especially if it’s an older heater that needs repairs more frequently.




In addition to the cost of the repair, consider the value. Will a new thermal fluid heater result in greater long-term savings than repairing an older unit? Many old heaters do not offer the same efficiency of new ones – especially if they have been poorly maintained. A new unit is more reliable and has the advantages of the latest technology.

As well, if the old heater is powered by combustible fuel, consider an electric thermal fluid heater system. Electricity offers much better value.

  • The operational costs are lower
  • The unit lifespans are longer
  • Repairs are less frequent
  • They produce no emissions


Repair Time

Some repairs can take a long time. Complicated repairs or a need for custom parts can mean having production down for days, weeks, or more. Can your operation afford this kind of downtime? If you need a repair fast, sometimes the quickest solution is replacing the entire unit.


Why to Purchase Entire Thermal Fluid Heater Systems From A Single Manufacturer

Sometimes, people try to find the best deal by buying parts separately for their thermal fluid heating system, or their system gets the “Frankenstein” treatment from years of repairs and replacements.

The most effective industrial heater maintenance occurs when the system all comes from a single manufacturer. In addition to knowing that all the parts work together efficiently, it also allows for better support. You can get all your support from one manufacturer as well as making it easier for inspectors to accurately diagnose issues.

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
SituationA popular chemical compound that often requires heating is wax, which is an organic compoun...
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 mainly compri...
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

Over-The-Side Heaters for Plating Tanks
For bonding and coating metals or plastics, the plating process occurs in tanks. The two types of he...
Read More..

Duct Heating in HVAC and Building Construction
Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are used for heating and cooling residenti...
Read More..

Methods of Industrial Oil Flushing
Industry machinery and equipment can be touchy sometimes. Hydraulic and lubrication systems need car...
Read More..

Why Flange Style is the Most Popular Electric Water Heating Element
Most industries have a need for heated water, whether for use in boilers, comfort heating or other p...
Read More..

Freeze Protection and what you need to know
Freeze Protection: With many weather conditions being unpredictable year after year, many companies ...
Read More..

Most Popular Blogs View All