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i have a heating element that plugs into the wall. can i reduce the voltage and make it not as hot, if so how? Answered


There are devices called variacs that are essentially big variable transformers. They plug into the wall, and the output can be adjusted from 0 to 120V

would i be able to plug the heating element in to it? i was also thinking about using resistors, but i tried to use some, and they all started smoking. would i need a resistor rated at a higher wattage, or what? the heating element says 250 watts on it

Yes, the variac has a standard 120 outlet that is varied by the knob on top. Resistors would need to be very highly rated to withstand the current you are pulling with the heater. A variac is a better choice because you have full progressive control of the voltage

Couldn't you rig up a dimmer switch? Or the pet store has this thing called a rheostat that would work the same way.