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Reminder and WARNING

Discussion in 'Heating' started by cctbspencer, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. cctbspencer

    cctbspencer Elite Member

    I just ran into an issue that I thought would make a good reminder post here. One of my 18 month old Dumerils boas just saw the vet for an upper respiratory infection. I moved her to an older homemade rack system so that I could increase her temps by about 5 degrees. This morning I was checking temps and discovered her shelf was reading 74 degrees (Hydrofarm thermostat set on 92). I pulled her tub and found the aluminum tape and Flexwatt strip completely worn through from years of rubbing on the Sterilite tub. This was the first rack that I built and I did not own a router so the Flexwatt was just taped to the shelf. I disassembled the rack, routed grooves on all of the shelves, replaced the heat tape, and all is well. I am lucky that the Flexwatt just went dead without killing me, killing the snake, burning the house down, etc. This was totally my fault for not building the shelf correctly in the first place, and for not monitoring the heat tape for wear on a shelf that old. Two reminders: 1) frequently inspect your Flexwatt whether you have routed clearance for it or not; 2) always keep extra Flexwatt handy.

  2. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    I have a question about the flexwatt. We do not have racks but use it for our custom vision cages. We put snap n lock flooring on floors. Is this something we still need to do. I ask because to get water tight we had to silicone flooring in. We did not router it in either. It's strictly supplement heating for 2 of the 5 we have used it for. We also use the hydrofarm on each cage. Sorry I've just never heard of this, and now I'm a tad worried.
  3. cctbspencer

    cctbspencer Elite Member

    I don't believe that you will have an issue with the Flexwatt wearing through because your flooring is secured down. It's the repetitive back and forth motion of the tub sliding over the top of the heat tape that eventually kills it.

    There is tons of debate over whether you should have an air gap between your flooring and Flexwatt. I use it both with and without an air gap and have no problems with the heat; only the wear mentioned in my first post.

    As long as you have a waterproof electrical connection I think you are OK.
  4. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    Thanks for the info. I'll still probably check it once a month. I'm a very paranoid person lol. Plus those are my babies.

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