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DIY Instructions for Very EASY heated waterer for under $20 bucks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jimmywalt, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. eryan7

    eryan7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, This seems like a great idea! I am in PA and it is already freezing! We have a vertical nipple set up, but are having problems with freezing. I think we are going to transition to the horizontal nipples, but has anyone had any experience with the Hydor 50w Hydrokable Substrate Heater, 20' - for Aquariums 16-33 gal and vertical nipples? Will this prevent them from freezing as well? Also, I read a review on amazon that someone used this heater to heat a 6gal fish tank and that it got hot to the touch. They did say that they did not have it fully submerged, but I also noticed it was for a 16 to 33 gal tank. Do you think this will this get too hot for a 5 gallon bucket?
     
  2. amynrichie

    amynrichie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I actually looked at this. I decided to use a standard aquarium heater that I had laying around. It works great.
     
  3. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Be careful with using aquarium heaters like this. They aren't designed to run against freezing temperatures and can break. If you must use one, insulate your bucket and check for stray voltage now and then. Do NOT let the bucket run too low.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. jennianne

    jennianne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was looking for some solution to the constant upkeep and frostbite danger to my girls with our current watering set-up, and I think I found it here! We ordered some vertical nipples from ebay which arrived yesterday. The hubs went and got a food grade bucket and a plastic container approved bird bath de-icer this morning. We are not going to start off with a pump but will add one if we have ice issues. We have a GFCI protected setup for electrical which will use to run the de-icer. Today's project is to install the nipples and get the new set-up rigged out in the run. Super excited, thank you for posting these updates about your personal water set-up experiences!
     
  5. amynrichie

    amynrichie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Heater without the water pump does NOT work in -20 temps! I'll try adding the pump at some point, but switched out the bowl for right now.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Where are you located?
    -20F without windchill?? Brrrrrr!!!

    Horizontal nipples or Vertical nipples?
    Vertical are much more likely to freeze.
     
  7. amynrichie

    amynrichie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in balmy western Nebraska. Our wind chill this morning was -49. My bucket heater has horizontal nipples. The entire bucket was frozen solid!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  9. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aquarium heaters are purely resistive loads - they're basically a big resistor and a thermostat switch. The toughest thing on them is switching on and off repeatedly - usually when they fail, the bimetal thermostat fuses and they stay on permanently. Freezing temperatures are the least likely to cause this situation.

    Usually when you get stray voltage it's because there's a crack in the body of the heater, or the seal between the heater and the cap is no good. An empty bucket will cause them to get too hot and can either crack the tube or blow the seals in it - and a frozen bucket can do the same thing. If the bucket is freezing, insulation would help.
     
  10. amynrichie

    amynrichie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My heater was actually still on when I unplugged it. I just think the temps were way too much. As it's currently frozen in the bottom of the bucket, I can't verify what wattage it is. This definitely gives me some ideas for mods for round two.
     

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