Trace Heating for Pipes, Tanks & Vessels
Every pipe, tank, vessel and impulse line is prone to heat loss when its temperature is greater than the ambient temperature. Thermal insulation can help to slow this process, but it doesn’t completely stop it and trace heating installers understand this. Installing trace heating systems can replace some of, if not all, of the heat lost depending on the situation at hand and what you want to achieve.
To keep pipes warm, electrical heat tracing uses special cables with resistance elements. These cables and tapes replace lost heat with their own power to keep temperatures steady. There are different types of systems available based on what you need. A simple thermostat can control the heat, turning on when it's cold and off when it's hot. This can be a standalone unit or part of the plant's control system.
Electrical trace heating is really important for pipes, tanks, and vessels. It adds controlled heat to prevent pipes from freezing, keep temperatures right, and ensure liquids flow smoothly. This helps avoid damage, leaks, and problems from extreme temperatures. It also saves energy and reduces maintenance downtime. In short, trace heating makes industrial operations with pipes, tanks, and vessels safer and more efficient.
If you need a commercial or industrial trace heating system, contact a member of our friendly team today. Thermal Clad are leading trace heating contractor with decades of experience, so there is rarely a system we are unfamiliar with.
Expert Trace Heating Installers
With over 40 years of combined experience, we are recognised as one of the industry's top insulation contractors and installers. We take pride in being a community business that offers high-quality trace heating services in every aspect of the trade. We are also proud to be accredited as safe contractors.
Our managing director has experience installing trace heating systems and is knowledgeable about all trace heating installation procedures, so he can guarantee that every system is put in accordance with the most recent industry standards. We are supported by a highly qualified team that specialises in using trace heating to prevent frost.
We can supply and set up products and systems suitable for domestic, commercial, and industrial pipe trace heating applications, as well as ATEX-approved products for hazardous environments. We get all of our trace heating cables and related supplies from our helpful supplier network, which additionally offers the best suggestions and solutions. A wide variety of heating cables and ancillaries are available from our vendors.
We've worked with clients on projects in the past where we fitted trace heating and insulation to chilled water and heating pipework on external plant locations that required protection from frost.
Our Trace Heating Installation Services
We are expert trace heating installers offering bespoke trace heating installation services for domestic, commercial and industrial clients. We are capable of installing trace heating systems for hot water maintenance as well as frost protection.
Hot Water Temperature Maintenance Trace Heating
Hot water maintenance trace heating is designed to ensure instant hot water is always available from taps whilst simultaneously lowering overall power consumption and water wastage. A self-regulating, electrical trace heating cable...>
Electrical Trace Heating - Key Benefits
Increased protection from frost damage
A major advantage of using electric trace heating for pipes is its frost protection. In winter, pipes can freeze and break, leading to costly replacements. Installing trace heating cables and tape helps prevent pipe bursts and the associated expenses.
Improved energy efficiency
Another advantage of pipe trace heating is better energy efficiency after installation. The cables keep product temperatures right in pipelines, tanks, and vessels, which saves energy and cuts costs for your business, especially in big systems. Trace heating cables adjust their temperature automatically, making heat only where and when needed. This means you'll save money on future pipe changes and energy bills once everything's set up.
Easy to use and install
Pipe trace heating systems offer more than just cost reduction and protection – they are also user-friendly and straightforward to install. This is because the cables can be cut to the right length on-site, which makes it simpler to put them in tricky spots. In short, businesses get all the advantages without the hassle of complex installation procedures for electrical trace heating services.
Trace Heating Contractors With Experience
We are reputable trace heating contractors, who have had the pleasure of installing electrical trace heating for a variety of notable organisations throughout the UK. You can rely on us to deliver excellent results regardless of how complicated your pipe, tank, or vessel systems are.
Click on the projects below to view some of our work and learn about our clients' successes.
Works included insulation to heating, chilled water, domestic services, as well as ductwork, throughout 2no. high-rise tower block buildings
The works included the insulation and cladding of identical units and associated ductwork.
Works included insulation to ductwork in relation to 2no. large kilns and 1no. large drier. This is one of our largest projects to date.
The works included the trace heating, insulation and cladding of pipework systems with the installation of jackets to valves, flanges and instruments at an AD plant facility.
Insulation work here included grey Velcro insulation mats to valves and flanges as a better alternative to aluminium clad boxes.
We installed electrical trace heating for frost protection on numerous surge vessels on site to upgrade the water supply system.
Thermal Clad installed insulation and cladding of a new steam distribution system at Oxoid, a part of Thermo Fisher Scientific.
We completed the installation of pipework and vessels to clear up sewage before putting water back into the river.
Entering into the renewable energy space, we installed an ESP (Electrostatic Precipitator) unit.
The UK's Leading Insulation Experts
Over the last two decades, we have helped many commercial and industrial businesses with their pipe and ductwork insulation. No matter how complex your system is, we guarantee that we have the expertise needed to insulate it.
But you don't have to take our word for it; read what our happy clients have had to say about our fantastic insulation services.
Our goal at Thermal Clad is to not only provide our customers with the finest service possible but also to keep them informed about new products and industry trends.
Please feel free to check out some of our expert insulation guides below:
Various types of sheet metal cladding can be used to cover insulation. This protects against the elements and can…
The importance of choosing the right material for thermal insulation Thermal insulation is the reduction of the transfer of…
Rock Mineral Wool Insulation & Glass Wool Insulation Rock Mineral Wool & Glass Wool Insulation Types: What are they…
Electrical Trace Heating - FAQs
Trace heating is a method used to raise the temperature of pipes or surfaces to prevent freezing, maintain process temperatures or aid substance flow within them. Electric heating elements or special heating cables are installed along the length of the surface requiring temperature control.
Trace heating is used across multiple industries to regulate the temperatures of pipes and surfaces in numerous situations including freeze protection, process temperature maintenance, anti-condensation, storage tank heating, snow melting, comfort heating and pipeline heating.
A trace heating system can have a varied lifespan but, if well-designed, correctly installed and properly maintained, should be expected to last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, and even longer with appropriate usage. Other key factors that can affect the life span include the quality of components, operating conditions, technological advances and usage patterns.
There is no definite answer to this as there are various factors to consider, including the type of heating cable, the power output, the length of the cable, operation duration, local electricity rates, insulation and ambient temperature and the system’s energy efficiency. For example, a self-regulating, low watt per meter (W/m), short distance, lesser time of operation, with well-insulated pipes will be more economical than a high-power system, operating over a great distance with exposed pipes.
It is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and all safety guidelines when terminating a trace heating cable, and consulting a qualified electrician is advised. The process involves preparing the cable by cutting it to the desired length, stripping the jacket to expose the conductors and connecting them to the splice kit. Use heat shrink tubing to insulate the conductor connections and slide the end seal termination kit over the conductors, ensuring a proper seal using a heat gun.
CT (Constant Wattage) and CR (Self-Regulating) are both types of trace heating cables, but they operate differently based on their electrical characteristics. CT trace heating cables have a fixed wattage meaning their heat output remains constant regardless of the temperature or external ambience. A CR cable will adjust its heat output as the external temperature changes. This makes CR cables more efficient as they only consume the power necessary for the current conditions.
Trace heating cables work by converting energy into heat and transferring it to the surface, pipe or vessel it is installed. CT cables will output a constant heat whilst CR cables will continually adjust according to the external ambience.
There are various methods to control a trace heating system depending on the desired level of temperature regulation, the type of trace heating cable and the application. Thermostats are often employed to monitor and activate the system when the temperature drops below the desired level. Manual controls are operated by a user as and when they feel more heat is required. Timers are used to set the system to power on/off at specific times and sensors are employed to automatically regulate by monitoring the surface temperature and transferring data to the control system which could make required adjustments.
Trace heating systems tend to operate on AC (alternating current) power between 120V and 480V. AC is the most common electrical power type used in industrial, commercial and residential applications.
Yes, it is entirely possible to use a trace heating cable on a PVC pipe, but you must ensure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions as PVC pipes may require specific insulation and trace heating cables of the correct temperature rating for the material.
It is always advised to refer to the manufacturer’s manual and safety guidelines before testing a trace heating cable and following the given steps accordingly. This will generally include checking the power supply, an insulation resistance test, a continuity test, a wattage output test and a temperature measurement and sensor test. All results need to be documented correctly.
Get in touch and talk to one of our trace heating experts to help complete this procedure safely and effectively.