Why is my enclosure not making it to my desired temp?

Question:

I have everything setup and my enclosure does not make it to my desired temperature.  Why?

 

Answer:

This situation is rarely a problem with the thermostat.  The important part is to check the thermostat to see if the screen shows 100% power.  If so then the thermostat is passing all the power through to the heating device.  The enclosure is not making it up to temperature because the heating device is not powerful enough to reach your desired temp (or at least where you have placed the temperature probe).  To prove this is the case you can unplug your heating device from the thermostat and plug it directly into the wall.  Then monitor the temperature on the thermostat.  In order to be a good match the heating device should be able to reach and exceed your desired temperature by a 2-3 degrees and it should be able to reach that within 20 minutes.  If it takes longer or it just barely makes it to your target but cannot exceed then you have a poor match between the enclosure size, wattage of heating device, room temperature, and your desired enclosure temp.  (Do not leave the enclosure directly plugged into the wall unmonitored.  Unplug after you have confirmed with your testing.)

 

There are some ways to fix this:

1.  Increase your room temperature by a couple of degrees until your enclosure regulates well.

2.  Add additional identical heating devices to the enclosure. 

3.  Swap out the current heating device for one rated at a higher wattage.

4. Change the enclosure location in the room to keep it away of things that rob heat like outside walls or furnace registers.

 

(Note:  If you have a multi output thermostat be very carefull that the probes and heating are matched to the same output/probe jacks on the thermostat.  Mismatching a probe with the heating device (probe #1 in tank #1 but the heating from tank #1 accidentally plugged into the #2 ac outlet) typically will cause one enclosure to overheat and one enclosure to not make it to the target temp.)