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Old 07-18-18, 05:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face Heat tape help

I'm quite new to all of this, and while I don't have any snakes yet, I'm planning on getting a corn snake soon! I've done some research on heat tape and it seems like a lot of people think that it's safer than a heat pad for using a plastic tub system. I want to keep the tub (possibly tubs in the future) on top of a finished wood shelf that is conveniently just the right size. Would it be safe to mount the heat tape to the shelf, and use some spacers in the corners (not touching the heat tape) that raise the tub about 1/8" or so? Is there a better option than heat tape? Open to any ideas, info, or suggestions!
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Old 07-19-18, 10:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Heat tape help

Ultratherm heat mats from reptilebasics.com are a much better option than heat tape or the more commonly available zoomed stick-on heat mats. The ultratherms won't get hot enough to cook your snake or start a fire in the event of a thermostat failure. I use them w/out t-stats on some of my sterilite tubs. Just check the actual surface temp inside the tub with a laser thermometer (around $10 on e-bay) to make sure it isn't too warm, and adjust the contact with the surface of the heat mat accordingly. I use large ceramic tiles on top of the mats to distribute the heat, and the top of the tiles are actually a lower temp than the mat itself.
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Old 07-23-18, 07:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Heat tape help

rachelelizabeth, welcome to the forum.
Whatever heat device you'd choose use thermal sensor to control accurate temperature.
That's the best way to keep snake safe and healthy .
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Old 07-24-18, 09:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Heat tape help

rachelelizabeth...if you opt for the better thermostats, Vivarium Electronics or Spyder Robotics Herpstat controllers, you will 99.9% not have to worry about an overheat since those two units fail to "power off" so there's no electricity going to the heat pad.

If you use a cheaper version...then your risk increases.

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Originally Posted by toddnbecka View Post
Ultratherm heat mats from reptilebasics.com are a much better option than heat tape or the more commonly available zoomed stick-on heat mats. The ultratherms won't get hot enough to cook your snake or start a fire in the event of a thermostat failure. I use them w/out t-stats on some of my sterilite tubs. Just check the actual surface temp inside the tub with a laser thermometer (around $10 on e-bay) to make sure it isn't too warm, and adjust the contact with the surface of the heat mat accordingly. I use large ceramic tiles on top of the mats to distribute the heat, and the top of the tiles are actually a lower temp than the mat itself.
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Old 07-24-18, 04:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Heat tape help

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Originally Posted by Scubadiver59 View Post
If you use a cheaper version...then your risk increases.
it's not true. Thermostats usually have relays. Relay can be normally opened (heating device is under current ) and normally closed (heating device is not under current ). Normally closed relay is more safe of course.
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Old 07-26-18, 02:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Heat tape help

I've got a hundred or so tubs sitting on heat tape, no issues here. I use herpstats which have a number of safety features that you can turn on. It's worth taking some time to learn all of the features and make sure you are correctly configuring them (high/low temp alerts, turn on safety relay, etc). The heat tape issues come in when people either have a probe dislodged or they do not use a tstat.
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