Has anyone ever used a heated metal base with a plastic waterer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Britt007, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Britt007

    Britt007 Songster

    Dec 5, 2013
    Hi, I'm looking for winter watering solutions. I bought a big electric plastic waterer but it won't fit in the door of my coop. I'm thinking of getting one of those Little Giant 125 WATT bases but I was trying not to spend the additional 40 buck for a metal waterer cause I have a new plastic one.

    I was thinking the base might just be about as warm as a light bulb, cause it couldn't be TOO hot or a chicken might burn on it- so is it possible that it wouldn't melt the plastic waterer.. or should I just buy the dang metal waterer?

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  2. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    Don't think you can use a plastic waterer with the metal heated base. (At least the one I have, not sure what brand it is.) It gets pretty hot and even if it didn't melt the plastic, it would probably warp it and/or release a bunch of plastic chemicals into the water.

    I vote for a metal waterer if you go that route.

    But if you are putting it inside, look at making one with horizontal nipples and an aquarium heater. Might work in your situation.
  3. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I think most heaters say not to use plastic. That being said, I don't really think it is because of melting, but just damage instead. I used a plastic Miller Mfg. one (the six sided one) years ago & there was no apparent damage, but after a year the flat bottom cracked. I used sleeve waterers that had a recessed bottom for several years & never had any damage at all. Since this type doesn't touch the middle of the heater where the heat usually is, it does not keep the water unfrozen to as low a temperature. YMMV
  4. BillyRoper

    BillyRoper In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2016
    Arkansas Ozarks
    Plastic has a higher melting temperature than water's boiling temperature, so you should be fine. I'd use something like that if I had it, I'm hauling fresh warm water out to them every morning because theirs freezes every night, now.
    Erika Shumway likes this.
  5. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    As long as there is water in the plastic waterer, the plastic container will get no hotter than the water inside it. Water in liquid form will not exceed 200 degrees fahrenheit.

    To show you how that works, the Indians of ancient times would use woven baskets to boil food in over a fire. The basket, though of flammable material, would not burn because the water kept the basket below the point of ignition.

    Any flammable object will not burn until it reaches the temperature of its ignition point, including a log placed on a roaring fire.

    Edited by Staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2016
    Erika Shumway likes this.
  6. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Conserve Heritage Breed Livestock

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    I use homemade cookie tin heaters under 1 gallon plastic waters. It keeps them thawed, but wouldn't work well for more than a few hens.
  7. henless

    henless Songster

    I also use a cookie tin heater under my 5 gallon buckets with horizontal nipples. It doesn't get as cold here in E Texas as it does else where, but I have heard of people using it in the northern states. They just put a larger watt bulb in it. I plug it into a Thermo-cube. It comes on at 35 degrees and off at 45 degrees. This is my 3rd year using one. They work great.

    1 person likes this.
  8. BillyRoper

    BillyRoper In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2016
    Arkansas Ozarks
    This morning it was slightly above freezing. Sometimes I've been leaving one container of water in their coop, to make sure that it stays thawn, even though they don't drink at night. When it gets colder, I'll put a heat lamp running off of a drop cord in there, too, that will keep the temperature well above freezing, even though they themselves don't seem to have had a problem, so far.
  9. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    I am using a 50 watt flood in my heater, 5 gallon plastic bottle on top.

    Water and heater gets warm to the touch only, as the heat is absorbed and distributed.

    Never hot, never frozen.

    Forever Water Heater one that lasts.
    Unfrozen Nipple Watering for those cold days.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  10. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Songster

    Jan 24, 2016
    I have set a Styrofoam cup full of water in the camp fire before. Interesting to see what happens. Most people expect it to burn up right away.

    I bought one of the cheap ($15) 1.5 gallon water bowls and it is working fine. I have it sitting up on a block so it is high enough that they don't flip too much junk into it.

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