I seem to be cursed when it comes to heaters! Most of the ones I buy just plain don't work! I've had to return them countless times...and I have a ton. In some of my tanks, they'll work, while in others they won't at all!
Ex. When I had Albatross in a 3.3 G Critter Keeper, the Marineland Stealth 50 watt heater kept the water at a steady 80 degrees. Same heater was transfered to the 10 gallon, but only kept the water at 75 degrees. Now in my new boy's 4 gallon tank, it doesn't seem to be working at all! I just touched the water and it's freezing-no wonder he isn't active.
Granted, the basement is pretty chilly I guess, but I don't get why I have such bad luck with heaters. Is there some weird trick that I'm not getting, or something? I let it sit for about 10 minutes and then plug it in.