We have been asked many times
if our tanks are water jacketed, they definitely are. We
have also been asked why.
We have also been asked why we
do not make “Direct Heat” tanks.
Why are your tanks water or
(liquid) jacketed? By liquid, this can also be oil or a
Here are some of the reasons:
What does “Direct Heat”, referring to
a tank mean?
If it doesn’t have a Liquid
Jacket….It is a Direct Heat Tank. There is no
other way around it. Direct heat is where there
is no liquid jacket surrounding the inner tank
of a double jacketed melting tank.
Basically Direct Heat tanks have
two jackets or tanks. One inside the other. Some
are square, some are round.
Direct Heat tanks have heating
coils, band heaters, etc. surrounding the inner
tank. These coils or bands are attached to the
inner jacket in some manner. They generally have
some insulation surrounding the coils.
This direct contact of the
heating coils can create “Hot Spots” that can
burn your oil or product.
85% of our customers are involved in
making some type of body care product.
Body care products should not be
made in a “Direct Heat”, (No liquid jacket). You
are asking for trouble.
At some point in the heating and
making of the product you will get hot spots
along the perimeter of the tank.
Any liquid, such as a vegetable
oil, lotion, herbal tincture, etc. that may come
in contact with direct heat surface can get
overheated, scalded, burned. Once this happens
there in no going back and your product has now
There are certain tried and true
methods that cannot be cheapened or disposed of
in handling, natural, organic, or vegetable
This is why your how-too books
and formulas online require you to use a Double
Boiler for balms, liquid soaps, lotions, etc. A
double boiler is a good start for beginners to
make small batches and it helps eliminate the
possibility of “Overheating”
Direct Heat tanks have a much
higher incidence of fire hazard. Coils and band
heaters can burnout. This can result in
Direct Heat, is more energy
efficient…< not true >. It may heat a little
faster (about 27% faster) but requires more
energy to stay warm and looses heat much faster
Where would you use one of these
direct heat melters?
Candle wax is okay to use with
one. Caution must be used if a band or coil
burns out and sparks.
They cool down quickly so they
work well for short runs. Not so well for day
after day use because you have to heat the air
space around the tank and actually some heat is
lost on the outer shell. A liquid jacket tank
with an insulation jacket can stay warm for
many, many hours, definitely overnight.
Petroleum products would do well
Heating water, mixing
fertilizers, chemicals unaffected by hot spots,
etc. would be fine in a direct heat tank.
You can, with constant stirring,
get by using these tanks for delicate materials.
Just make sure you do not stop until the process
Make no mistake about it….if it does
not have a “Liquid Jacket, then it is a “Direct Heat” Tank (melter).
And, if you are going to be making any
M&P, CP, HP soap, lotion, balm or body care product where you
care about the quality of….Do Not use a Direct Heat melter.
How long will it take to heat
up the contents of my Oil Heater?
There are many factors that
will come into play when determining this. How cold is the
material that you are putting into the tank? What
temperature will you be heating it up too? What is the
temperature in the room where the Oil Heater is? Is the Oil
Heater going to be insulated? Will the material be in chunks
or liquid? How much material is to be heated?
The larger the chunks, the
slower it will heat. The more contact you have to the tank
surface, the faster the transfer of heat. To chunk up, M&P,
Shortening, Shea Butter, some Beeswax (not really hard wax),
solid butters, etc; take a small E string, guitar wire and
wrap around two short 3/4"-1" (19-25mm) dowels or sticks.
Tape so the wire does not poke the fingers. Pull this
through the block to cut the up into chunks. It is fast and
saves heating energy.
Below are approximate temperature change
The above chart is assuming that you are heating
liquid, that the ambient air temp is 70 degrees
and that you are heating a
Gallon Oil Heater
The above chart is assuming that you
are heating a
liquid, that the ambient air temp is
70 degrees Fahrenheit
and that you are heating a
As a time saver, can
I premix my oils in the heater and use them up over a period of
a week or more? Can the oils be reheated each day or
continuously left at 110 degrees without unacceptable
degradation of the oils?
Yes, you can premix and heat your oils and use
them over the course of several days or a week. If you put a
moving quilt or blanket over the heater, it will keep warm for a
couple days - not at 110 degrees but where it is very easy to
reheat. There are several things you can do so you don't have to
wait so long for the oils to heat up, which also makes it very
cost efficient. You can put an insulation blanket around the
heater similar to the kits they sell for water heaters. A
reflective space blanket from a sporting goods store does very
well over the insulation. You can also put the heater on a
timer so that it kicks on
before you start in the morning, say a half hour to an hour
before. This, of course, saves waiting time.
Yes, but you need to keep notes on the first few
batches and mark the dial indicator. The water jacket provides
an even heat and helps provide a regulated and constant
temperature, but remember, you should try to maintain a fairly
constant room temperature. A fluctuating room temperature will
make it difficult for your thermostat to control a constant
water jacket temperature. An insulation jacket can eliminate
In my country, our
electricity is based on 220V. Will this be a problem in using
your 15-gallon, Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) with the 110 volt heat/thermostat,
since they will be coming from the United States?
No problem with 220 voltage. For your particular
order, I will provide a 220-volt, 3000-watt heat/thermostat unit
instead. We do this for many International customers. All of our
heater elements and thermostats also work on both, 50 and 60
Yes, you can mix your oils and lye to trace in
our Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) s. There is a chance that it can thicken to the
point you can’t pour it out though. Be careful and watch your
trace. This is not the most efficient way to mix your oils and
lye but for moderate to light production, it works.
We do not recommend this but it can be done. If
the batch seizes up or comes to, too thick of a trace, you will
have to dip it out. If you must mix in the Oil-Wax Heater (Melter), it would
be best to bring the base oils and lye to a light trace. Then,
transfer it to 5 gallon buckets and mix your FO’s, etc. in
there. Also very important….Always test your scents before
making a large batch, some can seize very quickly.
I am interested in
your 35-gallon stainless steel container for pasteurizing milk.
Is the jacket all the way round it? Can I run 165-degree water
around the inside tank to heat up milk to 160 degrees and how
much pressure, can the jacket handle?
Yes, the jacket goes all the way around, bottom
and sides. I am not sure how much pressure you would want to
apply but I imagine you could run a pretty good stream around
it. There is an inlet and outlet so I assume that it would be
easy to run water in to it. The tank is designed to go beyond
boiling point. 160 to 180 degree temperatures are commonly used
for making liquid soap, so I see no problem with milk.
We need a tank for
heating cutting oil. Do you know what grade of stainless steel
is used and the gauge thickness? Is there a drainpipe that can
empty the contents from the inside tank?
They are made of 304 stainless, 24 gauge. There
is a 1.5" diameter, 6" long, outlet nipple that is also
stainless. This drains the inside tank.
Could you please tell
me if your Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) s have the capacity to heat beeswax as
well? This would be used in cosmetic items, not soap making.
Also, it is hard to tell if there are spigot valves for pouring
into small containers.
Yes, our Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) s will melt beeswax, candle
waxes, and M&P. The tanks come with Ball Valves. These control
large volume flows. If pouring into bottles or small cavities
such as for M&P molds, etc. then it is best to have a reduction
to a smaller valve such as a ½” (1.3cm) ball valve. The ball
valve gives you a couple of ways to come out of the tank without
reduction of flow and this works as a quick safety shutoff. You
could at that time header off. By this, I mean come out with a
horizontal pipe with a T fitting, and then go to two valves and
fill two containers at once. A little tricky on control but this
can be done. We can provide anything you want as far as valves,
We can put timers on the units. They are 220v,
30amp, digital timers, with 4 possible cycles in a 24 hour
period. Weekends can be on or off. You can have battery
back-up. The timers are hard wired and left loose and mountable
to the stand or wall where the Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) will set.
How much oil/water is
left at the bottom of the tank when it is drained?
If you tilt the tank 1/4" from back to front, it
will drain completely.
Yes, the Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) s work very well for melting
candle-wax. They are great for other uses too, such as lotions,
liquid soap, M&P, etc. Our 15-Gallon (57 liter)
Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) is a
very handy countertop unit that is very easy to work with.
Can you set an Oil
Heater or Lye Tank at a particular set point and will it
maintain that temperature?
Yes, your Oil Heater or Lye
Tank, will maintain an even temperature by just setting the
dial on the thermostat to a particular set point.
The temperature sensing bulb,
is actually in the water jacket, not in the inner tank. The
reason for this is because they are very fragile and
sensitive. It is placed in the water jacket to protect the
bulb and capillary tube from being hit by stirring or by
liquids being poured in, etc. It is also surrounded by
liquid making it more sensitive to changes in temperature.
The thermostat turns on and off
with changes of + or -, 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
There will be a slight
temperature variance between the inner tank and the water
jacket but if you insulate it, the difference is very
slight. No matter what type of tank you buy though, single
or double jacketed, you always want to check the contents
temperature and at first, make notes on the dial setting.
This way you always know right where to set your thermostat.
You can even place a mark at the setting or settings so that
after a short while, you can just turn the knob to the mark.
Because it is a water jacketed
tank, it will maintain a very constant and even heat. The
jacket goes nearly all the way to the top of the inner tank
so no matter how high the contents are that you are heating,
the heat will be evenly distributed.
We are worried our cream will be too thick
to dispense from your steam kettle. Is there any way we can tip
the kettle, since the liquid will be too thick for the ball
There should be no problem dispensing from
our Water Jacketed Tanks. The tanks are not steam kettles, they
are water jackets and use a spout to fill and maintain the
jacket liquid. Therefore, you cannot tip them.
The Ball Valve on all tanks from 13 gallon
up are 1.50” (38mm). This will allow about any liquid to pass
through. Generally, most lotions and creams need to stay
suspended around 100°. If they did not it would not have much of
a shelf life unless special steps were taken to keep the product
cool at all times during transportation, storage and to not be
placed in a stores window or on a self where the sun can contact
it. It would mean it could not be left in a car or area where
then temperature could not be controlled. This means that the
product can be warmer when dispensing and will be much thinner.
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