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Old 07-18-2014, 11:18 AM
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Heating/warming a tote?

I have some oil that is full of fats and thick stuff. I can heat it up and it thins out nicely. Right now I can pump it around no prob or gravity feed it but that is because its 100 out. I am looking for a way to heat a tote up. I need maybe 100 deg in the tote to get the oil thin enough to gravity to my CF where I have a heater that gets it to 160 deg.

I have seen some nice tote wrap blankets to heat the tote but they are $1600 bucks. There is a company that makes a heat pad that goes under the tote to heat it up but that is $600 ish. I have in the past used a HWH element dangling in a tote or barrel (not touching the sides!) and that worked ok but slow. Price was less than 20 bucks. I have thought about using waterbed heater pads under/around a tote to see if that works.

I have a 25 gal hwh available so I thought about running a big heat loop in the totes with pex or something like that (cheap and easy) and then heating up the water and using a small pump to circulate the water. more tube = more surface area to warm the oil.

Looking for other ideas if anyone has them!
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:53 AM
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Pex doesnt conduct heat well. If you went that route, use aluminum tube.
I would check all the thrift stores for a water bed heater. Then the only issue is getting it under the tote with good contact.
A bucket heater dropped in the top would be my next choice. Drop it in all the way on the bottom and leave it for 3-4 hours.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:21 PM
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I am kinda leaning towards the heat loop because that opens the door for a solar heat collector too. Dang my redneck engineer mind is going crazy with ideas.

I know they use PEX in radiant heating so I figured it would work here too. I did not think plastic tub was all that good anyway.

The down side to the waterbed heater is they are usually 200-300 watts. that seems pretty low power wise and I fear it will take a long time to warm the tote.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:41 PM
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Use black poly pipe
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:44 PM
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Same type 1/2" used in heating swimming pools use 12v solar panel and run 12v pump to keep water moving
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