How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

So I've had my CHE and ReptiTemp setup for at least a week now but I don't think I've been doing it right. The instructions that came with the 500r are a bit vague. I know that I have plugged everything in correctly:

CHE > socket/lamp > thermostat > wall outlet

After I set everything up, apparently all I have to do is turn the dial on to the half-way point. The green light turns on and then will turn off when the probe senses that the "set point" is reached. The problem is that the green light on my ReptiTemp has never turned off! Also, the temperature fluctuates a good 5-8 degrees throughout the day (my apartment has terrible AC and can get really cold). I have a thermometer that measures both the room temperature and outside temp via a wired probe. But instead of snaking the probe outside, I use it in my hedgie's cage. By doing this I can see the temp of my room and also the temp in the cage. As the temperature in my room fluctuates throughout the day, it seems that the CHE keeps the cage only about 5 degrees warmer than what the temperature in my room is. So the ReptiTemp is not doing it's job.

Perhaps I am totally doing something wrong. Or maybe my unit is defective. If anyone could help me out or post some steps on exactly how you set up your ReptiTemp, it would be awesome.

P.S. Some info on the equipment I'm using:
- Fluker's CHE 150 watt
- Fluker's 8.5" Clamp Lamp
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

I think it's not a problem with the thermostat controller.

Sounds like you're saying your room is super cold because of the A/C, the thermostat senses it's cold inside hedgie's house and so it keeps the CHE on all the time (which is corroborated by the fact that the little green light never turns off). And it would make sense that neither the CHE nor the little green light turn off if it's never quite reached a warm enough temp inside hedgie's house.

I'd suggest one of several options:
add a second CHE & lamp to increase the heat output
get a CHE with larger output (higher wattage) than the one you already have (provided it doesn't overwhelm the lamp)
get a lamp with a larger dome (eg, if you have an 8" dome, get the 10") which will distribute the heat better
put a blanket or other form of insulation around parts (eg, the back wall and part of the top) of your hedgie's house to help hold in the heat.

ETA:
... just saw your ps - the 150 watt should be fine, I'd trade in the 8.5" for a 10" lamp
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

My room gets cold at night but warmer during the day. For example it will dip below 70 when I go to bed and then during the day it's something like 75 degrees. Even when it's 75 in the room, the light on the 500r is still on and the temp will read 80+ in the cage. At nighttime the temp in the cage can drop as low as 72. Isn't the point of the thermostat to keep the temp at a specific range? I'm beginning to think I may have a defective unit.

As for your suggestions, it seems that they all are concerned with "more heat." But this isn't the problem since I've seen the temps go over 80 in the cage.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

What size is your cage?

You should be able to turn the repti temp to the lowest setting, just before off and the light should go out. From there, turn it up very slowly until the light comes back on, then turn it very slowly until it goes out again. Leave that for a few hours and see if it brings the cage temperature down enough. If not, then turn it down a slight bit more. It's a balancing act initially but once you get it set you will know where it needs to be.

A couple of questions. What type of cage do you have? Where do you have the probe located? Perhaps a different probe location will help. In a wire cage, I always had the back of the cage covered with thick clear plastic to hold the heat in. I would have the probe right below where wire meets the plastic cage base in the center back. That location was usually safe from curious hedgies and gave a good reading.

Sometimes for wide temperature fluctuations the Repti temp does need to be turned up or down ever so slightly to accommodate. It's the same with space heaters. If the temperature drops dramatically at night, often the space heater/Repti temp needs to go up a degree or two.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

Thanks for the info. I ended up unplugging everything and starting over. When I started playing with the dial again I could see that the light would go out around the 1/3 mark. From there I started to understand how the thermostat worked and began to tweak up and down like you mentioned. Again, thanks for the help!

Consider this thread SOLVED.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

That's great. Yes they can be a bit complicated at first but now that you have it figured out, it will be fine.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

Good information to have.

I just ordered one from Petsmart.com for 27.99 (sale price) plus got free shipping.

Thanks!

Donna
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

I'm having the same problem with my ReptiTemp @[email protected]

I read your instructions, Nancy, but I'm still so confused D:
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

Try what I did and start over. Unplug everything and plug it back in. I think the problem I had was that the sensor probe didn't have a stable temp setting to "initiate." My room was always going from 60's to 70's throughout the day.

When I first turned my dial up when I plugged everything in for the FIRST time, the light went on immediately. After I saw that it wasn't working and replugged everything back in, when I turned the dial (from the off position) I had to turn it all the way to about halfway before the light turned on. At this point I could see that the thermostat was working because it obviously was sensing warm enough temperatures so it didn't bother turning on until I pushed it to. From there I just let it be for however long it took for the light to turn off by itself (it will do this when the temp gets up to a certain point; for me it was about 90 degrees!). I then started to turn the dial down in increments, allowing the temp to gradually go down. When I got to the 70's it was perfect. Temperature in the cage stays at 76-79.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use the ReptiTemp 500r thermostat?

ok...i just cant seem to get my thermostat to work..i have the same one...the light just stays on all the time. the only time it turns off is if i turn it off myself. once the temp got up to 82 and it didnt turn off.

i have a 18x18 C&C cage (well two cubes on each side they have 9 little squares going across)
100 W CHE
8.5 dome lamp

i dont really get how to make it work correctly. i read all the stuff on here, but i dont think it's registering for me lol i'm a little confused.
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