Jennifer Reyes 11/01/23

Flanged, Screwplug, Over-the-Side: Choosing the Right Immersion Heater

Flanged, Screwplug, Over-the-Side: Choosing the Right Immersion Heater
Jennifer Reyes

Exploring the World of Immersion Heaters for Optimal Heating Solutions

When it comes to efficiently heating liquids in industrial settings, the role of immersion heaters cannot be overstated. These immersion drum heaters, designed to be submerged in liquids, are pivotal in various applications, from simple water heating to managing the viscosity of complex industrial fluids. Selecting the right type—flanged, screwplug, or over-the-side—is crucial for optimal performance and efficiency. This guide will navigate you through the nuances of each type, helping you make an informed decision for your specific needs.

Understanding Immersion Heaters

Immersion heaters, a cornerstone in industrial heating systems, are engineered to transfer heat directly into liquids. This direct method makes them highly efficient and reliable. They come in various forms, including flanged immersion heaters, screwplug heaters, and over-the-side heaters, each serving distinct applications. Understanding these variations is key to optimizing your heating processes.

Flanged Immersion Heaters

Flanged immersion heaters are renowned for their robust design and versatility. Mounted on a flange that is bolted to a tank wall, they are ideal for applications requiring high power input and precise temperature control. Their design allows for easy maintenance and replacement, minimizing downtime. They are particularly effective in heat-resistant tanks, ensuring a consistent heating process.

Screwplug Immersion Heaters

Screwplug immersion heaters are distinguished by their compact design, making them perfect for smaller tanks and containers. They are screwed directly into a tank or container, offering an efficient heating solution for metal drums and other similar applications. Their straightforward installation and high efficiency make them a popular choice for many industrial processes.

Over-the-Side Immersion Heaters

Over-the-side immersion heaters offer a unique advantage in terms of installation flexibility. Designed to hang over the tank wall or over the wall of a drum or barrel, they are particularly suitable for tanks where drilling is not feasible or for temporary heating solutions. They excel in heating high-viscosity solutions like oils or syrups, efficiently reducing sludge buildup. Their vertical heated portion ensures even distribution of heat, making them a versatile option for diverse applications. For drums and barrels, over-the-side immersion heaters would be an ideal version of heating. 

Key Considerations for Choosing an Immersion Heater

Selecting the right immersion heater requires careful consideration of several factors. The nature of the liquid (like high viscosity solutions), the material of the tank (such as heat resistant tanks), and the liquid level are crucial aspects. For instance, drum immersion heaters are specifically designed for metal drums, offering targeted heating that is ideal for industrial processes.

Heaters for High Viscosity Solutions

Drum immersion heaters are a cornerstone in managing materials with high viscosity. They prevent the buildup of sludge, ensuring smooth operation in industrial settings. Features like a pilot lamp and over-temperature cutout provide safety, while the vertical riser aids in precise heating. Such heaters are essential in maintaining the right temperature for various industrial fluids, ensuring consistency and quality.

In addition to handling sludge, drum immersion heaters are also adept at managing other high-viscosity solutions. This includes substances like heavy oils, waxes, and molasses, which require consistent and controlled heating to maintain fluidity and prevent degradation. The precise temperature control offered by these heaters is critical in processes where even minor temperature fluctuations can significantly impact the quality and effectiveness of the solution. By ensuring a stable heating environment, drum immersion heaters play a vital role in a wide array of industrial applications where handling high-viscosity solutions is a key concern.

In circumstances where immersion heaters are not available other heating options on the market can save the day. Full wrap design drum heaters can wrap entirely around the drum and help control temperature externally. 

Installation and Maintenance

Ease of installation is a key benefit of modern immersion heaters. Most designs, including drum heaters, come with features like mounting brackets and standard wrap-around heaters, facilitating quick setup. Regular maintenance, guided by clear maintenance instructions, is vital for longevity and safety. This includes tasks like cleaning residues and checking the heating element.

Safety and Compliance Features

Safety is paramount in the operation of immersion heaters. Features like explosion-resistant designs and compliance with local codes are non-negotiable. A hi-limit thermocouple ensures the heater operates within safe temperature ranges. Additionally, a temperature display and proper power input monitoring are essential for safe and efficient operation.


Do immersion heaters use a lot of electricity?

The most basic immersion heater uses three kilograms of electricity per hour, which is equivalent to 50 p per hour for the average household.

Can you leave an immersion heater on all the time?

It would be safer if you kept your heat source off all the time instead of switching off or changing it. It's a commonly heard energy-saving myth. You do not have to heat your water constantly. The immersion heater and boiler heat the water contained in a container.