Best location to place heater

Ecotech Marine

justmee

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
397
Reaction score
501
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Have anyone tested the best location to place the heater for maximum heating and low electric power consumption? I have a Red Sea 350, and I place my heater in the main sump area, and I'm using a Eheim Jager 200 watt heater. During winter time I have to turn up my heater to the max, and the temperature fluctuates between 73-78 depending on the ambient temperature -- I do have a temperature sensor to shut off the heater if temperature hits 79 degrees. When ambient temperature is low, the heater kicks in and can consume quite a bit of electricity, and the electric bill can go up quite a bit. Let me know if you know of a best place to position your heater for maximum heating and low power consumption, cause I'm trying to saving some money on the electricity bill. Thanks!
 
Galactic Coral Live Sale

ca1ore

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
13,186
Reaction score
18,394
Location
Stamford, CT
Heat loss is independent of heater location, so from a power usage perspective its meaningless. If you want to reduce the time that the heater runs, you can try insulating parts of the tank and sump. Covers also reduce evaporation which in turn reduces heat loss.
 

sbash

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
1,095
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Well.... If your heater is running for 24 hours a day and google says you pay 20.9 cents per kWh, then it would cost about $1 a day to run the heater.

Yup, that seems high to me.

I assume your sump is in the cabinet below, so here are some options:
  • Upgrade your heater (or add a second). Adding more heat could speed heating up enough to lower run time. Note: you would need to cut the run time in half in order to break even.
  • Insulate the sump chamber. $10 in foam might be enough to keep some of that heat in.
  • Lower the max temp down to 77.
  • Increase your room temperature by 1 degree.
  • Get a power meter to see how many kWh your heater is actually using in a month. It might be lower than you think. Perception can be misleading some times.
We don't need to run our reefs at 78, I only run mine that high because I read that was what you are supposed to do when I first started out. I ran my reef jar at room temperature (74-75ish) for 6 months with pretty good success, for example. Anyway, changing your tank from a 73-78 fluctuation to a 74-77 fluctuation should make things happier in general.
 

revhtree

Owner Administrator
View Badges
Marketplace Rating
100
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
42,465
Reaction score
64,403
Nice question and following!
 

ca1ore

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
13,186
Reaction score
18,394
Location
Stamford, CT
Well.... If your heater is running for 24 hours a day and google says you pay 20.9 cents per kWh, then it would cost about $1 a day to run the heater.

Ah, that made me laugh. Always helps to do the math before investing time and effort to save $0.25 a day ….. or $7 per month. I guess every little bit helps.
Upgrade your heater (or add a second). Adding more heat could speed heating up enough to lower run time.

That won't help though. Watts is watts no matter how many sticks you deploy, and in what size; resistive heaters are essentially 100% efficient. It is amazing how much insulation can help though. My current tank is 1" acrylic and uses less total wattage than my prior tank at half the size with 1/2" glass.
 
Fritz
OP
J

justmee

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
397
Reaction score
501
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Ah, that made me laugh. Always helps to do the math before investing time and effort to save $0.25 a day ….. or $7 per month. I guess every little bit helps.

It's probably not a saving of $0.25 per day or $7 per month, and I think it can be more... I'm located in California, and gas and electric can cost quite a bit more in the winter. My electric bill can jump an average of additional $30-$60/month during the winter time which does not include the gas bill for heating my house. Winter runs for 3-4 month here, and if I can save $60-$100 during the winter months on electricity bill would be great. If there's a simple method of just placing the heater somewhere that can maximum heating and low electric power consumption, it would be great to know...
 
Last edited:

Scurvy

Pirate Reefer
View Badges
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Messages
5,924
Reaction score
25,077
Location
Not the middle of nowhere
I prefer a heater or controller that has an independent temp probe. This way i can place the probe in the 1st compartment where water drains from the display and the heater in either the last sump baffle or return section. IMO this gives you the best idea of where the tank temp is and heat water just before its sent back to the display.

The eheims or cobalts of the world with built in sensors are only reading temp of wherever they are placed. During winter in the Northeast my display could be a couple/three degrees cooler than my sump using one of these. I used an off brand 200watt once on 50ish gallon setup that had a built in probe. I had to keep it set to 86 or the display would drop to 74/75 degrees.
 

lapin

7500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
8,284
Reaction score
15,520
Location
Austin
I think you have your answer. All places are equal. The sump means its out of sight. I feel for you that you have the PG&E problem. I could not run my current tank if I was back in CA.
 

HOW MUCH DO YOU LIKE ZOANTHIDS?

  • LOVE them

    Votes: 17 32.7%
  • Like them

    Votes: 19 36.5%
  • They're "ok"

    Votes: 10 19.2%
  • Don't like them

    Votes: 2 3.8%
  • Hate them

    Votes: 4 7.7%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
Cultivated Reef
Top