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Tote Heater Basics, Features and Common Uses

November 5, 2021

There are many fields where heating of substances within containers is important, from chemical storage through several others. One of the most popular industrial heater types for these settings, for several reasons, is the tote heater.

At Gordo Sales, we're happy to offer a huge range of tote heaters and various tote heater accessories, from heaters themselves to things like tank covers, insulated blankets and more. What exactly is a tote heater, what are some of their primary uses and features, and what are some potential size designations you might consider? Let's go over everything you need to know about tote heaters.

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Tote Heater Basics

When we talk about tote heaters, we're referring to a range of products designed to hold containers of liquid. These are often used in chemical storage tanks, but also could be an important part of a warehouse or other industrial application where you need to store something warm in a container. Tote heaters are designed with the primary intent of heating the substances inside these containers for use at another point in time, and for allowing the flow of contents in these containers to be as fast as possible when they're needed. They will often use blankets as part of this effort, too.

Tote heaters are a popular design because it makes sense to be able to simply place a container inside of an enclosed heater area and not have to worry about the contents evaporating, boiling over or doing something else harmful as a result of being left out for later use. With their tank covers and insulation, the process is even more efficient.

Also called IBC heaters, tote heaters are designed to work with IBC containers, which stand for Intermediate Bulk Containers. These may be made from steel or plastic, and there's a range of sizes that you can fit on an IBC belt system.

Primary Uses of Tote Heaters

There are several ways tote heaters will be used within industrial settings, including (but not limited to) each of the following:

  • Freeze protection for liquids during cold weather: Tote heaters are designed to help protect chemicals and other substances from freezing during times of cold weather. These units may be used as a primary means of freeze protection, or as an added layer of freeze prevention that's used on top of another system such as heating pipes running through the tank, insulation and so on.
  • Heating chemicals to spec for production: Many types of chemicals will need to be heated to specific temperatures in order to flow through production processes correctly. Tote heaters are frequently integrated into these settings, with the heater's temperature controls allowing you to pre-heat materials before they're needed for use.
  • Thinning out thicker, viscous materials: Industrial tank settings can sometimes have substances within them that are very thick and viscous. Tote heaters may be used as a way to help thin these materials out into a much more liquid state, which can flow much easier through the system.

Simple Example of Tote Heater Use

To help you visualize exactly what we're talking about, consider the food industry as an example. Within this world, ingredients are often kept at certain temperatures during storage, but then must be brought to a different temperature for actual production -- this is where tote heaters come in.

Tote heaters are placed within the warm storage tanks, and brought up to an appropriate temperature for food ingredients. This allows facilities to only have a few warm storage spaces instead of dozens or hundreds, while still maintaining a proper inventory control system with a seamless production process.

Features to Consider in a Tote Heater

If you're considering purchase of a tote heater for any industrial need, here are some of the top variables you should be considering while doing so:

  • Accessibility: The industrial setting you're considering adding tote heaters into may have a decent amount of moving parts and other objects that could affect the heater's ability to ventilate, as well as how accessible it is for inspections and repairs. If storage tanks need to be opened regularly or production lines change, then you'll want to ensure that your unit can be accessed in a timely fashion.
  • Power/control specs: You'll also need to take into account the electrical specifications of your system, especially if you're considering powering the heater off of its own dedicated breaker or circuit board. Most heaters are designed for 120 volts at 1 phase with an operating current of 6 amps.
  • Overall durability: Just because a tote heater is going to go into an industrial setting, that doesn't mean it needs to be built with cheap materials. In fact, many of these units are designed for durability and can handle regular use within the toughest working environments.
  • Warranty: Warranties on most tote heaters will range from one year up through three years, so be sure to investigate the different options when you're looking at a specific unit. This will help you determine how long of a production run or storage parameter you'll have before needing replacement parts.
  • Usability: There are many different types of tote heaters, from plug-in styles to ones that require a complex installation procedure. In order to get the most out of your unit, make sure it can be placed in a setting where it will actually be used.

For more on tote heaters and how they're commonly used within the industrial world, or to learn about any of our other industrial heating systems, speak to the pros at Gordo Sales today.

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