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Safe Reliable Performance


An improperly designed hot oil heat transfer system can present both a fire and safety hazard for personnel. The existence of these hazards has resulted in the development of a wide range of codes and standards covering the design and installation of hot oil systems.  These codes and standards are now requirements for most local building codes, insurance companies and thermal fluid manufacturers. 

SAFETY is at the core of HEAT's design philosophy.  HEAT does not compromise on the safety and well-being of our customers, and we believe our customers should not be exposed to additional liability that comes with installing a hot oil system that does not meet the requirements of the fluid manufacturer or insurance company. We have sought out third-party certifications that support our committment to safety.

HEAT encourages our customers to check with their local codes, insurance providers, and obtain design guides that most fluid suppliers have available.  Most likely the following codes and standards will apply to the design and installation of new hot oil systems:

  • NFPA 30 - Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code - Requires that hot oil piping be constructed in accordance with ANSI B31 code for pressure piping.
  • OSHA Standard 1910.106 - Flammable and Combustible Liquids
  • ANSI B31 - Power Piping Code - Requires a welded piping system for hot oil
  • ASME - Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code - Applies to all vessels operating at over 15 PSIG.
  • NFPA 70 - National Electric Code
  • NFPA 79 - Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery
  • NFPA 87 - Recommended Design Practice Standard for Fluid Heaters, developed as a response to requests from manufacturers, insurance companies, trade associations, and users for safety guidance regarding fuel-fired and electric fluid heaters.
  • FM Global - Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets #'s 7-99 & 7-88 - This or similar standards will normally be required by an insurance provider. Some key features of this standard include:
    • Welded piping systems per ANSI B31
    • Flanged connections with spiral wound gaskets
    • ASME vessels and tanks
    • Non-Wicking cellular glass pipe insulation
    • No use of copper, bronze or cast iron in the piping system
    • Wide range of required safety and control interlocks and alarms

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Heat Standard Design Practices


PIPING SYSTEM STANDARD PRACTICES:  Welded construction, Seamless Schedule 40 & extra heavy piping, socket, and butt weld fittings, raised face flanges, spiral wound gaskets, high strength studs and nuts, forged steel valves, pneumatic, hydrostatic, and hot functional leak tests of piping. 

BENEFITS: Meets material requirements of ANSI B31 Piping Code, no leaks from threaded piping, reduces risk of fire hazards, reduces need for maintenance, meets requirements of insurance providers, ensures material compatibility with heat transfer fluids 

INSULATION STANDARD PRACTICES: Use of non-wicking cellular glass insulation on heater chamber and all internal piping, jacketing with aluminum or liquid-proof mastic. 

BENEFITS: Increases energy efficiency, reduces energy cost, eliminates risk of spontaneous auto-oxidation fire associated with oil-wicking type insulations, meets insurance requirements, meets personnel protection safety codes. 

EXPANSION TANK STANDARD PRACTICES: Located at the highest point of a system, designed as a pressure vessel, oversized venting, air bleed vent, liquid level gauge, nitrogen blanketed based on fluid vapor pressure, ASME stamped as required by code.  

BENEFITS: Reduces thermal oxidation of fluid, facilitates system fill, venting and start up, meets codes and insurance requirements, reduced maintenance, increases fluid life, meets requirements of thermal fluid manufacturers. 

HEATER STANDARD PRACTICES: Stainless-steel heater elements. Heat flux density from 8 to 20 w/in2 based on fluid film temperature, flow baffles to increase velocity over elements, chamber designed as a pressure vessel, high-limit sensor on element sheath, ASME stamped as required by code. 

BENEFITS: Increases life of heater, eliminates thermal oxidation of fluid, meets codes and insurance requirements, reduces maintenance, increase fluid life, meets requirements of thermal fluid manufacturers. 

PUMP STANDARD PRACTICES: Centrifugal pump with air- or water-cooled mechanical seals, TEFC motors, flanged connections, flow- and head-pressure based on application requirements. 

BENEFITS: Reduces risk of over-pressure condition, increases fluid life, reduces maintenance, meets requirement of fluid manufacturers. 

CONTROLS STANDARD PRACTICES: NEMA rated enclosures, main power disconnect, branch circuit protection, SCR power control, high-limit safety controller, digital temperature controller, appropriate conduits to each component, fused control voltage transformer, built to NEC. 

BENEFITS: Increases energy efficiency, better temperature control, increases heater life, increases fluid life, meets codes and insurance requirements, reduces maintenance, meets requirements of fluid manufacturers. 

OPTIONAL COOLER STANDARD PRACTICES: Parallel cooling circuit, ASME shell & tube heat exchanger, 3-way diverting control valve, stainless steel U-tubes welded to the tube sheet 

BENEFITS: Eliminates thermal shock, better temperature control, longer equipment life, increases safety, meets codes and insurance requirements, reduces maintenance. 

HOT FUNCTIONAL TEST STANDARD PRACTICES: Prior to shipment, hot oil systems are filled and given an operational test at the system’s design temperature. The customer is invited to witness this factory test. 

BENFITS: Ensures functionality of all components and controls, eliminates potential start-up problems, Opportunity for customer inspection and training. 

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