how to use heat tape for reptiles

Do I really need to use a thermostat? In short, YES! Thermal tape will last much longer and be much safer for you and your animals if it is used correctly and safely. The manufacturer of the thermal tape says to never use the tape without a thermostat or rheometer to control its temperature. My own experience over the years also supports this. While some will tell you it can be used “as is” in some widths and capacities, I have had errors using it this way and your temperatures will be unreliable. Thermal tape can get a little hotter than you’d like if left unchecked regardless of width or capacity, this WILL lead to premature product failure and possibly trouble for your animals if your setup not ideal. A relatively small investment in the right thermostat can save you quite a bit in the long run. Other reasons to use a thermostat are discussed later in this section. In any case, you don’t want to apply the source element (plug in) on top of itself, or another part of the element, or have any part of it scrolled. This will lead to a very quick failure of the element and it will require replacement. Don’t do this! Which side is above? No top or bottom with thermal tape. Both sides work equally well. Can I cut this? Yes! Thermal tape is a laminated material that can be cut with any good quality scissors. The element we sell has been specially selected for reptile rack and cage use and can be cut to almost any length. GUARANTEE FACTORS NOT PROVIDED WHEN TRIMMING! Sorry, I have to say it Read more: how to select all annotations in word Can you assemble the thermal tape for me? To really grind (technical term) the metal studs on it well and accurately, you need special crimping tools sold by the manufacturer. Can this be done at home without this tool? Right. We’ve found that a sander works best if you don’t have one as you can just take the whole stud in there and hit it evenly. But why would you when we will do it to your specifications- Just order the connected thermal tape product(s). How does thermal tape work? Reptile Basics sells THGHeat brand heaters. The THG element was designed for use with reptiles from the start, unlike others that are hybrids from the floor heating industry. Along each side of the thermal tape is a strip of copper foil that conducts electricity to the black lines in the tape that make up the heater. The thermal tape is very thin and made of a durable plastic film that is ideal for heating reptiles. I have been using thermal tape on various racks and cages for over 15 years now with no significant issues. When used correctly with a thermostat/rheometer, it is a very useful and long-lasting product. It is important to set up and use it properly. A few things to keep in mind: 1) You want to create a sunbathing area for your reptile, not a fireplace to sit on. I prefer to have duct tape cover no more than 1/3 of the floor surface area and usually less when thermal tape is used for abdominal heating. This will give your animals a nice thermal gradient so they can decide how warm they are. Remember, the animal will move and turn off the heat as needed as long as you give it a chance to do so. The probes are skewed and in general things go wrong sometimes. You want to use enough width and capacity of the thermal tape to do the job you need to do and still maintain a safe environment should that happen, your thermostat or setup fails and gets hotter than normal. normal. At Reptile Basics, we don’t recommend warming your belly under a 6 quart tub (shoebox). Even with the 3-inch element, this is a recipe for disaster. The back heat setting is equally effective in small tubs and much safer for your animal. Your animal MUST be able to escape the heat if it becomes too hot. Again, it’s very important that a heating pad should not cover more than one-third of the floor area when used for abdominal heating. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to the habitation and transportation of reptiles- You can kill them a lot faster and harm them faster in the heat than in the cold. Error in the aspect of caution. 3) TEST !! you can easily test the maximum capacity of the setup. Only do this when you are monitoring the rack! You can plug the thermostat directly into a wall outlet to simulate the maximum temperature your setup can generate. Is the coolest part of the bath survivable by the animal you’re in? While they may not be happy, they will survive if this works, and it’s an easy test to do. Don’t forget to set up your element with the thermostat when you’re done! Read more: how to download crazy craft 3.0 on Mac In particular, you should choose the appropriate capacity/width so that you only run the thermal tape at about 50-75% capacity. For abdominal heating rack applications, you MUST set up the thermal probe on the thermal tape itself for best results and highest safety. Aren’t we tired enough? DO NOT place your thermostat probe inside one of the tubs or off the heating pad in the belly warmer. The most consistent and understandable method is to place and fix the thermostat probe directly on the thermal tape itself and if possible under one of the tubs. You should periodically check the thermostat probe as part of your regular maintenance to make sure it is in a safe location as well as the temperature in your tubs to make sure all is working. normal and as expected. There is no substitute for paying attention to places where animals are present. In most small to medium shoe and sweater boxes, a 3-inch or 4-inch thermal tape will do the job. In larger tubs you may want to use the 6 element. Unless your room temperature is unusually cool, you should get good results. For larger sweater or blanket box applications, you will likely use 12-inch wide thermal tape. 12 inches is also the element of choice to set the heat on the back. Yes, your thermostat won’t know the temperature in the tub through the thermal tape (floor area) but you will. In general, the thermal ice will be warmer than the temperature in the tub. This is due to the air gap between the bottom of the tub and the thermal tape as well as the thickness of the tub floor. I’d like to start with a thermostat setting about 5 degrees warmer than my desired background temperature. Let the system warm up for a few hours (this is important!) and check the results. If you are in a tub 2 degrees lower then increase the temperature of the thermostat by 2 degrees. Wait about half an hour. Check again. Once you’ve figured out the difference, it should remain pretty consistent. One thing to remember – this is a sunbathing area, the animal will move and leave it as needed. No absolute precision is required, 1/10th of a degree Celsius. Because you’re not really sure how hot your thermal tape is actually getting, especially in a cooler room. With a thermal tape probe, you KNOW that the actual temperature of the thermal tape is under control. If you still cannot raise the temperature then you need to consider a warmer room. For most reptile setups, a room temperature drop below 70F is not ideal. We like the temperature in the room around 75F but no warmer than 80F. My thermal tape doesn’t always have the same temperature everywhere? Thermal tape is not always as consistent as we would like. While a very useful, good quality product, it is not designed for use in ultra-precise applications. The cost would be unrealistic. Through years of use in our own collections, the thousands of stands and cages we’ve built, and the miles of element we’ve sold, we’ve found that you can expect fluctuations about 5% of the length of the part. Usually a little better, sometimes a little worse. That adds up to about 5 degrees at the 100-degree setting on your thermostat. How much of this thermal tape can I get with the thermostat? You should keep your thermal tape running at a maximum length of less than 40 feet for 3″, 4″, and 6″, less than 25 feet when using 12″ thermal tape, and less than 10 feet for 21″ thermal tape. Remember – these are considered maximums, it is wise to stay below them.

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