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  1. #1
    Registered User Honem's Avatar
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    Do I Need Thermostat if UTH Comes With Temp Control?

    Hello all, this is my very first post on this forum. I see everyone everywhere saying that I need a thermostat to go with any UTHs I have, but the one I have already comes with an adjustable temp dial. Do I still need a separate thermostat to control temps? I'll still have a probe thermometer hooked up to it to monitor temps inside the cage.

  2. #2
    Registered User Zchillin's Avatar
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    Re: Do I Need Thermostat if UTH Comes With Temp Control?

    I recommend using a thermostat!

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  4. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    And YES, you should always use a thermostat for safety. Here's why:

    The control dial that some heating equipment comes with (just like a heating pad for humans) will control the amount of power, but let's say your house (or room) warms up while you're not at home. Your UTH will keep cranking out the same amount of heat as regulated by the power- so added to the room heat, your pet can get overheated & even die from that. The UTH dial that you assumed would keep it at 88* might end up at 95* instead, & your snake can get serious & painful thermal burns from that which threaten their health, & can cost you $ at the vet. Think of a thermostat as saving both money & misery.... Safety is very important. (The opposite could happen too- your snake could end up too cold to digest & be healthy when someone cranks up the A/C, etc.)

    Another thing: A UTH may seem to be the right temperature when you set it up & test it out, but we recommend that you set up & RUN (heat) your snake enclosure for at least a week before a pet moves in. Believe it or not, that heat setting will often end up being warmer than you think it is- it takes a while for everything in the enclosure to gradually warm up. And if the enclosure is sitting on solid wood furniture, for example, that wood insulates the cage (keeps the heat in), but that also takes a while to warm up (absorb some of the heat).

    So while the dial on your UTH may seem to regulate it okay, it won't actually maintain an optimal temperature that you want the way a thermostat will whenever the room/house changes temps. On a human's heating pad, we can feel it & change it to what is comfortable- but snakes cannot do that.

    Also: the probe does NOT go IN the cage- because your snake is bound to dislodge it (it's actually in their contract, lol ) and if they spill their water bowl (which happens now & then) that too may change the reading for the probe- IF you're using a t-stat, it will try to crank up the heat to compensate for the cold water that was spilled, & could end up way too hot- a danger to your snake.

    Best way: sandwich the probe against the underside (outside!) of your cage, between the UTH & the cage. You'll want to test it out with the cage set up (with substrate etc but no snake) as previously suggested & accurately read the actual temperatures INSIDE & on the floor of the cage, where the snake may make contact. ASSUME that your snake will push away the substrate from over the UTH- because again, it's in their contract. And you don't want the surface (floor) of the cage to be hot enough to burn them- keep it under 90* for a BP. Many like to set it for 88* & test that out.

    It doesn't really matter what your thermostat is set to so that it achieves the INSIDE temperature that you want & your snake needs. Does this make sense? You need to verify what the outcome is (many like to use an accurate temp. gun for this) & re-check it for about a week to make sure it's staying there. It's not something you should do when the cage is occupied. It can be dangerous, but also, all that activity for a new snake can freak them out more than they already are- making it harder for them to settle in & eat. AND- if for any reason your test doesn't get the results you need, you have time to get what you do need to make it right- remember it takes time for online ordering if you don't have suppliers near you.

    BTW, this comes up quite often & is confusing for many- it's not just you. I give you credit for asking- it's better to fix now than later, after there's problems.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-03-2022 at 08:38 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  6. #4
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Some UTH's come with an internal built-in thermostat, or the "package" includes it. Like these:

    Others have an integrated dimmer/rheostat. You don't want one of these:

    Or they may have nothing at all, in which case you would purchase the thermostat separately.

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