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Thermostat Failure??

Discussion in 'Heating' started by MoskiWoski, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    I may be over thinking this, but how many of you, or someone you know, experienced thermostat failure? And I mean failure in a bad way, as in, it overheated the enclosure, or possibly killed your beloved pet?

    I'm not trying to be morbid, this is a legitimate concern of mine. I have my enclosure very well insulated, and it runs at 80% efficiency. Meaning my heat only runs 20% of the time, and holds at that temp for the other 80% of the time. I'll run heat for 3 minutes, and it holds that temp for 12 minutes at a 1 degree differential. (By my calculations, my operating cost will be less than $3.00 a month for heating and lighting.) But, if my stat sticks closed, the tank would overheat within 20 minutes.

    I'm going to buy another stat, and set it up as a high limit, in a way. I'm going to wire it with a relay, so if the high limit stat (set up as a cooling stat) kicks on, it will kill power to everything, heating and lighting. With a set low point, once the enclosure cools off enough, the high limit stat will disengage and return everything to normal operation. This will also function as a safety for external heat (the sun, extreme high house temps), so if the enclosure gets too hot for any reason, all heating and lighting will shut down until the enclosure returns to a safe temp.

    I can add this safety for about $30 ($20 for stat, $10 for relay) so I'm definitely going to do it. But tell me the truth, am I way over thinking this and being too extreme??

    Also, it will give me separate spots for temperature probes. So if my boa covers one, the other one will regulate the temperatures.

    I don't know, I'm a little OCD, ADHD and tend to over think everything. So if anyone is actually still reading this....just give it to me I being paranoid??
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The only failures I have ever had with stats resulted in the entire heating system going off, not sticking on.
  3. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    If you have the ability to do it I don't see why you wouldn't. I know in the summer my system wont run long either with ambient temps getting higher. That's why i don't use heat lamps because they'll cook and enclosure on a summer day around here. None of the lights I use produce heat. I have 2 probes in every enclosure and they're usually only 1 degree apart or so. I also check with a temp gun to make sure they're all working.
  4. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    Thanks guys. I'm sure I'm over reacting. Working in HVAC, I see how important safety chains and switches are, especially high limits. And even though stat 1 will probably never fail, I'll sleep better at night and not have to worry about it while I'm at work. I guess I was just wondered if anyone had first hand experience with this type of failure.
  5. RomanLA

    RomanLA Elite Member

    I'm using the simple Zoo Med 500R thermostat, but noticed later that the Zilla thermostats have an automatic shutoff on high temperature. Personally, I used a CHE in a dimmer lamp and dialed it in and then put it on a thermostat. It still cycles to maintain temperature, but even if it sticks on it shouldn't be a major factor. I also put my halogen for my basking spot in a dimmer lamp and set my temperature with a digitial infrared thermometer.
  6. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    I've heard that about the Zilla too. I'm building a custom enclosure, so I'd like to stick to panel mount stats. That way I can have all my digital faces visible on the hood, and I can check things at a glance. I may end up adding some dimmers, but when I finish this enclosure, I'm going to use a heat panel for heat. So all these little accessories I buy, I'd like to be able to transfer them over when I'm done. Cost adds up quick. I don't have anything against the stats they offer, that are designed for reptile care, they're just limited. I'm planning on hard wiring everything, and like I said, having everything mounted visibly on the hood. The reptile stats are just kind of, plug em in and let em lay. Do you like the heat emitter? I've heard so many mixed reviews on them, I'm a little hesitant to use them.
  7. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    i dont think your being paranoid or over thinking this. In fact, with the set up you describe it is a very good idea.Whatbyour looking at hear is a trade off. You chose to make your heating as efficient as possible, but the resulting trade offf is that athermostat failure could result in a very bad outcome for your animals. One practice I believe in is never over doing your heat set up. If you have at or close to the minimum neccicary wattage to produce your desired heat level this won't be an issue. A wide open thermostat, in that situation would not cause a catostrophic event. I think that is the safest practice to use.

    Ceramic heats work fine, I have 2 setups using them currently and have had zero issues. But As far as I can tell the radiant heat panel is a better option all around .I'm starting the build onnmy ball pythons new enclosure and she will be getting a RHP, replacing the CHE I currently use for her. The iguana will also be getting one when I build his adult cage a bit farther down the line. Same kind of heat, lower wattage, burns off less humidity, cheaper to operate, safer at close distances. I think all those reasons justify the pricetag.

    Many of the more expensive brands of thermostats have a variety of built in safety features. I'm going to be using a pricier thermostat for my BP. As an added bonus the more expensive ones have a number of features that can be useful as my needs changes down the line. I have very little faith in most products with a zoomed or zilla logo on them and a failsafe is never a bad idea!
  8. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    Yeah, I feel the same way. And for now I've stepped down my heat output. It runs less efficient, but no tragedy I something goes wrong. This will give me time to feel out this stat. And I agree, the pet store brands just seem cheap. Cheap in operation.....not cost. I ordered my backup stat but haven't installed it yet. An like you, the more reading I do, the more I'm leaning toward a RHP. In fact, I'm definitely going to get one when I build my bigger cage also. I talked to the guy at Spamming Trash and he seemed very knowledgable. So I that will be the brand I buy.

    So with my heat stepped down, no real reason for a high limit stat, but it never hurts to have a second one laying around. Who knows, maybe I'll use it for ATB#2. Haha.

    Thanks for your input and reply. I appreciate it.
  9. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Pro products is the way to go! Nothing beats those guys and anyone I know using them will swear by them. That's all I use and most other people keeping chondros all use them too.
  10. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    Yeah, I'm completely sold and haven't even gotten anything yet. Haha. The guy is awesome. I called to ask about a panel, we ended up talking for an hour and a half. Great guy!!! Do you know anything about their misting system?? I'll probably order one of those too down the road. When this girl grows into her bigger enclosure.
  11. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Personally though I have a system i don't use it. I prefer to do it by hand so i can check on everyone. Also systems spray cold water and I don't like using cold water for spraying :) I baby my guys ;)

    i have heard good things about their system too though
  12. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    Yeah, I like getting in there and doing it myself too. It's just some days for work I may be gone 12 hours. And at times I have to leave state for a few days. My wife could do it, but I want to know things are right. And I thought about the cold water thing. I've even kicked around the idea of that heat tape with an underwater stat probe on the bottom of the water reservoir. Haha. The stats I buy are like $20 shipped straight from china, and I really like them so far. So throwing out an extra $30 or so to heat the water, well, she's my little girl. I'll do all I can for her.

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