Cement Block Water Heater Experiment

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rooster Rules, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Today used a cement cinder block, with a 100 watt light bulb and fixture placed inside. I then covered the top with a large ceramic tile. I placed the 2 gallon water bowl on top of this. I placed this safely inside of the covered run area. It is about 15 outside, going down close to 0 tonight.
    The water is freezing in this container, not impressed with this method at all.
    I have a 1.5 gallon heated dog water bowl outside, and in the wind. It is completely ice free, what gives?
    Am I doing something wrong here? I think I will buy more heated dog bowls, they work here at 30 below. Any thoughs and/or suggestions welcomed.....RR pics to follow
  2. [​IMG]



    The pics, dog water, has slobber, Golden Retreiver just had a drink. Th chicken water is freezing on top.
  3. farnorth

    farnorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2013
    Upper Michigan
    For the cinder block set up you have try using a metal bowl or waterer, I had the same set up and it worked fine with a metal poultry waterer and I only used a 75Watt bulb. If you want to stick with the plastic bowl then try using a piece of sheet metal instead of the ceramic tile. You just aren't getting enough heat transfer between the plastic and ceramic combination.

    That dog bowl has it's heat element right inside it that's why it's working better, I have horse buckets like that and they are awesome, have never froze on us.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  4. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2012
    Twin Lakes, ID
    My Coop
    I don't think that will work unless you put it in an enclosed area (coop) out of the wind and weather. But like you say, I've never had one of those dog dishes freeze....that's what I'm going with.
  5. That could very well be Scott, but it is in the enclosed run, no wind in there tonight. Will see how it does overnight, if it can keep it from freezing solid, it may be okay.
    The heated dog dishes get some ice on top, but there outside, and it has to be 20-30 below for that to happen...
  6. Hi, well the ceramic tile is good and warm to the touch, but maybe metal would work better. I would not want the bottom getting hot and melting plastic, which I doubt would happen. I have switched to a 60 watt bulb for the night.
    I could put 2 60 watt lights in this cinder block, maybe that would make things better.
    I most likely will get another heated dog bowl for the job.
    Those 3 gallon heated waterers, are supposedly real junk, or would buy that instead....
  7. farnorth

    farnorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2013
    Upper Michigan
    Mine had a piece of slate on top instead of ceramic tile. Is the ceramic tile warm to the touch? maybe ceramic has an insulating factor not letting heat through. I bet if you used something like a cookie sheet in place of the ceramic then your bowl would be warmer. When I switch to a plastic waterer I switched the top of my light bulb heater to sheet metal and it has worked in very very cold weather.
  8. The ceramic tile is very warm to the touch right over the bulb area......
  9. Switched to metal instead of the ceramic tile, see how that goes, gettin chilly out there dropping darn near to 0...
  10. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: I'd take the tile off the top of the block, and insulate the inside of the block

    The difference is your bowl is only heating the water and itself, while the bulb is heating the block, the tile, the bowl AND the water

    Also, how many WATTS is the dog bowl?
    How much water os on the block?
    That determines the BTU's available

    You'd also get better results using HALF a block, insulated inside.

    All your heat production is going into the base itself
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013

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