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Majus
09-01-2007, 08:07 AM
I bought a heated pet bowl for indoor use, but it heats the water way too hot since it was intended for outdoor cold climate use. Electrical info on the pet bowl is 120V, 60Hz, 75W. It doesn't have any controls.

I want to add a control to drop the heat level. A friend said I should not use an ordinary dimmer but use a unit rated for motors, so I bought what was available at my local hardware. It is a Speed Control, 5A/120VAC, for a ceiling fan.

After I got home, opened it and read the instructions, it says it is for use only with split capacitor or shaded pole motors used in ceiling fans and should not be used to control receptacles, etc.

I had intended to install the Speed Control into a separate box (but not mounted on or in the wall) with a line to be plugged into a nearby wall receptacle. The box would contain the Speed Control and an outgoing receptacle to plug the heated bowl into. The heated bowl uses a GFCI plug.

Based on the manufacturer's instructions to not use the Speed Control to control a receptacle and to use it only with certain types of motors, is what I propose dangerous? If so, what is the alternative?

Thanks,

George

jwelectric
09-01-2007, 08:29 AM
is what I propose dangerous? Yes


If so, what is the alternative?

Thanks,

George Why would you want to serve your pet hot water?
Are you making coffee?

The water will become room temperture in a matter of a few minutes so why heat it?

What is going on here with this pet?

Majus
09-01-2007, 09:05 AM
Yes

Why would you want to serve your pet hot water?
Are you making coffee?

The water will become room temperture in a matter of a few minutes so why heat it?

What is going on here with this pet?

I don't want to serve her _hot_ water, I want to serve slightly warm water since she prefers that. I keep my house quite cold and after the water bowl has been out for a while the water gets too cold and she won't drink it.

Coffee? No, she doesn't care for it.

The water will _not_ go to room temperature as the bowl supplies a constant heat source.

What is going on with my pet? She's got preferences, as does everyone, and I'm just trying to make her happy.

All that being said, since you say what I propose is dangerous, what is my alternative?

George

BrianJohn
09-01-2007, 09:29 AM
A NEW PET might be the answer.

jwelectric
09-01-2007, 09:56 AM
All that being said, since you say what I propose is dangerous, what is my alternative?

George

To control the temperature of the water you will need to have a thermostat that reads the temperature of the water and regulates the current flow to the heaters based on the temp of the water.

To try and control the receptacle or the heater in the bowl from a remote location such as a switch box would require a probe to be inserted into the water.
Without something to let the heater know when to come on and off based on the temperature of the water there is no way to control the heat of the water.

As a side note; if your pet desires hot water over cold water it might be a good idea to have her checked by a vet.
As a pet owner of many different types of pets and animals I can say with experience all of the animals I own will always come to fresh cold water.

Attached is a couple of my pets here (http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y63/jwelectric/DesktopDogs2.jpg) is a couple of the dogs and let's not forget the cat (http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y63/jwelectric/Leroy.jpg). If you would like I will post some pictures of the birds and horses.

Majus
09-01-2007, 10:29 AM
Thanks, jwelectric; those are the answers I needed.

I opened the bottom of the pet bowl to see what was inside. Nothing but wires in a pattern attached to a piece of foil attached to the bottom of the stainless steel bowl with a component about .75 long and .25 across inside the heatshrink tubing which apparently controls the heat. The heat seems to be constant.

I think I'll just abandon this idea; it doesn't seem to be practical. The heated bowl will go on **** sometime and the Speed Control will go back to the hardware store.

As for your comment about the vet, she's an indoor cat and does see the vet if she needs to, but at least once a year for a physical and shots. Her drinking behavior has been constant for years so it's nothing new, and I have spoken with the vet about it in the past.

I just thought I had a simple solution -- not the first time. Ha!

Thanks for the pics -- beautiful animals, all, especially the cat and the Shepherd.

Thanks again, and have a great weekend!

George

Verdeboy
09-01-2007, 10:42 AM
I've got it!

Install a large magnifying glass just above the pet bowl, so it catches the incoming light and heats the water.

Majus
09-01-2007, 10:51 AM
I've got it!

Install a large magnifying glass just above the pet bowl, so it catches the incoming light and heats the water.

Uh, I think that's old technology; solar panels would be the way to go.

Thanks for the suggestion, though.

George

Furd
09-01-2007, 10:58 AM
Two of my kitties.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-6/1193775/DouglasandHissCat.JPG

jimbo
09-01-2007, 11:36 AM
The reason not to connect any kind of control to feed a receptacle, is that many devices which may inadvertently be plugged in to that receptacle will not work, may be damaged, and in fact could be dangerous.....if run through any kind of speed control or dimmer. You know exactly what you intend to do, but instructions and codes must protect assuming that anyone in your family, a visitor, a tradesman working in your house, or some subsequent owner, will have no idea what is going on there.

Best bet is to make the bowl heater thing a stand alone, self contained in a box, and plugged into a standard outlet.

It's your business, but I sort of side with the others who suggest you rethink this whole pet priority situation!!!

Majus
09-01-2007, 12:22 PM
The reason not to connect any kind of control to feed a receptacle, is that many devices which may inadvertently be plugged in to that receptacle will not work, may be damaged, and in fact could be dangerous.....if run through any kind of speed control or dimmer. You know exactly what you intend to do, but instructions and codes must protect assuming that anyone in your family, a visitor, a tradesman working in your house, or some subsequent owner, will have no idea what is going on there.

Best bet is to make the bowl heater thing a stand alone, self contained in a box, and plugged into a standard outlet.

It's your business, but I sort of side with the others who suggest you rethink this whole pet priority situation!!!

That was my idea, to make a separate, stand-alone box not on or in a wall which would have only the Speed Control and one outlet for the water bowl and clearly labelled as such. This box would, of course, have to be plugged into a power source which would be a wall receptacle.

In my layman's eyes at least, it seemed that it would work because the motor control would cut down on the power delivered to the bowl thus dropping the heat output.

Since the box itself would not be physically connected to the house, when I move it would leave with me.

George

CHH
09-01-2007, 12:55 PM
Why not just use an aquarium heater?

Majus
09-01-2007, 12:57 PM
Why not just use an aquarium heater?


I've never seen one. How do they work? Do they go into the water?

George

CHH
09-01-2007, 04:39 PM
I'm sure aquarium heaters come in many shapes and sizes. The ones I'm familar with are partially submerged and tend to be fragile. For a cat they should be fine. For a dog, no way.

Now go to a pet store or use google to check'em out.

Bob NH
09-01-2007, 05:41 PM
If you have a metal pan like the ones with space under them you could set it over a small light bulb like a christmas tree light or a night light. It would keep the water a few degrees above room temperature.

I would put the pan on a peice of ceramic tile that is raised slightly off the floor. Increase the insulation to raise the temperature of the water.

Dunbar Plumbing
09-01-2007, 06:21 PM
Warm water collecting airbourne particles in your home equates to a great bacteria culture.

My dog always sneezes after eating fried chicken so I wrap him in paper towels before he eats.

He also has a CD in the bank collecting 4.25%


GOOD LUCK

snafflekid
09-02-2007, 12:05 AM
I vote for the aquarium heater also.

Verdeboy
09-02-2007, 09:55 AM
Unless your pet likes to drink out of a fish tank-size bowl, I would personally stay away from the aquarium heater. Fido or Felix would be putting his/her tongue against a hot element that has live current running through it. Not a good idea in my book.

You can pick up a cheap variac for around 50.00. You just plug the variac into a standard wall outlet, plug the bowl into the variac, and adjust the voltage from 0-130 to get the desired temp.

Mike50
09-02-2007, 12:13 PM
Placing a Terrarium heater (under bowl) might just do the trick. Keep it simple.

CHH
09-02-2007, 02:06 PM
Unless your pet likes to drink out of a fish tank-size bowl, I would personally stay away from the aquarium heater. Fido or Felix would be putting his/her tongue against a hot element that has live current running through it.

The heaters are either sealed units or remote mount. The heating element is not exposed directly to the water. There is little danger or exposing a pet to electric shock. They are built to warm a tank full of fish after all (ok, ok, fish don't have toungues to worry 'bout but I think you get my drift).

tjbaudio
09-02-2007, 06:06 PM
I have 5 cats and 2 dogs! What I need is a watter that I can plum into the house and keep fresh water avalible at all times! I to would go to a large pet store that has lizards and reptiles and look at what they have. Most aquatium heaters I have seen look like a test tube with a plug and a knobe at the top. Other pet items to look at would include heated rocks and other terarium stuff.

As for what you have. The heated bowl is a resistive load similar to a lamp. SO you would need a dimmer or similar to reduce the out put of the heater. A fan controle works with the inductance of the moter to slow it down. Having said all that I would scrap the idea and spend some time at a large pet store.

Verdeboy
09-02-2007, 09:49 PM
I have 5 cats and 2 dogs! What I need is a watter that I can plum into the house and keep fresh water avalible at all times!

You can do that:

Outside way (Safest): Go to the swampcooler aisle and buy a hose bib adapter that you can screw on to any hose bib. This adapter will have a fitting where you can screw in a needle valve (or qtr turn shut-off). Then run 1/4" copper line from the needle valve to a float valve (also purchased in the swamp cooler section.) Drill the correct-sized hole in the tub of your choice and mount the float valve to the tub.

Inside way: Tap into a shut-off valve under one of your sinks. You can add a 1/4" tee with needle valve. Then follow above directions.

Note: If you do the inside method, you should always turn off the water to the "bowl" before leaving the house.
Note: If you do the outside method, you must winterize the line in colder weather.

abikerboy
09-03-2007, 03:10 AM
You can do that:

Outside way (Safest): Go to the swampcooler aisle and buy a hose bib adapter that you can screw on to any hose bib. This adapter will have a fitting where you can screw in a needle valve (or qtr turn shut-off). Then run 1/4" copper line from the needle valve to a float valve (also purchased in the swamp cooler section.) Drill the correct-sized hole in the tub of your choice and mount the float valve to the tub.

Inside way: Tap into a shut-off valve under one of your sinks. You can add a 1/4" tee with needle valve. Then follow above directions.

Note: If you do the inside method, you should always turn off the water to the "bowl" before leaving the house.
Note: If you do the outside method, you must winterize the line in colder weather.
You can also buy a pet watering dish that uses a 5-gallon plastic water bottle like the type that goes on a water cooler inserted upside down...works for dogs or cats...about $10 at wally world, if I remember right.

abikerboy
09-03-2007, 03:13 AM
Why not just use an aquarium heater?
That wont work well unless you have a deep enough water bowl. The element in a aquarium heater is at the bottom of the glass tube, while the copper t-stat is almost at the top. If the water drops much below the copper sensor, the heater keeps heating and the glass tube breaks...had that happen in an aquarium once.

abikerboy
09-03-2007, 03:16 AM
Suggestion we tried on kittens once...seemed to work well. They were hand fed with warm milk and an eye dropper. When we took them off the milk, they wouldnt drink water if it was cold, so we used a stainless steel bowl (a very reflective one) and placed a clip on lamp with a reflector and a 60 watt bulb about 18" above the bowl. Warm water grows things in it very fast, so change it every day, and keep the bowl wiped out good.

BrianJohn
09-03-2007, 07:08 AM
The problem with the Variac is the bowl is thermostatically controlled, so no matter what you do to the input the thermostat will try to keep the water at the manufactures predetermined temperature.

Modifying the thermostat (bypassing it) would not be a good idea, as no matter what you did with the input voltage there is always the possibility of fire due to lack of water and it cooling effect.

Possibly replacing the thermostat?

jimbo
09-03-2007, 07:23 AM
Check out www.smarthome.com (http://www.smarthome.com) They have some interesting dispenser/filter devices for cat and dog bowls.

Verdeboy
09-03-2007, 10:01 AM
The problem with the Variac is the bowl is thermostatically controlled, so no matter what you do to the input the thermostat will try to keep the water at the manufactures predetermined temperature.

Modifying the thermostat (bypassing it) would not be a good idea, as no matter what you did with the input voltage there is always the possibility of fire due to lack of water and it cooling effect.

Possibly replacing the thermostat?

What makes you think there's a thermostat involved here? But even if there is, if there's not enough voltage to raise the temp, what difference does it make if the thermostat "wants" to raise the temp? Isn't it like an A/C that has run out of freon? It can run all day and never reach the desired temp.

Fire? What exactly what will burn? The manufacturer must have taken into account the fact that the bowl would run dry, even at full voltage. So, it's hard to imagine it will burn up at low voltage when the bowl runs dry.

Verdeboy
09-03-2007, 10:37 AM
You can also buy a pet watering dish that uses a 5-gallon plastic water bottle like the type that goes on a water cooler inserted upside down...works for dogs or cats...about $10 at wally world, if I remember right.

I thought of that, but my aching back kept me from suggesting it.:D

tjbaudio
09-03-2007, 12:28 PM
You can also buy a pet watering dish that uses a 5-gallon plastic water bottle like the type that goes on a water cooler inserted upside down...works for dogs or cats...about $10 at wally world, if I remember right.
I had one like that. One of the cats bit it while it was full and it leaked all the water out. I also tried a farm bowl with a float valve. It failed in several spots and each time I ended up with a wet floor. I have another tank type unit now and it is a PITA to fill but it is too thick to bite. I will put in a new automatic one once I have a floor drain to put it near.

Mike50
09-03-2007, 02:23 PM
HEATED PET WATER BOWL $19.95:
http://cozywinters.com/shop/kh-2010-2020.html


you're welcome. ;)

good luck.
Mike

frenchie
09-03-2007, 03:34 PM
Um, Mike?


I bought a heated pet bowl for indoor use, but it heats the water way too hot since it was intended for outdoor cold climate use.

...

Mike50
09-03-2007, 04:30 PM
HEATED PET WATER BOWL $19.95:
http://cozywinters.com/shop/kh-2010-2020.html

Hmmm. Is this the same bowl you tried Majus..??

Mike

sbrn33
09-04-2007, 06:19 AM
Um...could you not just go get yourself a lamp dimmer. Plug it in then plug the bowl into the dimmer. If you turn it down far enough you shouldn't need a thermostat or any other control.

I wonder if this pet bowl shouldn't be GFCI protected???

Verdeboy
09-04-2007, 10:01 AM
Um...could you not just go get yourself a lamp dimmer. Plug it in then plug the bowl into the dimmer. If you turn it down far enough you shouldn't need a thermostat or any other control.

I wonder if this pet bowl shouldn't be GFCI protected???
The ones I looked at are all ALCI protected.

Regarding the dimmer, it is made to dim lights.
Regarding the Variac, it is often used successfully to control the temp. in heating devices. In the laboratory, it is used to control voltage in heating tape and heating mantles, etc...

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.barnard.edu/chem/orgolab/media/lab6still2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.barnard.edu/chem/orgolab/lab6.htm&h=160&w=240&sz=19&hl=en&start=16&um=1&tbnid=uotvLP7pHRI3XM:&tbnh=73&tbnw=110&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dheating%2Bmantles%2Bvariac%26svnum%3D 10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den

sbrn33
09-04-2007, 10:37 AM
Right but do you really want that contraption sitting on your kitchen floor(or wherever you keep it.
A lamp dimmer is about $4 at any hardware store

geniescience
09-04-2007, 10:38 AM
....pet bowl is 120V, 60Hz, 75W....75W is too much, so you now know that to heat the amount of water the bowl contains, you need less energy than to make one incandescent light bulb shine. That is not much. If you position the bowl at the coldest corner of your house, perhaps near an outside door, it might do a good job of giving lukewarm water in January AND compensating for a cold spot in the house at the same time.

Pets are smart enough to use a switch to turn things on and off. A switch that pets can use, built into a box that is stable on the floor, is a toy at first and then a tool giving them control of their known universe. Well, almost. If and or when the water gets too hot, they can switch it off, and enjoy observing the temperature of the water go lower and lower until it's "just right." Like Goldilocks did with the porridge bowls.

At first, they will notice you turning the big switch on in the morning. Later, they will do it themselves.

Aquarium (fish tank) heaters cost very little, and all have a little thermostat. Used fish tanks can be had at garage sales. They are all big compared to a drinking bowl. That is good. The bigger the better. One side of the opening is for the heater-sensor, far from the pets, not to be toyed with. Your pets will love a big warm object containing warm water they can lap up whenever they want. BTW, I once used a mid size aquarium to warm up the coldest corner of my living room. It evened out the sensation of warmth in the room. Probably even met ASHRAE standards regarding temperature differentials across a room.

David

Mike50
09-04-2007, 11:22 AM
Right but do you really want that contraption sitting on your kitchen floor(or wherever you keep it.
A lamp dimmer is about $4 at any hardware store

LOL
This thread reminds me of Rube Goldberg.




Personally speaking for my particular application with 2 large Pitbulls...I would just buy a cheap aquarium heater and straddle it on top of the large 2 gallon plastic utility bucket they now use inside and out.

I'm referring to the old 9-10 inch "test tube" style.
The smallest one available- used for 10 gallon tanks.

The lightbulb is also a great idea depending on the space.

M.

PEW
09-04-2007, 12:51 PM
Here we are with a dog what want's ice cubes in it's bowl.

geniescience
09-04-2007, 01:05 PM
a light dimmer should work, since a heater is a resistive load, and a dimmer is made for resistive loads (light bulbs). Unless there is more to know.

I know that fan motors are inductive loads, so their power factor puts them off by a half cycle, and AC "dimmed" doesn't work unless the power factor is corrected, and that is the main reason why "dimmers" don't work on anything other than lights.

So the friend who said not to use a dimmer was probably thinking of that, but he wasn't thinking that resistive heaters are just resistive loads, like light bulbs are. You don't need a "varable speed controller" here since it's not a motor.

It's a toaster.

David
p.s. it's an expression. "It's a toaster", a way of saying, "it's a resistive load" and "it does nothing but suck power and give you heat" -- Works well when the device in question was designed for high tech purposes, and all it does is generate heat. Not as funny here. Oh well...
-d

jadnashua
09-04-2007, 01:18 PM
Depends...if the bowl has an internal thermostat AND you use an electronic dimmer, when the thermostat opens, it MAY open the circuit of the dimmer and it won't turn back on. It should work with at least some dimmers, the older analog, reostat controlled jobs will probably work.

geniescience
09-04-2007, 01:32 PM
they remind me of toasters too. Those old rheostats probably just took all the power that wasn't going to the light bulb and then turned it into heat. Along with a little vibration and noise.

So they will give you the right kind of current wave to run a pet bowl (hot water) heater. Varying the power so you get your variable output you were looking for. Warmer or less warmer water.

david

CHH
09-04-2007, 02:15 PM
It is apparent that many folks have ideas on how to properly warm this pet dish full (or not so full) of water.

Obviously the only way to resolve the issue and develop a consensus solution is to conduct laboratory and field study of all suggested solutions in order to objectively determine the proper solution.

My group proposes a study in three parts:

1) Literature review and alternate solution proposals
In this phase of the study all proposed solutions will be researched for cost and feasibility. Additional alternate solutions may be discovered and added to the possible solution matrix. The proposed solutions will be ranked in terms of life cycle cost (30%), practicality (50%), and ease of application (20%)

2) Laboratory investigation
The top three ranked proposed solutions will be identified and tested in laboratory environment

3) Field testing
The best solution identified by laboratory testing will be field tested and any required modifications will be identified.

Timeline & Cost: It is anticipated that this study will require 3 years and a budget of approximately 120,000 $/year to complete. Annual progress reports will be generated along with a final report which details all findings.

Ok, who's in for funding?

Mike50
09-04-2007, 07:39 PM
Right. Very funny...
No funding here...but I will donate the services of my 2 pitbulls to test out the prototype. :D




OCCAMS RAZOR says:

"entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem”

which translates to:

“entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.”


IOW- "All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the right one.."


In any event it appears that Majus is missing in action.
Can't say I blame him. lol

M.

jadnashua
09-04-2007, 08:47 PM
What about just setting a normal bowl on say a heating pad set on low? they have a thermostat and you can play with it to get just the right temp. You might find them trying to sleep on it in the winter.

geniescience
09-06-2007, 08:25 PM
just to be sure we got this right:

1.) A heater is a resistive load. There is no motor in it. So there is no inductive load.

2.) A dimmer handles resistive loads. A dimmer made for lights.

3.) The thermostat in the heater probably is triggered by heat, so power being reduced has no impact on the thermostat, and does not interfere with the thermostat operation.

4.) any dimmer -- made for light bulbs -- will work here.


Please confirm or refute. Electrical sages and less than sages too


David

jadnashua
09-07-2007, 06:21 AM
Some electronic dimmers won't turn back on again by themselves if the load is switched off; some will. So, you need to be careful of the type you choose...one with a rheostat is more likely to work well than one that uses a rocker switch to adjust the level.

HandyHarry
09-16-2007, 03:12 AM
It's amazing how you folks tend to over complicate stuff. Plug the bowl into a $4.00 timer and set it to cycle 4-5 times a day. Sheesh!

Backglass
09-16-2007, 07:53 AM
I brew my own beer, and have the need to keep the "wort" (the fermenting malt liquid) at a constant temperature.

I use a temperature controller like this one. Even though your pets aren't making beer, it would keep the water at a constant temperature. ;)

http://www.northernbrewer.com/temp-control.html

Digital
http://www.northernbrewer.com/pics/fullsize/digital-temp-controller.jpg

Analog
http://www.northernbrewer.com/pics/fullsize/johnson-controller.jpg

jimbo
09-16-2007, 11:05 AM
I use a temperature controller like this one. Even though your pets aren't making beer, it would keep the water at a constant temperature. ;)

http://www.northernbrewer.com/temp-control.html

Digital
http://www.northernbrewer.com/pics/fullsize/digital-temp-controller.jpg



Until they chew the wire!

Mike50
09-16-2007, 02:45 PM
Right. Absolutely not--That's not pet safe---bad application.

samuelnaani
01-02-2008, 01:10 AM
:)The http://ww.dogbedsandmore.com for Dog Bowl is one possible solution to this common problem but be careful to feed the right amount, if you have an over eater on your hands.

Cookie
01-02-2008, 05:02 AM
I don't want to serve her _hot_ water, I want to serve slightly warm water since she prefers that. I keep my house quite cold and after the water bowl has been out for a while the water gets too cold and she won't drink it.

George

Maybe you need to turn the heat up in your house.

jimbo
01-02-2008, 05:53 AM
Or maybe you need to get a pet who is not so darn fussy!

Cookie
01-02-2008, 07:49 AM
There is another solution. Put the water bowl right where the heating vent is, it will blow on the bowl when it comes on.

Dunbar Plumbing
01-02-2008, 09:29 AM
Spam is what drudged this thread up, again.

My dog makes me sign a non-compete contract every time I take him for a walk. Times a changin!

Alectrician
01-02-2008, 11:30 AM
Get a 2 dollar crock pot from the thrift shop.