tank heaters....

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Dodgey, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Yup, that time of year and frooooooozen waste tanks again:Doh:

    So, OK we have an RV so we could go the Yank route re tank heaters, but they're not cheap and a fair bit of wireing to be done, not a problem, I'm just lazy:Blush:

    KAK tanks options, no good, nothing suitable for our size and shape of tanks.

    Heated wire, forget what it's called but it would be an option for the pipe work?????

    Some have suggested fish tank heaters, well can anyone explain?

    What type, thermostat situation, how to install etc etc etc.

    I've done a little surfing on fish tank heaters and all I came up with looked totally unsuitable, tube like things typicaly triing to heat to a minumium of 16-20 degrees C, mmmm warm (cooked) poo, doesn't sound good to me, mind you the tanks wouldn't freeze...

    Anyway, as said anyone?
     
  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    I have tropical fishtank heaters in my tanks,they wont cook anything but will stop the tanks freezing.Dead simple to fit,just drill a hole in top of tank,drop in heater and bingo it works.Seal around hole where wire comes out with a gromet and then silicon on top of that,a bit like belt and brases becouse if you fit from the top of the tank there is no water pressure on the hole,only splashes.If you can get round the tanks with spray on expanding foam thats better still.
     
  3. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    Still have tat tank heater

    I know you hate work Simon, still think you could havedone surgery on my tank heater... Good old pair of scissors would have worked wonders.... Is it the fresh water tank or is it the black or grey you are having problems with?.. Are your fresh water tank out board? I have raised the rock and roll bed (tank below.... In board) so that the warm air circulates and stops it freezing... I know this not an option with yours, but can you not lag it in some way???

    Have a good christmas and see you at one of the shows next year.

    Bob, Sue and Ezzie:Eeek:
     
  4. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Dave, can you run these all the time or do you just run when 'dumping' is due, I just wonder about the heat? The one's I've seen so far look to be attached verticaly, and they'll be againt glass whereas the (our) tanks are plastic?





    Waste tanks, fresh is fine and yes I could have cut yours down to size but it wouldn't have worked afterward as I'd have chopped through the wireing:Rofl1:

    Yes, you have a good Xmas and I'm sure well catch up somewhere:thumb:
     
  5. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    You can run them all the time,most of them you can adjust the thermostat on,they run all the time in a fish tank so why not in the RV tank.Just leave them on during very cold weather and they will produce enough heat to stop the contents freezing.They dont take much lecy so it doesnt matter.Dont worry about ataching them to the inside wall of you tank,just leave them lying on the bottom.
     
  6. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    There i was thinkingyou had not noticed

    There iwas Simon thinking you had not noticed all the wires in side the unit.. Good try:Blush:... I follow you views on the fish tank heater..as you say they are normally stucktothe glass side of the fish tank... I seriously wonder if it would work on an RV... But what do i know?

    Have a good one,

    Bob:thumb:
     
  7. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    I'll put my tuppence in here, a fish tank heater even laying in the bottom of the tank will probably give a concentrated area of heat, as in a fish tank filtration and movement of fish will circulate the water. In -10c conditions you might still experience problems.
    I believe the 12v heat pads which cover a larger surface area of the tank are the best option and in the long run probably little more expensive

    Larry
     
  8. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    As always...you pays ya money and takes ya chance.
    If you ask a question you will get various answers....some good some bad.
    All I know is that mine work very well and didnt cost an arm and a leg.
    My fishtank heater was not just an idea...I use it in real life.
    I wish you well with your project.
     
  9. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Hi
    Is it only the cost of heat pads that puts you off them ??????
    If not----do a google search for heat mats for pets and wine vats------they seem pretty good value and come in lots of different sizes. I think, from memory, they come in 240v and 12volt
    Nigel & Pamala
    BTW---I think the 'heat wire' is a great idea for water pipes-------don't know if you can get it in UK------it's VERY common in US (but we didn't know of it when we were there !!!!!!!)
     
  10. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Is it just the valve that freezes ? ---if so. blast it with hair drier fo a couple of mins.
    You could put some anti-freeze in the (black/grey) tanks, but would get a bit expensive if you had to use it all winter !!!
    Nigel
     
  11. aba

    aba

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    you could always wrap the under side of the tank with a household electric blanket
     
  12. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    Before the idea of rope light (MH 365) came up I was looking at heat wire and discussed with the local wholesale electricians supplies and they confirmed yes they can get - it comes in two forms - either a roll with fittings and you make up to suit yourself or fixed length runs - either way looks like the average waterpipe run to an RV at say 10 metres would be about £100.00 + vat . have not followed this up yet. Although they can get they have never supplied so were unable to offer advice beyond what the manufacturer states.
     
  13. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Hi Bill
    I priced heat-wire on-line direct from US-----it is quite expensive there (I think)-----rope lights much cheaper-----
    Nigel
     
  14. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Another thing that I have found that helps the hosepipe,is to get the 2 litre plastic pop bottles and cut a hole in the bottom of each one,then thread the hosepipe through them.It does stop the pipe freezing to a sertain degree,but it also thaws out much quicker when you get any sun on it, it acts like a small greenhouse. Just somthing else to play with,no doubt somone will say it wont work who hasnt tried it.
     
  15. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Good stuff as always folks:thumb:

    Heat pads, cost, not really, just siplicity/more cost affective options?

    My worry with the pads is what if they fail, getting them back off could be fun and also vunrability under the van in motion. I'm aware some suggest lagging once installed so I guess lagging could double as protection and deal with that side, we (SWMBO has spoken) are erring towards pads for the tanks now and heated wire for the pipe. The pipe, 1.5" approx 2 meters run from grey tank to valve assembly.

    As to what freezes, that pipe plus the floor of the grey tank and the outlet on the black, blacks right up against the valve so in truth very little heating would be required to sort the black, the grey is the main issue. Both tanks hang under the rear of Winne, they sort of enclosed them on the 96 on Winnie's.

    Heated wire, I found this a while ago....
    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Cable_Index/Heat_Tape/index.html


    240 volt so easier, one issue with using the Yank kit was voltage, but, err I'd forgoten they generally come in 12volt and 110 volt. The issue here is wiring safety, ie I wanted to run a heating setup via a fused spur for safety and of course 110 volt would require getting from the US, but, silly me, I can just set up the pads on 12volt with switch and fuse, with the back up of pulling the 110 volt out and plugging into the outside socket if the 12volt went and of course the heated wire solution wired via 240(230) typical fused spur, I feel a plan coming together.

    Thanks all, and Dave your input on the fish tank heaters has been excellent, I'd hoped you were around when I posted as I remembered you'd gone that route.

    Our 'plan' is we will keep Winne for a good few years and be, shall we say be making extensive use of her so we really want to end up with a good solid solution for whatever winters are thrown at us.
     
  16. Enword

    Enword Funster

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    Just a thought Reptile Vivarium heat mat ?
     
  17. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Don't think you'll get a response as this thread is from 2010.
     
  18. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    I realise this is an old thread but while it's live I'll mention that you can buy trace heat wire on eBay quite cheaply with a stat that switches it on at +2 c in different lengths.
     
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  19. musson

    musson Funster

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    What about tank blanket (on web) they make them to stick onto bottom of tanks and the will bend to shape
    also pipe blanket.
     
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