DIY Fount Heater

AtholCoop

Songster
11 Years
Sep 27, 2008
306
18
141
North Idaho
Since winter is approaching fast I needed to come up with somthing to keep the water supply from freezing.

I did some research and found something what would work with my metal founts



But it was a little rich for my way of rasing chickens. So I built my own.



I bought a 10' roll of 14" galvy flashing. I was shooting for something in the range of 12" plus a base because I wanted to keep my water at a height that helps keep it clean. I cut the flashing so that the outer tube would be 9 or so inches across with a good overlap for attachment and the inner tube would be right around 6 inches.



I rolled both tubes to the correct size and taped them together.



Six rivets per tube and things are starting to come together.



I measured down from both ends 1 inch and cut the tabs. I only bent the tabs on one end of each tube for now.



Both tubes nested together.



I cut two rings out of MDF and attached one to the bottom of both tubes. Here only the outer tube is attached.



Next I built a base, mostly to give the wire to the fixture a way out. Never gonna see this as it's going to be buried in pine shavings anyway so nothing fancy.



A little bit of the ol' pink panther between the tubes to help keep the heat going up instead of out.



Bend the tabs at the top over and secure them to the second MDF ring.



Next up a base for the the...um base. Yep nice and square, nothing but quality for my chickens.



Base goes in the inner tube with the wire going through a hole in the bottom.

Badda bing badda boom. 15 bucks and a couple hours later...Done

Of course the only true test will come in about January when we go below zero, but I figure a 100 watt bulb will probably get the job done, and as a secondary benefit since my water is in the coop any residual heat will help keep my chickens toasty warm.
 

erthymom2

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
719
7
151
Great idea...thanks for the pics and directions too!!
I think i'll do that and experiment with adding a thermotate to it so that the bulb can come on& go off at intervals instead of remaining on all the time.
 

AtholCoop

Songster
11 Years
Sep 27, 2008
306
18
141
North Idaho
Quote:Should work, but I don't know about plastic in close proximity to the light bulb. Once the fount is sitting on top the inside temps are probably going to get pretty warm.

I looked and looked for a metal bucket or tub that met my size requirements and struck out. If you could get away with a lower height I think two paint cans (1 gallon and 1 Quart) nested inside each other would probably work.
 

AtholCoop

Songster
11 Years
Sep 27, 2008
306
18
141
North Idaho
Quote:I'm afraid 7.5 watts isn't gonna cut it when it's -10. Also I've got the metal vaccum type founts so getting it in the water would be a challenge to seal up.
 

Jarhead

Songster
11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
626
7
141
Arkansas
You are probably right! I am thinking too local. The coldest we get is mid 20s and only at night for maybe 2 weeks. Works great for us here in the south though.
 

AtholCoop

Songster
11 Years
Sep 27, 2008
306
18
141
North Idaho
Update...

We've been experiencing day time highs in the single digits, and night time lows below zero. Happy to say the water is still liquid.

Chickens don't want ANYTHING to do with going outside the coop.
 

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