Frequently Asked Questions
- Activating the pack - The pack will not activate - How do I activate the pack?
- Generally this means that the activator is not generating enough friction at the time. Also, the number of activating motion varies with each use - anywhere between 1 to 10 bends / flexes. So if the pack does not activate immediately or on the first go, it is not faulty, just continue the activating motion until the pack activates. Should the activator work on say the 10th flex, do not be to concerned as the next time it will activate on perhaps the 1st, then 4th, then 2nd, 7th and so on.
TIP: It is much more effective for the activating motions to be slow deep bends / flexes rather then short rapid ones. The short rapid motion may not generate enough friction irrespective of how many times it is done.
- Resetting the pack - The pack will not reset - How do I reset the pack?
- The crystallisation process utilised by the packs once activated cannot be stopped. How this is relevant is that if for any reason a single crystal has been left in the pack when it was taken out of the boiling water, it will self activate. It will appear clear when taken out and will appear to be liquefied for about 10 to 15 minutes. However, as soon as the temperature of the pack drops below 54°C, the crystals will reform on their own.
If such is the case, the pack is not faulty. The pack simply needs to be completely liquefied.
This is done by leaving the pack in the boiling water for a period longer than the previous attempt. The recommended time of 10 to 15 minutes vary depending on whether or not you are using electricity or gas, the type and size of pot used and its heat conductivity etc.
If boiling more than one pack at a time, then add a few mintues to the boiling time.
TIP: The best way to avoid this is by doing the following. When you take the pack out of the boiling water (please take care as it will be very hot), lay it on a flat surface and alternately push on the ends of the pack in a seesaw action. This has the effect of “flushing” the liquid around the pack and thereby melting any rogue crystals that may still be present in the pack.
- Do I have to boil it each time? It is too inconvenient to boil each time.
- Yes. As the heat is caused by the change from a liquid to a solid, so you must bring it back to a liquid before you can use it again and you do this by boiling.
As for the inconvenience, with all heating products some work needs to be done to the product to generate the heat. Unlike other heat products, with our heat packs the work is done after the pack has been used not before. This unique feature brings about 3 core benefits:
1) allows the packs to be portable and have heat on demand;
2) allows for the controlling of the temperature to a safe and reliable;
3) it increases the length of the heat as the energy is produced by the pack not injected into it;
making it far more therapeutic.
Thus with one perceived inconvenience, you gain 3 major benefits.
TIP: To reduce the sense of inconvenience, after use, place the packs aside until the next time you are preparing a meal. The stove generally has 4 elements, thus place the packs in a pot and put it aside on one of the back elements. By the time the meal is prepared, the packs should be reset. By doing it as part of being in the kitchen, the sense of inconvenience, if any, will diminish.
- How long does the heat last? - How long will the pack stay hot?
- The heat will last between 20 to 90 minutes depending on the size of the pack and insulation. The Portable pack approx. 30 minutes. The Lower Body Pack and Neck and Shoulder Pack last for about 60 minutes. They all reach the same temperature of 54°C but the larger they are the longer the heat lasts.
TIP: To make the heat last long, insulate the pack using our belts or put the heat on your body and wrap a towel around it.
- Pack contents - What is the stuff inside? Is it safe?
- It is just salt water and vinegar (Sodium Acetate) and completely safe. Sodium is salt and acetate is vinegar. In fact, it is a food additive. The salt and vinegar taste in the "Salt & Vinegar Chips" is flavoured by this solution.
- The activator (disc) - How does it activate the pack?
- It is just a circular tin disc. No moving parts, no battery, no chemicals being released. That is why it activates for an infinite number of times. When you bend or flex the activator it creates friction. The friction is all it needs to start the exothermic process.
- How many times can I activate the packs? How long will the packs last?
- The exothermic reaction and the activator have infinite uses. The plastic shell of the packs, however, will deteriorate over time. Generally, the packs should last between 5 - 10 years. Once the plastic seal has broken, the pack will cease to work.
- Can I use it as a cold pack? How does it get cold?
- Yes. To use as a cold pack, place the packs into either the fridge for 1 hour or the freezer for 20 minutes (Do NOT Freeze).
- Is there a guarantee with this product?
- Yes, a 12-month product replacement warranty.
- Will the boiling damage the packs?
- No. Otherwise, we would not suggest it.
TIP: Don't forget to wrap the pack in a tea towel before placing it into a pot to boil. The pack must NOT come in contact with the side of the pot, it could melt and damage the pack. Some users only place a saucer in the pot and place the pack on top, Sketches Plus believes this is NOT sufficient.
- Can I use a microwave oven to reset the pack?
- No!, Do NOT put the heat pack in a microwave oven, it will melt the pack.
- How much weight can it tolerate?
- The packs can tolerate some steady pressure and are very difficult to break during proper use. Whilst it is always possible the pack may split during use, generally such damaged probably was caused sometime prior.
- What happens if it breaks while I am using it?
- In the event this occurs whilst it is hot, it will feel somewhat akin to candle wax. Wash off the sodium acetate with warm water.
Do NOT sit or lay on the pack.
If you are using the Lower Body Pack (Large) for your back, you should use our large ceramic stone belt with a velcro strap to keep the heat pack in place.
- The heat pack does not fit in my pot! Can I fold a solid pack?
- No!, Do NOT fold or bend a cold solid pack, it will break. Ideally you should get a large enough pot.
- Is the heat adjustable?
- No, the pack will heat to a safe 54°C in just seconds, then slowly cool.