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Bucket water heaters

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by debid, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I'm going to need to buy a heater for my 5-gallon bucket nipple waterer so any advice from experienced folks would be appreciated.

    I'd love to know if you have a particular type/brand that has worked well and also if you tried one that didn't work so I can avoid having the same problem.

    Also, how many watts is enough if the weather only rarely dips into the single digits but may be in the teens for a couple of weeks? My coop is not insulated nor heated.

  2. wyododge

    wyododge Chirping

    Sep 30, 2011
    Quote:I use a bird bath deicer. Generally de-icers are rated for the number of gallons of water they are placed in. The bird bath de-icer is rated for 10 gallons, we use a five gallon bucket. The stock tank heater in our storage tank is rated for 300 gallons, the tank is 130 gallons. I believe it is 750w. But with anything, the more 'power' it has the less work it has to do, so getting a little higher wattage may not result in higher energy usage, as the amount of time it is on decreases. You will however save in the long run as the lighter load will generally result in longer life. Kinda like pulling a 5 ton load of hay with a 1/2 ton gas pickup truck as opposed to a 1 ton dually diesel. The diesel will last 10 times longer performing that task, but costs more to purchase. FWIW we chose the 750w due to the radius of the opening of the storage tank, it was the only one I could find that would fit in, so I really had no choice.

    Some use submersible fish tank heaters in their buckets and have reported success as well. We get very cold so I did not want to try to keep water much above freezing so I went with the bird bath de-icer.

    THe stock tank heater I have is an H&K or K&H. I am not sure of the bird bath de-icer. They are all pretty comparable though, they last about two years, then kinda give up. Funny thing though is we have never had one go bad during the winter, only when we pug it back in in the fall do we discover, they no longer work. Kinda weird...
  3. southdakota

    southdakota Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    I use a thermo cube and a 100 watt submersible fish tank heater...the thermo cube turns it on at 35 and off at 45 ...it kept the waterer ice free at -20 outside temp.
    I also use a heated dog dish outside as my girls free range during the day...again, I plug it into a thermo cube.

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