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Thread: Uth question

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    Uth question

    Iím using a new uth on my juvenile ball python. I am using the sand mat to place on top of the bottom of the tank where the heater is to prevent my snake from getting burned. Has anyone else ever done this just to be safe? I know my older ball python clears out the substrate and lays right in the glass but i Iíve a thermostat on that heater. The way I have the mat my smaller snake will not be able to move the mat. Just going to use this temporary until I get a new thermostat and uth. Iím moving him to a bigger tank soon. Thanks for any advice.

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    Not sure what a 'sand mat' is, but your UTH really NEEDS to be controlled so it's not too hot. Try running your UTH just with a lamp dimmer (aka rheostat)...they're cheap
    & available in any hardware store. Get the kind with the control installed on an extension cord, & when you replace with a thermostat, you can always use the dimmer for
    a lamp. A lamp dimmer is WAY cheaper than the vet will be when your snake gets burned, & you won't have to feel guilty for causing so much pain either.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    Re: Uth question

    Sand mat is just a brown piece of material to put in the bottom instead of substrate. I will pick up a dimmer when I go out today, thanks. I definitely donít wanna burn my little boy like that.

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    Bear in mind that a dimmer won't keep the UTH at a constant temperature like a thermostat will, it will just reduce the amount it heats up. So, suppose unregulated the UTH heats up to 50*F over ambient, which is common. With the dimmer suppose you reduce the power to the UTH so it heats up 15*F over ambient, then as the ambient in the room varies the temperature of the UTH will vary right along with it.

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    This is why we set up our enclosures with proper equipment BEFORE bringing the animal home.
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    Re: Uth question

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    Bear in mind that a dimmer won't keep the UTH at a constant temperature like a thermostat will, it will just reduce the amount it heats up. So, suppose unregulated the UTH heats up to 50*F over ambient, which is common. With the dimmer suppose you reduce the power to the UTH so it heats up 15*F over ambient, then as the ambient in the room varies the temperature of the UTH will vary right along with it.
    I might be miss understanding your explanation but if you set up a UTH on a dimmer won't the temp of the UTH stay constant no matter what the ambient temps are. If your UTH gets to 130 degrees unregulated and if you put it on a dimmer and set it to where it gets to 90 degrees won't it stay at that same temp no matter what your ambient temps are?

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    A UTH will heat up a certain amount over ambient unless regulated. Assume unregulated it's a 50*F increase. So, with a room temp of 75*F your UTH will be 125*F. If your room temp is 65*F your UTH temp will be 115*F.

    You put a dimmer on the UTH. The dimmer just reduces power to the UTH by a certain percentage, but it doesn't adjust the power up or down to account for ambient temperature swings. So, at some point your room temp is 72*F, your UTH is 90*F (an 18*F increase) after playing with the dimmer a bit. Since this is March the spring weather can be tricky, especially if you haven't converted over from heat to A/C yet. We get an unseasonably warm day and your house temp goes to 80*F inside, so your UTH will be at 98*F because the dimmer keeps it at an 18*F increase. A thermostat would decrease power to the UTH so it stayed at 90*F.

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    Re: Uth question

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest View Post
    I might be miss understanding your explanation but if you set up a UTH on a dimmer won't the temp of the UTH stay constant no matter what the ambient temps are. If your UTH gets to 130 degrees unregulated and if you put it on a dimmer and set it to where it gets to 90 degrees won't it stay at that same temp no matter what your ambient temps are?
    Essentially, a thermostat limits how much heat the equipment produces, set to a desired temperature. Just like the one in your house. If you set it to 70 it'll kick on around 68 and kick off around 72.

    Whereas a dimmer limits the equipment output. So, rather than set it to a temp, it's set to a percentage. So let's say you set it to 75%. It's going to produce 75% of the maximum heat it can produce. As your room temps increase the heating equipment continues to throw 75% heat. You combine that with ambient temps and your temps fluctuate greatly, unless of course the room temps stay constant.
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    I'm clear now. I think I interpreted it differently originally, my thought was that the UTH temp is going to stay the same on a dimmer no matter what the ambient temps are and with a thermostat they will fluctuate with the ambient temps. I see now what you are saying as the surface temp of the enclosure will vary on a dimmer despite the fact that the UTH temp stays constant, and the surface temp of the enclosure will stay the same when using a thermostat but the UTH temp will vary, if that makes sense....

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    Re: Uth question

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest View Post
    I'm clear now. I think I interpreted it differently originally, my thought was that the UTH temp is going to stay the same on a dimmer no matter what the ambient temps are and with a thermostat they will fluctuate with the ambient temps. I see now what you are saying as the surface temp of the enclosure will vary on a dimmer despite the fact that the UTH temp stays constant, and the surface temp of the enclosure will stay the same when using a thermostat but the UTH temp will vary, if that makes sense....
    Yeah, that's another way of saying it. Using a UTH with a rheostat, you'll have to make adjustments if the room temperature changes much, whereas a thermostat will make those adjustments for you so the enclosure stays the same. I may be wrong but most of us have our houses or apts. regulated by a thermostat, so the room temperature in that case shouldn't vary by enough to mess up your UTH, but certainly if you go that route, you should be double-checking now & then. Even thermostats fail though & it's always a good idea to check for safety. Since BPs require higher temperatures than do many other snakes & are more prone to thermal injuries (since the upper temperature they like is fairly close to what can cause damage), I'd have to say it's especially important to use a thermostat for BP enclosures. My suggestion of a rheostat was intended to be temporary until a thermostat was obtained, since the only other option (for snake safety) would be to turn OFF the UTH altogether.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-22-2020 at 08:32 PM.
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