Marineland heater malfunctioning? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-04-2013, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
Marineland heater malfunctioning?

EDIT it's a Marina 300 watt heater, not Marineland

I'm not sure if I should be worried or not. Went to go to bed and kept hearing this odd noise. Went to check on my tank and my heater was glowing strangely. Now when I look close you can see inside the heater and there is an area glowing bright orange...as though something is wrong on the inside. Kind of like if you heat metal up?

I've got no choice right now but to unplug the thing because I fear something terrible might happen. Any ideas on what is going on? It's not the indicator light doing this. Is something inside, towards the top that keeps glowing and if you watch you can watch the glowing ness travel up and down just a hair like it's jumping around.

Last edited by Sanguinefox; 04-04-2013 at 01:20 AM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-04-2013, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
I may just be paranoid. I am reading on few sites that when you can actually see the inside the glowing is just part of the guts actually heating. It stops when the light turns off. Does that sound normal to anyone?
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-04-2013, 06:23 AM
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I've never had this happen to me, but I don't have this brand of heater, either.

Did you double-check your suction cups? I've found that on my heaters if the suction cup clip slides over the heating element, it will start to make odd ticking noises. Perhaps that has something to do with it?

If not. . .

Though it *may* be normal (according to whom?) for you to be able to see something happening in the heater (I never have, brand thing?), I wouldn't trust the fact that you can hear a noise (aside from the click of the heater kicking on). We both know I'm the nervy type, anyway, but . . . better safe than sorry IS a good plan! Heaters REALLY make me nervous. I've read too many stories. . .

I'd contact the manufacturer for a replacement, if possible. I'm sorry! Electronics under water just scare me! . . . Hopefully someone with more experience with this brand can help!

Last edited by Chesh; 04-04-2013 at 06:26 AM. Reason: neither I, nor spellcheck, can get words right this morning
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-04-2013, 09:40 AM
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I would expect that is normal for any "on/off" heating element. You just notice it more in the dark. I'm assuming that it is a glass tube heater.

Check with the manufacturer but I wouldn't go looking for a replacement just because of that unless they think it might be a problem as well.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-04-2013, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesherca View Post
I've never had this happen to me, but I don't have this brand of heater, either.

Did you double-check your suction cups? I've found that on my heaters if the suction cup clip slides over the heating element, it will start to make odd ticking noises. Perhaps that has something to do with it?

If not. . .

Though it *may* be normal (according to whom?) for you to be able to see something happening in the heater (I never have, brand thing?), I wouldn't trust the fact that you can hear a noise (aside from the click of the heater kicking on). We both know I'm the nervy type, anyway, but . . . better safe than sorry IS a good plan! Heaters REALLY make me nervous. I've read too many stories. . .

I'd contact the manufacturer for a replacement, if possible. I'm sorry! Electronics under water just scare me! . . . Hopefully someone with more experience with this brand can help!
Yeah I did, and I also did a little experiment. When I turned my night light on, the noise stopped. When I turned it off it started. So it seems it's the fish making that noise as they sometimes try to go between the wall and the heater. At night these fish are totally blind. With no light they can sometimes bump into things.

That said I bounced around to a few places online and several people said that there is a heating element connected to the pilot light. So when the light goes on, the element goes on and that then in turn heats the coils. In heaters like the all glass ones, it can end up glowing orange when there isn't anything to cover it up from being seen.

I'm going to try to track down the manufacter's number to double check if this is true. I ended up turning the thing back on last night, as the temp outside had dipped to 30 degrees. It has not been that cold in my room since the tank start up, so it's very likely that heater was working hard to maintain in a really cold room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDM View Post
I would expect that is normal for any "on/off" heating element. You just notice it more in the dark. I'm assuming that it is a glass tube heater.

Check with the manufacturer but I wouldn't go looking for a replacement just because of that unless they think it might be a problem as well.

Jeff.
Yeah, it kind of makes sense. This is one of those heaters that is all glass. It has the coil thing that takes up most of it's insides and the glowing shimmering orange only happens when it turns on to start heating the coils. It was as I said above really unusually cold in my room last night which might explain how bright the thing was. It was working hard? Maybe? I'll still try to call the manufacturer to double check on things. Goodness knows I don't want to deal with a heater malfunction right now. These animals are too happy in their new digs.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-04-2013, 02:49 PM
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have had heaters do the same to me - minus the clicking noise. but the little red light and glowing inside ive had that. never had any issues or heater mishaps *knock on wood* I think you should be ok but maybe grab a backup just in case... you never know
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-04-2013, 03:12 PM
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The heater doesn't work harder, it's either on, or off. Working harder only means that it stays on longer, it doesn't get hotter so if it glows now, it would always have done that and always will.

There's typically a little bi-metallic strip in the top of the unit where the adjustment knob is. Changes in temperature make the strip bend and at particular temperature settings the amount of bend makes it touch a contact which is like turning on a light switch. Sometimes you can hear it click or snap as it turns on or off. The little light is just in the circuit and comes on while the element is on, at least until the light burns out. Perhaps it's just the light that you see as sometimes they seem to have a sort of shimmery effect due to the kind of bulb it is.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-06-2013, 08:09 PM
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I have to say that I've never seen any heater of mine 'glow' in any way. The heating element that is. How bright is this glow?

If it gets really, really hot yes it can glow orange (just like the coils on your stove) but fish tank heaters usually never get that hot. If they did, the glass would be in danger of breaking from thermal shock. The glass on these heaters are very thin. As an example, a faint red glow you can only see in the dark would indicate a temperature in the area of 750 degrees so....

Almost every heater sold these days comes with an orange, amber, or red LED (light emitting diode) that turns on whenever the heater is on just to let you know it's heating.

I had a cheap heater go out on me once. I woke up in the middle of the night to a funky noise, I determined it was the heater as the noise went away when I unplugged it. I left it like that for the rest of the night than turned it on the next day. It didn't make noise again, but shortly after it died for good. If the heater is making noise, it could be a sign that it's dying.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-08-2013, 09:55 PM
sounds like a normal heater. Mine are all clear glass so its easy to see the element glow red on when it is running.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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