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Re: aquarium heater? or The mettle for metal

Matt Wassenhove asked about a specific metal case electric submersion
heater for liquids, WON PRO-HEAT II TITANIUM HEATER.

While I haven't used this particular brand.  But I am familiar with
lots of others heaters of this type in other applications.  The basic
design is very old, even predates the glass-cased heaters.  The
applications have generally been more industrial and commercial (for
example, how do you think that coffee in the vending machine got hot?)
than residential/retail/hobbyist.  So it is not a new and untried

Generally, I think metal expands or contracts more for a given
temperature change than the glass used in glass-cased heaters, so the
end cap(s) on a metal-cased heater need to be able to accommodate those
"movements" without leaking -- no rocket science there, just an simple
engineering issue -- the engineers can confirm or correct this.  

Also, since metal conducts heat better than glass, it can transmit heat
to, say, a fish, faster if it comes into contact with the case.  So
there is a greater chance of burning flesh if the heater is on for a
long time and in the aquarium rather than the sump.

If you are putting the heater in a sump, the quality of the electronics
is probably a greater concern than the case material.  A metal case
doesn't make a hater unbreakable -- it could have a ceramic core around
which the nichrome wire is wound and that is subject to cracking, which
can promote a break in the wire although that's rare, ime.  

BTW, ThatPetPlace.com sell Jalli titanium-cased submersion heaters if
anybody wants to compare.  They cost about the same as as the more
expensive glass-cased heaters.

Hope that helps,
Scott H.

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