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A word of caution

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  • A word of caution

    Well, just got a big scare this weekend. The wife and I were getting ready to go out Saturday night and I caught a whiff a a strange smell. I just thought is was my wife drying her just-permed hair. You know how aweful that can smell.

    Went out of my closet and saw she was done, but the smell was getting stronger. I immediately became very nrevous and ran to the tank room, small getting stronger the closer I got. I openned the door to the fish room and the wave of smake and the putrid smell of burning plastic hit me in the face. Good news, no visable signs of flames, but the smoke was almost unbearable and probably borderline toxic. Quickly found the source though, one of the WON titanium heater controlers was melting and sending up the putrid black smoke along with a little soot. Unplugged the heaters (had two hooked up) and dumped them both in a bucket of water. Half the casing and contents of one heater had melted to nothing and started to melt the other one beside it. The wall that the heater controllers were hanging on was black with burnt plastic.

    It took almost three days for the smell to go away in the tank viewing room and my fish room still smells, although it is getting better daily. I am really scared to think what might have happenned if I had not been there. The really bad thing is that I only really ever used the heaters to heat the water when I first set up the tank. I don't think they have had to run since.

    The other thing is that I did not have a photoelectric smoke detector in that room, rather one that was more useful at detecting open flames. Needless to say, that has been rectified.

    So, if you have one of the WON pro heaters, beware. I had two of the 500 watt heaters.

  • #2
    Thanks for the heads up... mine only lasted about two weeks though before it would not come on any more.

    “People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.”
    ...Charles F. Kettering


    • #3
      Thats really crazy.. My son had a friend staying over 2-3 weeks ago.. I was sleeping and at about 7 am my son and his friend come flying up stairs yelling the tank is on fire the tank is on fire. I could tell by there faces and the size of there eyes that they were not kidding.. I do not think I touched the floor until I got to the tank.. As soon as I hit the stairs the smoke was overtaking me. The smoke alarm actually sounded it was so smokey. I yelled at my wife to grab the fire extinguisher the flames were pretty high. I actually sprayed them to get the fire down enough to unplug them and get everything under control. I was happy we were home because I actually think we may have lost the house. My 2 dogs stay in a kennel about 45 feet away also when we are not home. Damn the thought of something happening to them makes me sick to my stomach. I still have not replaced my heaters and they were damn won titaniums also. I am getting another heater though tomorrow and going ebo jager.. My tank has been fluctuating about 6 degrees a day since this happend and I want to keep it within 2 degree swing.. Glad you made out ok aswell. I think won def has a problem... I had 2 300 watt heaters...



      • #4
        Wow, thanks for the heads up. I was going to get that same brand.


        • #5
          BTW, you guys should contact the manufacturer about this.


          • #6
            I've been reading up on this and it seems that it is not an isolated incident and not something confined to either the digital or analog controllers, they all have problems, problems that could prove fatal.

            I have e-mailed a couple of the larger on-line retailers to "put them on notice" that they are selling a product that is turning out to be a fire hazzard.

            I have also found that the Company's response has been less that 100%.

            I got to mine before any real flames, so I was lucky, but my 17 month old son sleeps about 20 feet from the tank and I sleep about 40 feet from the tank.

            Now, there is an exhaust fan in that room that runs almost constantly which could also delay the time it takes for me to realize something is wrong. The whole situation is very scary. Suprisingly, my wife seemed almost unphazed......


            • #7
              There was a thread about this on RC quite a while back, quite a few people have had exactly the same problem, there is no way I would have one. Also amazed they are still selling them, particularly in todays litigious society.
              And Jeff, don't be too quick to get an Ebo, my first one stuck on and nearly fried the tank, but it was two more ebos later both bad experiences that I decided never to get another one. Turns out Ebo is now run by different people and making a poor quality product. Now I'm using Tronic heaters, nothing flash but a good reliable basic heater that does the job.


              • #8

                Check this -


                • #9
                  Oops, just noticed you're already in the thread VegasMike!


                  • #10
                    Yikes here's another one. -

                    Putting all this together I'm sure it will be a matter of time until somebodies house goes up in flames, could even be deaths.
                    Last edited by wasp; 05-11-2005, 06:54 PM.


                    • #11
                      Wires leading to nowhere......sounds like a fire hazzard just waiting to kill someone. That is pure negligence if that is true. The nice thing is that I had two of these heaters, exactly the same, bought at the same time. One is totally melted and of no use for disection. The other only has surface casing melts so I should be able to open it up and see what's going on.

                      I also left the Company an e-mail putting them "on notice" that they may have defective heaters that are a fire Hazzard.


                      • #12
                        i am glad u catch this on time...damn,i could of be in trouble...

                        but,what accually happend to the heater?do u think it was somekind of problem inside the controler?



                        • #13
                          Don't really know. The only thing I know is that the Controller caught on fire, melted and was close to catching the wall on fire. The controller was very isolated other than another 500 watt WON heater controller next to it that was partially melted by the one that caught fire.


                          • #14
                            Sorry to heat that Mike! Glad you caught it in time. I recently replaced my Won heater too. It did the same as yours. I was actually standing in front of it when it happened. The temperature was reading over 90 and it kept going up to 100. But I touched the water and it was fine. I dotn know what would of happened if it was left alone. I unplugged and replaced it. As for the RC thread.. there was one a while back and I opened up mine back then too and it is not grounded. You can see the green wire clipped off in the pic of my old heater:


                            • #15
                              I will post a pic of my 2 won heaters. You will not beleive it.. Oh yea I would say in maybe another minute or so I would have been in REAL trouble. I actually was glad I had a little fire extinguisher handy. I keep a few around the house for little emergencies and it paid off big time. The flames on mine were so large already I could not have gotten in there to grab them. Mine was also throwing sout out like crazy as Mike mentioned.. Allistar TY for the heads up.. I run a controller though so no power is on to the heater unless it drops under the temp setting... Def won needs to TAKE notice.