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  1. #1
    BPnet Senior Member SquamishSerpents's Avatar
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    building a rack, wiring flexwatt in parallel

    just have a few questions about the wiring of our new rack, i'm a very visual person, so i thought i'd draw a little diagram:



    so basically what we'll have is 3 racks, that hold (3 x 3) 9 tubs each. my biggest concern: will splitting up and then plugging back into the next 3 x 3 rack be a problem? will everything heat consistently? we are using all 11" flexwatt, the whole way through. i'm just concerned that maybe in parallel the heat won't distribute properly?

    i know it'll be a bit warmer on the top tubs, as heat rises, but we just really don't want each (all 12) rows to have a plug sticking out.

    also, should one of the strips of flexwatt fail, what would happen to the others? would they just pick up the slack and the herpstat keep the temp at 85 on every other row, regardless of one being out? for now i just have exoterra digital probe thermometers for the temps, but i plan on getting a tempgun within the next few days.

    thanks for any help, i'm no electrician!

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  3. #2
    BPnet Senior Member SquamishSerpents's Avatar
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    Re: building a rack, wiring flexwatt in parallel

    bumping this up

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    BPnet Lifer Kaorte's Avatar
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    Re: building a rack, wiring flexwatt in parallel

    If you put the thermostat probe in the middle most shelf then it should heat pretty evenly. I don't think the way you have it wired will make a difference.

    I am not quite sure what would happen if one shelf failed. I would assume some Christmas tree light thing would happen (they all go out). If the shelf with the thermostat probe failed and the other shelves did stay on, you would have a problem.
    ~Steffe

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    Re: building a rack, wiring flexwatt in parallel

    As far as I understand with the diagram, each flexwatt in the 3 tub rack are wired in parallel, which the way you want it to be. If they are wired in series the flexwatt tape at the distal end of the load becomes cooler than the proximal end.

    The problem I'm having with the schematic is on where the male and female plugs are wired to in relation to the 2 wires that make up each female and male plug.

    I'm assuming it was wired in parallel, similar to the way the flexwatt was wired and therefore should make the entire set wired in parallel. It is how you would prefer them to be.

    Problems would arise if the it ends up with the 3 sets of 3 tubs are connected in series.

    With a parallel connection if one flexwatt fails the other tapes will end up getting warmer, since more current will be available to go through them, but if the thermostat probe is still on a functional tapes should still be controlled. Problem is if the tape that fails is where you probe is at.

    In a series connection, if one tape fails the rest of the tapes will cease to have current and pretty much a bad thing for everyone else.
    Last edited by Malekhant; 10-15-2009 at 03:18 AM. Reason: grammar

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    BPnet Lifer Kaorte's Avatar
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    Re: building a rack, wiring flexwatt in parallel

    I was just looking at this again cause the wiring diagram seemed off. Pretty sure it should look like this:

    ~Steffe

  7. #6
    BPnet Veteran twistedtails's Avatar
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    Re: building a rack, wiring flexwatt in parallel

    I agree with the above post on how you should wire the rack. If you did it the way originally posted, you would be drawing a lot of power through the last strip of flexwatt leading to potential issues. To eliminate plugging the racks into each other, I would use a splitter at the stat and plug each rack into that. Let us know what you end up doing and how it works out.

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