Heaters For Enclosure Freeze Protection

Safe-T-Cover offers heaters for aluminum enclosures to maintain freeze protection in even the harshest environments. To keep your device at a steady, warm temperature, you should consider a heater. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about heating aluminum enclosures.

On this page, you'll also find a video about heating and see a list of all the heaters we offer.

WILL I NEED HEAT FOR THE ENCLOSURE?

In any area where temperatures can fall and stay below freezing for a day or two, our recommendation is to add heating to the enclosure. This seems to be one of those "pay me now or pay me later" type of decisions we all deal with. As a design engineer, specify an ASSE 1060 class 1 enclosure and you can rest easy knowing the owner will never call you and ask why the backflow device is frozen and who will be paying for an expensive backflow replacement bill. This is not to mention the losses due to the building being without water until the repair is made. We routinely sell heaters for projects in the traditionally warm southern states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and on occasion in Florida. Mother Nature can surprise us, even Florida and Nevada can freeze sometimes. This blog post about backflow cages goes into more detail.

WHAT TYPES OF HEATERS ARE AVAILABLE AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

Wall Heaters

Most heaters in the industry are wall mounted. This method, in addition to being noncompliant with the ASSE standard, is simply unable to deliver the same amount of freeze protection as is provided by a floor heater. Because of the door configuration, wall heaters must be mounted to one side. And because they do not meet the wet/damp requirement, they must be mounted at a minimum of 12” off the slab. Remember that heated air always dissipates straight up, so these heaters’ warmth channels straight out of the top of the enclosure long before uniform warmth is achieved.

Slab Mounted Heaters

On the other hand, a slab mounted heater provides heat to both the internal equipment as well as the up to 16 inches down into the riser pipes beneath the slab. These heaters will maintain an interior temperature of 40° with an outside temperature of as low as  –30° as is needed to meet ASSE 1060 requirements. Safe-T-Cover’s patented slab mounted heaters are certified for wet/damp conditions. This is obviously necessary for waterworks equipment and really any enclosure that is not water tight. This unduplicated, rugged design has proven reliable for backflow preventer protection in severe environments for years. 

Heat Wrap Cable

We do offer a self-regulating heat cable. This heater type is wrapped around the backflow device. However, most enclosure manufacturers only provide the heat cable option for small diameter pipes only.

HOW MUCH HEAT DO I NEED AND WHAT VOLTAGES ARE AVAILABLE?

Safe-T-Cover offers the 1000 watt and 2000 watt slab mounted heaters at 120V and 240V as well. You should set the thermostat for wall mounted and slab mounted heaters at 40 degrees and the heater will maintain this temperature all the way down to -30 degrees F. Safe-T-Cover has sold enclosures for many years in Canada and in upstate NY where winters can be long and the temperatures are well below freezing for many days at a time. For more information, you can read our case study from St. John's, Newfoundland about how well aluminum enclosures perform in harsh environments.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE POWER FAILS?

Be Prepared is the Boy Scout motto which means you should always be in a state of readiness. Here is how you can make sure you're prepared if the power fails in the middle of a cold winter day. The first and foremost way to prepare against freezing pipes is to know the power has failed at the enclosure. We offer three different power and temperature failure alarms. There are simpler models with a light and alarm, and systems with remote monitoring and cell phone alerts. The second way you can be prepared is to have a plan in place to provide some type of heating for the enclosure if it looks like the power might be out for an extended period of time and the temperatures will be below freezing while the power is out. A 9,000 BTU portable propane heater will more than replace the output of a 2,000 watt electric heater.

HOW IS THE TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED? WHERE IS THE THERMOSTAT INSTALLED?

For smaller diameter pipe sizes, most manufacturers provide a self-regulating heat cable. This video from Instrument Specialties Inc. gives an overview of how these heating cables work. For the other two heating options, the wall mounted and slab mounted enclosure heaters, a thermostat determines when the heater will be energized. Most wall mounted heater thermostats are built into the body of the heater and are located high enough on the wall for the heater to be safe from water damage. For slab mounted heaters, the thermostat is installed about 12” above the slab. The thermostat is set at 40 degrees and are designed to maintain this temperature inside the enclosure all the way down to – 30 degrees F. That is, if the heater satisfies the ASSE 1060 class 1 requirements.

 

 

Model Number Mount Voltage Wattage BTUH Amps Length (in.) Specification Submittal Assembly Instructions List Price Sheet
Chromalox-30 Cable 120 90 0 0.75 18.00 Specification Submittal Instructions $99.00
HCH2000-120 Slab 120 2000 6824 16.66 37.00 Specification Submittal Instructions Not Sold Separately
HCH2000-240 Slab 240 2000 6824 8.33 37.00 Specification Submittal Instructions Not Sold Separately
HCHS1000-120 Slab 120 1000 3413 8.33 23.00 Specification Submittal Instructions Not Sold Separately
HCHS1000-240 Slab 240 1000 3413 4.16 23.00 Specification Submittal Instructions Not Sold Separately
HCHS500-120 Slab 120 500 1707 4.16 23.00 Specification Submittal Instructions Not Sold Separately
Chromalox-50011 Wall 120 500 1707 4.20 17.00 Specification Submittal Instructions $431.00
Chromalox-HVT-2411W Wall 120 2000 6824 16.66 28.00 Specification Submittal Instructions $684.00
King-U12100-SS Wall 120 1000 3412 8.33 17.00 Specification Submittal Instructions $361.00