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Space heaters

Discussion in 'Vivariums and Terrariums' started by JLPicard, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. JLPicard

    JLPicard Arachnosquire

    Hey all! I bought a space heater yesterday, and so far I'm really happy with it. My T seems to appreciate the ambient warmth it generates way more than a heat mat or bulb.

    First of all, I was wondering if it's safe to leave it on 24/24 7/7. With this I mean having it plugged in while having the 1200W option selected, because obviously it shuts down when it reaches its temperature. Does it pose any fire hazard and the like?

    Second, is there maybe something like a day/night thermostat? I'd like the temperature to be 24 °C during the day and 20 at night, but my heater doesn't display temperatures or anything, so it's rather hard to tell just how much it'll warm the room.

  2. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Depends on the space heater you bought. I use an oil filled, and have never needed to use more than the lowest 700 watt setting to heat an entire room....if I keep it at 3, the room stays low-mid 70's, 4 or 5 and its 80 or better...never needed to max it out at 6.

    With the oil filled, I turn it up during the day a tad, and back down at night. The heater always stays too hot to really touch for too long, but the carpet just an inch or so below it is warm, but surprisingly, barely warm....In my cold climate, I turn it on in October and don't turn it off till April, and use it intermittently, till sometimes as late as mid-June. Nothing in the room or directly around it ever over-heats, I do not worry about it...although I admit having the same concerns as you when I first decided I needed to go the heater route to heat the entire room, those concerns were proved unfounded.

    Mine has no temp setting, but I do have a thermometer hanging in the center of the room, which is how I know the temps I get with regard to the setting. Trial and error.
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  3. I heat my roach room using an oil space heater. I turn it to the medium setting and the thermostat to about 80F. I leave it on 24/7 and it works wonderfully. I too have carpet in that room and it's far enough that it never really concerns me. I'm no electrician but I think with these modern heaters, if there was a malfunction, I'd trip the house breaker first.
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  4. EDED

    EDED Arachnobaron Old Timer

    JLP, how big is the room you trying to heat? if you reduce the size of the area you can get away with less wattage of course.

    I do the same as Cold Blood, I just use a thermometer hanging on the shelf, I check top, mid, low, and front and back. My shelves are inside a closet with the heater. I only turn it on during the day (maybe 8 hours) and let it drop as low as it can at night.

    see how cold it gets without heater at night. I think you could use heater during the day only? less concern for you, no 247 heat.
    Gives them temp fluctuations and also colder temp in the winter should also make more sense to them?
  5. AbraxasComplex

    AbraxasComplex Arachnoprince Old Timer

    There are plug in thermostats you can purchase that will turn your heater on and off depending the temperature you set. They range from $20-60 and you can find them at hardware stores or online.
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  6. Good idea. Ive never seen one of those so I'll keep it in mind next time I'm at the store. Should be useful since it'll completely turn off the heater.
  7. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    Some heads ups on heaters and other potentially hazardous appliances.

    Allow me to hep you to reality, as the Rock Man said. Next to me is a timer rated at 15 amps that plugs into a wall and you plug your appliance into. Came in a bubble pack as proper and legit as it gets with the manufacturers trade name and logo and the various uses and suggested applications. On the unit itself is a number of certifications including CE.

    Right now it is held together with zip ties because I had to cut it open. It was permanently glued sealed together. That little tiny click when it turned on bothered me.

    Whoever built the thing went whole hog on pirating all the legit appearance and packaging but the actual switch is a micro that can be found in wholesale parts catalogs sold in lots of 1000. In this case it's rating is even printed on it: 3 amps.

    If you want to know the current, amperes drawn by an appliance, divide the wattage by the voltage. In this case, 220 volt household power. I think you can figure out what would eventually happen if I plugged a 1600 watt space heater into it. 1600 / 220 = 7.2 amps. In America the household power is 120 volts.

    The market is flooded with crap like this. Exact copies of legit devices. It took me with my electronics experience and savvy and hacking the thing open to get to the truth.

    The 40 new street lights in our town. 250 watt High Pressure Sodium. Starting current draw is around 330 watts. Two circuits of 20 lamps each. One set refused to turn off at dawn. I went over when the local maintenance crew changed the relay and got them to let me see the old one. Pay dirt! It was a Sig Stat or so it claimed, a very reputable quality electrics manufacturer, the logo stamped on it. It was so fried I was able to break the cover off with my thumbs. The contacts were, of course, welded together. Judging by their size I'd guesstimate 20 amp capable. 330 start surge watts / 220 volts x 20 lights = 30 amps. The rating on the plastic housing said 40 amps.

    Get to know your appliances. Don't assume they are what they claim to be. Watch them for odd operation like localized heat near the switch or relay, the plug prongs becoming discolored, slow turn on or off. Making lights dim in that room. The possible difference between critter keeping and cooking.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
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  8. If you look at the instructions that come with any space heater you will, no doubt, find a statement saying, "Never operate unattended." That may, however, be a CYA measure on the part of the manufacturer.
  9. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    Let me give you THE BEAST of the matter in answer to the question.

    Standard analysis to assess an appliance and get a safety certification.
    1. Obtain 3 identical units. Cycle them on and off the expected number of times the unit will operate within it's projected life expectancy. Dismantle all three units and inspect all relevant components for excessive wear that may present a hazard.
    2. Obtain 3 more units. Execute as above while gradually increasing, over voltage, the power supply. Continue until critical destruction occurs. Compare to the standard, the bar set for that type of appliance. Commonly, self destruction should not occur until 3 times the over voltage is reached.

    So in answer to the OPs question, the heck if I know. Send me six of them and kick me some funds for my effort and I'll test them and get back to you.

    Obviously this is the king hell bitch about bogus copies and the reason why we have UL CE and similar certification labs.

    So, as strange as it sounds, Introvertebrate's 'never leave unattended' is both ridiculous and the safe and sane approach. Just do like I said in keeping an eye on it and watching for unusual signs of wear, cross fingers, and if it does incinerate your pet parlor I'll deny under oath I ever typed all this. :droid:

    PS At the immediate moment I've got 4 computer power supplies that went incinerator long before their projected life expectancy, a toaster oven with same fried elements, a new convection oven that will shock the bejeezus out of you and a vacuum cleaner motor that set the plastic housing on fire when it fried. All are for sale dirt cheap. You pay shipping.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
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  10. Quixtar

    Quixtar Arachnobaron Old Timer

    One other thing to add about space heaters: you should check up on the humidity of your T enclosures more often if you leave one running at all times, since they will dry out much faster.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Can confirm, my G. rosea's enclosure is now very dry.
    On the bright side, my A. avic is nice and warm..
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