What the???

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Lawra, Sep 28, 2013.

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  1. Lawra

    Lawra Come here Squishy! Subscriber

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    Has anyone else had this happen before?! I just got home and checked on the babies and found this. What the?!

    Heat mat is on thermostat set to 34 and probe shown sits mid way in the tank (to monitor temp gradient)

    Any thoughts or am I over reacting? I've since moved it off the timber blanket box (reason why the towel was there) and onto a shelf.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    I think it is more coloration than burning in my opinion. I have used a towel under an iron before and not had discolouration like that at higher temperatures.
     
  3. Jimie

    Jimie Active Member

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    i don't think its burnt i think its deactivated the pigment in the towel like sun fadeing.
    i've had mine do the same too a lot of surfaces and have never had a problem.
     
  4. pythonmum

    pythonmum Subscriber Subscriber

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    Change the position of your thermostat probe. Keep it on top of the heat mat set at the basking temperature. It is vital to make sure that this does not overheat. The rest of the gradient is much less of a worry. In winter, my snakes have gradients from 32 in the basking spot to 16 or less in the cold spot. They will pick an appropriate spot. If I had my thermostat probe in the middle of the enclosure in winter, the heat source would soar to 50 or so and could cause burns/ fire.
     
  5. redbellybite

    redbellybite Almost Legendary

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    If it was burning ,you'd be able to smell it on the towel ...
     
  6. Lawra

    Lawra Come here Squishy! Subscriber

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    The thermostat probe is in the enclosure on the hot side. Do you mean sit it outside the enclosure directly on the heat mat? That would be pointless IMO.

    Thanks to everyone for their replies. It doesn't smell burnt so must just be discolouration. So I was worrying for nothing :)

    Why is it stupid to put it on a towel?

    Edit: in my original post I meant the screen showing temp and humidity in the pics is probing the middle of the enclosure. Is that where the confusion came from?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  7. Ramsayi

    Ramsayi Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Why do you think it would be pointless? You aren't using the dial on the thermostat to set temps of it as they are not calibrated anyway.Fasten the probe directly onto the mat using a couple of pieces of aluminium tape making sure it cannot come loose and use a thermometer to set the correct temp.Putting the probe inside the tub is a risk as the snake can move the probe off the heated section causing very high temps.

    Using a towel under the mat isn't wise as it insulates and can cause a build up of heat as your pic shows,that's why they tell you not to hang towels etc over heaters.From the pics to me it looks like the towel has been scorched.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  8. Newhere

    Newhere Well-Known Member

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    Could it be the varnish from the timber box undernearh the towel?

    I put my heat mat on a tile I got from bunnings and had it set up for a week just checking the temps, when I went to move the tile there was moisture underneath it. Maybe its drawn the moisture out of the timber and stained the towel. Just a guess.
     
  9. Jarrod_H

    Jarrod_H Well-Known Member

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    Would you not have the heat mat taped to the bottom of the tank and then have something under the 4 corners to lift the tank a cm or so.
     
  10. pythonmum

    pythonmum Subscriber Subscriber

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    As Ramsayi said, you need the probe on the heat mat. If it is in the enclosure, it should be placed on the heat mat on a way that cannot be moved off. You also need to measure the temperature directly on the hottest part of the floor of the enclosure to make sure that it is appropriate. When I first got an infrared 'heat gun' thermometer, I was shocked at a few of the hot spots I found. Rearranging my heating and thermostat probes fixed the problem and made the enclosures safer for my snakes. If you don't have a heat gun, get a thermometer with a probe and put the probe right next to your thermostat probe. You need to know the hottest temperature, the cool is not really an issue as long as there is a gradient.
     
  11. wokka

    wokka Guest

    I recommend you put the heatmat under a ceramic tile which will even out any hot spots.I actually sandwich the heatmat between 2 tiles , however some heatmats say you should allow air movement. I have over 100 microclimatemats under tiles which have been running for 4 years with no problem. As the wise old man and woman said previously the thermostat or thermometer probe should be measure the hottest spot. I attach my probes with selastic (silican) which can be cut off with a stanley knife later if required. Be careful using tape as snakes can get stuck to it!
     
  12. pythonmum

    pythonmum Subscriber Subscriber

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    This is exactly what I have recommeded (with either a mat or heat cord) for a friend who is making an enclosure for a spotted python.:D
     
  13. Lawra

    Lawra Come here Squishy! Subscriber

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    I have a heat cord but it's siliconed under a tile for Steve's new enclosure.

    It really is only discoloured and not burnt.

    My thermostat probe is wound around fake plants and wedged in a way (also under the paper towel substrate just to be safe) so that it can't be moved, as are the other two temp probes.

    Thanks for everyone's input and I will go sweet talk my builder into giving me some more 450x450 tiles for my snakes :D
     
  14. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Only just saw this.

    One point I would make with respect to heating is that you should always use the minimum wattage required to obtain the required temperature. Using overpowered devices and relying on a thermostat to control them leaves your animals vulnerable should the thermostat fail.

    Towelling is not only an insulator but also highly flammable. Tiles are not flammable. Slate tiles are a piece of natural rock and can look good to boot.

    I doubt there is any heat mat that the instructions do not state an air gap is required to prvent excessive heat build up i.e. for safety reasons. The "tile sandwhichs" of Pythonmum and Wokka also prevent excessive heat build up as they are good conductors with a high specific heat.

    Blue
     
  15. Lawra

    Lawra Come here Squishy! Subscriber

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    Hi Blue :)

    Thanks for your reply. You assume I bought a heat mat that came with instructions :p lol it is only 7W though.

    No more heat mats on towels for me :)
     
  16. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    7W is definitely not over powered. What this does highlight is the potential hazards of trapped heat build up even with a quality appliance. Clearly, any heating device requires the outlet of heat dissipation to avoid heat buildup.

    Blue
     
  17. Although this may not be a case of scorching, but the yellowing of the towel may be a result of a long, slow burn, it illustrates the point I make at every opportunity on APS - HEAT MATS ARE THE SINGLE MOST DANGEROUS HEATING DEVICE EVER INVENTED FOR REPTILE ENCLOSURES! Why? - because only about 1% of people bother to read the instructions that say there must be air circulating around them. I've seen wooden tables burnt from 5W & 7W heat mats that had been installed without being ventilated. All it takes is a thermostat failure (and these happen more than we would like to think) and your whole house could go up in flames.

    Sandwiching between tiles is about the only safe way to use these things. Better still, throw them out and use heat cords.

    Jamie
     
  18. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    youve got me confused now jamie , youve said that people ignore the instructions saying they need air circulation and that is what makes them so dangerous , yet in your closing sentence you say that sandwiching them between a tile ( so cutting of air circulation) is the safest way , so which one ?
     
  19. Rlpreston

    Rlpreston Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if its the same for Jamie, but we use mats between two tiles with some tubing run along the edges on the inside so that there is airflow (the tile rests on the tubing and do not directly contact the heat mat). This in combination with a thermostat (probe sitting on top of tile as is recommended by the instructions that came with the mat) has caused no drama for us :)
     
  20. Jungle_Freak

    Jungle_Freak Very Well-Known Member

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    Is that white foam the python is sitting on inside the cage ? Or is it under the tank on top of heat pad ?
    I would remove the foam and use thermostat to control the pad temp etc
     
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