Cartridge heaters have the potential to last for a number of years without any issues. They are an effective heating element for a number of different applications, including fuel cells and plastic welding. A cartridge heater is composed of several elements, including a heating coil and insulation. As a result, it can be easy to overlook these components, and improper maintenance can destroy one of these components. Once this happens, this will cause the cartridge heater to fail. A failed cartridge heater may cause your appliance to overheat. Fortunately, there are a few maintenance tips that you can use to ensure that your cartridge heater is protected at all times.
Regularly Check the Sealant on Your Cartridge Heater
A sealant is used to seal in the heating coil and Magnesium Oxide on a cartridge heater. The sealant is also there to prevent any contaminants from entering the device. For example, if you decide to wash down your heater, then water can end up entering the cartridge heater if the seal is weak or broken. The excess moisture is quickly absorbed into the heater and will cause it to malfunction. In order to avoid this, your seal should always be checked before use. Sealant does not last for ever, therefore, it is important to expect wear over time. If you notice a weak seal, then you can use an epoxy sealant to repair the broken seal.
Make Sure that Heater Lead Temperatures Aren't Too Hot
The sheath on a cartridge heater is what comes in contact with the object that is being heated. As a result, the sheath is constantly exposed to high temperatures. Different sheaths have a different temperature rating. The higher the temperature rating, the more the sheath will be able to withstand higher temperatures. Therefore, it is important to always monitor the temperature of your cartridge heater to ensure that it does not surpass suggested temperatures. For example, 304 Stainless steel and Incoloy 400 are both used as sheath material. The Incoloy 400 will be able to withstand a higher temperature than the 304 stainless steel. If the sheath is exposed to a higher temperature than it is designed for, then this will cause the heater to overheat.
Cartridge heaters can often withstand consistent use. However, it is easy to overlook basic maintenance because there are a number of parts involved. Use these tips to ensure that your cartridge heater remains in working condition.