Heating Cable

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musa_monkey
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Heating Cable

Post by musa_monkey » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:53 pm

Anyone used vivarium/aquarium heat cable instead of soil heat cable to make a large prop?

Just curious as "soil heating cable" seems to be significantly more costly
i.e. £30 vs £9 for a 7m length :shock:
regards,
Alan


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Dave Brown
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Re: Heating Cable

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:08 pm

I think some use vivarium heat mats :wink: Cables can be different wattage for the same length
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musa_monkey
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Re: Heating Cable

Post by musa_monkey » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:27 pm

Dave Brown wrote:I think some use vivarium heat mats :wink: Cables can be different wattage for the same length
True, i was looking at a 7m 50w cable at £8.99 which is cheap and long enough for what i have in mind. They also do a 9m 80w cable for £11.99 and smaller ones cheaper. Think i may as well get one anyway, i feel some building work coming on :D
regards,
Alan


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simon
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Re: Heating Cable

Post by simon » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:40 pm

That does seem a good price for watts per pound. Jungle Seeds have soil warmers 7.5m 75W for £33. So yours are a third of that for comparative length and power rating. Sounds like a good plan. You just need to make sure you have enough watts for the size of prop you are making. I would check the power rating of similar sized ones on the market.

While you are at it, you can make me one too :lol:


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Re: Heating Cable

Post by GARYnNAT » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:37 am

I was given a small heat mat a few years ago designed for back problems, it had a removable furry cover, it worked well but got a little to hot on your back so I pressed it into use with a regular plasticseed tray and propagator lid. It seems to work well and I have had great germination success with it :D

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AndyC
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Re: Heating Cable

Post by AndyC » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:19 am

You've set me thinking Gary. We've got what looks like a giant furry sock with a heating element built in which you put your feet in to keep hem warm. I wonder if it can be modified :idea:
Andy


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Re: Heating Cable

Post by musa_monkey » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:21 pm

Just in case anyone else is interested they are from this ebay seller.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/AquaPet-Discou ... idZ2QQtZkm

Not used them before but feedback is good so worth a punt for the price i think.
regards,
Alan


Guy

Re: Heating Cable

Post by Guy » Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:06 pm

Certainly looks cheap, but is it good value...
I'm not sure safety wise whether it is ok. Soil warming cable has a coil with a sheath of foil around it. Looks a very different shape to this. Does this comply to a British Standard as the soil cable does?
Maybe fine, just difficult to put a price on safety and potentially with electricity your life icon_scratch


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simon
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Re: Heating Cable

Post by simon » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:15 pm

It's a bit of a sweeping statement to say that soil warming cable complies to British Standards. I would depend on who manufactures it and whether they have the product properly approved rather than what type of product it is. In any case if it is legitimately manufactured for the European Market, it will carry a CE Mark which certifies that it is compliant with the Low Voltage Directive.

If you are concerned you should check on the manufacturers website befor buying it.


Guy

Re: Heating Cable

Post by Guy » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:19 pm

Excellent advice. Buying soil cables from a long established manufacturer who makes to a high standard certainly reassures me, and i've used their cables for the past 30 years. They are 240v so not low voltage, and this new manufacturer maybe fine, but just worth finding out or at least thinking about it. Cheapest isn't always safest.


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simon
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Re: Heating Cable

Post by simon » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:37 pm

Guy wrote:They are 240v so not low voltage
Sorry Guy, it's a bit confusing if you don't know but our mains voltage is actually classed as Low Voltage. The Low Voltage Directive is concerned with electrical safety of equipment that is powered within the range 50 to 1000Vac. What many people refer to as low voltage e.g. 24Vac garden lighting is actually classed as Extra Low Voltage.

You are absolutely right, cheepest isn't always safest but everything sold in the EU should by law be compliant and therefore safe.

Ebay could possibly be dodgy ground because you could potentially buy something from a foreign supplier which was not intended for the EU and may not be safe.


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Re: Heating Cable

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:57 pm

simon wrote:e.g. 24Vac garden lighting is actually classed as Extra Low Voltage.
Simon.... 24Vac Is that a typo :?: I don't think I ever seen that. I have a 'Low Voltage' Pond pump and that is 24Vdc and can be run off a pair of car batteries. :wink:
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simon
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Re: Heating Cable

Post by simon » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:45 pm

No, it's not a typo Dave, there are lots of lighting systems available for outdoors and kitchens etc. that provide a transformer to drop down to 12 or 24V. There is no point in using dc in such systems unless it's powering LED lighting, because you are adding the cost of the rectification when it is not needed. I guess you can buy ac or dc pond pumps but I don't have a pond so have never looked.

LV and ELV covers dc voltages too but the ranges are slightly different, something like up to 80Vdc for ELV and up to 1200Vdc for LV.


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musa_monkey
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Re: Heating Cable

Post by musa_monkey » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:44 pm

Well i ordered one so i guess we will find out what they are like soon :D
regards,
Alan


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musa_monkey
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Re: Heating Cable

Post by musa_monkey » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:46 pm

For the record it is CE and BSI marked cable.
I suspect from the flexibility it doesnt have a metal braided cover however i have no intention of plunging a fork into the propergator :ahhh!:

In the end i got a 5m 25w cable, however being a farty :wink: i measured the power as 12w significantly less than the advertised 25w :?
regards,
Alan


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