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Heated water bowls and extension cords

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by annmarie, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. annmarie

    annmarie Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    I need to come up with a solution for going away a night or two over the holidays and keeping my chickens water from freezing while we're gone. The obvious choice would be one of those heated water bowls but I'm concerned because the bowls that are sold at my local feed store have a warning on them that says "do not use with extension cords". The set-up I'm dealing with is basically this; my 3 chickens are in a small tractor-like set up, that I mount up on haybales during the winter, and it's located just outside our back door, so if I were to use a heated water bowl, the cord would have to be plugged into an extension cord which would then run either through the back door or a window next to the back door, and plugged in in the entryway outlet in the house. Does this sound like a fairly safe option, or would I be asking for trouble? Does anyone else use one of these bowls with an extension cord, or is there a type of bowl out there that is okay for use with extension cords? Any advice would be appreciated since I made the whole family mad last year when we got up at 3:30 am last Christmas morning and sped home to give the chickens water!
  2. bubbazmommy

    bubbazmommy Songster

    Oct 8, 2008
    Albany, ME
    we are using extension cords right now. it is not the best situation but we haven't run power to the coop yet. haven't had any problems so far.
  3. annmarie

    annmarie Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    Quote:Thank you, that's reassuring! Do you know if your bowls specificially state that you're not supposed to use extension cords?
  4. KrisRose

    KrisRose Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    Davison, MI.
    I use extension cords and only had one problem due to my stupidity [​IMG]. I would run the cord before your vacation and see if you have any problems.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I use a heated dog bowl in the winter and have no choice but to use an extention cord, this is the second winter with the same bowl and have had no problems using it. I do use an outdoor HD cord.
    1 person likes this.
  6. annmarie

    annmarie Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    Thank you all! KrisRose, I'd love to ask you what your "stupidity" was as I'm prone to stupidity myself, but you don't need share if you're too embarrased, and I'll just hope I don't repeat your mistake, whatever it was! All right, I'll buy the bowl and give it a test run this weekend when I'm home. Thanks again! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  7. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    There are extension cords for exterior or landscape use that are safer than reg. cords for the outdoors. I got mine from lowes.
    Maybe they were just talking about the reg. ext. cords. Good luck Jean
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The main three issues here are:

    1) use a single extension cord of the right length, not two plugged together.

    2) use a HEAVY DUTY OUTDOOR cord. Cannot stress that enough... not just the outdoorness of it but the heavy duty-ness. Carries more current safely i.e. without excessively attenuating the current and without having the extension cord itself heat up.

    3) make sure the union, where the heated water thing's cord plugs into the extension cord, is somewhere high and dry. Ideally you'd want it inside a building, but if need be you can wrap duct tape around where the two parts join (to keep dust and, to some extent, dampness out) and put 'em up on top of a cinderblock underneath an overturned bucket that you put a brick or sumpin' on so it doesn't blow away.

    Oh, and it MUST be on a circuit that has GFCI protection, to minimize the chance of electrocution in the event that a mouse chews thru your cord and then you pick it up at that spot, or something.

    Good luck, be safe,

  9. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    I too think they are talking about the cheap cords crazyhen was talking about.If you are really worried you could make your own out of heavy duty plugs and 12/2 wire.(the same your whole house is wired with) Will
  10. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I use two heated dog water bowls inside my henhouse, mine are hooked up with heavy duty extension cords like for outside christmas use, it runs to the garage outside plugin. I have had them for 5 and 6 years now, no problems....

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