Originally Posted by blucoondawg
So I have been thinking on some sort of large capacity water system for my coop for the last few years since it's just simply a pain in the rear to carry pails of water out every day. I am considering ordering some horizontal nipples and running them into a 55 gallon blue plastic drum, insulating the drum somehow, and sinking something like a stock tank heater into it, then I could just drag a hose out there once a month or so instead of dealing with buckets daily.
I don't know if any one had tried this but how much wattage do you think would be required to keep an insulated barrel thawed, we see cold spells between -15 and-30F quite regularly with the extremes being over night generally. One website suggested a 750 watt unit in my area but that is considering a stock tank outdoors not an insulated barrel, I think I could get by on far less wattage?
how much your heater is going to use depends entirely on the type and thickness of your insulation.
When the website is sugesting you use a 750 watt unit it doesn't mean it actually uses 750 watt (per hour), but of course this depends on your setup. I would probably use a thermostat with a setpoint 5-10 deg. C (40-50F) that regulates the heating element on/off. This safes a lot of electricity and makes sure the water doesn't get too hot. I would probably use a 2kW heater in stead.
But if you just plug it in directly so it is running constantly it of course will use 750 watt/hour, which does seem like quite a lot. You can get 1 gallon of water from faucet temp to boiling temp in about 35-40 minutes (incl. 20 % energy waste) with that. I'll run some quick calculations and get back to you if you give me some estimations on the following:
- How much water do you use per moth?
- how much insulation and what kind will you use? ( estimation will suffice. just so I know difference between 200mm styrofoam or 2 layers news paper)
- Will you be using a thermostat or just just have the heating element running constantly?