Do you safety check your heat tape?

Just wanted to remind everyone to take their electrical safety seriously. This is THG tape that was run by a VE-100. There were only two pieces of tape it was controlling. Both identical in size and tested with a multimeter when I assembled them.

If you don’t know how to use a multimeter there are a lot of articles online that can help or you can send me a private message and I will. I personally think if you have a room full of heat tape it’s a critical item. A thermal camera isn’t a bad idea either. I’m an insulation contractor so I have them as part of my trade but these days the $160 smart phone units are nearly as good as the $10,000 cameras were when they hit market 7-10 years ago. Not only can you keep an eye on electrical connections with them, you can use them to dial in husbandry since they allow you to see thermal dynamics in action.

I’m going to tag @owalreptiles here in case he has anything to add, I know he recently posted on electrical safety as well.

This is a t-bar acoustic tile ceiling and you can see how the camera shows every displaced piece of insulation. They’re a really valuable device to have. Especially for homeowners as they work to find bad electrical connections, water leaks, and heat/cooling loss.


I have a roll of heat tape that I’ll be using to heat a little hatchling rack at some point in the future. My husband knows more about the electrical stuff than I do, so can I ask what actually caused that heat tape to overheat? If it’s connected to a thermostat and the probe wasn’t moved, how does it happen? All my snake enclosures currently use heat pads and I’ve never had an issue with them so far. Does heat tape tend to malfunction more often than heat pads?

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Impossible for me to say. It was taped on the edges outside the field of heat bars, but nothing was in contact with it that shouldn’t have been.

It could be something as simple as particulate impurities in the air when they were laminating the heat tape in the factory or an impurity in the plastic or conductive material that makes up the heat bars.

The thermostat is decommissioned but I tested it a bunch of times and it seems not to have been the issue.

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Geeze. Heat tape is a stressful thing to use. How quickly did you catch the failure? Did it damage the tub/s it was heating?


I thought I smelled burning plastic in the morning and I unplugged all the tapes in that room. It must have started the day before or in the night. It was under a screen top type tank and it didnt damage the acrylic. Luckily that tank has a carpet python in it so he’s always up in the branches anyway.


The thermostat probe was placed in contact with the heat tape when this occured?

Tape was wired in series. Probe on the first piece, this was the second piece.