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FAQ - Oil-Wax Heaters

Soap Making Oil - Candle Wax Melting Heaters

Oil-Wax Heater (Melter)

Shown with Optional

Stand, Scale and

Ball Valve.

Candle WaxCandle Wax Questions

 
Water Jackets - Why?
 

Question:

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 glycol solution.

Answer:

Here are some of the reasons:

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What does “Direct Heat”, referring to a tank mean?

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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.

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Basically Direct Heat tanks have two jackets or tanks. One inside the other. Some are square, some are round.

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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.

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This direct contact of the heating coils can create “Hot Spots” that can burn your oil or product.

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85% of our customers are involved in making some type of body care product.

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Body care products should not be made in a “Direct Heat”, (No liquid jacket). You are asking for trouble.

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At some point in the heating and making of the product you will get hot spots along the perimeter of the tank.

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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 become inferior.

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There are certain tried and true methods that cannot be cheapened or disposed of in handling, natural, organic, or vegetable based materials.

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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”

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Direct Heat tanks have a much higher incidence of fire hazard. Coils and band heaters can burnout. This can result in electrical sparks.

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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 (78% faster).

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Where would you use one of these direct heat melters?

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Candle wax is okay to use with one. Caution must be used if a band or coil burns out and sparks.

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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.

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Petroleum products would do well in one.

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Heating water, mixing fertilizers, chemicals unaffected by hot spots, etc. would be fine in a direct heat tank.

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You can, with constant stirring, get by using these tanks for delicate materials. Just make sure you do not stop until the process is complete.

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.

 

Question:

How long will it take to heat up the contents of my Oil Heater?

Answer:

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 calculations:

 

15 Gallon Oil Heater
Temperature  120 volt 
Change in  1500 watt
Degrees F Element
   
10
.24 hours
20 0.48
30 0.72
40 0.96
50 1.2
60 1.44
70 1.68
80 1.92
90 2.16
100 2.4
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 FULL tank.
 
35 Gallon Oil Heater
Temperature  120 volt    240 volt 
Change in  1500 watt   3000 watt
Degrees F Element   Element
       
10
1.12 hours
 
.55 hours
20 2.25   1.11
30 3.37   1.66
40 4.49   2.21
50 5.61   2.76
60 6.73   3.31
70 7.85   3.86
80 8.97   4.41
90 10.09   4.96
100 11.21   5.51
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 FULL tank.  
 

Question:

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?

Answer:

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.

 

Question:

Does the Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) maintain a constant temperature at the level required?

Answer:

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 these fluctuations.

 

Question:

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?

Answer:

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 cycle circuits.

 

Question:

Is it possible to mix the base oils, water and lye for tracing in the Oil-Wax Heater (Melter)?

Answer:

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.

 

Question:

When making CP soap, can we add the essential or fragrance oils into your 15 gallon Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) s?

Answer:

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.

 

Question:

Will I need a pump connected to the Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) for direct pouring into my molds?

Answer:

You will not need a pump. You can gravity feed the material fairly easily if you use our 1.5” Three Way Ball Valve. This allows a full flow at a 90 degrees turn of the handle.

Oil - Candle Wax Heater Ball Valve

1.5 inch Ball Valve

 

Question:

What is a Ball Valve?

Answer:

It is a means to turn on and off the flow of the liquid. It is basically a large faucet with a fast shut off. To see a picture of this, go to http://www.soapequipment.com/heaters/

 

Question:

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?

Answer:

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.

 

Question:

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?

Answer:

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.

 

Question:

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.

Answer:

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 ” (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, piping, etc.

 

Question:

Does your Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) Thermostat read in both Celsius and Fahrenheit?

Answer:

Yes it does.

 

Question:

I notice that your Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) are double jacketed and that I must keep water in the outer jacket. What happens if I don’t always pay attention to this?

Answer:

Your heating element will burn out. You should check your water levels before every use. By doing this one simple thing, your Oil/Wax Heater should give you many years of service.

 

Question:

Do you have and will you install timers on your Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) for automatic turn on?

Answer:

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.

 

Question:

How much oil/water is left at the bottom of the tank when it is drained?

Answer:

If you tilt the tank 1/4" from back to front, it will drain completely.

 

Question:

At what flow rate does the Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) drain without a transfer pump?

Answer:

We put a 1.5" outlet on the tank. The Ball Valve opens fully. We have never timed it, but I think it empties in about 30 seconds or less.

Candle Wax

Candle Wax

Question:

Can I use your Oil-Wax Heater (Melter) for Candle wax?

Answer:

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.

 

Question:

Can you set an Oil Heater or Lye Tank at a particular set point and will it maintain that temperature?

Answer:

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.

 

 

Question:

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 valve.

Answer:

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.

 

Willow Way, LLC - Home Office

Sales, Design & Engineering

Phone: 765-530-0307

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Home Office & Shipping Address:

520 W. Main St.

Hagerstown, IN 47346

Willow Way LLC - Arkansas Office

Custom Large Production & Systems Sales

Phone: 870-429-8230

Click Here to Contact us

Willow Way LLC - Billing

This Address is for Billing Only:

12873 W E Oler Road

Hagerstown, IN 47346

Company Phone Listings

General Sales Questions and Ordering:

765-530-0307 ext.101

Custom Large Production & Systems Sales:

870-429-8230

Tech Support:

765-530-0307 ext.105

Shipping:

765-530-0307 ext.103

USA - Office Hours: Eastern Time Zone - Monday thru Friday - 8:00AM - 4:00PM

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