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Old 05-27-2015, 04:57 PM   #11
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My heaters is on the same power strip as my pump so they are off when I'm doing water changes.

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I, personally, never have.
I have two Aqueon Pro's and the instructions specifically say that they automatically shut off if they sense that the water level has fallen, how they do that, I don't know.

Long story short, I just had one of them crack after two years of reliable service and I'm wondering if that might be part of the reason. I don't know if the light shut turn off when the water level drops or how low it has to drop to trigger a shut off, but when I do PWCs, the lights on mine always stay on. Maybe they're off, but the lights stay on, maybe the water has to fall lower, maybe it has to be low for longer than the 15 minutes it takes me to do the change (my guess).

I've read other threads from people that say they turn their heaters off, regardless of what's said, like it's the law. Part of my fear is that I won't remember to do it. My plan is to leave my light on one power strip and my heaters and filters on another so I can flip one switch to turn them all off during water changes. The filters are easy to remember to turn back on (since I can hear them and one of them is HOB so I have to prime it).

Also, just a word about Aqueon (also the makers of All Glass). I was going to order another one, but I called them this morning and, no questions asked, they just told me to send it in and they'd get another one out to me right away. On top of that, I live very close to them so I just dropped it off (but they still have to mail the new one, which they said would happen this week), so that shaved a day or two off the process.

I'm glad I run two of them all the time. It's a 40g tank. I have one 150w heater and one 100W. The 150w heater is the one that cracked and the remaining 100w seems to be having no problem keeping the tank warm. The fact that ambient temperature in the house has been well over 70, I'm sure, is helping quite a bit.

I'm also glad I caught it before anything really bad happened. I heard a very quiet hissing noise in my house. It wasn't my computer or the TV, not the water heater (for the house) or the AC or furnace. I finally tracked it down to the aquarium. I was terrified that it might have sprung a leak, but I didn't see any water. Unplugging the filters didn't stop the noise, but I still couldn't place it. Over the next few hours I noticed the red light never turned off so I unplugged that heater and pulled it out to find a big crack on it. The hissing must have been water getting in and boiling off (then building up pressure and hissing back through the crack). The entire setup is plugged into a GFI, but still.

So, I'm sort of curious if it cracked because I don't turn it off during water changes and it over heated or it was just a fluke.

So, TLR. do you unplug your heaters during PWCs? What if the manual specifically says that they turn off if the water level falls?
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:59 PM   #12
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So, I'm sort of curious if it cracked because I don't turn it off during water changes and it over heated or it was just a fluke.
Oh that one is easy to answer for yourself.
Take a cup of boiling water and drop in an ice cube.

Same thing happens to the glass of the heater when it is on out of water and then you fill the tank.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:22 PM   #13
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how I position my heater behind the rocks at the bottom of tank , I have no reason shutting it off, it's always submerged
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:50 PM   #14
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Oh that one is easy to answer for yourself.
Take a cup of boiling water and drop in an ice cube.

Same thing happens to the glass of the heater when it is on out of water and then you fill the tank.
Aqueon PROs are extruded aluminum encased in black plastic(no glass).
I have around 25+ of them.
Best heater going and op said why.
They replace NO questions/receipts or warranty cards needed.
Just send to them and new one is on it's way.
They have replaced 1 for me also.
1 out of 25 aint bad! Another reason I think they are best!
Most my heaters are horizontal and all stay on during changes.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:53 PM   #15
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Oh that one is easy to answer for yourself.
Take a cup of boiling water and drop in an ice cube.

Same thing happens to the glass of the heater when it is on out of water and then you fill the tank.

I don't think the temperature difference here is quite the same as boiling water and a frozen ice cube. Most people run their tank temperature pretty close to what the room temperature is... So there's not going to be that dramatic of a swing between the water temp and air temp.

All that said... I still unplug my heaters if they're going to become unsubmerged during a water change. Seems like a simple enough preventative measure.


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Old 05-27-2015, 08:08 PM   #16
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I don't think the temperature difference here is quite the same as boiling water and a frozen ice cube. Most people run their tank temperature pretty close to what the room temperature is... So there's not going to be that dramatic of a swing between the water temp and air temp.

All that said... I still unplug my heaters if they're going to become unsubmerged during a water change. Seems like a simple enough preventative measure.


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have you ever left a heater on out of water and then got it wet?
I have, they tend to crack or shatter rather dramatically.

It doesn't have to be a huge temp difference, just enough to initiate a rapid expansion or contraction of the material in question.

plus you are forgetting that little 100watt heater is actually generating a ton of heat in a very localized spot with water constantly dispersing the heat. Plainly put, those heater tubes get a heck of a lot hotter than whatever temp you set it for, and that is greatly compounded if dry.




but anywho, good practice to turn everything off while working in/on your tank.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:20 PM   #17
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Heating air and heating water are two different things. That's why many shatter if you try and heat air with them. The voltage is calibrated for how much water it can heat.


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Old 05-28-2015, 04:07 AM   #18
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I just ordered one of these to make life a bit less irritating. I don't like dealing with the power strips so I can use this to turn things off individually.

Amazon.com: Eliminator E107 Control Center S-Switch/ 60: Musical Instruments

As to the heater, even if they do replace it and if they are able to be on and out of the water, what will it hurt to turn it off when you do a water change?
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:01 AM   #19
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I just ordered one of these to make life a bit less irritating. I don't like dealing with the power strips so I can use this to turn things off individually.

Amazon.com: Eliminator E107 Control Center S-Switch/ 60: Musical Instruments

As to the heater, even if they do replace it and if they are able to be on and out of the water, what will it hurt to turn it off when you do a water change?
Like I said in my OP, my concern is that I won't remember to plug it back in. My filters have been part of my routine since day 1 and since one of them requires priming, it's hard to forget to do that. The heaters just quietly sit there and do their job.

I suppose something else I could do would be to lay them down horizontally along the bottom and not worry about unplugging them since they'd always be totally submerged, but I really like they way they look next to the intake pipes for the filters. As is, they're never more than about half out of water, but, like I said, I'm going to start unplugging them, just have to find a way that works for me.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:11 AM   #20
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another option for you, I have 2 hydor eth 300w inlines in the cabinet under the tank, so I never need to turn them off.

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