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Thermostats

757 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  eXa
I have been hearing and reading about more and more heater malfunctions and am really starting to consider hooking up thermostats to all my heaters. I'm kinda unsure about which work well and whether they work with all heaters. I really don't want to spend over $50-$75 per tank and was hoping to find something that was cheap, reliable, and easy for all my tanks.
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Any thermostat that has an AC plug should accept any AC heater. The thing you will need to watch out for is making sure that the current rating (amperage) of the thermostat is higher than the maximum current the heater will consume. A common rule of thumb to be safe is that any control device (such as a thermostat) should be rated to handle twice the current used by whatever you plug into it.

The thing that can get a little tricky if you're not familiar with electronics is that often the thermostats will list their limits in terms of current while the heaters list their maximum power in watts. If your thermostat lists it's limits in watts, its just a direct comparison of that number to your heater's power. If not you need to do a little math. Fortunately it's not too hard to calculate the current of the heater in amps if you know the power usage in watts. If you live in the U.S. just divide the watt rating of your heater by 110 to find out how much current (amps) it uses.

Example:
I have a 250 watt heater and a thermostat rated for 5 amps.

250 / 110 = 2.27 amps

apply a safety factor of 2x

2.27*2 = 4.54

4.54 is less than 5, so the 5 amp thermostat will be just fine for my 250 watt heater.
 
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