Opinions on In-Line Heaters?

Discussion in 'Heaters' started by csutter1, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. csutter1

    csutter1Valued MemberMember

    So, what are your opinions on in-line heaters? Are they effective and reliable? If so, any specific recommendations? Opinions on other low profile heaters welcome as well.


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  2. Marie1

    Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    I use Hydor inline heaters on the majority of my tanks. They are reliable to the point I do not keep thermometers in the tanks that have them.They have a temperature dial on them. Set it where you want it. I think my oldest one is 8 years old now.

  3. Slug

    SlugWell Known MemberMember

    Hydor, only ones to go with. I find them EXTREMELY more reliable than any other type of heater I've used. Like above I don't even watch temp with them on. Mine have held up very well. Get them you won't be disappointed.

  4. OP

    csutter1Valued MemberMember

    Wonderful! Thank you so much. I was looking at the Hydors, so I feel very confident in purchasing one now!
    One last question though, I'm a little fuzzy on how the installation works. Could anyone clarify this for me?

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  5. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Slug, Marie1, this is good to hear as the in tank heaters have been reported to have failed in the on position many times and some have been recalled.

    csutter1, I believe you cut your return hose coming from your canister filter and splice between the two pieces.

  6. Slug

    SlugWell Known MemberMember

    That is how you do it!

    On your return you cut the hose and fit the heater in, plug the hoses up to each side and turn it all on. This allows the water to be heated as it returns to the tank through the heater. Don't run the heater if you aren't running the filter. And if you go to clean everything watch out as the heater will hold some water in it....don't want to dump it all over the floor. And make sure you get the correct heater to match to your hose size, I believe they offer different sizes according to hose size.
  7. Marie1

    Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    That's exactly how you do it.

    My only tanks that have in tank heaters have sumps. So the heaters are in the sump. I am honestly thinking about adding a canister just to put inline heaters on them.

    If you don't have a sump, get a canister and put a Hydor on it. It's less equipment in your tank, and the best heater there is. I run a single 300 watt on a 180 and a 220 gallon. They have been heating those tanks for years.
  8. OP

    csutter1Valued MemberMember

    How do you know which heater will fit what size hose? I'm thinking I want to get a 300 watt but I have no idea if it will fit the tubing for the SunSun HW-304B.
  9. Marie1

    Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    It's 5/8"
  10. LinwoodValued MemberMember

    So... just to resurrect this not-too-old thread.... I wanted one of these, as it was the only in-line I could find. I'm doing a 220 G tank.

    Then I read reviews on it from various different sites, and saw review after review saying "stuck on", "killed all my fish".

    I realize people with good experiences are less likely to post -- but there were a scary number of such postings.

    but I REALLY wanted an in-line heater as this tank is viewable from 3 sides, so only have one short side to put all the plumbing and wiring in.

    Should I worry about all those negative postings?
  11. Slug

    SlugWell Known MemberMember

    All I can really speak for is myself, but I've never personally had any issues with mine. I know multiple people who have them and all say the same things I would about them, how great they are. Guess its just who you trust or who got a bad batch, etc. With any heater or electric device you risk the chance of it failing, its just the way it is, but I've never personally had a problem with these.

    Its my opinion that you should be checking these things constantly anyway no matter what brand or type it is.
  12. Marie1

    Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    I just bought another one. I guess I never looked for reviews on them because they came highly recommended from people on forums who use them.

    Where did you see the negative reviews?
  13. LinwoodValued MemberMember

    Again, I realize you can find bad reviews anywhere, it's the number of "cooked fish" that bothered me, not the "doesn't work".



    (see 11/19/11, 4/16/13)


    (sort by lowest - one, no date)


    (dated from 11/2008)


    (Dated from 10/2011)


    (Look at 1 star, then 12/9/2013)

    In each of these cases there are many more good than bad reviews, many more. Again, what disturbed me was not "it doesn't work" provided the preponderance is that it does. It was the "cooked my fish" stories.

    Frankly I see no reason that an electronic system should ever fail in that fashion, a simple thermal over-temp cutoff seems like a 50 cent solution if you're building custom circuits anyway. 30 years ago maybe not, but now?

    I mean, water heaters explode big time if they over heat -- yet the redundant safety cutouts mean, except on Mythbusters, you never hear of water heaters launching into space.
  14. Marie1

    Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    Marineland recently, within the last 3 years, recalled an entire line of the in-tank heater because they were literally exploding. Cut off switches fail, which is why they stay on.  

    I think there have probably been issues with every brand of heater at one time or another. They are a mechanical device after all.

    I have 15 or so Hydor heaters running right now. I have never had an issue with them. And like I said, I just bought another one. They are worth it.
  15. MJDuti

    MJDutiWell Known MemberMember

    couldn't you also put this on the return from a sump? It's the same concept as the canister no?
  16. Marie1

    Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    I don't see why not. But they need vinyl tube to run the water through them. So unless you splice some vinyl into the PVC that is normally used on sumps, it won't really work.

    Plus, if you have a sump, you can put in-tank heaters in it. They are generally cheaper, and sumps keep them out of the display tank.

    I have a few tanks with sumps, and just put the in-tank heaters in them.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  17. MJDuti

    MJDutiWell Known MemberMember

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