Return to the Growing from Seed Forum | Post a Follow-Up

using heat cables

Posted by mommoboys z6 OH (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 16, 12 at 9:45

I have a chrome wire 5 shelf unit that I have placed shop lights in and want to use for seed germination. I saw a set-up where they just wound a heating cable on the wire shelf and set the flats directly on the cable. Can you do that? I thought the cables needed to be buried in sand and the flats set on top of the sand. But if it would work, (with a thermostat) it would be much easier to do. Does anyone have any experience with using cables this way?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: using heat cables

I have fastened heat cables under hardware cloth being careful that the cable does not touch or cross itself. I just tied the cable to the underside of the wire with string. It lasted for years. I would not recommend setting pots or anything else directly on the cable. I have tried burying the cable in wet sand with very poor results. The sand soon dries out and is a very poor heat conductor. Al

RE: using heat cables

We use a sand bed with our heating cables, and depending on the wattage of the cable, you need to adjust the sand depth. For ex. our 25w hydrokable did not perform very well with sand that had a depth of 3/4" or more on top of the least for keeping our peppers toasty in a cool room. But, our 50w cable, easily chugs out enough heat to be buried a good inch under the sand and keep the pepper seeds at a toasty 80 degrees. We also do not keep our sand moist, in our experience the wet sand only made a difference (keeping things cooler) if the wattage of the cables were too low.
Also, I see no reason you couldn't use the cables on the wire shelves (at least the ones I use)...although I am thinking they will be a lot more inefficient due to heating the surrounding air as well as the wire shelves.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Growing from Seed Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here