Comparing Over-the-Side and Immersion Heaters

Last updated on August 23rd, 2023 at 02:22 pm

Looking for an in-depth comparison between over-the-side heaters and immersion heaters? Here we’ll explain the key differences between the two and when each is best suited for different applications.

Over-the-side immersion heaters

Over-the-side heaters are just one example of immersion heaters. Look at immersion heaters as an umbrella term for all types of heaters immersed in the liquid or gas they’re heating. Over-the-side heaters are one great example of immersion heaters given their many applications, their benefits, and that they’re more cost-effective than other options.

Over-the-side heaters are usually made from steel, copper, cast alloy, or titanium. These materials make it a viable option for heating a wide variety of liquids without issue. These heaters are installed at the top of a tank with the heated part sitting directly in the liquid.

When should over-the-side heaters be used?

When space is limited

Where space limitations are present, over-the-side heaters offer an inconspicuous option. For cases where it isn’t possible to drill into the walls of a tank, or regular maintenance and emptying occurs, over-the-side heaters are the way to go. They’re easy to install at the top of the tank and can be removed without complication, leaving plenty of space in the tank for other operations.

In these applications and liquids

Use over-the-side immersion heaters if the project has to do with storage tanks, indoor tanks, outdoor tanks, in-ground tanks, rinse tanks, wash basins, fluid freeze protection, and hot or warm water storage.

Because over-the-side heaters are so adaptable given the materials they use, they can be immersed in liquids, such as solvents, corrosive chemicals, water, fuel oils, caustic solutions, molten salts, wax, acid, and alkali solutions.

For degreasing

Some industries require degreasing in their heating applications. This applies to the food industry and in sectors where sterility is important. Over-the-side heaters are great options to help with degreasing in open tanks.

Cleaning parts

Similarly to degreasing, applications that need to clean parts in open tanks can use over-the-side heaters. What’s especially useful is that over-the-side heaters can easily be moved from one tank to another to avoid needing multiple heaters, hence one of the reasons they’re more cost-effective than some other options.

Four benefits of over-the-side heaters

1. Use in open containers

In open containers, over-the-side heaters are most efficient since they can be positioned and repositioned to the operator’s needs. If the tanker is larger, over-the-side heaters can work alongside others.

2. Easy installation and removal

There’s no drilling, welding, or permanent attaching needed to use over-the-side heaters. They sit over the tank. This makes them incredibly easy to install, move, or remove—a good choice if the heater needs to be used among multiple tanks.

3. Room for operation

Over-the-side heaters don’t take up much space in tanks so there’s still plenty of room left over for other heaters, tools, or operations. If the tank is being used for cleaning parts, the heater doesn’t get in the way of that.

4. Multiple installation types

Over-the-side heaters are incredibly versatile, coming in multiple shapes that best suit the tank. L-shapes can be used to heat a tank from the bottom up. Side walls, or side mounts, are used to heat the length of the tank, often when the operator wants a cold section at the top. 

Deep tank over-the-side heaters are better when the operator isn’t thinking of constantly moving the heater. They use a water-tight seal for deep, enclosed tanks. This style is best suited for in-ground tanks and sewage sumps.

Wattco’s over-the-side heaters

When it comes to quality, customizable immersion heaters, Wattco has over-the-side heaters and more. To benefit from over-the-side heaters and save on operating costs, contact Wattco today.