One or two thermostats?

Hi. When using heat tape with a rack system, is it recommended to use two thermostats? What would happen if one was to stop working for whatever reason? Wouldn’t it cause a fire?

Some of the most commonly used ones, like Herpstat thermostats, completely cut off the flow of electricity when they stop working. So it wouldn’t cause a fire and using two thermostats wouldn’t work, because the first one dying would cut off the power supply to the second

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If you are using a rack that you made or bought has different levels with different size/wattage strip of heat tape you will need more than one t-stat.

If each shelf has the same size/wattage of heat tape usually one t-stat (so long it is a reliable one and has the right wattage) will work. Your average T-stat such as VE or Herpstat can handle 500/600 watts.

Other case you can use 2 t-stat with one rack for safety purposes, you have a main t-stat and that t-stat is plugged in another one as back up.


What about the use of multiple heat tapes same wattage, but connecting them to a power strip and the power strip connect to thermostat, would that work? Different topic than previously mentioned just curious

Yes so long they are of the same dimension and wattage it’s fine, some people have heat tape wired in serpentine and some have it wired in parallel.

Now that being said careful with power strip cheap power strips have been the cause of fire hazard in this industry.

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I utilize a dual thermostat Ranco thermostat setup for my room heating (oil filled heater). Works great for about 15 years now! The second thermostat acts as a failsafe should the primary thermostat ever fail. The failsafe thermostat is setup so that if the primary one doesn’t turn off the heat it will. Failsafe thermostat is set a few degrees higher.

Jeff Ronne of boaphile plastics sells them and is where I got mine:

If one wants some extra peace of mind having a redundant failsafe thermostat could be useful but in in my 17 years keeping reptiles I’ve never heard of a quality thermostat failing.

In a rack system a common reason for using a dual thermostat setup is to better regulate the heat between the lower and upper levels. Since heat rises the upper levels will be warmer and it may be beneficial to back off the heat a degree or two on those levels. In a recent video Billy from Mutation Creation shared that he does this in his facility.

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