Dimmer for a homemade incubator?!??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Wolf-Kim, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read all of MissPrissy's homemade bator thread and towards the end people began talking about a "dimmer" to keep the temps more steady and provide "constant" heat.

    Can anyone explain this to me?

    What do I need to buy?

    How do I set it up?

    -Kim
     
  2. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    My first homemade bator has a dimmer. I built it before I found this site, so I didn't know about the thermostat. I use it to change the intensity of the light(always on) to acheive the proper temp. I only have to change it if the room temp changes. It stinks because I have to always check it. I tried installing a thermostat, but after 18 hours, temp swings from 96 to 102, my water wiggler only read 92 degrees. I scrapped that and put my dimmer back in. I am going to get a wafer thermostat from cutler supply(think that's the name) it's about $20 ( I was told these are "OK" not great, but it's only going in my styrobator). When I build my wood cabinet I'm gonna get me one of those new fangled digital thermostats [​IMG]
    But if you are around alot, then it works well(at least for me [​IMG] )
    Krista
    I bought mine at home depot for $5, not sure if you can use it in conjunction with the thermostat tho
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  3. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Kim,
    I think it's the same as a light switch dimmer. I don't know about how it is all wired though.
     
  4. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am thinking that they were talking about using a dimmer switch along with a thermostat. I was thinking that they thought it helps keep a steady heat, instead of on, off, on, off. I could be very wrong, so someone, anyone is welcome to correct me. LOL

    I am thinking that the dimmer helps control the intensity and heat of the light, so a dimmer switch set half way, still wired through the thermostat, would hold a steadier heat then the bulbs going full blast.

    I know someone has to know what people were talking about and how to wire it!

    -Kim
     
  5. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Gainesville, Fl.
    OK...here's the scoop. My first Miss Prissy bator had the water heater thermostat. I wasn't using a water wiggler, but the temps went from 95 (light on) to 103 (light off). I could turn it down a tad so the light went off at 101, but then it would go down to 92 before it clicked back on. I switched to a dimmer...installed just like the thermostat, by the way. As long as the ambient room temp did not vary, it did just fine. As soon as the temp started going up here in Florida, the temp in the bator did too...and it was VERY difficult to adjust. If I had the brooder light on, the room got warmer but the dimmer never goes off so you have to be around all the time to constantly check the temp and adjust when necessary. I even got up every 2 hours during the night to check it. [​IMG] After I came home one day and found the temp at 111 degrees, I decided to change back to the thermostat. It's been better this time. It does vary from about 96 to 102, but the water wiggler temp stays between 99 and 100 and I've had a 87% hatch with it since installing it.

    Short bottom line: If you are around all the time to keep an eye on the dimmer, it's fine.

    You don't use the dimmer and the thermostat together. You want the bulb (I use a 60 watt) to be able to get the temps up quickly after turning eggs, candling, etc.
     
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you! That explained it well. So I will just stick with the thermostat, because my refrigerator bator is out in the shed and will probably be unnattended most of the time. Thank you for clarifying that.

    -Kim
     
  7. ladywolfe

    ladywolfe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi just wanted to let you know that on some of our incubators we installed both thermo and dimmer so if it got over 102 the thermo would cut off the light my dh understands most of this stuff better than me. But now we just have dimmers because we sold the other bators to friends.
     
  8. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Did the ones with the dimmer and the thermostat work any better than an incubator with just a thermostat or just a dimmer?

    -Kim
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  9. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    The dimmer just varies the amount of electricity that goes to the heat source, it would need to be monitored and adjusted manualy depending on thermometer readings.

    A thermostat works off actual temps to turn the heat off or on to keep it in a desired range automatically.

    If you are going to leave the bator unattended, a thermostat is the way to go, thats why all store boughts have thermostats..

    I use a dimmer on my brooder heat lamp so that instead of having to move the lamp up and away from the chicks once a week as needed, I just adjust the dimmer and watch the temp for a little while.
     
  10. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. So it sounds like I just need to stick with just the thermometer and save me a few bucks.

    I figured since the refrigerator is so well insulated it should be too bad with temperature differences. We'll see here in a couple of days.

    -Kim
     

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