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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Am I going to burn my house down?
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:31 AM   #1
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Default Am I going to burn my house down?

My wife asked me for her heating pad back. I have been using it to warm carboys in my fermentation chamber in the garage. It worked so-so, taking ALL DAY to impact more than a 2-3 degree swing, and with the auto 1 hour shutoff it was useless for keeping temps up overnight.

I connected a 50W lizard tank heat bulb to a cheap 8in clamp on fixture. I accompanied this with a computer fan. Both are plugged into my Johnson Digital controller to cycle on when the temp drops to a certain point. My goal is not to use this to enact large temperature swings, but only to maintain a certain temperature when it gets cold over night.

The bulb itself throws some heat, but not a ton. The hood on the fixture didnt get hot when I let it run in my kitchen for about 30 minutes straight. I know it will heat up more in a small enclosed space...and all the red light it throws is a little ominous...so...am I going to burn my house down with this?

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Old 01-21-2011, 02:41 AM   #2
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I think you should be OK. How hot does that light get?

On the heating pad, I ran into the same problem. I just spliced the controller out of the cord.

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Old 01-21-2011, 02:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
I think you should be OK. How hot does that light get?

On the heating pad, I ran into the same problem. I just spliced the controller out of the cord.
it's rated at 96F at a 6in distance from the bulb. I can hold my hand directly in front of it and it's fine, and I can grab any part of the fixture after it's been on for awhile and it's hardly even warm, though the reflective coating on the back of the bulb does direct all the heat forward, not back into the fixture...

I hope it's putting out enough heat to even do the job...
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:41 AM   #4
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You're fine. Hope it works for ya.

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Old 01-21-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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What you need to consider in all these cases is the ignition temperature of surrounding flamables and the concentration of 0xygen (02) and flamable to get going.

MOST house products are well over 200 deg F for ignition. The exception to this are highly volitale items like Gas, Propane, Kerosene, and Alcohol. But then you need enough 02 for it to get going and stay going. Our air is generally good for that. 96F is ok unless you have something like I mentioned, and have it in concentration as a vapor near the heat (ie with in 6 inches).

So keep your spare gas can, etc far away from the light. Oh and as for the Alcohol, I refer to something more pure than beer, wine or meed - more like your distilled products, or rubbing alcohol. Of course keeping all the volitales caped is also effective.

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Old 01-21-2011, 02:19 PM   #6
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Well I made it through the night with this heater running in my ferm chamber...held a steady 65F even though it dropped into the teens outside over night. Belgian Strong Dark just hit high kreusen this morning! Just needed a little heat to get it kicked off!

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Old 01-21-2011, 02:38 PM   #7
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What would happen if the light accidentally was pointing at, and also was close to the foam, say it got misplaced or knocked over, which could easily happen? I guess you could line part of it w/ heavy foil like those disposable alum. sheet pans, that might be more fire retardant than foam and wood.

Oh also, 96 degrees at six inches, how about at 1 or 2 inches as could be the case if it got knocked over.

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Old 01-22-2011, 05:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat_thru_marshall View Post
My wife asked me for her heating pad back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
On the heating pad, I ran into the same problem. I just spliced the controller out of the cord.
Smart way to get the wife off your back.
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