4 Types of Drum Heaters Electric

4 Types of Drum Heaters Electric

Posted by Adelle Webber on

Industrial Electric Drum Heaters

drum storage heating

There are 4 primary types of industrial drum heaters with each offering different characteristics and ease of operation.  Depending on your application one may be more suitable than the others.  Each of the following types is available for 5-gallon buckets to 55-gallon drums.

Drum heaters can melt or reduce the viscosities of materials such as soap, fats, varnishes, oils, foodstuffs, or others needing to be pumped or poured.  Also called barrel heaters here are the 4 main types of industrial heaters for drums.

  • Base Drum Heaters
  • Blanket Drum Heaters
  • Induction Drum Heaters
  • Band Drum Heaters

Base drum heaters


  • Heat bottom up
  • Convection circulation of material
  • Best for liquifying


  • Placing heavy drums on top of the heater or the heater under the barrel
  • The bottom of the drum tends to be hotter than the top
  • Not suitable for plastic drums
  • Expensive 

drum base heater

These types of heaters are placed under or the drum is placed on top of the heater.  Most come with adjustable thermostats that are incorporated into the base to control the temperature.  

These heaters are great for melting frozen contents from the bottom.  Liquefying frozen or solid contents is their strength. 

drum base heater

They are also well suited for products that require pumping because most pumps have intakes that reach the bottom of the barrel.  The natural circulation of bottom heating also helps with materials that may need constant mixing.

The disadvantage of this type of heater is placing heavy barrels on top of the heater and removing them. 

It takes a while for the bottom heater to melt or liquefy all of the contents and the bottom tends to be warmer than the top.

Blanket Drum Heaters


  • Great for outdoor climates
  • Insulates the heated drum
  • Even heat distribution


  • Can be difficult to install in tight places
  • Removing can be cumbersome
  • Not as expensive as a base heater

drum blanket heaters

Full coverage or blanket or jacketed drum heaters enclose the circumference of the drum from top to bottom in a heating blanket. These types of heaters work well in outdoor cold climates.

A blanket heater provides evenly applied heat for steel or plastic drums.  If a gentle consistent heat is a need at a constant temperature the full coverage heater may be the right choice.

The disadvantages include difficulty in covering industrial-sized drums in tight locations.  Removing and applying the heater to another drum is cumbersome.

Induction Drum Heaters


  • Heats drum without contact
  • Easy to install on metal drums
  • Lower power consumption
  • Can be used in hazardous areas


  • Won’t work with plastic drums
  • The quality of the drum can affect the effectiveness
  • Most expensive and requires a lift to install on the drum.

Induction heaters can be base or cylindrical types.  Obviously only usable for steel drums in that the heat transfer is by alternating electrical fields.  The heat is created in the drum wall itself allowing the induction coil to remain cool.

induction drum heater explosion proof

The cylindrical induction drum heater can be easily placed over the top of the drum and doesn’t need to be in direct contact with the drum.  

This type of heater is suitable for explosion-proof requirements due to completely enclosed electrical components.  Since the heater is cooler than the drum spills don’t present a fire hazard.

These types of heaters are one of the fastest for heating the contents of the drum.

Band Drum Heaters


  • Easy storage, application, and removal
  • Silicone is excellent heat transfer and insulation properties
  • Applies heat bottom or through-out
  • Can be used on metal or plastic drums
  • Least expensive solution


  • Multiple bands are needed for full drum heating
  • Not the best for melting or liquifying

Band Drum Heaters

The most popular band and pail heater is the silicone rubber band heater.  The fine wire flexible heating elements are encapsulated in silicone rubber strengthen by fiberglass woven material.  These heaters are designed to wrap tightly around the drum in bands.  Full coverage requires three bands while bottom heating only one.

Silicone is both an ideal conductor and an insulator. Silicone transfers heat efficiently but also insulates electrical elements from coming into contact with the drum or other surfaces.

With a built-in temperature controller, capillary thermostat control, and power cord these heaters are easy to power with standard electrical 110/120 V or 220/240 V plugs.  The heaters also come with built-in springs or clasps to easily attach and move from one drum to another.

These heaters offer fast high-powered heating performance in a self-contained easily installed and removed package.

HSSD Silicone Side Drum Heaters

HSSD Drum Heater Silicone Bands

Heat Solutions Silicone Drum heaters contain high-quality silicone-covered heating elements with double insulated construction.  These heaters are ideal for IPX1 protection. 

These heaters have Class II insulated construction with a hook and spring attached for easy insulation.  An 80-inch power cord adds flexibility to its location.  

Temperature ranges from 32 -240 degrees Fahrenheit at 110 - 240 volts AC.

The silicone side electric drum heaters come in standard sizes for  5, 15, 30, and 55 gallons.

Need to know more about the silicone side drum heaters?



Talk to an industrial heating specialist about the best size and power rating for your application. 

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