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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran RPlank's Avatar
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    Is there some electrical/wiring reason I cannot buy a thermostat at Home Depot or Lowes, and wire it to my heat tape? I suspect there must be, because no one does it. Can anyone explain this to me, or explain how to wire it? The closest I can come to knowing anything about it is that there are more than two wires going out of the thermostat, right?
    I'm kinda clueless, here!
    Randy

    "I think it might be helpful for everyone to remember that the purpose of a forum like this is to EXCHANGE IDEAS, not dictate what is right or wrong or good or bad. If you disagree with what someone else is suggesting, you can say so without being argumentative or completely slamming the guy (or girl)." - Smynx

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran CTReptileRescue's Avatar
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    Ok, Ok, I think I get this,
    My husband just took a look at your post and If I can interpret this correctly:
    Those type of thermastats cannot read the heat tapes heat, only the temperature of the envirnment.
    Idon't know if that makes any sense,
    like I said I could be saying it all wrong, i'm so damn tired..lol
    Rusty
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  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran Andariel's Avatar
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    RustysDragons has it pretty close. Thermostats use a mercury switch to activate them (well MOST do, i've seen some that don't, but most do)... when the mercury cools down it moves to one side because its heavier or lighter (i forget which) and vice verse when it gets warm.

    Heat tape uses a resistance type switch to activate/deactivate them... Heat makes resistance which reduces overall voltage thru the circuit which is how it controls the temperature.

    While I can see it being possible (with some uhh... modification engineering) to make a household thermostat work with a heating pad, UTH, Heat Tape, etc... but the thermostat would HAVE to physically be (for lack of totally bashing it apart, in which case let me konw and i'll just draw u up a schematic and a parts list for what u'd need) in the tank. But then still it would only sense the temperature around where it is.

    If that doesn't make sense (cause i mighta just rambled on I cant' tell) let me know and I"ll give it a second shot. Right now I'm goin out to pickup my new 40BR WOOOOOOT

    -Chris

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    umm.. help maybe?

    Randy, screw that, get a dimmer and hook it up I'll dig up a link when I get home, time to head off for a partay soon

  5. #5
    BPnet Veteran CTReptileRescue's Avatar
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    Thermostats use a mercury switch to activate them (well MOST do, i've seen some that don't, but most do)... when the mercury cools down it moves to one side because its heavier or lighter (i forget which) and vice verse when it gets warm.


    Heat tape uses a resistance type switch to activate/deactivate them... Heat makes resistance which reduces overall voltage thru the circuit which is how it controls the temperature.
    Ok yes, sure, that's what I meant to say..lol
    Rusty
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  6. #6
    BPnet Veteran RPlank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BallKingdom
    Randy, screw that, get a dimmer and hook it up
    I have a dimmer hooked up to it now. I am trying to figure out a better way to do an incubator setup than the hovabator I have now. I guess mounting it inside the incubator would work fine, huh? Would high humidity mess with the thermostat?

    Chris, how hard would it be to build one from scratch with a remote temperature sensor probe? Would it cost less than the $100 most of them run at the reptile supply places?
    Randy

    "I think it might be helpful for everyone to remember that the purpose of a forum like this is to EXCHANGE IDEAS, not dictate what is right or wrong or good or bad. If you disagree with what someone else is suggesting, you can say so without being argumentative or completely slamming the guy (or girl)." - Smynx

  7. #7
    BPnet Veteran Andariel's Avatar
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    Rustysdragons I wasn't trin to step on toes, just merely elaborating on what u had said. Mechanics (and the sub classes under it like wiring, electronics, hydraulics, etc...) is what i did in the military and what i went to UTI for out in Phoenix, so I tend to ramble on about it What can I say.. once a snipe always a snipe

    RPlank, really wouldn't be that hard using just a household thermostat if my thinking is right. I've got an old one layin around in the basement so I'll give it a shot usin a test light and let u know what all would be involved.

    -Chris

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    Last time I made an effort to wire something I didn't use a ground, and I had seriously no idea when I was doing. I looked at one already done when I made mine. I when to plug it in and there was an explosion of sparks...

    Sure I'll tell ya how to wire some stuff!

  9. #9
    Big Papa Bear Ironhead's Avatar
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    That sound's like some of my experiences with wiring. All I know is that the kid's said to let them know ahead of time before I mess with electrical stuff again so they can make sure my life insurance premiums are up to date. Was a pretty good 4th of July firework's if you ask me. :shock: :lol:
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  10. #10
    BPnet Veteran CTReptileRescue's Avatar
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    Rustysdragons I wasn't trin to step on toes, just merely elaborating on what u had said.
    Oh it's ok, I had no clue on what I was interpreting from my husband anyway. He always does those things. (I would just get electricuted if I messed around with that stuff.lol)
    Thanks
    Rusty
    CT Reptile Rescue
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