Over-The-Side Heaters for Plating Tanks

For bonding and coating metals or plastics, the plating process occurs in tanks. The two types of heaters for plating tanks are electric element heaters and heat exchangers. Electric is the more reliable, efficient, and precise option. In particular, over-the-side heaters are the ideal solution for controlling the temperature in plating tanks.

Over-the-side (OTS) heaters install over the side of the tanks, with electric elements submerged in the fluid with direct and even heating. We take a look at why to choose over-the-side heaters for plating tanks.


Generally, plating tanks are designed with an open-top design. Over-the-side heaters are an ideal match for this design, as they are designed to hang over the top side of the tank. The elements go down into the tank from the top, while the unit sits outside, safe from the chemicals and out of the way process.

This design makes them suitable for use in multiple tanks. There is no need to permanently fix the unit to the tank, so OTS heaters can be moved from one to another. Skid-mounting the heater adds further mobility, so you can install it wherever it is needed most.

The design of over-the-side heaters allows for a lot of variation in sheath materials and quality. This further improves their suitability for plating tanks. Plating tanks frequently contain corrosive chemicals like solvents, degreasing agents, acids, and additives. The variable options for sheath materials ensure the protection and longevity of the heating unit.

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OTS Heaters Solve The Most Common Issues in Plating Tanks

Temperature Maintenance

Accurate temperature maintenance has a direct impact on both production time and the quality of the final product. Issues like micro-cracking, dull appearance, and slow plating are all common symptoms of imprecise temperature regulation.

Electric over-the-side heaters are an ideal solution for improving temperature maintenance in plating tanks. The direct submersion of the heater elements into the fluid provides more accurate and responsive heating for optimal temperature regulation.

Watt Density

Having the wrong watt density is a common source of burning and hazing. Wattco OTS heaters have customizable amperages and wattages, matched to the specific process, fluids, temperatures, and materials.

Ease of Maintenance

Tank maintenance is essential for efficient plating. Slow filtration, sediment buildup, and slow plating are often the result of a failure to keep up adequate maintenance. It’s important to clean the tank to reduce contamination. As well as clearing blocked or damaged filters and anode bags.

Over-the-side heaters simplify maintenance. They are easy to remove, allowing for complete and immediate access to the plating tank. This removal also improves immersion heater maintenance and avoids production slow-downs, as there is no need to drain the tank to clean the heater.

Room for Other Operations

The heater elements for these heaters go along the side of the tank, keeping them well out of the way of other processes in the tank. Plating tanks need this space for buss bars and racks, as well as leaving room for agitation equipment.

Since over-the-side heaters are out of the way of operations, they do not inhibit agitation. Uneven agitation can result in pitting, burning, or a buildup of grainy deposits.

Plating Tank Heater Quotes

Wattco custom-manufactures electric heaters for plating tanks. The designs are customizable to match the individual sizes and thicknesses of your plating tank. As well as careful material selection, element configurations, and wattages to meet specific operational needs.

Contact Wattco today for plating tank heater quotes and information.