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Concrete Block Water Heater

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

In engineering speak - there needs to be "thermal mass" to hold the heat.  The tin warmers can't concentrate enough focused heat to keep the water ice free.  Here is an inexpensive alternative to the cookie tin heater:

I made a coop water heater that seems to be working very well.  Today it is 0F outside and it was 20F in the coop.  I bought a standard base cleat light socket from the hardware store and screwed it onto the center of a board about 12"x12".  I attached a length of lamp cord to the cleat socket and added a plug end (hardware store).  I swept away all the deep litter from the floor where I wanted to set the heater.  Set down the board, and centered a 6" thick concrete block over the socket.  Make sure there is no combustible bedding or straw in the open cell of the block.  I bent the edges of a sheet of galvanized flashing to create a water shedding lid for the block.  I set my plastic waterer on top.  I changed the bulb to 75W when the temps dropped, but a 40W was keeping the water ice free just fine.  All the extra heat keeps the concrete block radiating warmth all day.  I think I spent $5 on the entire setup.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65938_img_0569.jpg http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65938_img_0571.jpg http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65938_img_0572.jpg http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65938_img_0566.jpg


Edited by duluthmom - 2/15/11 at 6:54am
post #2 of 6

How do you tell if the light bulb has burnt out, other than seeing frozen water?

post #3 of 6

Nice, simple, and best of all, cheap!  That block looks like it would be great for thermal mass which could be improved in you put a little quickcrete in the outside cells (corners). 

My only addition would be something to keep the concrete block from sitting directly on the wire and wearing through to short it out.

  -DB

Suburban backyard flock with 3 Golden Comets, 2 Speckled Sussex, and one EE. And a freezer full of Freedom Rangers.
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Suburban backyard flock with 3 Golden Comets, 2 Speckled Sussex, and one EE. And a freezer full of Freedom Rangers.
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post #4 of 6

Oh!!! That is clever.  I'm going to try it.  Thank you.

Gig 'em Aggies!  Whoop!

If you forgive the fox for stealing your chickens, he will take your sheep.~ Georgian Proverb
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Gig 'em Aggies!  Whoop!

If you forgive the fox for stealing your chickens, he will take your sheep.~ Georgian Proverb
Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

How do you tell if the light bulb has burnt out, other than seeing frozen water?

Every once in a while I peek under the tin lid - but the block is warm to the touch.  I'm using a 40 W  halogen bulb now.  Keeps the chill out of the coop too.

post #6 of 6

Sounds like a great idea!

1 Awesome Husband, 8 Wonderful Kids, (down to 1 under 18)   Pair of Marans, Lots of Crele OEGBs 1 EE 1 Speckled Sussex, 2 Dominique, 1 Welsummer and a few barnyard mixes  

         http://www.etsy.com/shop/somadlyinlove

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1 Awesome Husband, 8 Wonderful Kids, (down to 1 under 18)   Pair of Marans, Lots of Crele OEGBs 1 EE 1 Speckled Sussex, 2 Dominique, 1 Welsummer and a few barnyard mixes  

         http://www.etsy.com/shop/somadlyinlove

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