I intend to build an insulated water bucket system in hopes of keeping the water containers my ducks use to drink/dunk their head from freezing during the day.
Materials (this is for 2x insulated bucket systems):
2x 5 gallon bucket from HD = $6
6x cans of expandable foam = $24
4x 5 quart bucket from Amazon = $22
Cost = $51 (or $25.50 per bucket)
1. Empty two cans of insulating foam into each five gallon bucket. You want foam to be at least 6" below bucket rim
2. Press one 5 quart bucket into the 5 gallon bucket so that the 5 quart bucket's rim is level with the 5 gallon bucket's rim and residual foam is pushed out around the edges of the 5 quart bucket
3. Put on lid 5 gallon bucket. This will allow foam to expand and keep the 5 quart bucket's top rim in line with the 5 gallon bucket's top rim during foam expansion
4. Once the foam has expanded use final can to fill in any remaining gaps between the outside of the 5 quart bucket and the inside of the 5 gallon bucket
5. Allow to foam to cure for two days
6. Cut a hole out of the 5 gallon bucket's lid so that you have access to the internal 5 quart bucket
7. The internal 5 quart bucket is glued in place because of the foam. Stack the second 5 quart bucket into the first 5 quart bucket. The 2nd 5 quart bucket is what will be filled with water daily and will allow you to transport water to and from your house/hose without disrupting the 1st internal 5 quart bucket. The lid will ensure the that foam stays in place.
I live in zone 6B (MD) so it generally temperatures dip to the low 20s at night and stays in the low 30s during the day during the winter months. I'm hoping this system will keep the water unfrozen during the day. At night, I'll grab the 2nd quart bucket out of the system, dump any remaining water and bring it inside. Each morning I'll then replace the water in the 5 quart bucket. I have only 4 ducks so this should be plenty of water for them to drink/dip their head into each day during the winter months.
Anyone tried anything like this? How do you think this system would work considering the quantity of water needed and my temperature zone?
BTW, I already use a 5 gallon water system during the spring/summer/fall months. That system uses two 5 gallon buckets that are screwed to two parallel 2 x 4's. The 2 x 4 along with the bucket are then buried about 8" into the ground so that the bucket rims are neck height for the ducks. I then add/stack an additional bucket and use them as the actual water buckets. This ensures that the water buckets always stay upright, are level and are at the right height for the ducks at all times. It also makes it easy to replace the water each night before I go to bed.
I'll post pics after these insulated water buckets are built.