Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Does an aquarium heater element run at 120V or is it stepped down to a lower voltage?
I'm playing around with the idea of modifying a heater to fit in a HOB filter used for a nano tank, largely b/c of the lack of available 25W options. I found a small adjustable heater (~3.5" long) that may work, but it is only available configured for 220-240V.
I know a heating element is just a resistive component, so wondering if anyone knows whether that resistor is typically hooked up to line voltage (ie 120V in the US and 220-240 elsewhere) or if there is a step-down transformer inside the heater to take it down to something like 12V which in turn feeds into the heating element.
The reason I'm asking this is that if the resistor is hooked up to line voltage I believe this is probably a straightforward conversion (ie I can buy a 50W heater @ 220-240V, replace the plug with a US version and it will work albeit at a lower wattage). However if there is a step-down transformer involved this becomes a more expensive / involved conversion because I have to find a new step-down.
Assuming the heater element/resistor is run at line voltage is the right conversion that a heater element that consumes 50W at 220-240W will consume 25W at 120V?
As you can tell, it has been almost 20 years since I had to do any calculations with Ohm's law that mattered. As usual, thanks in advance.
Last edited by tuonor; 02-17-2010 at 08:55 PM.