Heater questions - controllability

MikeD

New member
If you have a controller that turns on an outlet at a specific temperature, is it okay to put on a heater that also has a temp adjustment control unit or sensor? Do you just set it to go off at a low temp so when the outlet is switched on, the unit itself is always on? Or is that bad for the heater to be turned on that way?
 

Herbie

Yep,that one
You can use any type of heater with a controller. Most use a variable "rheostat" adjustable heater with a controller. There are also heaters available that require a controller and not adjustable themselves, but most dont use that kind.

When using a controller with an adjustable heater there are two basic way to program it.

#1. Set the heater Just a degree or two over the desired temp, then set the controller AT the desired temp. The controller will control the heater. If the controller "sticks on", the heater itself will turn off at the "degree or two" above the controller set point.
Good way to control a heater, but a little hard on the relay in the controller in the on-off cycles.

#2. Set the heater AT the desired set point, then set the controller a degree or two over the heater set point. This way the heater does the work, not the relay in the controller. The controller "heater outlet" will think the heater has not reached temp, and will indefinitely keep that outlet "on" unless the heater "sticks on", in which case the controller will shut the heater outlet off when it reaches "a degree or two" over the set point of the heater.
Better way to control a heater, because you are letting the cheap heater do the on-off cycle work, and the controller relay will last much longer, because in essence it will not be switching all that much.

I personally use #2 option, but thats just my opinion. :bigeyes:

HTH,
Herbie
 

MikeD

New member
Great advice and Thank you!! For those looking for a heater, it looks like for titanium ones, DrFosterSmith has a clearance on the Azoo models.

That's what I'm picking up for now. Crossing fingers on reliability bc not many high wattage heaters are getting very good reviews.

Mike

You can use any type of heater with a controller. Most use a variable "rheostat" adjustable heater with a controller. There are also heaters available that require a controller and not adjustable themselves, but most dont use that kind.

When using a controller with an adjustable heater there are two basic way to program it.

#1. Set the heater Just a degree or two over the desired temp, then set the controller AT the desired temp. The controller will control the heater. If the controller "sticks on", the heater itself will turn off at the "degree or two" above the controller set point.
Good way to control a heater, but a little hard on the relay in the controller in the on-off cycles.

#2. Set the heater AT the desired set point, then set the controller a degree or two over the heater set point. This way the heater does the work, not the relay in the controller. The controller "heater outlet" will think the heater has not reached temp, and will indefinitely keep that outlet "on" unless the heater "sticks on", in which case the controller will shut the heater outlet off when it reaches "a degree or two" over the set point of the heater.
Better way to control a heater, because you are letting the cheap heater do the on-off cycle work, and the controller relay will last much longer, because in essence it will not be switching all that much.

I personally use #2 option, but thats just my opinion. :bigeyes:

HTH,
Herbie
 

Herbie

Yep,that one
I need to pick up a heater controller myself. Any recommendations as to a good brand/model?

If you are just looking to control a heater, then look for a Ranco.
If you want to control a few other BASIC things like lights, maybe a pump or two, moonlights etc, Get a Digital Aquatics Reef Keeper Lite. They are only about $100. and quite abargain for what they offer, and how they can protect your tank.
Above the Reef Keeper Lite, the sky is the limit.
Digital Aquatics Reef Keeper Elite, Neptune Systems Apex JR, Apex Lite, Apex. All of these options are quite a bit more than the basic Reef Keeper Lite, but they can be programed in very complex ways, and some offer the ability for the user to control tank paramaters remotely.

HTH,

Herbie
 
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