Heat Emitter Gas Smell?!?

graciemay500

Member
Location (City and/or State)
OH
Hi,
I use a double dome unit with 2 zoo med heat emitters in it. i have used this set up for years, and replace the heat emitters when burnt out or stop producing heat.
the last 2 weeks, the unit is letting off a horrible toxic gasoline/burnt smell! it’s strong and filled my entire house with the smell. (it is NOT the same smell as a new bulb being used for first time. it is more a gasoline smell.)
i’m very concerned and also confused? especially since they don’t have brown marks, cracks, or anything, and it is still heating up properly.
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
When you say heat emitters do you mean CHE's? They look like this?
20210224_020407.jpg

CHE's rarely burn out or stop working. They also are extremely hot. First, your double dome does have ceramic sockets, correct? They are not plastic, but ceramic?

I can't imagine putting CHE's so close together, but you say you've done it like this for years. I'm sure you have already looked, but maybe check that nothing is up against one of them. Have you turned them off and unscrewed them from the sockets? Checked that nothing is in a socket?

Did you recently get a new double dome? Spray anything that could have gotten on a CHE?

I'm out of ideas! 🤷‍♀️ Hopefully someone will comment that has better suggestions.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I have the same questions as Karen. Something is wrong. CHEs don't burn out. They literally should run for decades unless they get broken or cracked from dropping or hitting them on something.

They also burn super hot and can melt or burn anything that gets too close. I suspect that is your issue.

Pics of the set up will help us figure it out.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Two heat emitters in a double dome fixture is no good! No wonder they burn out. They get much too hot to be kept that close together. You need to mount them in individual fixtures that are labelled to accept the wattage of each.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Agree with all above. I too have started in 2011 to use the che. Only one has ever stopped working and it was a very cheap very off brand.
The domes you are using are wrong. And 2 should net be used in that manner.
Buy good name brand che's and use the right single large dome ceramic/porcelain fixture.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Double-dome fixtures are too small and are not made for CHE bulbs - I expect what you smell is the precursor to a an electrical fire.
I turned on the electric, oil-filled, radiator-type space heater in my bedroom one morning to take the chill off. The heater has two watt settings with a dial in each setting. I clicked it up to high and proceeded to go off and forget it.

A couple hours later I came in from outside and the house smelled like some chemical. Eventually I discovered the heater in my bedroom that I forgot about. It pulled too much electricity through the plug, which caught fire and melted. Black smoke residue went up the wall all the way from the plug to the light switch. The wall directly above the plug was scorched and charred but luckily didn't actually catch fire.

This is what you are courting by overloading your dual dome with two CHEs.
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
I turned on the electric, oil-filled, radiator-type space heater in my bedroom one morning to take the chill off. The heater has two watt settings with a dial in each setting. I clicked it up to high and proceeded to go off and forget it.

A couple hours later I came in from outside and the house smelled like some chemical. Eventually I discovered the heater in my bedroom that I forgot about. It pulled too much electricity through the plug, which caught fire and melted. Black smoke residue went up the wall all the way from the plug to the light switch. The wall directly above the plug was scorched and charred but luckily didn't actually catch fire.

This is what you are courting by overloading your dual dome with two CHEs.

Yikes.

Yeah, even 2 incandescent bulbs that exceed the fixture's maximum wattage poses a danger. The fixture's package will tell what types of bulbs are allowed, and what the maximum incandescent wattage is.
 
Last edited:

graciemay500

Member
Location (City and/or State)
OH
I have the same questions as Karen. Something is wrong. CHEs don't burn out. They literally should run for decades unless they get broken or cracked from dropping or hitting them on something.

They also burn super hot and can melt or burn anything that gets too close. I suspect that is your issue.

Pics of the set up will help us figure it out.
Thank you all for all of the replies, i’m very grateful.
So, Karen, yes that image is what mine look like, except mine are white.
I had NO clue it wasn’t normal for CHEs to go bad so quick, and i had no clue it wasn’t right to have them in a double dome! Thank you all for bringing that to my attention, i’m going to start figuring out a better set up.
Also, i have unscrewed both CHEs, cleaned inside and outside of the dome unit, checked for discoloring, cracks, burns on my enclosure/bedding or anywhere (obviously my sulcata too just to be safe), and NOTHING seems out of the normal.
It’s very odd, but maybe some wire got accidentally pulled too hard or just FINALLY shorted out after all this time?—
Either way, since everyone is saying all of this is all far from normal, i’m just going to start from scratch anyways!

Thanks :<3::tort:
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Either way, since everyone is saying all of this is all far from normal, i’m just going to start from scratch anyways!
Thanks :<3::tort:

It just occurred to me that maybe you should also check the electric cord for the dome. And check the outlet that it was plugged into. Electric problems scare me! I don't mind other household difficulties, but geez...I don't like fooling with electricity! ⚡😵
 

graciemay500

Member
Location (City and/or State)
OH
It just occurred to me that maybe you should also check the electric cord for the dome. And check the outlet that it was plugged into. Electric problems scare me! I don't mind other household difficulties, but geez...I don't like fooling with electricity! ⚡😵
right! you read my mind. definitely on my to-do tomorrow is to check out outlets & cords!
 

Gijoux

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi,
I use a double dome unit with 2 zoo med heat emitters in it. i have used this set up for years, and replace the heat emitters when burnt out or stop producing heat.
the last 2 weeks, the unit is letting off a horrible toxic gasoline/burnt smell! it’s strong and filled my entire house with the smell. (it is NOT the same smell as a new bulb being used for first time. it is more a gasoline smell.)
i’m very concerned and also confused? especially since they don’t have brown marks, cracks, or anything, and it is still heating up properly.
They are just getting too hot. I set a ceramic heat dome on my granite counter top and didn't actually turn it off and it burned the granite. That shows how hot they get. Can you believe I did that? It was a big granite island counter top...
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
They are just getting too hot. I set a ceramic heat dome on my granite counter top and didn't actually turn it off and it burned the granite. That shows how hot they get. Can you believe I did that? It was a big granite island counter top...

What does burned granite look like? You must have felt rotten! 🥵

We all do things without thinking sometimes. Thank goodness granite would be unlikely to burst into flames.
 

Gijoux

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
What does burned granite look like? You must have felt rotten! 🥵

We all do things without thinking sometimes. Thank goodness granite would be unlikely to burst into flames.
It looked like a perfectly round very brown/rust colored spot. Yes I felt so bad. Luckily I had a vase that I placed on the spot. And yes so glad granite couldn't burst into flames. If I had set it on the carpet, it wouldn't have had such a good ending.
 
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