Thermostats and heat

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by SnakeNiz, May 11, 2019.

  1. SnakeNiz

    SnakeNiz New Member

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    Hi all, So the heat Mat blew up and the thermostat on the cage is not functional so manually turning on and off heat lamp . looking to overhaul heating. I would love to know if it is really worth the extra money to buy funky digital reptile thermostat (like exo terra) or if the plain old $75 dial type from hardware shop will be just fine. Also can I plug in an adapter and run heat mat and bask lamp off the same line? (big old cold house) And is this help ful to my snake or pointless. Thanks for the experience and advise.
    Snake - Basic 3-4 year old coastal
    Last time i tried to fix this problem, i bought $15 thermostat from China but we cant read the characters to get it to work!! :) so i dont want to waste any more money just get what will work and what will last. Thanks again
     
  2. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    Habistat or microclimate are the best affordable thermostats in the market

    If you have an ACCURATE temp gun, a fancy LED screen is not needed, and a normal habistat dial will work

    However, a microclimate evo lite will make everything super easy.

    I would recommend getting a dial that requires a tool to turn, as surprisingly often the big dials get bumped and turned on accident

    Finally, please keep away from Chinese equipment, they could have no safety standard and your house may go up in flames
     
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  3. Steve64

    Steve64 Not so new Member

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    I use STC-1000's, less than $15 on ebay. You can set the target temperature and the tolerances. I've been using them for about 6 years now and never had a problem. I like to have the digital display so i can see what the temperature is currently. Especially useful if you use ceramic heaters because you don't get any visual indication if they blow. With the stc-1000 you see the lower than normal temperature displayed and investigate straight away.
     
  4. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    It is safest if possible to design your setup so a not to require a thermostat. A thermostat is just something that can go wrong if it breaks. Keep your heat source as low as possible to achieve the required heat. Temperature variation is not the end of the world it happens in real life.
     
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  5. Barry

    Barry Not so new Member

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    I’d say buy a decent thermostat, a heat gun(digital thermometer)& as your heat mat blew up, maybe a heat cable as well. Run your heat cable( or mat) off the heating socket on thermostat & run your basking lamp off the timer socket. Check every thing is as it should be with heat gun regularly, adjust if needed
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  6. SnakeNiz

    SnakeNiz New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I will now do further research on costing sourcing etc... however, one question is (Wokka) about the non thermistat set up... so have a low heat source like just a mat and just leave it on all the time? And not worry so much about the temp... is that right?
     
  7. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    Agree with Wokka 100%.
     
  8. SnakeNiz

    SnakeNiz New Member

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    Can wokka or paul python please tell me how you do this set up with no thermostat?
    --- Automatic Post Merged, May 12, 2019, Original Post Date: May 12, 2019 ---
    And also best quality heat mat? We find the connection at wire to mat "goes bad" . 2 stopped working i think dye to loose wires and 1 literally blew up in my sons face so nervous about them now!!
     
  9. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    I dont personally use heat mats so someone else will need to direct you to a 'quality product.'

    To run without a thermostat simply use the smallest output heating device you can that will achieve the temperature you want without it getting too hot (over the max temp you are trying to achieve) in the enclosure. Fit that with a timer and away you go.
     
  10. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    I dont keep snakes any more. When I did I had relatively low cages about 300mm high with an 25 watt globe in the ceiling say 250mm off the ground . This gave a temperature on the tile below of about 32c. The actual temperature will depend upon the ambient temperature outside the cage.
    I then decided to try heat matts because i didn't want waste power by providing light and radiating the heat through the air. Eventually I ended up with microclimate 13 watt mats under 450 x 450mm ceramic tiles. With the heat mat in the corner of the tile (about 200 x 300mm) there was a temperature gradient from about 35c on top of the mat to say 28c on the edge of the tile. The temperature then graded to ambient at the other end of the cage which was up to 8 feet away. If the tile is too hot you can stack another tile which will reduce the temperature on the surface.
    I ran 100 of these setups for over 5 years without any problems. The ambient temperature in my snake rooms was about 20c which coincidentally is about that of an average house. My power usage was 100cages x 13watts x 24hours = 31 kw or about $10 a day from the mains, which is reasonable for 100 cages. I actually had solar so the cost was less. One of the main wastes of power is radiating through the air. You can "keep" heat by installing baffle walls between the hot and cold end to reduce heat movement and improve the gradient.
    At the end of the day watch the snake if it is always on the heat it is too cold, probably due to a faulty matt, all though i never had one. Always off the heat, too hot which just wastes power.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, May 13, 2019, Original Post Date: May 13, 2019 ---
    I have seen a lot of burnt "green mats" which seems to indicate a poorer quality.
     
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  11. Melmy

    Melmy Not so new Member

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    Wokka when you had snakes on heat mats under tiles how did you stop the snakes from getting underneath? Was the tile just sitting on top enough or did it need airflow?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    You can use silicone to “hold it”
     
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  13. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    A 450 x 450 ceramic tile is pretty heavy and there is nothing to hold on to No air gap, just sitting directly on the mat. Never had any move and I had 10 fg olives in some of the cages.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 4, 2019, Original Post Date: Jun 4, 2019 ---
    fg = kilos
     
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  14. Melmy

    Melmy Not so new Member

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    Good to know thanks. What is the base of your tank made of?



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    melomine.
     
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  16. Gears

    Gears Not so new Member

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    In regards to a "thermostat free setup", I run a Phillips 60W Spot light at a height of 45cm above the floor. I get a temp of 34(ish) temperature on the floor tile below the globe.
     

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