Blanket Tank Heater Buying Tips

Posted on: 19 December 2015


If you own a business that stores chemicals, resins, epoxies, or other materials that have strict temperature storage requirements, then you likely will need to invest in some sort of heating for the drums or barrels that hold the materials. Blanket tank heaters are a good option to heat your containers from the exterior. This way, you do not have to worry about the corrosion of anode heaters inside the tanks. If you have never used blanket heaters before, keep reading to learn about a few tips about buying the heaters.

Choose An Insulating Blanket

Blanket heaters work much in the same way as traditional home use heating blankets and heating pads. A number of conductive wires or conductive heating tapes made from carbon fiber wires are run in a pattern along the interior of the blanket. The tape or wire is surrounded by a polyester and acrylic fabric that is fire resistant, and a synthetic or cotton cover is placed over the top. However, industrial tank heaters must provide heat at a consistent temperature that is often much higher than what a heating blanket can provide. The blankets are typically 120 or 240 volt models that utilize variable watts depending on your needs to provide this heat.

One of the ways that the heater can safely and accurately provide heat is through the insulation materials along the inside and outside. While synthetic fibers will still be seen on the inside, they will be much thicker than they are for a common heating blanket and they will typically be made out of a glass fiber material instead of polyester. The external cover with also be made from different types of materials. For the best performance, consider looking for a blanket that is made with either a vinyl, silicone, or glass cloth. All of these materials will help to transfer heat to the tank itself. This will prevent heat loss and temperature inconsistencies. The best way to make sure that fiberglass sits inside the blanket and a good synthetic material sits on the exterior is to ask your tank heater supplier for a data or specification sheet to look over. 

Look For Advanced Controls

Some heating blankets and pads will come with automatic controls. These devices will turn on and off by themselves and keep liquids from freezing. While this may be an option if you want to keep water or diesel fuel from becoming too cold, they are not a good idea if you have an epoxy or other chemical that must be kept within a specific temperature range.

For these types of materials, you should choose a heating blanket with thermostat controls that you can change. For materials that can be kept within a more wide range, you may only need a simple turn style control. For materials that need to be kept at a more specific temperature, think about purchasing a blanket with digital controls. These controls offer monitoring system that come with probe devices that inform you of the temperature inside the tank. They also allow you to set timers to turn on and off the heater, and you will be able to set different temperatures for different times.

While these features may be instrumental to keep your materials from deteriorating, one of the best digital control features is an alarm. The alarm will sound audibly and show a visual warning on the digital screen when the fluid inside your tank reaches a temperature that is higher or lower than the temperature range you set. This will allow you to adjust or replace the heater in the case of failure or if the tank is exposed to extremely high or low external temperatures. If possible, look for a blanket with an alarm system that can run off a battery. This is wise so that you will be informed if a power outage or an unplugged heater causes a temperature change. 

Blanket heaters may be a good option for the containers that are stored within your business. To learn more about these heaters and other types of heating equipment, contact your local tank heating supplier.