20 Gallon Tank Turning off heater for water changes?

Downward Dog

Member
I was perusing something else on this list and I came across a suggestion to turn off your heater when doing a partial water change?

Is this necessary for the health and life of the heater? I would think that the manual would state that if it was necessary. I've never done it before but thought that maybe I've been doing it wrong all this time! Thanks!
 

Borisbbadd

If you leave it on, and take enough water out to expose your heater, it can crack and break.

Believe me, I've done it.
 

Jaysee

Member
Heaters have an automatic shut off when not in the water. However, that doesn't mean they still don't break. I don't see a need to leave it plugged in, unless it will never be exposed to the air.
 

Aquarist

Member
Good morning,

Some members like to turn off everything when doing tank maintenance to avoid a possible electric shock due to stray currents.

Personally, my heaters are low enough inside of the tank that they will never be exposed to air. Too, I'm one that risks it and I leave everything on that I possibly can.

Other than not letting the heaters be exposed to air, I think the decision is yours to turn them off or leave them on.

Speaking of electrical shocks, you may want to check out my thread below:


Ken
 

whtmex

Member
Depends on what type of heater you have, Dog.

I have 3 tanks. 2 of them have fully submersible heaters, so the water level never gets low enought to expose the heater. On my 30 Gallon though, the Marineland heater is not submersible. So anytime I do a water change the glass will get exposed almost immediately.

Did you ever do that experiment with the paper cup (not styrofoam) filled with water and then light the lighter under it? The cup doesn't burn because the water immediately absorbs the heat.

These heaters work on the same principal. Once the glass is exposed to air, the glass, instead of the water, will absorb the heat and get incredibly hot. This rapid temp change could cause the glass to crack. If it survives the air exposure, the rapid temperature change when you add water back in can also cause the glass to crack.
 

jerilovesfrogs

Member
I unplug mine whenever I put my hand in the tank. there is a member, forget who, that had a friend die from a heater that broke while plugged in...and his hand was in the tank. who cares about the life of the heater.....the life of a human is more important
 

Jaysee

Member
jerilovesfrogs said:
I unplug mine whenever I put my hand in the tank. there is a member, forget who, that had a friend die from a heater that broke while plugged in...and his hand was in the tank. who cares about the life of the heater.....the life of a human is more important
Now I'm extra glad my tanks are unheated.

I wonder if that threat exists with inline heaters?
 

jerilovesfrogs

Member
Jaysee said:
Now I'm extra glad my tanks are unheated.

I wonder if that threat exists with inline heaters?
really? all your tanks are sub-tropical? I didn't know that. not sure about the inline thing. i'm only vaguely familiar with them. but my first thought would be no, they aren't as dangerous. idk though
 

Jaysee

Member
jerilovesfrogs said:
really? all your tanks are sub-tropical?
whether or not a tank needs a heater is a reflection of the room temperature.
 

jerilovesfrogs

Member
Jaysee said:
whether or not a tank needs a heater is a reflection of the room temperature.
ohhh, so you heat the room(s), instead of each tank. but you don't live in a warm climate....so you must keep your place pretty warm in the cold months then? I wish I could! the "preferred" temp in my house is no more than 68....in the winter..... tooo chilly for the fishies.
 

Jaysee

Member
low 70s. with the filters and lights the tanks are at least 75.
 

pirahnah3

Member
I never turn any of mine off in my tanks but I also never take out enough water to expose them either.
 

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