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Old 02-10-2009, 09:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 543
Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

They only use as much power as they are rated for. A 60 watt emitter can only use 60 watts. The same amount as a 60 watt light bulb. All of the temperature "controllers" are analog. A rheostat is a dimmer, A thermostatic controller is a switch that turns the heater on and off at the desired setting just like the thermostat for your home heating or air conditioning. The zoo-med repti temp 500r is a thermostatic controller good to 500 watts. Zilla (previously ESU) makes two : one is rated at 500 watts and one is rated at 1000 watts. This means you could plug in TEN 100 watt ceramic heat emitters without causing damage or a fire hazard. The wattage on a ceramic heat emitter is how much power the device uses. It can never use more. It can however use less if hooked up to a rheostat. With a rheostat you can turn the amount of power the emitter uses from zero watts to the devices rated watts. For instance : if you have a emitter rated at 100 watts you can turn it from zero all the way up to 100. So it is always on. And if you had it turned half way the emitter would be using 50 watts of electricity all the time. A controller with the same 100 watt emitter turns the the emitter on using 100 watts of electricity until the desired setting is reached (say 75 degrees F) and then turns it all the way off. When the temperature drops it turns it back on and so forth. A thermostatic controller is a much more precise and efficient way to keep an area at a set temperature
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