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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have what might be a really dumb question - please forgive me if it is...

Why can't you use a Ceramic Heat Emitter in one of the plastic storage-based cages? (I've read this in some of the other posts) Is it due to ventaliation? Or something else I'm missing?

I'm planning on making a two-room cage of the plastic storage bins and also am planning to put lots of small holes in the walls to allow enough air flow. And ensure the lid is mostly screen. And I'm trying to figure out how to make sure the hedgie is warm enough. So I thought a Ceramic Heat Emitter with a thermostat might be the best.

If that won't work, what would be best in that set up?

-WG
 

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It will more than likely melt the plastic and there's no real good way to attach it, especially if you're using a lid.

I have 0 experience with plastic bin housing, so I can't really help you with anything more than that. There's tons of people on here that have a lot of plastic-cage experience.

Welcome and congrats on your new little one!
 

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You're right, the major reason ceramic heat emitters are frowned upon for plastic bins is because of ventilation- the heat builds up and has nowhere to go. Most people around here will say that if you have a plastic bin for a cage the best way to heat it is just get a space heater for the room.
 

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Uhm I hate to say this again but heat does NOT build up. If you have the right fixture and use a thermostatic controller; using one in a sterelite bin is fine.If someone truly believes the heat will build up could they please explain how that would happen? Evidently all of my previous knowledge of thermodynamics is wrong.
 

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I'd be kind of worried that a high-powered ceramic bulb might melt the plastic (I had one melt the synthetic fibers of my carpet) >.< but lower-powered ones do exist. For a long time I had a 60-watt one, the lowest I've seen, pointed into a metal-and-plastic cage. When it was on full power all the time, it consistently kept the cage about 5 degrees warmer than the surrounding air. You couldn't actually feel a "hot" sensation down near the cage floor--there was just a little more ambient warmth in the area. (I was living in the Coldest Apartment On Earth at the time, so your mileage may vary.)

Plastic is a better heat insulator than metal or glass, and if you were using something like a black plastic bin under a ceramic heater, I'd expect it to be a few degrees warmer than a metal-lattice cage would be. I have no idea whether ventilation would make a difference or not. I also have no idea why you'd want to put a hedgehog in a black plastic bin. ;)

At any rate, if space heaters are impractical for you (they do have that unfortunate track record of setting houses on fire), I don't think a low-wattage ceramic bulb on a thermostat would hurt anybody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
padawanslacker said:
At any rate, if space heaters are impractical for you (they do have that unfortunate track record of setting houses on fire), I don't think a low-wattage ceramic bulb on a thermostat would hurt anybody.
See, I'm against having my house set on fire in general, as well as melting plastic to my floor which of course is why I'm trying to take the time to research this. :)

(Stupid question, is a ceramic heat emitter the same thing as a ceramic bulb or no?)
 

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Actually it might not melt the plastic, as long as it is not touching the plastic and has a clamp so it is above it you should be fine. I left mine on all day everyday on grim's plastic cage and i never had a problem. Though sometimes if it is too high up the heat might not get to the bottom of the cage and might not reach the whole cage equally.
 

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My husband and I have been using old filled space heaters for over 12 years now, up to 4 at a time, and have never had any problems with them. Nothing dangerous...no near fires...nothing. We've used them in unheated buildings...my hedgehog room...barns...almost everywhere and they are extremely safe, they never get hot to the touch and yet keep the rooms warm. Space heaters can be used safely as long as you get a good one and follow the directions.
 

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Before we got our first space heater to use in the hedgie room I phoned the fire department to ask about them. They made a few recommendations.

One of the main problems with space heaters is using old ones. With use and heat the wiring inside become brittle and the brittle wiring can crack and cause shorts. It is recommended to buy a new heater every couple of years if it is used all the time. Buying a new heater every few years also ensures it has the newest safety features and that they still work.

Buy a name brand heater, and a good quality one. Don't buy one just because it's cheap. Heaters are not something to try and save money on.

The less moving parts, the better. Oil filled heaters are very safe and have no moving parts.
 

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Ok, a ceramic bulb is the same thing as a ceramic heat emitter, at least I'm pretty sure :lol: . And as long as you dont set it directly on the plastic it won't melt anything, but you may want to get a dimmer to plug it into. You can get dimmers at any hardware store for like 6 bucks and the light fixture plugs right into it. Just make sure you get a metal or ceramic fixture for any bulbs that are meant to put off high heat. :mrgreen:
 

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Thanks Nancy, I should have mentioned that we aren't still using the ones from 12 years ago..I didn't even think to say that. I agree about the oil filled ones..I love them and don't trust any other kind.
 

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Actually a thermostatic controller works better than a dimmer or rheostat. You set it to the desired temperature and it keeps the environment at that temperature....just like in your house.
 

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I'll have to try that with my Dragons' cages. right now I'm constantly having to turn it off and monitor the temps, cause they are in the same room as my hedgie and it's pretty warm in there.
 
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