Why isn't my Flex Watt heat tape working?? HELP!

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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Why isn't my Flex Watt heat tape working?? HELP!

    I bought some 3" heat tape with metal clips, plastic covers, and the wiring which was already connected to the metal clips. I clamped down the metal clips to the side of the heat tape, clipped them inside the plastic covers and plugged it in, but the heat tape didn't heat up at all. So I took the plastic covers off and and used pliers so squeeze the metal clips to the heat tape down as hard as I could, thinking that they weren't penetrating the heat tape enough. But still no joy. Does anyone know what I could be doing wrong? I need this to be working ASAP for my new geckos that I just bought! Thank you!! I'll attach pictures so you can see the set-up.
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  2. #2
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    Looks like you have done it right. (I even see you taped the other end of the heattape to prevent electrocution if someone touches that end).

    are you plugging it into a thermorstat or directly into the wall? Either way, I would suggest to try plugging it directly into a different wall outlet. Perhaps the power source you are using is not providing power.

    If you are using a known-good wall outlet, then the problem must be the quality of the connections. They appear to be "wired" to the correct points. But maybe they just still aren't penetrating the plastic coating inside BOTH of the 2 clips. If EITHER clip is not penetrating to the metal inside, then there is no current flow and no heat.
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    also, I had good results following a youtube video (at my own risk) that showed me how to solder the connections cleanly.....so I did not have to buy the clips for each shelf on my rack.

    The youtube video instructed to use the solder gun (with no solder) to lightly melt away the plastic for the wire contacts. This made for very clean solder connections between wire & heattape.
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  4. #4
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    There is no way that the clips aren't penetrating the metal inside. I squeezed as hard as I could on the clips with pliers in multiple places on the clip. And when I tried to move it around to make sure it was tight, there was no wiggle at all. I have it plugged into an extension cord with multiple outlets and all the outlets on the cord are working so I'm going to try plugging it straight into the wall. If that doesn't work then my dad who is quite knowledgable with wiring (He buys 70 year old radios and fixes the wiring inside to make them work again) is going to do a continuity test in it to make sure electricity is actually flowing through it. Thanks a lot for the reply, I'll report back in a few hours.

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    Whew!! I am glad you already know what a "continuity test" is!! lol hehe. I hate trying to explain what a multimeter is, and how to measure the continuity. I would have suggested that in my first reply but it is way to technical for some people...and most people lack the meter.

    -------------------------------

    If you don't have a meter onhand (as in, before you take it to your dad):

    You can, being EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS,:

    1) make sure ALL bare electrical wiring is absolutely covered (to prevent self-electrocution).
    2) Tape a probe thermometer and tape it to the middle of the heattape (lengthwise...not touching any exposed wiring or surfaces)
    3) Take the 2 wires that lead to the heattape by their SHIELDING COATING (don't ever touch bare wiring), and gently pull them away from each other.

    ^^^^This essentially is "jiggling" the possibly bad/loose connection(s). Remember: If those clips have diamond-shaped teeth, pressing them too tightly may have created a loose connection because it created "large teeth-holes" ....but the clip "relaxed" slightly when you removed pressure from the pliers. (Essentially, this is the same as "wallowing a hole" with a drillbit. You end up with a hole that is large enough that the drillbit can fit inside without actually touching the hole it drilled.)

    You will need to pull the 2 wires away (or in any direction) gently and then HOLD the wiring STEADY for ATLEAST 20-30seconds while you watch the thermometer's display.

    -------------------------

    If this doesn't work and the continuity test doesn't work, don't throw it away without trying a direct soldering attempt (at your own risk...mine is working fine). You can find a youtube video, if needed. Most important advice I saw on the video is to "use the hot solder iron to gently melt/brush away the top layer of plastic BEFORE you solder the wires to it.
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    Success!! We kept fiddling with the clips but they didn't work so in the end we just melted the plastic off and soldered the wires straight to the tape. And we got that to work perfectly. Thanks a lot for the help and advice, the newest additions to my lizard family, Tangy (Tangerine Tremper Albino het RAPTOR) and Stubby (High Speckled Mack Snow) are very appreciative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JC32 View Post
    Success!! We kept fiddling with the clips but they didn't work so in the end we just melted the plastic off and soldered the wires straight to the tape. And we got that to work perfectly. Thanks a lot for the help and advice, the newest additions to my lizard family, Tangy (Tangerine Tremper Albino het RAPTOR) and Stubby (High Speckled Mack Snow) are very appreciative.
    Glad you saved it, and those are some nice looking Leo's.

    How old is the first Leo (Tangy, Tremper het eclipse)? Unless Tangy is a young juvenile, that tail looks a little skinny. Be sure to beef him/her up and definitely follow quarantine protocol with new purchases.....especially if they are underweight.
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    Yeah I know she is a little skinny, but she is only a few months old, 16 grams.

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