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Old 05-12-18, 08:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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UTH question

Received my Ultratherm UTH yesterday. After getting it all taped up and turned on I was disappointed on how little heat it seemed to put out. Decided to wait until the next morning so it had time to warm up.

Woke up today and itís still the same dull warmness. Is it defective? Iím feeling directly on the tape from underneath so there is no chance it would be sufficient through the glass on the other side, especially with substrate.


I did notice the directions say no more than 1/4Ē of substrate can be on top. Is that normal for UTH? Thatís pretty thin. This thing was like $50. Pretty disappointed
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Old 05-13-18, 08:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

I love my Ultratherm uths. They don't get too hot to burn a snake even if you have a t-stat malfunction. Are you measuring the temps with a temp gun? I set my thermostat at 90-93 to get an inside hot spot of 86-88. What kind of readings are you getting?
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Old 05-14-18, 03:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

I may be a little confused and reading this wrong, so please forgive me if I am mistaken...

It sounds like you're using your hand (approx 98-99 degrees) to check the OUTside underneath part of thw UTH. If so, that will not give you anywhere near an accurate temp...

You need to be checking the actual INTERIOR surface directly on the glass. The hottest place the snake can touch. And you need to be using a temp gun to get an accurate temp.

As for the 1/4" of substrate, yes, that's true over the UTH. You can go a bit deeper throughout the rest of the enclosure, but keep it thin over the UTH. You'll find your snake will burrow and move the substrate around anyhow.

It's important to measure the actual surface temp, where the snake can burrow and come in contact with the glass, not the substrate. I typically have to set my tstats around 4-8 degrees higher than my desired temp to achieve desired temps.
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Old 05-14-18, 11:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

Yes I’m using my hand to check. But on the inside over bare glass I can tell the glass is still cool to the touch. It’s secured flush with the bottom(no sagging it all touches). There’s no way this will work even with no substrate.

Can anyone recommend one that will get 100-105? Im using a good thermostat. I don’t see the point of a good thermostat if the thing never gets to a suitable temp anyway.


Maybe I expected too much from UTH? Do I still need a heat lamp to get the temp up inside? I figured it would be hot enough to raise the temp of one half of it to suitable levels after leaving it on to equalize the ambient temp after a while.

Last edited by Wildernessmedic; 05-14-18 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 05-14-18, 04:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

Quote:
Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
I love my Ultratherm uths. They don't get too hot to burn a snake even if you have a t-stat malfunction. Are you measuring the temps with a temp gun? I set my thermostat at 90-93 to get an inside hot spot of 86-88. What kind of readings are you getting?
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Originally Posted by Wildernessmedic View Post
Yes Iím using my hand to check. But on the inside over bare glass I can tell the glass is still cool to the touch. Itís secured flush with the bottom(no sagging it all touches). Thereís no way this will work even with no substrate.

Can anyone recommend one that will get 100-105? Im using a good thermostat. I donít see the point of a good thermostat if the thing never gets to a suitable temp anyway.


Maybe I expected too much from UTH? Do I still need a heat lamp to get the temp up inside? I figured it would be hot enough to raise the temp of one half of it to suitable levels after leaving it on to equalize the ambient temp after a while.
Based on the post by El-Ziggy yours could be just defective. Measure the temps with a temp gun for the inside. If it's not where you want it to be then it could be defective. Contact the company and ask for an exchange before buying something new.
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Old 05-14-18, 10:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

So I got a temp gun. Bottom of the heat pad is 120 degrees. Inside will reach 90 IF there is no substrate. With a thin layer its 85. With 1/4" its 70 degrees. Still doesn't seem like it will work. I really didn't want to have to throw on a heat lamp too after I made a custom lid but I'm going to see how that changes it.
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Old 05-14-18, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

What is your thermostat set to wild, where is your themostat probe placed, and what type of snake are you keeping? Like Craig, I also go by the temperature on the glass and not the substrate surface.
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Old 05-14-18, 11:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

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Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
What is your thermostat set to wild, where is your themostat probe placed, and what type of snake are you keeping? Like Craig, I also go by the temperature on the glass and not the substrate surface.
Thermostat isnt even plugged in yet. I figured if it doesn't get hot enough on full blast why even bother having id adjustable down.


Looking to get Hog Island boas soon.
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Old 05-15-18, 04:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

I would set the t-stat up. Set it up and try again. A 90 hotspot is as high as I go for any of my snakes (however, I'm not familiar with Hogg Island Boa husbandry requirements). So if you're getting 90 on the glass you should be fine (assuming HI Boas don't require higher).

Its important to remember that snakes can/will burrow, so the surface temp over the UTH is important, not the substrate temp. If it's not quite warm enough for them on top of the substrate, they will push it around to get to the glass.

As for the UTH helping with ambient temps, that's not what they are designed for. Your UTH is there solely to provide a hot spot to aid in digestion and not for ambient temps.
If your ambient house temps are lower than high 70s- low 80s all the time, you'll need an additional heat source, also regulated by a t-stat.
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Old 05-15-18, 06:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

Ultratherm said it would raise it 15 degrees. Guess I’m stuck redisigning another heat source. And the electricity usage continues.
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Old 05-15-18, 07:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

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Originally Posted by Wildernessmedic View Post
Ultratherm said it would raise it 15 degrees. Guess Iím stuck redisigning another heat source. And the electricity usage continues.
There are many experienced keepers who don't use belly heat and just run an ambient temp using a RHP, CHE or heat tape. It's a little more advanced as far as knowing your snakes and identifying issues, though. Often not suggested for newer snake keepers, but you can always look into it and see if it's something you feel will work for you. I tried it last summer and ran it til fall when it got too cold to maintain without cranking the house heat. I'm switching back again soon for the summer into fall.
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Old 05-15-18, 07:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

So heat tape is for ambient but Ultratherm aren’t?? They’re just sealed heat tape according to them.
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Old 05-15-18, 07:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

Essentially, yes.
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Old 05-15-18, 08:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

Heat tape and uth's won't help with ambient temps. You'll need a che, rhp, or heat bulb for that. I use uth's only for my ground dwelling snakes and I use both uth's and che's for my semi arboreal critters.
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Old 05-15-18, 06:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: UTH question

Ultratherm is lying I guess.

Surprisingly with a probe the substrate is 90 degrees. How can I set up something to raise ambient temps inside an enclosure sealed with a wood top? If I put the lamp inside the snake runs the risk of burning itself or even pulling it down and starting a fire. If I put it in/on the lid it could also cause a fire. I really don’t seem to need a very large wattage bulb. A tiny one cranked the heat up immensely in my enclosure. I just wouldn’t trust it inside with an animal.
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