05-08-2010, 12:54 PM
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Heaters, generally are low tech devices, though I've never heard of letting the heater warm up to water temperatures for 15 minutes, I am skeptical of this as a thermostat is a simple on and off device. The dials of heaters generally should be ignored when setting temperature. Sometimes the heater will be lower than what is set (eg. heater set at 78 and temp is 75) or higher than what is set (eg. heater is set at 76 but water stays at 79).
As long as your heater holds the water consistently, then adjust upwards or downwards based on your independent thermometer temperature. If you are paranoid (I am) use two thermometers.
If your heater is submersible, try not to have the heater up and down - vertical - like this "l"; instead set it at an angle like this "/". The heat will rise upwards and the thermostat reads the temperature as the heat is heated upwards, thus a false reading of surrounding water. At an angle the heated water will rise, but miss (mostly) the thermostat which is often at the top of the heater, but the same applies if the thermostat is at the bottom of the heater.