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[APD] Re: heaters--any way to tell when they're going bad?

I have a several fairly new heaters that give me no trouble at all, now, but I'm just wondering for the future--is there any symptom of impending failure that one might look out for, so it could be replaced before it gets stuck "on" and fries your fish?

Just looking for something to worry about, since the algae is pretty tame right now.

Diane Brown in St. Louis

Not much, but I have found that they seem to be more likely to fail "off" than "on". For me, every time a heater is getting ready to die, it will stop going off/on/off, and be more like off/spark a while/on/spark a while/off. You see this as sparks in the switch or flickering in the light for a few seconds before the heater changes state from off to on or vice versa. It's usually just the contacts in the thermostat that die, although I had one that had a connection in the heating element go bad (you could see it spark for a few months before it stopped working).

The electronic heaters die with no warning that I have found, although I've only used a few of them. I've had good luck with the visitherms lasting about 7-10 years. I have a lot of the little Hagen thermal compacts which I have had zero failures with so far (they're all little 25 watters though).


***************************** Waveform Technology UNIX Systems Administrator

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