Using Tanks at High Temperatures

Question:

On the 6 gallon, can you tell me how long does it take to melt the wax to 180 degrees from being cooled from start.

Answer:

It is hard to tell exactly how long it will take to melt the wax at 180 degrees. If all conditions are perfect: Insulated tank, room temps on all, no big chunks, 1500 watt element…..probably 1.5 hours. Going higher than 170 degrees to melt your wax is doable, but there are some precautions and instructions that need to be followed to keep the tank operating correctly, cut down on technical issues and obtain optimum results:

  1. To efficiently get beyond 170° you should insulate your tank very well. Really, you should always insulate your tank.
  2. We recommend this in any case because the room is always going to be cooler than the tank so it is going to be sucking heat off the tank no matter what.
  3. We suggest placing the tank on a 1″ (25mm) or thicker styrofoam pad, with a piece of plywood, masonite or OSB between the tank and foam. This keeps the heat transfer down.
  4. Insulate the tank well around the outside. We do sell an insulation jacket for our tanks but if you are trying to get high temps get two jacket thicknesses.
  5. Use an element with a higher wattage. This is a quick fix but not the most efficient or best.
  6. Do not keep opening and closing the lid to see how you are doing.
  7. Very Important: Use a Heat Transfer Liquid in place of water in the outer tank jacket. PPG (Polypropylene Glycol) is an industry standard for this type of application.
    • Purchase a PPG with a corrosion inhibitor. The inhibitor keeps the solution from damaging the element.
    • PPG allows you to get above boiling point in the outer jacket making it much easier to transfer heat to the inner at higher temps. This is much safer than boiling water which will then cause steam, dripping, condensation, etc.
    • You want to use a 30-40% solution, 3 parts PPG to 7 parts water.