How long is it safe to keep the heater plugged in? We’ve left it on over night, and it heats the bucket to an acceptable temp (not as warm as we would like, but do-able). My concern is that it says that it’s not intended to be left on 24/7. Is 12-16 hours ok?
It is safe to leave the heater on for 12-16 hours or so. The fewer hours the better. It will use less electricity and extend the life of the heater. The heat band is designed not to scorch the ingredients that you are heating. It will not go above 140 degrees. The goal in the Handcrafted design of our equipment is to preserve as much as possible the freshness, integrity and quality of the ingredients used.
A few suggestions that may help you with heating and maintaining your heat:
- Set the bucket on a piece of Stryofoam at least 1” thick. Using the silver round bottom that comes with the insulation jacket will help, but it is not thick enough or dense enough to actually hold in the heat from the bottom. A lot of heat can be lost from the bottom by not having it insulated properly.
- Make sure the heat band is placed toward the bottom of the bucket. The melting occurs at the bottom and works its way up to the top. And because it is only 200 watts (about like 2 old-style incandescent light bulbs), it will take time for the heat to spread up through the bucket.
- Invest in an inexpensive heater timer. It will help you get your bucket heated and have your product ready to go when you need it to be. You can set the timer for sometime early in the morning so it will be ready at your work time, and then have it kick off when you are done. We do sell an 1800 Watt Heater Timer that works with the Bucket Heater.