Homemade Incubator Thermostat Question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Orange Ribbon, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Orange Ribbon

    Orange Ribbon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    I have just completed 1 of 2 dorm fridge incubators I am building. I installed a water heater thermostat purchased from Lowes. I am wondering if I got a bad one. The problem is it is fluctuating 17 degrees from shut off to restart. Right now, until I get it adjusted, it shuts off at 104 F, and comes back on at 88 F.

    I worked on my incubator last night until about 4:30 this morning. Lots of nice pain got me up anyway so I was tinkering to take my mind off it. I know you were dying to know that. Anyway, I fell asleep in the chair and had a dream. I walked into a giant incubator and there was this big black thing with big eyes, big nose, big teeth, and big ears. I said to it, "My! What a wide swing in temperature you have, Grandma Thermostat!"
    And it replied in a scratchy old voice, "The better to kill your eggs with, my dear!" [​IMG]

    So what do you think about my thermostat? Not the one in the dream, the real one. [​IMG]
  2. rebel yell

    rebel yell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    If you are useing a light bulb for heat, move the thermostat to about 1/2 inch from the bulb & it will work like a charm.
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    The manufacturer should specify the range of swing the unit is designed to operate at. It should be in the literature that came with or on the packaging. If not, you could probably look online and see if you can find it, assuming its not in Chinese.

    If the swing its undergoing is wider than its designed to, its probably defective. Or the heat exchange in your incubator compartment is too rapid and it just can't keep up.
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2008
    Murphy NC
    Rebell has given you the best advise for the thermostat you have. You are trying to use a product for a function it isnt designed to do, and that is maintain a perfect temperature. As with anything we try to use for other than its intended purpose, we must do so with extra experimenting factored into the process. The WH thermostat will work, but as no two incubators will be the same, the best location for the thermostat will only be determined thru trial and error. Move the wht around until your temps remain fairly costant where you want them, then, and only then, add some cheap or free test eggs to do your final experimenting with. Once you get the temps to hold where you want them with the test eggs, then you can go ahead and try using eggs you really want to hatch. Humidity swings can also effect the temp swings so be sure to monitor the humidity swings as well as the temps.
  5. Orange Ribbon

    Orange Ribbon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Rebel Yell, thanks for that advice. I will try that out shortly. I got to wondering that maybe the air was cooling faster than the thermostat. So I moved the fan to blow on it, and it did tighten up a bit. Turns off at 101 and on at 93. Better, but not there yet. So I just made a bracket out of hardware cloth to attach the thermostat to so it isn't right up against the wall and left it. I will go back down in a bit to see what that did. If it isn't good enough, I'll do what you said.

    Denninmi, what are you doing out of the Goose section? [​IMG] Thanks for the info. I'll check out the paperwork. [​IMG]
  6. Orange Ribbon

    Orange Ribbon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Quote:Thanks Muddstopper, I knew it was going to be trial and error until I get it figured out. I appreciate you all helping me do that! Would have responded with the others previously, but although I had started on my post before you posted, I got a phone call and didn't get to finish it until after you had. I know you were very worried about that, so I thought I'd tell you. [​IMG]

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