Originally Posted by Leahs Mom
But.... the glass 50 watt submersible fish tank heater worked very well...and only 50 watts. Just have to be sure to devise a way to keep it under water. (a net bag of marbles does a great job.)
I used an aquarium heater like that when I was using vertical nipples, as it was the only heater that kept them thawed. After coming home one day to find the heater was in the process of melting the suctions cups and part of the bucket (I had let the water level get too low...my bad), I swore against these heaters for outdoor use ever again. They are supposed to shut themselves off, but the one I had (it looks identical to the one you've pictured above) did not shut off automatically. In contrast, the farm-grade stock tank de-icer I am using in my 5 gallon bucket does shut off...pull it out of the water and it shuts off...put it back in the water and it turns back on.
In addition, the lowest setting on the aquarium heater was 68F. The de-icer only heats to 45F and has a built in thermocube (turns on at 35 and off at 45F). Cost was the same for each heater device.
The wattage thing...for example it may take a 50W heater 2 hours to heat the water to X degrees, whereas it only takes a 250W one 20 minutes. Not sure which one would cost less electricity, but the 250W one will probably be longer lived since the heat element will not be live with electricity as much of the time.
Originally Posted by mainechicklet
So this is what the inside of my bucket looks like. This crack appeared last month (after several months of use) and the HN at each cracked location leaks. I forgot to buy food grade caulk yesterday. But before I buy a new bucket I'll try the caulk as long as it doesn't damage the HN, for which I will try in a new bucket if the caulk doesn't remedy the leak.
(The bucket is food grade and #2 recyclable.)
My guess is here these cracks are a combination of overtightening the nipples plus perhaps a bucket that has had the plastic degraded by years(?) of UV exposure from the sun.
Edited by pdirt - 10/27/15 at 9:08pm