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Old 04-27-04, 04:42 AM   #16
Join Date: Dec-2002
Posts: 716

Did you check your heat tape to make sure it is connected and operating properly? I am not underestimating your skills, But you should check the obvious. The heat tape should easily get to 130 degrees without a thermostat. If all is well, then the problem may come from a couple of items.

1. Too many items on the same power circuit?
2. Ambient room temperature is too low. I found a 10-15 degree difference is best from low to high temps.
3. Is the probe mounted right at the back of the tub (inside)?
4. Is the dimmer switch working properly?. Try plugging in a standard light into the dimmer to make sure this is not the problem. I have had bad switches before.
5. Is there a bad ground or a puncture through the heat tape?
6. Did you put the insulation across the back of the unit? This makes a big difference.

I have built 5 of these units and I am having no problems with any of them

Hope this helps


Last edited by jwsporty; 04-27-04 at 04:45 AM..
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Old 04-27-04, 04:57 AM   #17
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Great Post, Thank you, I may just build one know that I don't have to thinkabout it.

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Last edited by asphyxia; 05-16-04 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 04-27-04, 10:28 AM   #18
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excellent, here are the details of my setup

I have the probe on the bottom of my container (isn't that where the snake goes anyways?)...after being left on all night it reads 82.5 degrees

the dimmer switch works (I have used it before) and it's almost on max

I removed the plastic part covering the metal things on the heat tape and put screw and grounding clips on it (like in the "how to wire heat tape" thread)

a concern of mine might be ambient temps though, my place is at 80 now (yikes, need to open some windows or something), but we usually keep it around 70 degrees

alright, I just checked the actual tape with my probe and it's 120 degrees!!!

I am using a piece of sheetrock as my back panel (is that bad insulation???)

the sheetrock is actually pretty might be hogging the heat

Last edited by latazyo; 04-27-04 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 04-27-04, 12:49 PM   #19
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I've decided to just cut the 3' into 3 1 foot sections and use them for belly heat like uths
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Old 04-27-04, 07:46 PM   #20
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I use foil/bubble insulation pads mounted on the back and I can easily get 98 degrees out of it. It sounds to me like the sheetrock might be the culprit.
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