Maintenance Tips for Tubular Heaters: Ensuring Longevity and Efficiency


In this blog post, we will explore maintenance tips for tubular heaters to ensure their longevity and efficiency. Tubular heaters are widely used in various industries and applications, and proper maintenance is essential to keep them functioning optimally. By following these maintenance tips and taking preventive measures, you can extend the lifespan of your heaters and maximize their performance.

Understanding Tubular Heaters:

Before delving into maintenance tips, let’s first understand what tubular heaters are. Tubular heaters are electric heating elements that consist of a heating coil encased in a metal sheath. They are designed to generate heat when an electric current passes through the coil. Tubular heaters are commonly used for heating liquids, gasses, and solids in industrial processes, as well as for applications such as space heating, water heating, and food processing.

The basic design consists of a resistance wire or coil precisely centered in a metal sheath. Magnesium oxide surrounds this wire or coil, ensuring efficient heat transfer from the coil to the heating medium. Diameters are varied to give customized design and adjustable watt densities for best performance and long life. Bending radius is carefully chosen to give optimum performance.

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They are available in both single-ended and double-ended designs.

The single-ended tubular design

The single-ended tubular design has both terminals at one end. The opposite end is sealed. Flexible lead wires are 12 in. (305 mm) crimp connected to the terminal pin and have silicone-impregnated fiberglass over-sleeves. Maximum watt density is up to 45 W/inch² while the maximum operating temperature is 1200°F, and hence INCOLOY and stainless steel sheaths can be used. 

The double-ended tubular design

The double-ended design has round cross-sectional geometry and is highly adaptable for bending, especially when bending is performed in the field. Double-ended tubular elements offer several assemblages of resistor coils and thermocouples inside one sheath. They have the ability to sense the heater’s internal temperature accurately every time or offer three-phase capability in one element. Maximum watt density is up to 120 W/inch² while the maximum operating temperature is 1800°F, and hence INCOLOY and stainless steel sheaths can be used.

Key Maintenance Tips of tubular heater: 

Regular Cleaning:

Clean the surface of the tubular heaters periodically to remove dust, dirt, and any other contaminants that may have accumulated. Use a soft cloth or a brush to gently wipe the surface. Avoid using abrasive materials that could damage the heaters.

Inspect for Damage:

Conduct routine inspections to check for any signs of damage, such as cracks, dents, or corrosion on the metal sheath. If you notice any damage, it is crucial to address it promptly to prevent further deterioration and potential malfunction.

Check Electrical Connections:

Ensure that the electrical connections of the tubular heaters are secure and free from loose wires or exposed conductors. Loose connections can lead to poor performance or even electrical hazards. Tighten any loose connections and repair or replace damaged wires as necessary.

Monitor Temperature:

Monitor the operating temperature of the tubular heaters. Excessive heat can shorten their lifespan and affect their efficiency. Use temperature sensors or thermocouples to monitor the temperature and make adjustments if needed.


If your tubular heaters have temperature control mechanisms or thermostats, it’s important to calibrate them periodically. Over time, these devices can drift from their original settings, resulting in inaccurate temperature readings or inefficient operation. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional assistance to calibrate the temperature control devices properly.

Power Disconnect:

Before conducting any maintenance tasks or inspections, disconnect the power supply to the tubular heaters to ensure your safety. This step helps prevent electrical shocks and accidents during maintenance activities.

Document Maintenance Activities:

Keep a record of all maintenance activities performed on the tubular heaters. This documentation serves as a reference for future inspections, repairs, or replacements. It also helps identify any recurring issues and track the overall performance and lifespan of the heaters.

Professional Maintenance:

If you have a large number of tubular heaters or complex heating systems, consider entering into maintenance with a professional service provider. These include regular inspections, preventive maintenance, and priority support in case of emergencies. Professional technicians can help identify potential problems early on and provide proactive solutions to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your heaters.

Preventive Measures:

  • Proper Insulation: Insulate the tubular heaters and their surrounding areas adequately to minimize heat loss and improve energy efficiency. Proper insulation helps maintain the desired temperature and reduces strain on the heaters.
  • Dust and Debris Control: Implement measures to minimize the accumulation of dust and debris near the tubular heaters. Excessive debris can hinder heat transfer and potentially cause overheating. Regularly clean the surrounding area and consider installing protective covers or screens if necessary.
  • Avoid overloading: Ensure that the electrical load on the tubular heaters is within their specified capacity. Overloading can lead to overheating and premature failure. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional advice to determine the appropriate load for your tubular heaters.

When to Seek Professional Help:

While regular maintenance can help prevent many issues, there may be situations where professional assistance is necessary. Consider seeking professional help in the following scenarios:

  • Complex Repairs: If you encounter complex issues or extensive damage to the tubular heaters, it is advisable to consult a qualified technician or engineer. They have the expertise to diagnose and repair complex problems effectively.
  • Safety Concerns: If you notice any electrical issues, such as frequent tripping of circuit breakers or abnormal heating patterns, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Contact a professional to assess and address the problem to avoid potential hazards.


Proper maintenance is vital for ensuring the longevity and efficiency of tubular heaters. By following the key maintenance tips outlined in this article, conducting routine inspections, and taking preventive measures, you can maximize the performance of your heaters and avoid costly repairs or replacements. Remember to prioritize safety and seek professional assistance when necessary to address complex issues or safety concerns. With regular maintenance, your tubular heaters will continue to provide reliable and efficient heat for your various applications.

Explore more about industrial heaters and tubular heaters at Marathon Heater and experience the innovation in heating and sensing technologies.

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