Heater Issues

Spyderturbo007

New member
I'm having a problem with my heater and I'm trying to determine if it's a problem with the heater or with the Apex.

The heater is set to come on above 79.8 degrees and go off at 80.2 degrees. I think I need a larger heater because when my furnace drops the temperature in the house at night, the heater runs constantly.

The problem is that I keep waking up to find the heater off, and the temperature below 79.8 degrees???

You can see in this graph, that the heater turn on and stays on. But then around 7am, the heater obviously goes off as you can see by the drop in amperage. Nothing else changes overnight. The lights are off and all other equipment stays in it's normal state.

I've swapped out heaters, but I only had the same model as the one I replaced.

Is it possible there is something in the heater that turns it off after a certain period of time? I highly doubt its the internal thermostat because I don't have this problem during the day.

The heater is in my overflow and the temperature probe is in the sump.




 

kurt_n

New member
What size heater on what size tank?

What temp do you have the heater itself set to, as far as its internal thermostat?

When I was running Visitherms (the older "good" glass ones), they seemed to turn themselves off if they ran too long. I always assumed they had some type of internal temperature safety switch that was separate from the normal thermostat. Kinda makes sense that if the heater stays on for too long, the internals might heat up to unacceptable levels and you'd want the heater to turn off.

But looking at your graphs, seems like the heater is one a long time during the night and the temperature keeps dropping. Probably need a larger heater.

Now that I type that... where is your temperature probe relative to your heater? Do you have a second thermometer in your tank so you can verify the water temp somewhere else?
 

Spyderturbo007

New member
It's a 55g tank, with about 15g in the sump. The heater is a 250w and the internal thermostat is set around 83 degrees.

The heater is in the overflow and the probe is in the return section of my sump. I have a secondary probe in the same place that reads about 0.8 degrees higher than the Apex, but I'm assuming the deviation is because the secondary probe is some cheap thing I bought at the LFS.

Should I move up to a 300w or something larger?
 

kurt_n

New member
Hard to say. Do you have an extra 100W heater lying around somewhere that you could add, just to see if that helps? Seems like that would be the easiest way to troubleshoot.

250W might be on the lower end of what's needed if the house gets cold at night - but I wouldn't expect to see it struggling like yours. But I can't think of anything else it might be since it works OK during the day.

What brand heater? Have you tried bumping the heater's thermostat a little higher to see if it helps? Even though you have it set for 83, unless you've verified it, its hard to know where the thing is really set at.
 

Spyderturbo007

New member
I'll give that a shot. The reason it caught me off guard was that it never happened before. It just started about a month ago. Maybe I bumped the thermostat knob when I was cleaning it or something.

If that doesn't solve the issue, what about something like this heating tube? Looks to be the easiest way to get a high wattage heater. I saw some others that are 400w that would probably work too.
 

L8ndeb

Registered Reef Keeper
Fosters and Smith are having a clearance on titanium heaters, 300w and 500w. I use a
300w (probably should be a 500w but don't have the room in the sump) in a 180G system. Heater comes on about every hour for about 10 minutes ro so. So far, I have no issues.
 

fishyguy7

New member
I dont use heaters that have built in thermostats anymore. I use Aquamedic titanium units or Finnex makes some also
 

L8ndeb

Registered Reef Keeper
I dont use heaters that have built in thermostats anymore. I use Aquamedic titanium units or Finnex makes some also

Nor do I as my main heater. I have taken my Won titanium heater and have taken the thermostat out. The Apex controls it. My back up heater is a VisaTherm glass that is set about 4 degrees or so under the Apex setting incase the Won fails.
 

Spyderturbo007

New member
Well, it did it again last night. For some reason the stupid thing keeps turning itself off. I woke up around 2am to find the heater off, I toggled the outlet from Auto -> Off -> Auto and it came right back on again. Apparently it shut off again later a few times because when I woke up it was off again.

Unless there is something stupid going on with the outlet, it has to be the heater. The weird thing is that I didn't have this problem in the dead of winter when it was 5 degrees outside and this is the second heater I've tried. Unfortunately, they were both the same brand.




fishguy7 said:
I dont use heaters that have built in thermostats anymore. I use Aquamedic titanium units or Finnex makes some also

So something like this?

Does it come with a plastic suction cup mount like a normal heater does?
 

aquamanic

WHO DAT??
I think you've got something else going on. Even if your heater's internal t-stat is inaccurate, it doesn't explain why the Apex is turning the outlet off which is what it look like is happening.

I would try moving the heater and its program to a different outlet. Also, can you post your heater code - copy/paste is better than re-typing if you can.
 

kurt_n

New member
I think you've got something else going on. Even if your heater's internal t-stat is inaccurate, it doesn't explain why the Apex is turning the outlet off which is what it look like is happening.

Maybe I'm misreading, but I don't think the Apex is actually turning that outlet off. If the outlet IS off, then I agree... something is wonky with the Apex.

Looks to me like the heater is on, and staying on, but the temperature steadily drops overnight. And then it doesn't start rising until the lights come on in the morning. Seems like either the heater isn't on consistantly or there's not enough wattage. If it worked fine in the colder parts of winter, seems like you have enough wattage.

Have you tried turning the thermostat up a couple degrees as suggested by several folks? That'd be a pretty simple thing to do to start the troubleshooting process. And it doesn't cost anything!
 

aquamanic

WHO DAT??
Look at his graph - the green line is the heater outlet and it goes off at about 5:30 and 9 am. But it shouldn't because the temp is falling during that time. If it was the heater, you'd see the outlet stay ON but the heater itself turns off and the temp drops. But that's not what appears to be happening.
 

kurt_n

New member
Yeah, I see what you're saying. (scratches head...)

But look at the first screen shots - except for the last part where the green line disappears, it looks like its behaving correctly. Heater comes on, temp goes up, amps go up. Heater goes off, temp goes down, amps go down. It's working correctly there... for a while. But then the green line disappears, but the amps seems to spike up from time to time - I'm assuming that's the heater.

In that second graph, when the green line says the heater is on there is no change in the amps. But you're right... the Apex shouldn't have turned the outlet off and back on again.

Could it be weird temperature spikes (electrical interference) that the Apex is seeing, but not logging or charting?
 

aquamanic

WHO DAT??
Still need to see the code for that outlet.

Spyder - any chance that heater is plugged into a different outlet than what you think?
 
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