Heat sources for incubators

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by smoothmule, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. smoothmule

    smoothmule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have built one home made incubator and it works fine but I am concerned that at some point, I won't be able to get the incandescent bulbs that I use as my heat source so I got to thinking and wondering and wondering and finally decided I should start a thread to discuss alternate heat sources for incubators.

    Obviously, regular old light bulbs are a pretty easy. They do have shortcomings though, the bulbs can burn out and the worst moments and they may become extinct as we know them now.

    Other choices that I'd like more information about are the Ceramic heaters, the ones with the little coils that glow and another heater type I've been wondering about lately is the infrared heat.

    I'd love to hear from some of our members that have experience with these type of heat sources and discuss whether, or not, they would be suitable to use in an incubator.

    I have found both type heaters in smaller unit sizes that I have wondered about buying. They're pricey but in the long run, how many light bulbs am I going to go through? losing how many chicks to burned out bulbs etc. I don't mind spending more money if I'm going to build a better incubator.

    I also know that those heaters in the Little Giants might also be an option to take out and use in a better built hoe made incubator but I don't know what the space limitations are and I don't know what type of heating unit is used in the GQF's and other commercial type incubator.
    ETA http://www.efowl.com/Incubator_Heat_Element_Insulators_250_Watt_p/6714.htm

    So c'mon you guys, what are your thoughts??
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  2. red golden

    red golden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check out oldclucks building a cabinet incubator. He is using an all in one unit from incubator warehouse for heat, fan and digital thermostat.

    You can also do a search on ebay for coil type heaters that connect to a thermostat or wafer type switch.
     
  3. chickenwing661

    chickenwing661 Out Of The Brooder

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    Incubator warehouse incukit works great
     
  4. red golden

    red golden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope so i am copying oldclucks lol
     
  5. Squeaky McMurdo

    Squeaky McMurdo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tested out a candle warmer under a jar and it worked pretty good. It stayed at 95 degrees so with a little tweaking I'm sure the temperature can be brought up. The temperature was taken with a egg carton in the bottom of the incubator so elevating the eggs might work.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  6. I'd like to know some more too!
     
  7. smoothmule

    smoothmule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I understand that in 2014, the 40 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs will be phased out so it has been even more imperative that I consider alternative heat sources for my 2 home made incubators. Both are set up with good thermostats, not the water heater type that are so unreliable. My heat source has remained light bulbs. In the larger incubator, there are 2 bulbs at the top, 75 watts and a single 60 watt at the bottom that remains on constantly. It's a larger incubator, there is a channel on the back that has an opening to the incubator at the top and at the bottom with fans to circulate the heat. The single bulb on the bottom will never boost the temp much but it does seem to work like a heat sink and the 2 bulbs on top don't seem to flip on and off frequently. I do still seem to have some differences in temps from top to bottom and would love to fix that but for now, I'm just hoping to make sure I can continue to heat it.

    I was considering the reptile type, ceramic infrared heater bulbs but found they would be far too hot for a contained area and a fire hazard. BUT, when called and talked with the zoomed company about it, they suggested their regular light bulb sized heat bulbs, the red ones. They emit more heat than a regular bulb but not infrared so it's not so direct and likely to heat the eggs internally. It's essentially like a reg bulb but produces more heat.

    I'll post how they work, I'm going to try them out soon, maybe today if I find some at the pet shop while Christmas shopping. My fixtures are ceramic but I may put something that protects from heat on the ceiling of the incubator or something to protect against too much heat since it's wood.

    I considered the coil type heat source but afraid it's not large enough for the space I have to heat
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  8. HatchCraft

    HatchCraft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Regular bulbs will still be available. They are calling them rough service bulbs. Apparently this label allows the manufacture and sale of standard incandescent bulbs. I'm sure they will cost a little more.
     
  9. redhen689

    redhen689 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just searched this site looking for information, since it just occured to me that I heat my home-made incubator with an incandescent bulb, and was worried that they might not be available anymore. I was interested in what other options there are. Then I went and double checked and realized there is no reason for concern, because my current bulb is 25 watts, and those are still available. :)
     
  10. smoothmule

    smoothmule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just 25 watts? How large is your incubator? Mine holds 300 eggs. I keep 2 60 watt bulbs on top and to keep the heat even, I did put the reptile heater bulb in the bottom, a ceramic fixture. There are 2 fans, one top and one bottom to keep it circulated.
    So far, so good and not too hot. Seems just right. I'll replace the two on top with the heat bulbs as well but I want to put a metal plate on the ceiling to avoid fire hazards
     

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