4-5 Year old aquarium heater.
I have had my angelfish tank 44 gallons for 4-5 years now. I haven't changed any of the equipment- the light, heater, or filter. They all have been running fine for 4-5 years. Though I don't often light the tank. It gets plenty of light in the room it is in and they live on the natural day and sun rising... so no timer for the lights.
Anyways, I'm not concerned about the filter. I might have actually replaced it years ago since I think it broke once. But the heater... I know lots of times heaters stop working (not too worried about that... cus my house is warm enough that they'd probably be fine). But I'm worried the heater might break and run constantly frying my fish. I keep it set to 81 degrees and it has been working 4-5 years...
But I'm wondering if heaters break over time and I should replace it when I can, or is it just random when a heater stops work? I think it's a decent quality heater.
some people use two in their tank so they have a backup if one breaks. the accounts for it stopping, not for it running constantly though : )
I used to run two heaters until I realized that I've never had a heater stop working. But rather as you state, I've had problems with heaters on several occasions where they didn't stop running. In other words they were stuck on 100%. But to answer your question, I replaced my heater about 1 year ago mainly because I felt the new heaters were more accurate than the 20 year old glass tube model I had been using. I wouldn't replace a 5 year old model. They should last longer than 5 years.
There's not really any way to determine if a heater's going to break. They are fairly simple devices but by their nature they're sealed up. I've had several heaters in my tanks, one brand new one only last a month before getting stuck on permanently. I've got one well over 5 years old that's still trucking along doing a magnificent job heating the tank.
I wouldn't drop the money on a new heater if your current one is still working fine. If you're worried about it just monitor the temperature on a regular basis (glance at the thermometer once a day) and if you see it over where it should be then investigate.
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