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Old 04-10-2006, 08:37 AM   #1
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Heater Meltdown - Thank God for circut breakers!

I woke up this morning to find a burning smell in my house, and an electrical circut dead. I traced it to the heater in my CO2 waterbath. I'm not sure if evaporation had lowered the water level too much and caused the burnout, or if the heater had failed and caused the water to boil off. Either way, I'm thankful that the waterbath is made of inflammable glass, and the circut breaker did it's job!
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:52 PM   #2
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Waking up to a burning smell? Ooooh - that is scary. I'm glad the circuit breaker worked too! I would get a new heater and not try to see if this one works again - or is it cracked anyway? Get a Visitherm Stealth heater for the waterbath - they are plastic and won't shatter. I don't even unplug them for a water change.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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I've also heard that some of the more expensive ones have a shutoff switch for when they overheat?

I was planning to ditch the heater. It looks really nasty. Bumped up against a sponge filter, has bits of black polymer bonded to it now. (I had at one time thought I could use the front half of the waterbath as a secondary QT, but changed my mind and never got around to removing the extra equiptment.) I'll inspect it more closely tonight just for curiosity's sake.
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Old 04-10-2006, 06:03 PM   #4
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Good thing you didn't use the waterbath as a secondary QT either!

The Visitherm Stealth is supposed to turn itself off when it detects that the water level is low. I have done 50 % water changes while the heater is still plugged in. A few times the exposed part still felt warm to my touch. But nothing happened to it or the tank. It still keeps the temperature I set it at. If you used this heater in your waterbath, I don't think you would have to worry so much about evaporation. You would still check your water level, but if it happened to get a little low overnight, you wouldn't wake up to a burning smell!! 8O

P.S. I smelled a really strong burning smell once, but didn't see anything. It was so strong I was almost ready to call the fire department. Then I figured out that a moth torched itself in the halogen lamp. My goodness, did that smell! But now I know what it is if I smell it again, and I try to catch moths before they get themselves stuck in there!
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:34 AM   #5
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Oh Boy....

Apparently I should have checked the integrety of the aquarium, not just the heater. I tried to refill it today, a couple of minutes later I heard a POP, and water started raining down...

Good thing the tank was only 8 bucks. I don't think frying the bottom with a dry heater is covered under warranty.
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