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Old 09-29-03, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Human Heat Pads?

How many people use heating pads designed for humans on reptile tanks? I'm not sure if it would work, since they're not designed to be on 24/7. Has anyone had a problem with this?
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Old 09-29-03, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd been planning on using one, but haven't got around to it yet. I'd imagine that since it's on at a lower level (you know, not cranking out 6 degrees less than hell) that the extended operation time wouldn't matter too much. But I'd like to hear from someone actually using one too.
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Old 09-29-03, 02:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I personally haven't had any problems because I have never used them for heating my snakes enclosures. Many have used them successfully, but there are still people that have lost their homes and collections to them. I personally do not feel comfortable using something that wasn't designed to be left on permanently in that fashion.
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Old 09-29-03, 02:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use one, its on medium all day everyday. No problems yet.
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Old 09-29-03, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I do.......if the temperatures change around too much for you simply attach a rheostat.
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Old 09-29-03, 02:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We use them for our snakes, and yes, we leave them on 24/7. we have not had any problems related to them in the 7 months we've been using them on our snakes.

mind you, we read over all the instructions carefully, and the only thing they said was something like "continous operation will shorten service life". nowhere did it say "do not use 24/7".

at the rate our collection is growing, we will be going to heat tape prolly within a month or two anyhow.

It is a personal choice to use them or not to use them, and, as linds stated, its all in your comfort level and how much you want to risk.

as a side note, i've got little faith in the older heating fixtures. last year, when my timer went on in the morning, something shorted and the dome and wiring caught fire on one of my tanks. Thankfully i was right there and was able to blow it out before it got bad. Now, i make sure to only use new, ceramic dome fixtures in excellent condition. (common sense eh?).

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Old 09-29-03, 03:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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it is all i use at the moment and i have not had a problem with them at all.
and i think JustinO pretty much covered everything else in his statement.

Also i know of about 3 breeders that use them on almost all of their cages.
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Old 09-29-03, 03:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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what is the deal with heat tape? I don't understand how the wiring for that works.
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Old 09-29-03, 03:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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here you go Lilyskip

http://www.arbreptiles.com/cages/flexwire.html
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Old 09-29-03, 03:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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HetForHuman do you use a rheostat with the heatpads?
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Old 09-29-03, 04:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've used Sunbeam heat pads. The type with the 3 position switch.
They are relatively safe if used on the low setting, but they discolor over the years, and I have some old ones that have big black spots at the points of contact where the heat was the highest. They will eventually become brittle and the plastic sheathing will break open exposing the internals.

Its not the best to put them under heavy cages. I would recommend a spacer to jack the cage up and prevent the heat pad from having the direct weight of the cage or tank on it.
They can also be used with standard light dimmers to turn them down.
They are built with internal bimetal overtemp t-stats, so there is some provision for them limiting their own output, and this is a CSA requirement.

Personally I like and use Flexwatt heat tape, which is now being made by Calorique. It distributes the heat across a wide area, greatly reducing hot spots thus it is less of a fire hazard, than light bulbs and almost all other heat sources. It can also be cut to any length and the watts per foot is consistent no matter how long or short they are made. The product lasts virtually forever and doesn't burn out.

The drawback is that it's not a "consumer ready" product , and as illustrated above requires wiring which creates somewhat of a problem and potential hazard for those not qualified to do such.

The product is also not CSA approved, but there are various reasons for this. To start with , last time I checked it hadn't been officially submitted because there is no Canadian standard for carbon film heaters.
(This was the info given to me from the factory a couple years back)
The orignial company Flexwatt Inc. was driven to bankruptcy
a few years back, partially the result of law suits in Canada for fires alledged by them to be caused by incorrectly installed ceiling panel heaters.
The ceiling heaters are a different product, than the heat tape but once bitten twice shy.
I don't imagine there is much insentive now to even try to market their product in a country where there were prior litigations.
They wont ship it up here, but herp supply wholesalers will.
You use it at your own risk

I think it's worth mentioning that Flexwatt heat tape is not originally a Herp product.
The stuff is made to heat ceramic flooring, and is normally placed under floor surfaces in hallways bath, and steam rooms.
Our use for it is secondary.
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The way the product works is that carbon particles(graphite) is spread across a sheet of plastic in a thin continuous film.
This film is conductive, and when voltage is applied via the side conductors, current flows across the film, from one side to the other , and this produces heat as a result.
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Old 09-29-03, 05:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I only use the heatpad when the overhead fixture won't get the enclosure temps up enough.

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Old 09-29-03, 05:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChokeOnSmoke
HetForHuman do you use a rheostat with the heatpads?
No i do not.
i have the heatpads on medium under the 5/8 melamine and i get a hot spot of about 92-93.
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Old 09-29-03, 05:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Check my gallery there are instruction on how to wire a dimmer(rehostate) to a heat pad.
I use human (sunbean) pads on two tanks the rest are exoterra.
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Old 09-29-03, 06:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I use heat pads(human) for all my enclosures..I put them under the tank and leave 1/2inch room so that it is not in contact with the glass.....keep it on low or med....no problem.....I am switching to heat rope in 2 weeks because I have too many enclosures to use heat pads.....I bought my pads for 2dollars at Value Village
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