APEX Heater Control

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Victor_C3

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You definitely want to add a spread between the two values. The larger the spread, the less frequently the heaters will kick on and off.

With my system, I set the apex to turn on at 75 and off at 79. I then plugged another controller into that outlet and set that heater controller to turn on at 77.3 and off at 77.9.

Most of the work is being done by the second heater controller with the apex acting as a secondary “safety” switch. Frequent turning off and on of a switch will wear any unit, whether it’s an apex or some other unit. With a heater, you could easily get 1,000,000 on-off cycles in a year or two. I’d prefer to kill a $40 controller than my $300 apex power bar.
 
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Mmcghee102485

Mmcghee102485

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You definitely want to add a spread between the two values. The larger the spread, the less frequently the heaters will kick on and off.

With my system, I set the apex to turn on at 75 and off at 79. I then plugged another controller into that outlet and set that heater controller to turn on at 77.3 and off at 77.9.

Most of the work is being done by the second heater controller with the apex acting as a secondary “safety” switch. Frequent turning off and on of a switch will wear any unit, whether it’s an apex or some other unit. With a heater, you could easily get 1,000,000 on-off cycles in a year or two. I’d prefer to kill a $40 controller than my $300 apex power bar.

That’s good advice, thank you. I have the BRS 300 watt with no controller. But I see where you’re coming from, I will be picking up a brs controller to add in.
 

NS Mike D

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I have mine set at on at 78° and off at 79°. While I have a secondary controller, I don't use it with my apex. I have the heaters set for 80° so the apex controls them and they, in theory will shut off if the apex fails. I get the alert when it out of the on/off range.

I am not sure that the the pre set range of the heater thermostats will reduce the on/off cycles as much, and the wider the on/off range the more the heater will overshoot the off. (it's still piping hot when it turns off). Who knows, I stopped overthinking it and set my apex to be in control

Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 6.01.49 PM.png
 
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Mmcghee102485

Mmcghee102485

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I have mine set at on at 78° and off at 79°. While I have a secondary controller, I don't use it with my apex. I have the heaters set for 80° so the apex controls them and they, in theory will shut off if the apex fails. I get the alert when it out of the on/off range.

I am not sure that the the pre set range of the heater thermostats will reduce the on/off cycles as much, and the wider the on/off range the more the heater will overshoot the off. (it's still piping hot when it turns off). Who knows, I stopped overthinking it and set my apex to be in control

Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 6.01.49 PM.png
So you use your heater as a back up and the apex as the main control?
 
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zoomonster

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Some good advice above but let me add one piece of advice about Apex and a heater. From reading and experience Apex outlets when they fail tend to do so in the on position. That's why I always try to do a heater controller with secondary control by Apex.

If I remember right I use maybe a 2 degree F range. Of course I live in FL and it gets used maybe a month out of the year.
 

bam123

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So you use your heater as a back up and the apex as the main control?

Not a good idea to have apex as primary as it will wear it out. Better to set apex at outside ranges and have primary from heater set inside that. For example, I have my apex set to turn on at 77.1 and to turn off at 78.3.
The separate heater controller is set at 78. Rarely does the separate heater controller get turned off or on by the apex and the tank holds pretty steady at 77.5. In other words, the power is almost always available for the separate controller to control the heater. Please note, I have my ac set at 72 degrees year round. I also have a tunze fan that kicks on at 78.1 degrees and off at 71 degrees (only goes on and off at most once a day).
 

chris k.

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I have my apex set at off at 80 and an inkbird set off at 79 and use the internal thermostat on heater for normal operation. This way i have 2 different controllers to prevent over heating if the heater fails. I also have a backup heater controlled by apex if the water gets too low i believe it is set at 77.
 
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Mmcghee102485

Mmcghee102485

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Not a good idea to have apex as primary as it will wear it out. Better to set apex at outside ranges and have primary from heater set inside that. For example, I have my apex set to turn on at 77.1 and to turn off at 78.3.
The separate heater controller is set at 78. Rarely does the separate heater controller get turned off or on by the apex and the tank holds pretty steady at 77.5. In other words, the power is almost always available for the separate controller to control the heater. Please note, I have my ac set at 72 degrees year round. I also have a tunze fan that kicks on at 78.1 degrees and off at 71 degrees (only goes on and off at most once a day).
What type of separate heater controller do you have?
 

bam123

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What type of separate heater controller do you have?
I don't know the heater brand, but it has a digital controller attached to it. Any heater with an attached controller will work if you are going to set it up to an apex. The beauty is that if it malfunctions the apex will shut it off.
 
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ca1ore

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Not a good idea to have apex as primary as it will wear it out.

Wear what out .... heater or the apex? Doesn’t really make sense to me. Any controller will have a mean time to failure, as will any heater. I view the latter as mostly disposable and replace them on a rotating basis.
 

bam123

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Wear what out .... heater or the apex? Doesn’t really make sense to me. Any controller will have a mean time to failure, as will any heater. I view the latter as mostly disposable and replace them on a rotating basis.
heater controller easier and a lot less expensive to replace than an apex.
 

ca1ore

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heater controller easier and a lot less expensive to replace than an apex.

ok, I suppose. Apex does a whole lot of other things. I guess I’d better stop using all those lest I wear it out LOL.
 

bam123

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ok, I suppose. Apex does a whole lot of other things. I guess I’d better stop using all those lest I wear it out LOL.

Do what you want. In a BRS video they talk about burning the apex out as a primary "if" the parameters are set to tight because it was switching power on/off hundreds of times a day . Enjoy:))
 

link81

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my apex is the primary for both heaters. I have them on triac outlets instead of relays. Being solid state they last incredibly long.
heater 1:
Fallback OFF
If Tmp_2 < 77.6 Then ON
If Tmp_2 > 78.0 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then ON
If Tmp > 80.0 Then OFF

Heater 2:
Fallback OFF
If Tmp_2 < 77.8 Then ON
If Tmp_2 > 78.2 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then ON
If Tmp > 80.0 Then OFF



* i have 2 temp sensors, Tmp_2 is in a high flow area and what i want has the primary sensor, Tmp is in the same space as the heaters and is just acting as a backup if the other one has an issue.
 
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DudeBoy

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What size heaters vs tank size are you guys using.....I screwed up I believe.....I just received yesterday my BRS heaters and controller. Their website says that a 600W will heat up to 200g and I have 210g plus 20g sump so I went with (what I thought was a good idea) redundancy and bought the 2x600W kit....yep, 1200 freaking watts. I just installed it yesterday after work and it was a loooooong night last night. I was up with it trying to tweak it into place.

I also have an apex and I quickly learned that apex doesn't like 1200W through a single outlet....I set apex for 77-79 degrees and ran the BRS through the single apex outlet. I set the BRS at 78 degrees +/- 0.3. when the 1200W BRS kicked on, apex power strip LEDs started flashing.

I ended up taking one of the 600W off of the BRS and plugged it into a different apex plug and set it at a lower temperature range then the BRS....my thoughts are, if the BRS controller or the single 600W plugged into it fails, the tank will cool and the backup 600W inthe different apex outlet will kick on.

As overkill (engineer mentality), I also have a 300W eheim in the sump that is set to come on at 76 degrees and have it plugged into a power backup to address power failure scenario (this actually happened last week).

Am I way out of bounds with all this? advice? ideas?
 

link81

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1200 W is 10A, the EB832 outlets are only rated for 7A each, 15A total draw.

i only have 50g total and i think i'm running a 125 and a 100W heater.

if your case, i would run a 600W with the controller set to +- 0.3F, with apex shutoff at +2
the other 600 i would set to turn on at -2 and turn off at 0. Making the assumption that the first heater really needs catch up help if the temp drops 2 degrees below.

the 3rd heater, i might just run off its internal thermostat not plugged into the apex. running all 3 would put you dangerously close to your 15A limit, and also darn near the 20A outlet limit. (assuming that the tank isn't the only thing on the Circuit)

 

DudeBoy

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my apex is the primary for both heaters. I have them on triac outlets instead of relays. Being solid state they last incredibly long.
heater 1:
Fallback OFF
If Tmp_2 < 77.6 Then ON
If Tmp_2 > 78.0 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then ON
If Tmp > 80.0 Then OFF

Heater 2:
Fallback OFF
If Tmp_2 < 77.8 Then ON
If Tmp_2 > 78.2 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then ON
If Tmp > 80.0 Then OFF



* i have 2 temp sensors, Tmp_2 is in a high flow area and what i want has the primary sensor, Tmp is in the same space as the heaters and is just acting as a backup if the other one has an issue.

Where exactly are your sensors and how do you keep them exactly where they are supposed to be?

I ask because I have literally zip tied the BRS sensor to a small piece of live rock to ensure it sinks and stays in place.....the suction cups suck. The apex temp sensor i have in the sump directly under the display overflow feed hoses. the problem there is, the heaters inside the overflows obviously makes the water going into the sump nice and hot. Pretty sure this isn't giving me the most consistent readings.

I didnt realize I could add a second apex temp sensor.....I'll be ordering one today and copying your programs....
 

link81

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the main sensor (Tmp_2) is in the neptune probe rack with the other probes.
the backup sensor (tmp) is in the area of the sump that the tank drains into, its very turbulent, so it works fine for the heaters, but would not work well for the other probes. They got moves to a small side sump area that gets good flow, but is much calmer.

I have the PM2 salinity module ( apex classic, so no no salinity built in) to give me the second temp probe port.
 

bam123

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my apex is the primary for both heaters. I have them on triac outlets instead of relays. Being solid state they last incredibly long.
heater 1:
Fallback OFF
If Tmp_2 < 77.6 Then ON
If Tmp_2 > 78.0 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then ON
If Tmp > 80.0 Then OFF

Heater 2:
Fallback OFF
If Tmp_2 < 77.8 Then ON
If Tmp_2 > 78.2 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then OFF
Defer 000:30 Then ON
If Tmp > 80.0 Then OFF



* i have 2 temp sensors, Tmp_2 is in a high flow area and what i want has the primary sensor, Tmp is in the same space as the heaters and is just acting as a backup if the other one has an issue.
Solid state. Triac outlets. No idea, but sounds super cool. For now I will just set my heater controller at 78, and my apex to turn on at 77 and off at 78.3. Seems to hold my temp within .5 degrees without having my apex to do much of anything.
 
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