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Old 09-06-03, 02:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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rheostat help

I have never used rheostats, but I know I should be using them. How do they work? I have UTHs on my snake enclosures, and the temps are never right. They are always too cold. Will a rheostat up the temps or is it just to lower them? Anyone care to explain this to me? Thanks, I would really appreciate it!
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Old 09-06-03, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It controls the amount of electricity flowing through the current I believe. They do not make them to give MORE electricity, and therefore more heat then the product does without the rheostat. Rather it lets you reduce the amount of electricity and therefore reduce the amount of heat. Hopefully I am correct on all that and hopefully I didn't confuse you.
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Old 09-06-03, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A rheostat modulates the power reaching the appliance, in this case your UTH. If the UTH is connected directly to the power supply now and is not providing enough heat, you may want to consider a larger model. A rheostat can't provide more power than it is supplied with initially.

It sounds like you need a larger UTH with the rheo connected inline. This will allow you to raise temps to acceptable levels. Use caution when increasing though, always allow for the temp to stabilize after upping the rheostat in small increments. Too large an increase or too many in a short period of time will create the Namibian situation instead of the Amazon.

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Old 09-06-03, 03:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Look in enclosure creations at thread Rheostat - A How to. Warning Lots of Pics on how to make your own rheostat. the other two have already explained how rheostats work.

What's the surface temp on the glass where the UTH is mounted?
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Old 09-06-03, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What are you using to measure the temp, and where are you using it? UTH won't raise the air temperature in a tank (however they will in a well-built custom enclosure), they provide basking spots. Those stick-on thermometers are best left to the trash, they only measure the ambient temperature in the cage, not the surface temps (which is where you measure the basking spot temp). Digital thermometers w/ remote probe or temperature guns are the best tools to measure temperatures in the enclosure with. Generally in average house temperatures UTH exceed safe herp temperatures, which is why we use dimmers to help regulate the output.
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Old 09-06-03, 03:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If your temps are too cold, why not try supplementing with an over-tank light bulb? i found that my header didn't provide enough overall heat, and a day/night light fixes that problem.
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Old 09-06-03, 04:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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thank you all for your responses.

The temp right where the UTH is at is only 75 degrees, in all my tanks. I am switching them to well built enclosures soon, so I think that will fix my problem. For now, I have added a ceramic heat emitter to help with the temps.
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