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Tyyrlym 01-27-2009 06:50 AM

Visi-Therm Stealth Heater Stuck On
Something has my 200w Visi-therm stealth on the fritz. Several days ago when I went to feed my fish I noticed the water felt unusually warm. I checked my thermometer and saw the temperature was 84 degrees. Worried for my fish I unplugged my heater. Since then I've tried lowering my heater's set point to get it to regulate properly, no luck. The best I can tell it is stuck on for some reason. Since then I've been regulating the temperature of my tank manually, plugging in my heater when the temp drops and unplugging it when it gets too high. It's not great but at the moment it's all I've got. The recent cold snaps in Florida have been bad enough that my back up heater just doesn't have the grunt to keep the tank warm. Thankfully the temperature is rising here which will let me change out the fritzing heater for a functioning, albeit 100w, one.

My question is, has anyone had this happen to them and if so do you know of any cause for it?

Burninator 01-27-2009 11:13 AM

my tetra one likes to bring my tank up to around 80 sometimes.

I pull it out, wait for it to turn off then put it back in. Then it seems to be ok.

WisFish 01-28-2009 07:20 AM

I've never had this happen to me but I'm curious. When you do water changes, is any part of the heater ever out of the water? I know the heater is suppose to self discover this and turn itself off. But I always figured it did that by detecting that it was either too hot or the temp was rising too quickly. If it goes by temp, I wonder if high temps could mess the heater up. Otherwise, I'm the type that would take the heater out and just gently shake it and turn it around to see if something is loose or to see if water got into it. Just a thought.

Tyyrlym 01-28-2009 07:52 AM

I'd considered it being out of the water but I have a tall tank and the heater sits at the very bottom. It's alway got at least six inches of water over the top of it during maintenance, usually more like 8 to 10.

The good news is that the temperatures are coming up locally so I can probably yank the 200W and put in my spare 100 and 50 watters and be just fine until the next cold snap.

Hmm, makes me wonder if I could actually insulate part of the tank. Sure I can't do anything about the viewing sides or the top, but the the back half is spray painted and against the wall and the bottom is open to get to, hmm. It might slow heat loss, certainly won't stop it, but it would cut down on the radiant/convective surface.

onefish2fish 01-28-2009 08:57 AM

spend $20 and replace the heater. i just hear they go bad from time to time, i know for me id rather have a proper working $20 heater then a dead $2000 saltwater tank

Tyyrlym 01-28-2009 09:10 AM

Oh, the bum heater is getting replaced that's a given. I'm not going to constantly be trying to regulate the temp in the tank by screwing with a malfunctioning heater. It's just annoying that the heater is 3 months old and is already toast.

WisFish 01-29-2009 01:20 PM

Don't tell me it's only 3 months old. I just bought one of these back in August because I thought it would be more accurate than my 20 year old glass tube heater. yikes.

aunt kymmie 01-29-2009 01:53 PM

Tyyrlyn- I recall a post somewhere back when you mentioned how fabulous Marineland's customer service was. I think it was in regards to your Eclipse 6. Anyway, do you think Marineland would replace the heater for you due to a faulty heater? I know they happily replaced a product for you before. Just a thought, and a thought I'm sure you already had! :-)

Tyyrlym 01-29-2009 02:16 PM

Yes it's only 3 months old. That said I have a 100W that went back into this tank that's been functioning fine and given me no problems at all. I've also got a 50W old school visi-therm deluxe that had a lot of miles on it before I ever got it and it too works just fine. Both my filters are golden oldies as well and still pump and filter just fine. So I've got about 6 marineland products and this is the first one with a real, aka not manufactured by me and not a real problem, problem.

I'm gonna try contacting them, the heater was $23 bucks and I'm strapped for cash. I need a replacement before the next cold snap as my 100W just doesn't have the grunt to handle it.

syrinx 01-31-2009 07:31 PM

I don't like hearing that either, as I just bought a stealth also. The old visi-therms were such good heaters, I was hoping the quality had carried over to the Stealths.

Why not use both the 100w and the 50w? If 150w will do the job, this is actually a better setup than one large heater.

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