How To Inspect Your Cartridge Heaters For Faulty Parts

Posted on: 28 March 2016

Cartridge heaters in industrial settings perform a wide variety of heating and melting duties. When the cartridge heaters go bad, it throws your production line off completely. If you have someone in the plant replace the cartridge heaters rather than hire an HVAC contractor to do the job, then here are some pointers for inspecting cartridge heaters. By inspecting them before you install them you can prevent further interruptions in your daily operations.

Take the Cartridge Heaters out of the Packaging

When you receive your order of cartridge heaters, take them all out of the shipment box and then out of any packaging. Promptly examine them, using a magnifying class if need be. (Some cartridge heaters are very small, which might make the examination process trickier if you do not have a way to magnify their parts for viewing.) If the protected wires are bound in a bundle, carefully unbundle the wires and stretch them out without tugging on them or forcing them into a very straight position.

Look for Loose Components

Many cartridge heaters are thusly named for the metal cylinder that encapsulates part or almost all of the wiring. This is the heating element component, and it should not be loose around the wires. The metal casing should not slip and slide up and down the length of the wires. It should be firmly sealed around the wiring. Additionally, the wires themselves should be wrapped in a protective plastic coating to prevent electrocution when the the cartridge heater is installed.

Look for Dents and Cuts

Dents in the body of the cartridge can be indicative of damage to the internal heating elements. Cuts to the plastic coating around the wires may allow for electricity to jump, or arc, from the wires to the heating element or any other surrounding metal object. Exposed wires can also cause shorts in the heating system when moisture from the air in your plant or liquids find their way onto the exposed wires. No matter how small the flaw in the components of the cartridge heater, you will want to avoid these faulty parts at all cost. Take some pictures of the faults and flaws you see, then send the parts back to the manufacturer when you request a refund.

Connect the Heater to a Tester to Test for Heating Flaws

There is a piece of equipment you can buy to test your heating elements in the cartridges. The connecting wires from the cartridge are connected to the tester, and when the tester is flipped on, the cartridge should heat up quickly and turn hot red. The heat should radiate off the cartridge easily. If none of these things occur when you connect the cartridge to the tester, then you already have a faulty cartridge and you should send it back to the seller.