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Winter Is Coming... Aquarium Heater in Throwing Water?

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Does anyone use an aquarium heater in their throwing water to keep it warm? I am considering trying one but am curious if anyone has experience with them, specifically if they are effective once clay gets in the bucket and if the constant cycle of getting grit and muck on them poses any risk of damage/shock.

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Burn? No, I had a 50 watt heater in a gallon bowl, the thermostat only went up to 98 degrees which isn't very hot.  I bring a thermos with boiling water in it when I head out to the shed now.

And no, no casualties other than a horrendous black sheen on everything in the bowl.  Must have arced or something once it broke, I wasn't at home at the time 

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I should also mention that Ive been meaning to get one again because even topping off my bowl with boiling water it gets cold really fast in my unheated shed.

 

For my next one I'm gonna spend a little more money on something with a plastic shield and some kind of overheat protection.

Edited by liambesaw

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I saw a woman on utube that uses one in her throwing water. I wondered if you couldn't just keep a coffee pot full of water and keep putting some in, it appears Liambesaw has tried topping off with boiling water and it still gets cold fast though.

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10 minutes ago, shawnhar said:

I saw a woman on utube that uses one in her throwing water. I wondered if you couldn't just keep a coffee pot full of water and keep putting some in, it appears Liambesaw has tried topping off with boiling water and it still gets cold fast though.

Would probably be fine if you are indoors, my shed is unheated so it gets cold very quick.

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I use an inexpensive immersion heater, the kind that is meant to heat up one cup of water for coffee or tea. In winter months my throwing water will be ice cold in the morning,  The water will be nice and hot in about 15 minutes. The water will reach room temperature again by the time I finish throwing, but at least it won’t be ice cold. No danger of leaving it plugged in. Mine is developing some crud but it still works. 

https://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Instant-Electric-Immersion-Heater/dp/B01M0Q84BR/

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While it would probably work to keep your water warm... it sounds a bit risky.  Most aquarium heaters are a thin-walled glass tube with a heating element inside.  If the glass cracks, water could get inside, and create the possibility of electrocution (or at-least a shock) when you stick your hand in the water while touching anything that's grounded (like a metal wheel head).  That's why most of them will have a warning somewhere in the instructions, or on the heater itself, to unplug before sticking your hands in the aquarium to clean it.

In theory, if everything is plugged into GFCI outlets, you would be safe, but I think Min's crock-pot idea would be much safer - and more durable.

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I just do this. Go to sink in house. Get piping hot water. Fill up bucket. Throw pots. When bucket of water gets cold. I toss it outside. Go to get piping hot bucket of hot water in the kitchen.

Usually a few hours of warm water. I feel that getting up and tossing it outside and walking around is good for my back anyway.

I don't think I would ever use a thing with my hands in it. Sure warm up the water then take it out, but leaving it in there with your hands. No thanks. 

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Ok guys and gals, while we are at it...  Any ideas to keep clay warm?  I tried keeping a few boxes in the house but i swear as soon as I bring it outside it turns hard and cold.  Feels like it takes an extra 30 minutes to wedge up a 25lb bag.  I have a propane heater in the shed but haven't found a safe way to point it at the clay without drying it out.  

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3 hours ago, liambesaw said:

For my next one I'm gonna spend a little more money on something with a plastic shield and some kind of overheat protection.

I just installed one I'm happy with (did my homework) in my 10 gal tank-under $25-good plastic shield, controlled range, digital temp display, about 5" by 3" maybe, auto protect from overheat, 100w  --called an H7 by Aqueon-they have other wattages.

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How about heating the studio???just a thought?Nothing worse than a cold work space unless its no work place.

I keep about 1,000 in studio at any given time so its stays that warmer temp. I also live in a milder climate and the clay outside will not freeze in  3 walled wood sided with canvas front shed. Rarely freezes here anyway.Now rain well we get some about 35-60 inches per winter.

I put a pan on gas heater of water in cold days to have some warmer throwing water.

Edited by Mark C.

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1 hour ago, Joseph Fireborn said:

I just do this. Go to sink in house. Get piping hot water. Fill up bucket. Throw pots. When bucket of water gets cold. I toss it outside. Go to get piping hot bucket of hot water in the kitchen.

Usually a few hours of warm water. I feel that getting up and tossing it outside and walking around is good for my back anyway.

I don't think I would ever use a thing with my hands in it. Sure warm up the water then take it out, but leaving it in there with your hands. No thanks. 

This is my style as well.

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20 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

How about heating the studio???just a thought?Nothing worse than a cold work space unless its no work place.

I keep about 1,000 in studio at any given time so its stays that warmer temp. I also live in a milder climate and the clay outside will not freeze in  3 walled wood sided with canvas front shed. Rarely freezes here anyway.Now rain well we get some about 35-60 inches per winter.

I put a pan on gas heater of water in cold days to have some warmer throwing water.

I have a propane heater, but I only use it when I'm out there, which is usually between 9pm and 2am, I keep 250ish pounds of clay out there, I thought about using a heating blanket to wrap them in and putting it on a timer to come on a few hours before I get home from work.

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A heated blanket under a moving insulated blanket will keep the mass warm for a very long time-just put the heating blanket on a timer.The outer blanket keeps it warm when the heater blanket is off the mass (at least 500#s) will stay warm. My professional potter friend in NM covers his 10 tons with blankets in a open covered space to keep the clay from freezing .the clay is on wood pallets under metal roof on a concrete slab in on open porch facing south-all clay is covered with moving blankets

Edited by Mark C.

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At the mart with walls I bought a little flat plastic aquarium heater made to bury under the gravel of betta tanks. I use it to heat a  5 gal aquarium divided into two halves. It barely puts out enough heat to keep both sides around 75 f, you couldn't possibly burn yourself on it but I suppose you could light up like a Christmas tree....

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13 hours ago, liambesaw said:

Dangit now I need to go find my crockpot because thats a darn good idea.  Don't tell the wife, she doesn't use it anyway

Whoa, whoa , whoa.  As much as I support the Arts, and the repurposing of materials/ tools, I can't abide by neglecting a perfectly good crock pot!  It's getting to feel like Fall around here, and you need that for your warm and hearty soups, stews and roasts!

12 hours ago, liambesaw said:

Ok guys and gals, while we are at it...  Any ideas to keep clay warm?  I tried keeping a few boxes in the house but i swear as soon as I bring it outside it turns hard and cold.  Feels like it takes an extra 30 minutes to wedge up a 25lb bag.  I have a propane heater in the shed but haven't found a safe way to point it at the clay without drying it out.  

I was going to say the same thing Mark C. did.  An electric blanket, would be a great solution.  Set the clay on a pallet/ piece of wood to insulate it from the ground, and throw an electric blanket over top.  You could also have one underneath, on top of the wood, but that's probably not necessary.

I would use caution though.  Every year, I seem to hear stories about electric blankets, being the cause for a lot of fires, during the Winter months.  It's those, and space heaters...  And the people, who try to thaw their pipers with a torch...

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