Homemade hatcher temp issues

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kbbeale, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. kbbeale

    kbbeale Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We used the MissPrissy idea for making a hatcher - everything turned out great! One problem is that the temp is ranging from 97-101. What can I do to make it more steady? We're using the water heater thermostat like she used (same range of temp that she had)...we're using a larger wattage lightbulb though.

    Any ideas why the temp range would be so great?
     
  2. william9792

    william9792 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    do you have a fan in bator? do you have too many air vent holes? do you have the bator in a room with to many drafts?
     
  3. kbbeale

    kbbeale Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, we have a fan - everything is just like her incubator. In fact, the holes are not as big, but enough for air circulation. I believe we might possibly have the draft issues - our temps here in Texas have been crazy. One day its freezing, the next it's 80. Everything is working properly.....but even on warm days the temp gets down to 97 and then the light comes on and warms to around 100.........then it slowly drops and then clicks on again.

    Why such a huge temp difference? If it's set to stay around 100, then why does it drop to 97 before the light clicks on?
     
  4. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

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    If yours is exactly like miss prissy's then it's partly that because of your rapid temperature swings, the thermostat isn't keeping up because it's designed to be mounted against the metal of a water heater.

    Metal conducts heat differently than foam.

    You can either mount it on a piece of metal - some of the bator links show it, or you need to add some kind of heat sink, like water in a jar to help the whole thing hold a steadier temperature. You can also try just a blanket to help it hold an overall temperature despite fluctuations in the room. I haven't played with it yet but a glass block warmed then added should also be capable of additional thermal mass. Good luck tweeking a set up can be a challenge.
     
  5. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My homemade incubator has a difference of 1 to 2 degrees with the water heater thermostat. Mount it on metal and move it closer to the light. This will make it heat up faster, though it will cool off quickly and come back on. The light will come on and off more frequently giving a more stable temp. The setting will actually be much higher than the actual temperature. I also started using one for a coop thermostat in the same way. The stat is set at 90 the lowest setting but it stays 45 to 60 in the coop. It will only work well with it mounted close to the light.
     
  6. campbellhatchery

    campbellhatchery Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
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    Quote:Water heater thermostats are made to have a wide range of temps to be more energy efficient.

    I would recommend either a wafer thermostat ($10)or a repti temp 500R, they are about 27 dollars with shipping I think. Have read they are usually + - 1 degree f. If you're selling a few chickens it would be worth it.
     
  7. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Water heater thermostats are made to have a wide range of temps to be more energy efficient.

    I have found the range to be about 5 to 8 degrees when I first put the thermo in. Then I realized that the closer I moved it to the light the more stable it got. I have it directly next to the light now. The bulb heats it up to cut out quickly, and with the light off the temp falls to cut in. Mounting it on a container of water will only make it worse. The water takes much longer to heat up and cool down. Usually the light only is on for a matter of seconds, but usually it is a few minutes before it kicks back in. I average high and low to get the proper temp. This is easy as the high is 100 and the low is 99. Sometimes the range will be slightly wider but not often.​
     
  8. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keeping a full water bottle as a buffer will help with the highs and lows you do have. It will absorb and release heat in between thermal cycles. But it should not be part of the thermostat/light assembly.
     
  9. campbellhatchery

    campbellhatchery Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I have found the range to be about 5 to 8 degrees when I first put the thermo in. Then I realized that the closer I moved it to the light the more stable it got. I have it directly next to the light now. The bulb heats it up to cut out quickly, and with the light off the temp falls to cut in. Mounting it on a container of water will only make it worse. The water takes much longer to heat up and cool down. Usually the light only is on for a matter of seconds, but usually it is a few minutes before it kicks back in. I average high and low to get the proper temp. This is easy as the high is 100 and the low is 99. Sometimes the range will be slightly wider but not often.

    I don't know if i would agree with you there. The setup in your comment doesn't take into consideration room temp variations - which are offset by the water bottle heat syncs. The light may come on more often but heating up the water bottles should make the temp more stable if the light is going on and off more often with the thermostat right next to it. A wafer thermostat is only a few more $ than a water heater thermostat and I feel its a sound investment.
     
  10. campbellhatchery

    campbellhatchery Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:^^
     

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