Oil filled heater safety.

jojay327

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So I'm thinking about going with the oil filled heater and was wondering about thermoststs people are using and different ideas on keeping tortoises away from it. I saw Toms enclosure has a shelf and I'm leaning with that. Does the heat only blow out of one side or does it not blow heat at all. I'm sure this has all been answered at some point, thanks for any help. I put a pic of enclosure. ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1477667557.162484.jpg
 

JoesMum

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So I'm thinking about going with the oil filled heater and was wondering about thermoststs people are using and different ideas on keeping tortoises away from it. I saw Toms enclosure has a shelf and I'm leaning with that. Does the heat only blow out of one side or does it not blow heat at all. I'm sure this has all been answered at some point, thanks for any help. I put a pic of enclosure. View attachment 190739
They're usually radiators. They don't blow heat. The one I have has a builtin thermostat.
 

Yvonne G

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They don't blow heat, they radiate it. The oil inside the unit is heated by an electric coil and the hot oil radiates the heat out into the shed.

They have a built in safety feature that if it is tipped over it turns off, but you can build a little framework around it with 2x4s so it can't be tipped over.
 

jojay327

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So on the heater I can set it to a certain temp or is it a high low setting? Also the house is 8x4 should I go with the mini version? Thanks everyone
 

Yvonne G

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They usually have two settings with gradients in each setting - a 600 watt (then from 1 to 9) and a 1200 watt (also from 1 to 9). I keep the one in my greenhouse on the 600 watt setting then dialled to midway, about 6. It keeps the plants from freezing, but isn't real warm.
 

Dizisdalife

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I used a 2x10 to enclose the heater similar to what Tom did (see photo). I drilled a lot of 1/2" diameter holes in it to allow better air flow. Not sure if it makes a difference or not. The shelf is for water dishes to raise the humidity in the night box. With a few simple water dishes my night box stays at 70-80% RH. I also use a small computer fan (12 volt AC) to help circulate the heat.

118m8mh.jpg
 
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Team Gomberg

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I use the mini size. I separated it with a wood and hardware cloth wall.

I have the radiator dial at about medium and use a digital Hydrofarm thermostat to control the temps. I keep the thermostat probe towards the middle of the tort house.

1028161609_HDR.jpg
 

Tom

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So I'm thinking about going with the oil filled heater and was wondering about thermoststs people are using and different ideas on keeping tortoises away from it. I saw Toms enclosure has a shelf and I'm leaning with that. Does the heat only blow out of one side or does it not blow heat at all. I'm sure this has all been answered at some point, thanks for any help. I put a pic of enclosure.

First and foremost, you need a mini oil-filled radiant heater like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MXEDAV2/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

You can use a full size one, but only run it on low. And don't buy the fancy programmable type because the preset stuff resets to default every time the power shuts off.

Turn the built in thermostat on the heater all the way up, so that if its plugged in, its on. Then you need to run it through its own reptile thermostat. Like either of these:
https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller
https://www.hydrofarm.com/p/MTPRTC
Set the temp you want using your thermostat. The one's that are built in are not accurate and they only hold a range of 15-20 degrees. Meaning your box will heat up to 85 and it won't kick on again until its 70 or 65. The reptile thermostats will hold a more steady temp, which is what we want.

You need to build a wall around your heater leaving several inches of margin. Like this:
IMG_3490.JPG

Since your box is so tall, you could put it on a shelf instead, if you like.

Fasten down your heater so it doesn't move using some metal chain, like this:
IMG_3502.JPG


I like to mount all my electric stuff and contain the cords in a plastic box like this:
IMG_3507.JPG


The computer fan is optional, but I find it helpful and useful. Here is the inside of my plastic shoe box showing the thermostat and stuff:
IMG_3499.JPG



Please ask lots of questions. Its much better to get it right the first time, and we are happy to help.
 

jojay327

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Thanks Tom, been following everything you say since I've had my boy and have had great success. Thanks again.
 

kbarj

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Tom, what kind of insulation did you use for this box? I live in Missouri and my 25lb sulcata
is going to live in the barn this winter. I am building the enclosed box and really like this one of yours. Where is the thread for the instructions? I know I saw it somewhere. . .
 

Tom

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Tom, what kind of insulation did you use for this box? I live in Missouri and my 25lb sulcata
is going to live in the barn this winter. I am building the enclosed box and really like this one of yours. Where is the thread for the instructions? I know I saw it somewhere. . .

You'll have to hunt for the thread with the CAD exploded views…

The insulation is 1.5" rigid foam from Home Depot or Lowes. It comes in 4x8' sheets. Buy a few tubes of GE Silicone I caulking too. Use the caulking to seal all the joints as you build.
 

Dizisdalife

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This thread of Tom's helped me to build my night box. After I read it a few times and studied all the photos I was able to build a pretty good shelter for my sulcata. http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/my-best-night-box-design-yet.66867/

There is a thread that has CAD drawings with all the dimensions and lumber sizes. It's not necessary to have all that detail to build one of these.
 

Wolfen

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I've been using inkbird temperature controller for my aquarium heater.
it has 2 outlets. one for heating, other one for cooling.
I've hooked up the heating side to the heater. it turns on the heater when its not warm enough.
and I've hooked up a fan or a aquarium chiller to the cooling side, and it turns those cooling equipment on if the water gets too warm during the summer months.

and best of all, it can be connected to WIFI and it lets you check temperatures and control them with your smartphone in real time. and lets you view all the graphs with historical temperature data of your enclosures.

and more... you can add rules to it. like
if its a warm day/night ==> set temperature 10 degrees lower
or have it change setting based on sunset/sunrise , humidity

thought i should share my knowledge and let you guys check it out
 
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