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Under gravel Heat Cables
Monolith Marine Monsters has Under gravel Heat coils cheaper than you can
make them. They sell the Azoo cables that run directly on line (115 VAC).
I was apprehensive about that but the cables seem to be well made and I have
a good Ground Fault Circuit protection.
Pros: The cables are inexpensive ($60 for a 300 Watt cable).
115 VAC system permits variable heat control with X-10 dimmer
Cons: 115 VAC may be a problem. They appear to be well made but use a
The power cord is too short to form a drip loop so an extension cord
A temperature controller may be required with a higher wattage
Since I already have computer control of my home lights I have connected my
coils to a X-10 lamp dimmer that lets me vary the intensity automatically.
I'm still experimenting but they are initially set for 3/4 intensity at
night and 1/2 intensity during the day. They are set to OFF if the
temperature exceeds 78 degrees F.
I have made 4 DIY 12 VDC systems and the hassle, time, and money do not
always outweigh the benefits. This is another option.
The tank was just filled this weekend so I do not have any long term
observations. If anyone is interested let me know and I will post updates.