Warning Signs to Look for During Heating System Maintenance

Proactive heater maintenance is the key to getting the best performance and value out of your industrial heating system. Taking advantage of regularly scheduled maintenance saves you money, increases safety, and maximizes the operational efficiency of your heater.

  • Increase the longevity of your equipment
  • Improve safety & reduce risks
  • Increase efficiency
  • Repair small problems before they become large (and expensive)


Proper heater maintenance goes beyond simply cleaning equipment and flushing pipes. It’s important to understand and recognize the warning signs of any existing problems or potential issues.  Early detection means easy resolution, with minimal costs and shorter downtime for repairs or replacements.

Heater Warning Signs


Corrosion on the heater or in tanks and piping can quickly become a severe problem. Corrosion can cause deterioration, allowing debris to cause blockages, disrupting flow, or even contaminating the target medium.

Left untreated, corrosion can cause equipment failure. Leaks can appear in pipes and vessels, and heater elements can be damaged beyond repair. If heating elements require replacement due to corrosion, consider changing heater element materials, and/or using a corrosion-resistant sheath. 

Exposed Elements

Exposed heater elements can lead to equipment failure or combustion. If exposed elements heat trapped vapors, explosions are possible. Finding exposed elements requires an immediate solution. 

A good option to consider is using a float bulb or a low-level detection switch, automatically turning off the heater if the fluid levels drop too low. This prevents the risk of exposed elements igniting vapors. 

Fire RisksFire Triangle

In addition to exposed elements, it’s important to consider the fire triangle:

  • Oxygen
  • Heat
  • Fuel

When these three elements combine, there is significant potential for combustion. To keep operations safe, and to protect equipment, minimize the potential for these elements to interact.

Poor Connections

Loose, ill-fitting, or unsecured connections can lead to significant issues in a heater system. They leave the potential for leaks which can waste or damage product. As well, they can result in heat loss which reduces operational efficiency. They increase the risk of oxygenation, increasing the likelihood of corrosion and/or combustion.

Poor connections should be secured or replaced to improve efficiency and safety.

Test Safety Devices

Every time that you run scheduled maintenance on your industrial heating system, you should test all safety devices. The worst time to discover device failure is when something goes wrong. Without inspection, a faulty low-level switch, for instance, will only be detected once it is too late. 

Regular inspection of safety devices protects the product, equipment, and personnel.

Watt Density

During maintenance, it is also important to check watt density. If the density is not as expected, try to discover why the system is not performing properly. This may be the result of a buildup of debris on the heater, a blockage, or irregular flow. Resolve any watt density discrepancy to keep the heater from overworking, which increases operational costs and risks heater damage.

Electric Industrial Heating Systems

Wattco custom-manufacture electric heating systems for all major industrial applications. Electric heaters provide easier maintenance and improved performance over combustion heaters. As well, they have longer lifespans, optimum efficiency, and lower operating costs.

Contact Wattco today for industrial heater quotes and information.