Maintenance Tips for Heating Elements

Maintenance Tips for Heating Elements

Heating elements are integral to the everyday functioning of a variety of industries, ranging from food production to rubber moulding, which places high importance on their upkeep and maintenance. Ensuring that everything consistently runs above board with your electric heating elements can seem like a trivial matter, but negligence can result in drastic repairs and even costly replacements. Here are five ways to expand the lifespan of your heating elements within your business:

Check Conditions Regularly

As with any kind of machinery, it is of paramount importance that routine checks and tests are carried out at regular intervals during your heating element’s lifespan. That one ten-minute glance could prevent your business from having to completely repurchase its set-up, resulting in unnecessary costs and hassle.  If unsure, enlist the help of a professional to pop in and monitor the condition of your elements and provide reassurance that everything has been installed correctly.

Combat Moisture During Shipping

If your electric heating element reaches you from a transportation method that may result in humidity damage, there are steps that can be taken to prevent any subsequent damage before installation. If your product has low dielectric values (under 1 megohm), pre-emptive measures can be achieved by baking it in an oven at a suitable temperature. With elements of both metric and imperial sizes, a similar effect can be gleaned by introducing heat at a low voltage upon installation, until moisture has been eradicated.

Be Mindful When Storing Elements

Due to the metallic nature of heating elements, it is vital to avoid contamination or weather damage when storing parts after shipping or during a repair. The most preferable of environments for all elements – be those cartridges or thermocouples – is a cool, dry spot safe from interference. The reasoning behind this comes in the fact that most alloys involved with heating elements are prone to rust when exposed to humid, moisture-heavy environments. This, in turn, interferes with the natural oxide formation that occurs when the element is heated.

Ensure Careful Handling of Elements

Following on from the above point, as important as it may be to store your elements correctly, all efforts will be rendered moot if you happen to overly contaminate your product with the second issue: body oil. An easily overlooked contaminant, the oil secreted from hands and fingertips can result in a skewing of oxide formation upon heating. To combat this, handle elements whilst wearing cotton gloves where possible. This point is especially significant when it comes to the handling of the smaller metric sizes, as there is a reduced surface area to work with.

Don’t Forget About the Leads

Whilst attention may naturally be drawn to the actual element aspect of your heating apparatus, it would be foolish to let the condition of its leads fall by the wayside. Ensure careful placement when installing, avoiding abrasive surfaces or situational hazards that may arise. For example, leads that are left exposed to work zones could be damaged by user errors or pesky contaminants such as grease or oils.