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Blown enclosure heating

daniel648392

Not so new Member
Hey guys I've got a second hand enclosure that's a few months old and noticed this burn mark when the bulb blew (hopefully you can see the attached pic). I'd rather not fiddle with wires so have been looking for a pre wired setup I could reinstall but haven't had much luck, any ideas? I've seen brackets that you can use to hold in a pre wired light with a cord and then I'd have to buy a new thermostat to plug them into. Anyone know of anything useful that Bunnings may have? Any help appreciated cheers
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Bluetongue1

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
Hey guys I've got a second hand enclosure that's a few months old and noticed this burn mark when the bulb blew (hopefully you can see the attached pic). I'd rather not fiddle with wires so have been looking for a pre wired setup I could reinstall but haven't had much luck, any ideas? I've seen brackets that you can use to hold in a pre wired light with a cord and then I'd have to buy a new thermostat to plug them into. Anyone know of anything useful that Bunnings may have? Any help appreciated cheers
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There are burnt sections of the plastic sheathing over the wires, which show the wires were overheating. I strongly recommend that the likely cause of this overheating be determined, before you even consider any replacement. You don’t want the same thing to happen again, ever. To help you do this, I have a few questions… Was the enclosure home-made? What was the original globe type and wattage that it came with? If you changed the globe, what type of globe and wattage did you replace it with? Was the globe holder originally in the middle of the dome? What is the tan coloured stuff around the centre of the dome? Whereabouts in the enclosure was this fitting located? A photo of the enclosure would really help here. BTW what do you intend to keep in the enclosure, as that will have a major influence on recommended replacement heating.
 

daniel648392

Not so new Member
Thanks for the response. The enclosure was bought from amazing Amazon, I'm not sure what globes the store sold it with but when I bought it off the guy it had 75w and 50w infrared globes which I changed to the same watt hot spot globes. I installed the cage domes around the globes. The tan coloured stuff is the pine wood that wasn't painted properly. The fittings are located on the top left of the enclosure and it's housing a diamond python.
 

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Bluetongue1

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
Unfortunately, the descriptions of the globes do not really provide enough information to draw any firm conclusions about heat given off. Simply replacing bulbs with those of a similar wattage is no guarantee that the bulb will give off a similar amount of heat nor heat up itself to the same temperature. So I cannot say how much they may have contributed to the problem. The other thing is that Amazing Amazon only have melamine wooden enclosures advertised. It also sounds suspect that they would not have sold a painted pine one, and one that was not properly painted at that.

Firstly, I need to point out that I am not an electrician. So please bear that in mind whilst reading the following. Based on what I can see and what you have said, I strongly suspect that whoever sold you the enclosure was telling you “porky pies”. The enclosure smacks of being a DIY job. The light socket has no base, which is normally what is used to fix light fittings to the ceiling. All that appears to be holding it in place is the electrical cable tie. I am even wondering if the base was not glued in place and that the tan colour material is from melted glue. IMO no qualified sparky would do that.

A DIY job also calls into question a number of other aspects. Such as how much of the sheathing on the wires was removed? Were the exposed ends of the wire correctly twisted to provide maximum electrical contact and also prevent the wire from being able to be pulled out once the contact screw was fully tightened. It also makes you wonder if the wire used was in fact rated for 240V. When you add in a globe, was the set-up heat resistant enough? Was there the required air flow around the socket for heat dissipation? Clearly something was not up to standard. My suggestion is that totally remove the existing wiring and fittings. Thoroughly sand back the ceiling of the enclosure to remove any carbon traces, as these can conduct electricity. Reseal with 3 or 4 coats of poly urethane.

There are a few options open to you once you have done that. I assume you are looking for the cheapest. However, before discussing those, there are few safety questions I have. There seems to be some measure of burning that occurred before the globe burnt out. How were you alerted to the problem? Did it throw out ant switches or fuses in your power box. Does the dwelling have an RCD switch (which stands out because it is bright blue). If so, is there one or two? Sorry, but these are important safety questions that need answering if you don't mind.
 
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meako

Not so new Member
Similar to this...I had a CHE..in my Bredlis house that I built...on a timer...on and off everyday for the last 2 years ....revently had a couple of very warm days so I switched it all off...When I switched it on again it shorted and blew the ceramic lampholder apart...the insulation had degraded from the heat....it could verylikely have caught fire...at no time did the fusebox of my house trip....old school wire fuses....I had it all upgraded to a new fuse box with RCDs...the CHE was ReptiZoo....i got off the internet....now replaced with a ReptiOne.....that said theses things should be replaced annually....even just for peace of mind.
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
These things should never be used. There are cheaper, better, more reliable and safer alternatives. I struggle to think of any heat source at all which isn't better, other than maybe blue party globes (and even they are at least safer and put out better heat).
 

daniel648392

Not so new Member
Thanks guys, I ended up ripping it all out and using a pre wired setup. I think I'm using too much power as I'm currently living in a converted garage behind a house, I've had the vacuum turn on and off depending on whether the fridge is on or off
 

meako

Not so new Member
These things should never be used. There are cheaper, better, more reliable and safer alternatives. I struggle to think of any heat source at all which isn't better, other than maybe blue party globes (and even they are at least safer and put out better heat).
Hey Sdaji...are you referring to che s? And what do you reccomend..?
Im very leery if che s now after what happened....it went boom.
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
Hey Sdaji...are you referring to che s? And what do you reccomend..?
Im very leery if che s now after what happened....it went boom.
Yes.

Depends what you're using it for.
 

Bluetongue1

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
Thanks guys, I ended up ripping it all out and using a pre wired setup. I think I'm using too much power as I'm currently living in a converted garage behind a house, I've had the vacuum turn on and off depending on whether the fridge is on or off
At this point I am more concern about your safety than anything else. The first thing I would want to know is whether it is only one of the grey thermal throw-out switches that is tripping out the power, or whether the RCD switch is throwing out. These are designed to do different things. The thermal throw-out is a fuse which cuts off electricity when the circuit is drawing more power than it is designed to carry and begins to overheat. The RCD switch is designed to detect if any current is leaking from the circuit(s) and so prevent possible electrocution. If the RCD switch is throwing out, my advice would be to get an electrician to check out why. BTW, there should be two RCD switches, one for the lighting circuits and the other for the power circuits. It’s the power circuit one you are interested in. RCD switches are designed to test them to ensure they are functioning correctly. The instructions for testing will be in the power box – just push the button and it should cause the RCD to click off immediately. If it is slow or fails to click off, you need an electrician.

If it just the thermal throw-out switch cutting the power, then it is likely that the power drawn to run the fridge and the vacuum at the same time exceeds the load that the power circuit is designed is designed to carry. It is unlikely that the power drawn by a couple of enclosures would have significant impact on that. It sounds like there may only be one power circuit to the garage. It also sounds like it is not up to scratch as I can run the fridge and my vacuum from the same power point without a problem. Both the fridge and vacuum will have an electrical appliance plate with their power usage (wattage) on them. You can check with you state electrical regulator whether a power circuit should be able to cope with the combined wattages. You may have legal grounds to have the existing circuit upgraded or at least added to. BTW, Do you have a separate power meter for the converted garage?

Similar to this...I had a CHE..in my Bredlis house that I built...on a timer...on and off everyday for the last 2 years ....revently had a couple of very warm days so I switched it all off...When I switched it on again it shorted and blew the ceramic lampholder apart...the insulation had degraded from the heat....it could verylikely have caught fire...at no time did the fusebox of my house trip....old school wire fuses....I had it all upgraded to a new fuse box with RCDs...the CHE was ReptiZoo....i got off the internet....now replaced with a ReptiOne.....that said theses things should be replaced annually....even just for peace of mind.
It is good the old-style power box with metal fuses was upgraded. People would sometimes replace a fuse with a higher wattage fuse wire than it was designed for. This would stop the fuse blowing regularly but did not fix the problem of too much power being drawn, causing the circuit to overheat. This was a dangerous practice that was the cause of numerous house fires. The thermal throw-out switches that replace the old fuses do the same thing, but are safer as they are quicker, not easily tampered with and reset by a flick of the switch.
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Some helpful information for Diamond python care…
A basking lamp is not essential for Diamonds. In nature they will heat themselves up under or on top of warmed substrate, such as rocks or roofing, as well as bask in sunlight on tree branches. So a contact heat source, such as a heat tile (see https://aussiepythons.com/forum/threads/new-fella-with-an-age-old-question.227053/post-2537722), is equally suitable. This can be placed on an elevated shelf if desired. UV light is not required for them to live long and reproductive lives, although some people swear it improves their animals. If you are set a radiant heat source from above, then use a blue party globe, as suggested. Alternatively, something like a Philips 60W ES R80 Clear Floodlight Reflector Globe, available at Bunnings for $4.50, would likely be adequate. Diamonds only require heating for about 4 hours a day in the late morning into early afternoon.

A couple of additional notes…
1. Any protective cage around a heating element must be able to pass the ‘touch test’. If you cannot comfortably hold your hand on any section of the protective cage for half a minute, then it gets too hot and is likely to burn your snake should it coil around the protective cage. It therefore needs to be enlarged to the point where it can pass the touch test.
2. Your snakes should be exposed to a normal day/night light cycle. If kept in a room without windows or natural daylight, this can be provided by room lights. Alternatively use an LED strip or fluorescent bulb in the enclosure, controlled by a simple electrical timer. Simply adjust the timer to run from sunrise to sunset at the start of each month.
 
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