Tetra HT10 Heater Exploded

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by magnetar68, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    A loud bang woke me up this morning. And here is what I found. Luckily the only damage so far is the water on the floor and the broken 10G tank. I was using this tank to hold heated and aerated water for my rotifer changes, so no livestock was killed. The CFGI outlet tripped, so there was no fire. I also had all of the other powerstrips tucked away under the stand or hanging from above, so none of the other controller equipment got wet. I say in the video that the DA head unit was damaged, but it was not. I was pretty groggy when I took this since I had just been awaken by an explosion, so I did not realize the CFGI was tripped so nothing had power. The DA head unit was blinking, so I thought it still had power, but I guess it was a battery or capacitors for power for some time after the power goes out.


  2. That's odd ... is it possible that the tank somehow had a leak that caused the water to drain out and then exposed the heater, causing it to shatter? From the residue pattern it looks like the explosion occurred in the air rather than under water, in which case the material would have been suspended in the water and drained out with it.

    Or, perhaps if the heater was sitting on the glass bottom it heated it up, causing the glass to fracture and then subsequently exposing the heater which led to the explosion.

    In either case, that's an impressive fracture result ... basically it took out the whole bottom of the tank.
  3. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Holy smokes. Time to go titanium or Ebo-Jager ;)
  4. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Damn, sure glad I have Jager's. Sorry that happened to you, Ray. :(
  5. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    I'm voting with CSI fingerwrinkles here.

    Either way, what a bummer. Only good thing is no livestock were injured in the making of the video!

    I'm not sure the outcome would have been different with an Ebo/Eheim. Do any of the low end heaters really survive being on out of water?
  6. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    I don't know where you guys are getting the tank leaked and then the heater exploded theory. Based on the fact that the black sand from inside the heater was all over the place, this says to me the heater exploded, blew out the bottom, water leaked out and took black sand with it all over the place.
  7. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    I had a crummy old heater that explode on me about 2 years ago as well. I can't remember the brand. Water had infiltrated the unit which was heating water for a water change. Mine splattered the walls with rusty gunk but there was no other damage. If you ever come by you can see the splatter pattern on the ceiling.

    I now only buy titanium heaters with external thermostats or Jaegers.
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I wonder if titanium is better or worse?

    Pretty sure the issue is a steam explosion.
    You get a tiny leak in the heater.
    When it shuts off and cools, it sucks water in.
    When it heats up again, that water turns to steam, and BOOM.

    Rather like the house water heater rocket on mythbusters - pretty scary.

    The thing is, I am not sure titanium would contain that steam either.
    In fact, it might even generate more pressure before exploding.

    Although perhaps titanium is less likely to leak.
    Plus smaller in diameter, so less volume.
    Or is the heating element built differently?

  9. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Actually, the tank leaked/drained/overflowed etc. theory makes a lot of sense based on the picture...near the wire. If the tank was full or even half full of water, wouldn't all the black stuff/sand/sediment/whatever all be pulled to one area where the water was draining fastest?

    Whatever the cause, glad no livestock was lost and that no one was hurt :)
  10. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    Ti IME just rupture at the seam. We blow through quite a bit at my facility. just a fact of life.

    In all my aquatic career I have never seen one explode, glass, Ti or thermal plastic. Very strange, though the steam theory makes sense.
  11. robert4025

    robert4025 Sponsor

    Gresh is right , I doubt that Ti would explode. I have gone through quite a few myself and like he said, they typically failed at the seam.

    Also...I have to agree with detective Fingerswrinkle that the heater exploded after the tank was drained.
  12. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    I think the heater-leaked-and-then-exploded theory makes the most sense. If the tank was empty or near empty when this thing blew then glass and the black innards would have been thrown up. There is no black sand on the side of the tank or anywhere up. I think the reason it pooled is that there was still a certain amount in the tube and when the water had all leaked out the last remnants of the black sand fell out of the tube and pooled there. There is black sand all along the stand and on the floor, but none above.

    That's what I see anyway. This thing was brand new, so clearly some type of error in the manufacturer. I have had the same model in a 5G for 2 years without any issues. BTW, all of my other heaters are titanium Finnex with no controller or Jagers. I did have a Red Sea heater (came with my RSM 130D) short to where I got electrocuted when I put my hand in the brute trashcan where I was warming up a new batch of salt water. I clearly have not had the best of luck with heaters.
  13. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    I think Robin thinks the black material is remnants of a blast, but its the stuff from inside the heater actually.
  14. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Sorry about the tank, glad no people or animals were hurt.
    Several months ago I came home to a stench in the reef room, skimmer overflowing with foam, corals bleached and sliming. Even the zoas and frogspawn were closed.
    After investigating I found my glass heater of 8 years had broken and released some type of nasty smelling epoxy into the sump.
    I now have 2 black 250watt heaters, one stealth and 1 aqueon pro.
    I recently mentioned this to John from "Your Reef" in Roseville who mentioned he would only use titanium. He said he had heard of problems with the plastic, or stealth variety like maybe coral problems.
    Any input on this?
  15. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    There had been a recall on stealth awhile back
  16. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Thanks Mike, you might have saved me some big trouble! I just googled it and it was stated they had been recalled due to :

    "Hazard: A wiring problem can cause the aquarium heaters to overheat or break during normal use, damaging the aquarium and posing fire and laceration hazards to consumers. Overheating can cause the heater to shatter or the aquarium glass to break.

    Incidents/Injuries: United Pet Group has received 38 reports of fires resulting in property damage and 45 reports of broken aquarium glass. United Pet Group has received one report of a consumer who suffered an eye injury when the aquarium heater forcefully broke while he held it."

    Looks like I'll be shopping for a new heater.
    I've included the link below.


    Gotta love these forums!
  17. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Okay, so I'm shopping. Which is best? Titanium, or Ebo-Jager?
  18. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    I've never had a Titanium but I definitely love the Jager's.
  19. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Titanium on a seperate controller
  20. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Eventually at some point, every tank that Brandie and I have will have a controller... one day...

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