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Are Heat Rocks Safe

Discussion in 'Heating' started by resturtles, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. resturtles

    resturtles Active Member

    Are Heat Rocks safe or not?
  2. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

  3. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    As stated in the link, hot rocks are not safe at any speed. To many times these devices burn reptiles more than they warm. 30 years ago we used to find all kinds of ways to keep these things away from the animals by burying or wrapping them in anything. Never worked for long and almost always failed in it's task as an aid.

    Plus you never knew what power out put you would get. So in the least you had a hot rock that didn't get hot, at worst it would burn the animal on contact, and catch fire... or the substrate...
  4. crepers86

    crepers86 Elite Member

    and whats worse is they still sell these things
  5. Infernalis

    Infernalis Elite Member

    and with other modern radiant technologies being so cheap, we have to wonder why?
  6. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Cost return, these rocks use dirt cheap components and assembly is next to slave labor simple. So with the cost to make so low the profit margin is to much for these companies to pass up on. We like to believe that the pet trade has the animals best interest in mind. But face it, they are big corperations watching their bottom line and doing what it takes to make the shareholders happy.

    It's the main reason I got out of the industry, I was sick and tired of the excriment comming down the pipe. Having to sell this stuff to keep a job was to much.
  7. HerpFanatic

    HerpFanatic Elite Member

    Only because people that do not know any better still buy these things. Most pet stores recommend them. :(
  8. GumboJones

    GumboJones Member

    Now here are my 2 cents about heat rocks and I think I'm on my own. I would say it depends on what you're keeping and how you use them.

    In my younger days before I started keeping more tropical lizards I kept local desert critters. Desert iguanas, whiptails and a side blotch community. Each of them like high heats so they loved the rocks. Because I never liked the look of the heat rocks and I had heard the stories of hot spots I always burried the hot rock under a layer of the local soil out here. It has alot of caliche in it so it set up like concrete.

    Reliabilty was very low though. The thing would almost always fail after 4 months sometimes it wouldnt even work out of the box. At the time our local pet shop only carried heat rocks so that was my only option besides spot lights. Spot lights would also raise the tank temp up too much so the heat rock was my only viable option. Under tank heaters would be a better option for tank heat.

    I definetly wouldn't use them for smaller tropical lizards and I would only use it if you were able to cover it to help evenly distribute the heat.
  9. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    Dude, they can set on fire... No lizard, desert or otherwise, likes fire. Turns out they don't like molten plastic either. On top of which, if you can dig the soil, a lizard could, too, so burying it is not necessarily a functional safeguard. I wouldn't use these things at all. I wouldn't use an undertank heater either. If it gets cold, I have some fairly cheap Conair human heat pads that I will either stick to the outside of the tank with Velcro or just put inside the tank. They are safer than the other variety, though anything providing heat directly is a potential burn threat, so a thermostat is a must.
  10. GumboJones

    GumboJones Member

    Fire? I had never heard of that. Though I suppose anything whos purpose is heating could cause a fire. Mine were always made out of ceramics. Plastics seem like a bad idea for this application. I do know that heat pads and blankets have a reputation of catching fire as well. I dont know if that's true so much anymore though. I would like to think if we have something like a cell phone we can keep heat pads from catching fire

    I didnt have a good way of checking temps on my heat rock at the time, but I did have it on a timer so it only ran during day for a few hours. I suppose i should have mentioned that as well. i wanted to simulate day time hot spots. Also like i said above, my options limited. I lived in a small desert comunity before the days of
  11. skelly98

    skelly98 Elite Member

    i had a heat pad catch fire once. lol, not using those anymore...
  12. Infernalis

    Infernalis Elite Member

    Tech talk 101......

    Modern day heat rocks have thermal cutouts installed in them just like coffee makers, microwave ovens and George Foreman grills use, if the rock overheats, a lead strip melts and shuts down the rock.

    In the past, hot rocks did not have these, there was just a simple resistor cast into the rock to get hot when the power was applied.

    If you smash open a modern (newly purchased, not old stock) heat rock, there is a small device that looks like this...


    I am not advocating the use of hot rocks, just trying to quell the fire paranoia.

    Attached Files:

  13. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    The only accounts I can find of heat rock fires are in Korean, and my Korean family were the ones telling me about it, so I suppose that makes sense. I highly doubt that was the only place it was an issue, though.

    Past that, Wayne makes a point. Paranoia quelled, still not a good idea in my irritating little opinion.
  14. GumboJones

    GumboJones Member

    I don't recommend using the heat rocks, especially as a primary heat source for a tank. There are a lot of better options out there and with the internet you should be able to get any of them for a good price. I just wanted to throw out there that a heat rock + a lizard doesn't necessarily equal disaster. You just need to be aware of its limitations just like any other tool.
  15. skelly98

    skelly98 Elite Member

    heat rock + lizard = potential for disaster.
  16. Infernalis

    Infernalis Elite Member

    your opinion is not irritating at all.

    Like I said, I don't advocate the use of heat rocks, I aim a flood lamp at a flat stone, then the lizard can get warm from above as well as below.
  17. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    Agreed. It's basically giving them a heat blanket to wrap up in (must make it sound cuddly, because, you know, reptiles).
  18. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    I've had a few catch fire, or burn/melt. The big red brick models of my youth where all the rage as they where thick and didn't heat up as fast, but they still got way to hot.
  19. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    See now, I knew it wasn't just Korea. Google was just uncooperative with my efforts.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Another issue with the heat rocks is people thinking that they would be enough to heat up a cold cage. So the cage stays below temperature and the animal stays glued to the rock to try to get warm.
    And who is to say that the heat rock you are buying is one of the old ones o one of the new improved model.
    I still won't risk it.

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