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Laguna Power Heat 500 watt De-icer

By Stephen G. Noble |

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The Laguna Power Heat 500 Watt Pond De-icer was installed in a 300-gallon, flower bed pond located on the border of plant hardiness zones 5b and 6a. The unit performed flawlessly during extended periods of cold dipping down to -8 Degrees Fahrenheit (-22 Celsius). The 'UFO' looking heater is constructed from stainless steel and is very durable.  I purchased my Laguna heater in the fall of 2013 and installed it just prior to a hard freeze. The unit performed flawlessly throughout the winter.

Laguna 500 watt pond de-icer
Looking like a hovering UFO, the Laguna floats on the water with its LED indicating the unit has power. Photo by Stephen G. Noble

My negative comments involve the dismal instructions and a confusing customer service response. In our litigious society, it is understandable for any company to list pages of disclaimers and warnings. But, the operating instructions should be clearer and grouped in one area. For example, proper removal of the unit from the pond instructions are tucked in section E. of the safety instructions. The cleaning instructions appear prior to basic operating instructions. Nothing in the pamphlet describes the very useful operational LED lights. These lights are a feature making this unit so very unique. Red and green LED's provide heating and 'I'm working but not heating' visual information. Very useful.  I contacted the manufacturer for clarification of the lighting operation and the water temperature necessary for the unit to cycle. Here is the response I received, "The unit is activated when the water temperature reaches 36 degrees. When you plug the unit in the light is green, warming up. Once the heater reaches its set temperature the light will change to red. Once the heater warms up the water surronding [sic] the heater the red light will go off. When the water starts to cool the light will come back on to heat it up. The red light will cycle on and off. I hope this helps." 


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Here is my response, "What it is doing is different than what you describe. The green light is on almost all of the time.
The red light comes on occasionally and I think this is when the unit is heating and the water temperature is colder than 36 degrees.

So my question:  Is it normal for the green light to be on non-stop if the water temperature is warmer than 36 Degrees?"
I received an automated response to this second request saying they would get back to me in 10 days.  As of this writing, it has been more than three months without a reply.   

Here are my observations after using the heater for a full winter's season:

  1. There is an LED positioned at the top of the heater.  The LED changes from green to red depending on the water temperature.
  2. The green LED indicates the unit has power but is not heating.  This very convenient feature makes it possible, with just a glance, to be reassured the unit is working.  The green LED is visible day or night, even in blinding, snow reflected sunlight. 
  3. A red LED is visible only when the unit is heating.  I was pleased to find the unit would not just continuously heat in sub-zero weather.   The Laguna's very precise twin thermostats cause the unit to cycle on and off every few minutes even in the most extreme cold.  This feature makes the Laguna very energy efficient. 
  4. The manufacturer advertises this heater is safe for small, plastic ponds.  I wondered if its stainless steel construction would melt the plastic if the unit is heating, and comes into direct contact for an extended period.  After a full winter season, there was never any problem so it is definitely plastic safe.  Pond heaters are tools for keeping a hole open in the ice to allow gas exchange rather than bringing the water temperature up as for example, an aquarium heater.   But the Laguna kept nearly the entire 300-gallon pond and waterfall ice free on all but the coldest days. 
  5. The Laguna is supplied with a wonderfully long, 22-foot power cord, which is probably the longest of any heater on the market. 
  6. The stainless steel Laguna Power Heat is very easy to clean.  The yellow shipping box  with form-fitting, Styrofoam insert is ideal for summer storage.

The Laguna Power Heat 500 watt De-icer is an outstanding pond heater that I fully recommend.  Enjoy your pond!

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Reader Comments

Michael    Chicago, IL

4/19/2014 9:51:57 AM

Very good and honest. Hard to find real fair reviews but this one is. I wish I had gotten one of these instead of the one I have!

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