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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My second 200W ETH has officially failed. This one lasted about 3 months. First one lasted about the same. IS there another external heater out there? I can't seem to find any. And if not... WHY?!

Off to the store to buy another $60 heater (that I could get for half the price online) that will draw my eye every time I look at my tank...
 

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Hi Nightspell,

It seems strange to lose two heaters as you have.

Were they both on the same tank with the same filter driving them? I assume they were on the output side of a canister filter. What model / GPH is the filter? Which wattage Hydor ETH are you using? What size tank is it on? Does the heater seem to cycle "on" and "off" a lot during operation?
 

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I had issues with an old Eth heater too. This time around, since there doesn't seem to be alternatives, I bought a temperature controller to turn off/on the heater instead of using the built in thermostat. It seems to be the main point of failure, and commercial temp controllers used for stuff like breweries seem to be much more reliable. Ranco makes a good one (model 111000) that will run you about 60 bucks or so with wiring. I've seen some reef guys swear by them, and I personally have never had any issues (been running about 1.5 years now)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Nightspell,

It seems strange to lose two heaters as you have.

Were they both on the same tank with the same filter driving them? I assume they were on the output side of a canister filter. What model / GPH is the filter? Which wattage Hydor ETH are you using? What size tank is it on? Does the heater seem to cycle "on" and "off" a lot during operation?
Same tank, same filter -- Fluval 306. Output side, replaced hoses with 5/8 ID from hardware store specifically for this 'upgrade'. Unsure of the GPH. ETH 200 on a 37 gal tall. Did not notice it cycling on and off a lot, as it's only about 10 feet behind my couch, and unless we're watching a loud movie or something I can usually notice the sound of it clicking on/off.

I had issues with an old Eth heater too. This time around, since there doesn't seem to be alternatives, I bought a temperature controller to turn off/on the heater instead of using the built in thermostat. It seems to be the main point of failure...
I had read here and elsewhere of people's ETHs overheating, so when I ordered my first one I also ordered a Finnex temp controller. Have noticed the temperature dropping slowly the last couple days, woke up this morning to the obnoxious high pitched squealing of my temp controller alerting me to the fact that I needed to spend more money immediately.

In another light, this is my favorite type of heater failure. At least the house isn't on fire...?
 

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The Ranco does not trigger an alert when this happens, in fact, mine is set at 78 degrees, whereas my heater is set at 82 as a backup (so the heater is always "on"). The thermostat mechanism in the Ranco is apparently built to withstand much more cycling (what I read on some reef forums). I actually use two of them now, one mounted to a standard Eheim heater.
 

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The Ranco does not trigger an alert when this happens, in fact, mine is set at 78 degrees, whereas my heater is set at 82 as a backup (so the heater is always "on"). The thermostat mechanism in the Ranco is apparently built to withstand much more cycling (what I read on some reef forums). I have actually use two of them now, one mounted to a standard Eheim heater.
OK, now I had followed the opposite line of thought, using the heater itself as the primary thermometer/switching mechanism and the temp controller as the emergency backup. This, under the assumption that the heater itself was a 'normally open' circuit that would, if activated by the TC, have to switch on anyway, causing normal wear on both units as opposed to just one. But now you've got me second guessing my logic...

IN ANY EVENT, I'm unimpressed with the ETH's longevity while very happy with the concept, and completely blown away that they're the only ones offering it.

I also have two ETH heaters that failed. My 72 gallon was up to 82 when I caught it. I now use just regular old in tanks. Cheap and easy.
Meh, the last time I went "cheap and easy" with the in-tank heaters, it boiled my tank. Somehow my 3 clowns survived when everything else died and I promised them I'd buy top of the line heaters from then on. It was an expensive commitment I have to remember every few years (or months with the ETHs, apparently).
 

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OK, now I had followed the opposite line of thought, using the heater itself as the primary thermometer/switching mechanism and the temp controller as the emergency backup. This, under the assumption that the heater itself was a 'normally open' circuit that would, if activated by the TC, have to switch on anyway, causing normal wear on both units as opposed to just one. But now you've got me second guessing my logic...

IN ANY EVENT, I'm unimpressed with the ETH's longevity while very happy with the concept, and completely blown away that they're the only ones offering it.
No, the way I have it set up, the switching circuit (which on an Eth is mechanical I think) is always on unless it goes over 82 degrees. However, because the Ranco is set at 78 degrees, this never happens, so the circuit stays on. The Ranco switching circuit then, is the one that turns on and off for day to day use. When the Ranco turns off, the power is cut to the Eth, which may wear out the switching mechanism just as quickly, but it doesn't matter to me as long as the Ranco does not fail (which I've never seen a case in which has)

Edit: In a sense, you're not buying a backup system, you're buying a much more reliable thermostat for the Eth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alright, well now I'm looking at the Ranco here. I've heard mention of it on numerous occasions on TPT, but never actually looked into it. From the customer images on Amazon it appears to be hardwired; is that right?
 

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Alright, well now I'm looking at the Ranco here. I've heard mention of it on numerous occasions on TPT, but never actually looked into it. From the customer images on Amazon it appears to be hardwired; is that right?
If you're comfortable with wiring and soldering, you can get the Amazon version. It does not come with a power plug and just has a hole in the casing. Otherwise, you can look for a prewired version that includes the AC plug that costs a little bit more
 

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I have two ETH that also went out a few months ago. Both are the 200w with 1/2" hose fitting and connected to Eheim filters.(30g column and 37g column tanks)

One was purchased in May of 13' and the other in June of 13'. Both of mine went out at the exact same time when my neighborhood had a short power outage that lasted about 2 hours. I called Hydor and they said it was likely the fuse was blown.

Hydor has a 24 month guarantee but must be carried out with the place you bought it from along with receipt when it was purchased. I am just now getting around to sending them off. I will keep everyone posted on how things go.
 

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Alright... Woke up to my Finnex Temp Controller alarming again. Tank was at 64 degrees. Very odd, TC was alarming, but the red light on it indicating heater power was OFF. Why would the thing turn OFF the heat if the temp is too low? I'm starting to wonder what exactly the problem is here, my heaters or the TC.

Titansfever83 said:
...One was purchased in May of 13' and the other in June of 13'. Both of mine went out at the exact same time when my neighborhood had a short power outage that lasted about 2 hours. I called Hydor and they said it was likely the fuse was blown.
Hmm... We actually lost power on Friday. Unlikely coincidence. May be on to something... Thanks Titan.
 

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I roasted 3 of them. Gave up and went back to Ebo or Titaniums.
Putting too much heating demands on them, typically in the winter, can fry many heaters.

Garage is 55F, so I can test if it can handle the house at 68F.
Summer, cooling is the only issue I might have.

This is the largest source of wattage for most all aquariums.
Heating that water to 80F is not an easy job or energy cost relative to the other things.

If you over load the heater or push it to the limits.......well..........better to get more heater than you need, not too little in every case.
 

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I connect my heater to my Apex controller which controls the heater and temp but for most that is way overkill but it does more than just control my temp. My heater doesn't run very often except maybe a couple times a day and temp is maintained between 78-80 degrees. The best way to save a heater is to prevent it from running as much and you can do that by controlling your ambient temperature where the tank is. I know for some that is easier said than done. Luckily I have been fournate in that area.
 

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I bought a hydor inline last year, it wouldn't work at all out of the box. I then read reviews of people having them malfunction and heating and never shutting off. I figured it was a sign, I returned it and gave up on the product all together.

I went with the cobalt neo therm heater, it's awesome.
 

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I just returned an ETH 200, that apparently, the thermostat was fried after only 6 months. And I most definitely don't overdrive my heaters. I keep my house at 72 and run my aquariums at 75-77. A 200 on a 46g and a 300 on a 75g. Here's hoping the 300w lasts longer. I RMA'd my 200w over a month ago, and Hydor still hasn't delivered any to the retailer. Oh well, my fish seem to be okay in only 72 for now.
 
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