HELP!!!! Water around heater look weird

Ssnaaiil

Member
I just noticed that above my heater, the water looks like wavy glass(?) idk how to explain it.... but it looks like you can see the heat coming off the heater but underwater.... it’s very weird... is something wrong with my heater? Is this normal?

EDIT:it looks like when you look at a road on a hot summer day and can see heat waves(?)
 

MrBryan723

Member
Those are indeed heat waves. Completely normal. Just check the temperature and make sure it is also normal and you will be fine.
It takes a bit of time for hot and cold water to mix, and this is a visual byproduct of 2 different densities of water refracting light.
 
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Ssnaaiil

Member
MrBryan723 said:
Those are indeed heat waves. Completely normal. Just check the temperature and make sure it is also normal and you will be fine.
It takes a bit of time for hot and cold water to mix, and this is a visual byproduct of 2 different densities of water refracting light.
Ok, I’ve never noticed it before...the temp is good, and heater is turning on and off normally(not staying on)
 

MrBryan723

Member
I have a tank right next to a window that you can see it eveey day at certian tims of the day when the lighting is right.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
Yeah those are heat waves do they look like this?
 
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Ssnaaiil

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Yeah those are heat waves do they look like this?
Yes, looks like that
 

RayClem

Member
Heat is transmitted in the infrared light spectrum, so we cannot actually see heat waves. Our eyes do not respond to IR light.

When water or air is heated or cooled, the refractive index changes slightly. Any light passing through areas of different temperature will refract differently, giving the appearance of heat waves. It is a very interesting phenomena. You are unlikely to see this with older lighting technology such as incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. However, with sunlight or modern LED bulbs, the lighting is coming from a point source, so you see the effect.
 

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