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  1. #1
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    PVC enclosure plastic smell

    Hey guys, thank you in advance for taking a look at this! I recently built a PVC enclosure for my ball python, and after affixing radiant heating tape, we started to notice a strong smell. I have a thermostat hooked up and have verified that it is only getting to about 95 degrees inside. I had read that PVC can release toxic vapors at about 158 degrees; however, I am still concerned about the smell.

    Any help or advice would be appreciated !

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I avoid this type of enclosure for just such reasons, but it might help to run it with heat (while un-occupied) for a week or more to air it out. You'd not want the heat over 90* for a BP, & even then only the warmest "basking" area. I think you might be smelling the RHP also? I think someone else mentioned this issue & those using the same products said they had to run the RHP on full-blast for a few days to cook off the fumes from it? I hope you have a garage you can do this in, so you don't have to smell it either.
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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran Luvyna's Avatar
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    Re: PVC enclosure plastic smell

    Not sure if OP has a RHP installed since they didn't mention one, but if so, that is a very likely source of the smell and can be remedied by running the RHP at full blast outdoors for a few days as mentioned above. I've never used heat tape so I'm not sure if new heat tape produces a smell but if it does, you should probably also remove it and run it outside at full blast for a few days.

    I noticed a sort of faint plastic smell in my new PVC enclosure as well (unrelated to the RHP), it wasn't overwhelming but it was definitely there. If this is what you're experiencing, I would wipe down the interior with a damp rag and if you're able to move the enclosure, take it outside to a shaded/covered area and let it air out. If you can't move it outside you may just have to let it sit with the door open for a longer time indoors (hopefully your BP has suitable housing in the mean time).

    If the smell is really strong you may need to take the pieces apart and wash them separately with a bit of dish soap and water or baking soda to soak up the smell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I avoid this type of enclosure for just such reasons, but it might help to run it with heat (while un-occupied) for a week or more to air it out. You'd not want the heat over 90* for a BP, & even then only the warmest "basking" area. I think you might be smelling the RHP also? I think someone else mentioned this issue & those using the same products said they had to run the RHP on full-blast for a few days to cook off the fumes from it? I hope you have a garage you can do this in, so you don't have to smell it either.
    The smell and a few other issues I've experienced with my PVC enclosure have led me to question how healthy they are for snakes as well. At the same time though, lots of people have snakes in plastic tubs and PVC their whole lives and these snakes still live to ripe old ages with no health issues so it's hard to say what kind of effect it has, if any.

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