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SnakeTown II - Heating Tape Woes

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  • SnakeTown II - Heating Tape Woes

    Last weekend I finally finished moving Snaketown from my old house to my boyfriend's house. We've been working on finishing that side of the basement (other side is already completely finished and separate from this half) for the last six weeks. I'm still waiting on two stacks of a cages from Animal Plastics but everything is mostly setup and most of my snakes currently in racks will get upgraded to 3ft or 4ft cages in another month. Yay!

    I built a rack to go underneath my 6ft cages that currently has what's left of my 2015 litter and I'll probably use as the "baby rack" in the future. Currently have there are four strips of heat tape on each shelf, it's 4" heat tape and each strip is just under 2ft. All four strips are plugged into one extension cable which is plugged into a thermostat (VE-100). The probe is taped down to the heat tape, outside the tub, so it won't get knocked away and always has direct contact. I'm having a heck of a time getting the temperature right and it's really frustrating. I set the thermostat to 82 degrees and yet the inside of the tubs will regularly get into the low 90's. I'm guessing this temperature difference is because the tubs are sitting on the heat tape and are mostly enclosed so heat will build up faster whereas the probe is attached to the heat tape outside the tub and heat from it is going to dissipate faster. I'm curious what you guys have your thermostats set to and how well that correlates to the actual temperature in the cage. In most of my tubs I'm using kraft paper so there isn't a lot of substrate that the heat has to go through.

    What's more concerning to me is there is one piece of heat tape where the temperature varies drastically on the piece itself. If I check the temperature on the side that the cables are connected it will be around 85 degrees but if I check the temperature at the end of the heat tape it will be close to 100! I unplugged that piece this morning so those two tubs temporarily don't have heat but the basement stays fairly warm so it's fine for a day or two. Is this just a faulty piece of heat tape? Has anyone ever encountered this before? I use heat tape in all my cages and racks so this has me more than a little worried.
    “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
    www.outworldreptiles.com

  • #2
    Re: SnakeTown II - Heating Tape Woes

    It may just be those pieces of heat tape, I had something very similar happen to me recently and just gave up and replace those, the problem went away. Call wherever you purchased the tape and talk to them, they may replace it for you for free?

    Congrats on getting Snaketown set up, you must post some pictures please?
    http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

    Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

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    • #3
      Re: SnakeTown II - Heating Tape Woes

      I've used heat tapes (Flexwatt) for many years, never had one over-heat. I think it's defective too. They are more likely to under-heat, due to a loose connection, than to over-heat. It's a hassle (to change out)
      but in the world of manufacturing, imperfections happen now & then. Look at the bright side: you found it before anything bad happened.

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      • #4
        Re: SnakeTown II - Heating Tape Woes

        I called Reptile Basics and asked them about the heat tape since that's where I always purchase it from. They offered a few suggestions, mostly making sure it's lying completely flat and that it's not sitting any differently than the other pieces. Just to be safe I'm replacing that piece anyways. I'm currently using plywood for shelves but I'm going to switch those out for melamine shelves this weekend.

        I'll post some pictures soon! We're still finishing up a few things so it's not super tidy looking at the moment. Hopefully we'll be done this weekend : )
        “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
        www.outworldreptiles.com

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