heat problem surprised

marcy4hope

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finally got our night box finished. plugged in the mini oil filled heater into a thermostat, set it on 85 and can't get it over 70 degrees today and that's up towards the top of the box. the floor is only 50. high today outside was probably 45. we are having a 2 day extreme cold snap. (my tort is still inside my house for now, so she's not in that night box, don't worry.) we are just shocked that the oil heater hasn't heated the box up well. the box is 4x4. it's 2 feet tall and VERY heavily insulated. my husband is just dumbfounded that it's not heating up as nice as he thought it would. oil heater is turned on max. i am thinking of adding a che hanging from the top, off to one side. any other suggestions? i really don't want to use a pig blanket at this point. i've spent so much money on this enclosure so far that i'm not wanting to have to buy a pig blanket. i have a che already that i can put out there to try for now, but wonder if there's some other ideas or something we are missing?
 

motero

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Try plugging in the heater with out the thermostat just to see what it does.
 

marcy4hope

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my husband actually wired in an electric box inside the night box. he said he would get a voltage meter tomorrow and check and make sure it was working right and see if that could be an issue.
 

Tom

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Check that the thermostat on your oil heater is turned all the way up so that the separate reptile thermostat is controlling the heater.

I only run mine on low and they keep a 4x8' box 80-85 on a below freezing night. Something is off somewhere with something in your set up.
 

Turtulas-Len

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A couple things I use when wiring for my outside housing, are a circuit tester some are referred to outlet testers, They have 3 lights side by side and the way they are lit when you plug it in lets you know if it is wired correct, and if not it will identify the problem. the other is a KILL A WATT, it will give you all the information that is needed to check your circuit. They both are available at Harbor Freight and probably other places also. "The kill a watt doesn't tell you if it is wired right" so using both are best. Also as the temps start staying cold I think you will see that you will need some type of bottom warmth for your tortoise will be comfortable.
 

marcy4hope

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well, hubby checked all the wiring and it's fine. we plugged the heater in by itself and bypassed the thermostat and there was no difference, so it's not the thermostat. we moved a thermometer to check temp immediately above the heater and it registered 89 degrees for the high. keep in mind it was just around 40 degrees outside. at this point, we are going to get a little fan and put next to the heater to try to circulate the warm air and see if that helps. i will try and take a photo of the set up tonight to post. i think the enclosure that my husband has around the heater might be a little of the problem. he put a board in front of the heater so the tort won't be able to touch it and so she won't throw hay up next to it. but, i think that divider might be too tall and not allow enough warm air out. i'll post a pic and see what you guys think. i'm trying to avoid having to add a che to the set up.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I use an oil filled radiator heater in Bob's shed. It's on a rheostat and it keeps his 20'x12' shed a constant 85 degrees even when it's below 0 outside.
 

marcy4hope

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I use an oil filled radiator heater in Bob's shed. It's on a rheostat and it keeps his 20'x12' shed a constant 85 degrees even when it's below 0 outside.
maggie - please read my op. that is what i'm using - an oil filled radiator heater.
 

marcy4hope

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we just threw the fan in there today, to see how much it would help. so that's why that white cord is just strung across there and not tacked up to the side of the wall. it has helped a little. the temp in the floor corner is now 59. but that's still not warm enough. and that's with that heater on high running non-stop AND the door shut the entire time, so if it was open there's no way it would be even that warm. i think we need to cut that divider down in about half to help with airflow.
IMG_20141102_165513.jpg

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IMG_20141102_165621.jpg
 

Turtulas-Len

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Radiator type heaters work more efficiently with proper air circulation from the bottom up. Drill more holes in the separator board, especially near the bottom and you will get better results. Nice Box
 

lynnedit

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That's just what I was thinking. Drill a lot of 1" holes. It will still act as a barrier to protect the tortoise, but should allow more air flow?
(I was also thinking that you could cut out a rectangular hole and put a vent in, but I wouldn't want that to get too hot. I'm not sure if it would or not. )

Nice hide, BTW!!!! :)
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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maggie - please read my op. that is what i'm using - an oil filled radiator heater.

I didn't explain myself very well I guess. I was just saying my heater at the lowest setting keeps a 20'x12' shed at a constant ambient temp of 85 degrees. Even when it's 0 degrees outside. So if it keeps such a big area warm enough I don't see why it wouldn't work for you...
Personally, I would get rid of the protective wall, and raise the heater up on cinder blocks almost even with the top of the box. It would be high enough to be out of her way, it would get better air flow, and heat better. Just my opinion...
here's mine...It's up high enough that Bob can't reach it, and I used to worry about that hay under it. But even when he throws hay around it doesn't stay on the heater....
I'm sorry you are having IMG_3497.JPG so much trouble heating, but I betcha it's that protective wall...
 
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gustaf

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Ya or you could cut the wood so it is only 4 to 6 inches off the floor and still drill some holes in it and then use some heavy duty welded wire fence or something the rest of the way up. That will keep the tort away from it and it will not block the heat. You could just use the wire but the board across the bottom will keep your tort from pushing and bending the wire.
 

marcy4hope

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thanks for the thoughts. my husband will make some adjustments tomorrow. can't wait to get this thing straightened out and have her moved out there permanently. she's driving me nuts inside right now. lol ready for her to have more room.
 

marcy4hope

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yay! it's finally working. husband lowered that wall yesterday and we plugged the thermostat back in. temps stayed steady all day and night. i need to raise them a bit, but i had a steady 80 on the floor all day and 75 at night. i'll go out and raise that today a bit so i get around 85 in the day and 80 at night. but, i'm so glad it's working now. that wall was too high and we needed the added fan. thanks for the help!!
 
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