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Concrete Block Water Heater

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by duluthmom, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. duluthmom

    duluthmom Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2010
    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.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65938_img_0569.jpg https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65938_img_0571.jpg https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65938_img_0572.jpg https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65938_img_0566.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  2. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    How do you tell if the light bulb has burnt out, other than seeing frozen water?
  3. DenverBird

    DenverBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2010
    West Denver Burbs
    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.

  4. obaan1

    obaan1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2010
    Great Lakes State
    Oh!!! That is clever. I'm going to try it. Thank you.
  5. duluthmom

    duluthmom Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2010
    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.
  6. somadlyinlove

    somadlyinlove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like a great idea!

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