How do I Know if My Aquarium Heater is Working

For an aquarium, the heater is one of the indispensable and important equipment, just like a person’s heart, a good heater is also the heart of an aquarium that can function well. Currently, hobbyists living in the Northern Hemisphere or keeping some saltwater fish may not need to pay much attention to the heater, but if you are keeping tropical fish, or if you are currently living in the Southern Hemisphere, then given that your winter is not over yet, you need to keep an eye on your aquarium and be extra careful in the water temperature, after all, once the water temperature is out of balance, it may become a potential killer of your beloved fish.

This is the complete guide to showing you to know if the aquarium heater is working and what should you do when your heater not working.
aquarium heater maintanence

How many different types of aquarium heaters are on the market today

Thermostatic and substrate heaters are two of the most popular types of aquarium heater on the market. These are both installed under the substrate of the aquarium and are completely invisible. They are both excellent for live plants but require a significant amount of setup time. In addition, a good substrate heater must be placed at the exact level of the water in the tank, which can be difficult if the tank is full of gravel or sand.

Immersible aquarium heaters are typically positioned on the side of the aquarium. These are usually made of heat-proof plastic and are ideal for large, aggressive aquariums. They are a bit more expensive than other heaters, but they are also more effective than other types. These heaters may not work as efficiently as other types, and they are not very efficient, as they are located outside the tank. This is why they’re often used for small fish tanks.

Substrate aquarium heaters are designed to be placed on the bottom of the aquarium and are usually attached to the substrate. They facilitate gentle water movement to promote plant growth. However, they’re not very powerful enough to heat the whole tank. Another type of aquarium heater is the in-sump heater. These are quite rare, but they’re situated inside the sump system of the aquarium. These are not very efficient, but they can still be useful in some situations.
Aquarium Heater is Working

How to determine whether the aquarium heater is working

The water temperature of an aquarium should be in a neutral zone. If the heater fails to maintain this temperature, your fish will likely fry. If the tank is too cold, you may need to replace the heater. Using a thermometer to check the water temperature is not a reliable way to ensure your heater is working properly. If you are unsure of its state, you can also use a digital thermometer.

If your heater doesn’t increase the temperature, it probably isn’t working. When testing a new aquarium heater, turn the unit off first, and then turn it on. Usually, the temperature of the water should go up by a few degrees, but you may need to test the unit several times to get the right reading. If you see that the temperature of the water in your tank stays around the same during several tests, it means that the heater is not working properly.

If you’re not sure how to tell if your aquarium heater is working, you can try to check the water temperature with your hand. First, wash your hands in cold water, so you can see the temperature difference. Then, hold your hand close to the heater, as far away as you can, then gradually move closer until the hand reaches the warmer water. The water closest to the heater should be the warmest.
How do I Know if the Heater is Working

What are the signals when a heater error occurs

Maybe some people have the question: “What are the signals when a heater error occurs?” Heaters have their system error code. Let’s take the hygger 925 300-Watt Aquarium Heater as an example.

The Hygger 925 heater has a separate sensitive thermometer, which is located on the base and must be completely submerged in water. The unit automatically stops once the water temperature reaches the preset temperature and restarts if the temperature is 1 F below.

To avoid possible electric shock, special care should be taken since water is employed in the use of aquarium equipment. For each of the following situations, do not attempt to repair it by yourself; return the heater to an authorized service facility for service or desert the heater.

A. If the heater shows any sign of abnormal working, unplug the power and remove the heater from the water, cold down for 15 minutes before checking it.

B. Carefully examine the heater after installation. It should not be plugged in if there is water on parts not intended to be wet.

C. Do not operate the heater if it has a damaged cord or plug if it is malfunctioning, or if it is dropped or damaged in any manner. The power cord of this heater cannot be replaced, if the cord is damaged, the heater should be discarded.

D. To avoid the possibility of the heater plug getting wet, position the aquarium stand and tank to one side of a wall-mounted receptacle, to prevent water from dripping onto the receptacle or plug. A “drip loop”, shown in the figure below, should be arranged by the user for each cord connecting the heater to the receptacle.

The “drip loop” is the part of the cord below the level of the receptacle or the connector. If an extension cord is used, prevent water from traveling along the cord and coming in contact with the receptacle. If the plug or receptacle does get wet, DO NOT unplug the cord. Disconnect the fuse to the circuit breaker that supplies power to the heater. Then unplug and examine for the presence of water in the receptacle.
aquarium heater cord

What to check first if your heater isn’t working

If your heater stops working in a fish tank, the first thing you should do is check the thermostat. It should be set to the appropriate temperature, and if you can’t get the heat to come on, reset it. If this doesn’t work, you should check the internal wiring. It may be faulty, and you should call an expert to handle it. However, if the problem is solved after resetting the thermostat, you can try to fix it yourself.

If your fish tank has bad smells, check the power switch on the main electrical panel. If you can’t see the switch, check the thermostat’s wiring. Make sure it’s clean, you can replace the fuse. If the power switch is broken, you can splice the wires back together with electrical tape. You’ll need to reset the main power switch when there’s a problem. Otherwise, you’ll lose all the settings and your heater will revert to the default setting.

You may need to replace the thermocouple if you’re not confident doing it yourself. If it still doesn’t work, call a professional to check it.
check the aquairum heater

How to extend the life of the heater

The following are a few things to do to prolong the life of your water heater.

One of the easiest ways to extend the life of an aquarium heater is by doing regular maintenance. Most heating and cooling systems come with an annual maintenance plan that includes cleaning and inspections. However, some maintenance plans do not include regular service. In some cases, this can lead to costly repair bills. In such situations, it is best to get the system serviced by a professional.

To extend the life of your heater, consider hiring a professional technician or washing it with clear water on a schedule, when the heater gets dirty, put an effervescent tablet into the water, waiting for foaming to complete before scrubbing the heater with a clean rag.

You can perform a few simple steps during the annual service to ensure its long life. First, drain and flush the tank. Flushing the tank is important to keep it clean and free from sediment buildup. Draining and flushing the water heater tank every four to six months is best to extend its life. It should take no longer than 30 minutes. If you notice sediment, turn on the water pump to the heater and flush it.

If your heater is set too high, the temperature will be too high. The heater will struggle to maintain the temperature and will cycle on and off more often. This will wear the parts faster and reduce their efficiency. Avoiding the setting problem is an easy way to increase the life of your heater. Once you have checked the water quality, you can choose a replacement model or install a new one.
setting the aquarium heater

A buying guide for aquarium heaters

If you own a large aquarium, you may be interested in purchasing an aquarium heater. However, most betta fish owners will not be running around with 50-gallon tanks. First, it’s important to understand that aquarium heaters can be expensive. It’s also important to know what they’re used for and how they work.

The size of your tank will dictate the type of aquarium heater you need. Most manufacturers will provide a chart that helps you decide which type of aquarium heater works best for your tank. You can also go by tank size to determine which type of aquarium heater you need. If the tank you’re heating doesn’t reach the level you want, you’ll need to buy a bigger heater.

An inline heater is the most convenient option, as they don’t create clutter and are much easier to use. Submerging aquarium heaters can be hard to manage in small tanks, and they’re not ideal for aggressive fish. An inline aquarium heater is the most common option for beginner hobbyists, as they don’t take up too much room. You can also purchase budget models if you’re on a budget.

Related Products

hygger 300 Watt Aquarium Heater
hygger 925 Aquarium Heater Fish Guard

hygger 300 Watt Fish Tank Heater

hygger Fully Submersible Aquarium Heater 500W/800W
Submersible Heater Temperature Controller

hygger Fully Submersible 500W Aquarium Heater


Comments (8)

  1. Bought this on the 2nd January 2023 and now it just showing HH on the displays when either inside or outside of the tank. How do I reset this ?

    Andy Skarpellis
    Jun 22, 2023 Reply
    • Hi Andy Skarpellis,
      Sorry for the inconvenience caused to you, which heater mode do you bought on Jan?
      hygger exclusive customer service is ready to help you solve the problem, please pay attention to your mailbox.
      Or you can mail us via [email protected] with your order No.

      hygger team

      Jun 25, 2023 Reply
  2. I just bought a HG045 I cant seem to change temp.

    Elizabeth Olvera
    Jun 1, 2023 Reply
  3. Same as above comment,but only 7wks old.

    Sep 20, 2022 Reply
    • Hi m.mcmaster,
      Please contact Hygger Customer Service Dpt. with your order No., just email [email protected],
      or you can leave your detailed info in the Need Help.
      Hygger customer service will contact you ASAP.

      Thank you
      Hygger Blog

      Sep 21, 2022 Reply
  4. I need help figuring out why my heater has stopped heating. I bought the heater in January and it stopped working yesterday. The digital readout says it is heating, but it is not.
    What can I do to get it to start working?

    Apr 10, 2022 Reply
    • Hi John,
      Please contact Hygger Customer Service Dpt. with your order No., there is superior customer service for you.
      Just email to [email protected]

      Thank you
      Hygger Blog

      Apr 11, 2022 Reply

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