Homemade incubator water heater temp varance

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Abby4268, May 17, 2012.

  1. Abby4268

    Abby4268 New Egg

    May 15, 2012
    I made two home made incubator the same size as the Little Giant, I used the water heater thermo but I'm getting a temp of on at 91.5 and off at 109.0. on one and the other one turns on at 87.2 and off at 104.5. Is there any way to set them so there isn't a big varance temp?
  2. Goblnfvr

    Goblnfvr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 4, 2011
    Midland Ont. Canada
    How close to the heat source do you have the thermostat?
    Water heater thermostats work off of radiant heat and need the heat source to heat them up to cycle properly.

    It should be wafer side towards the heat source [light bulb?] and be not more than 1.5" from it.
    You can also drill extra holes in it to make it more stable.

    Here is a link to a site for drilling the extra holes in the thermostat

    Here is a picture of how I have mine set up and the temp doesn't vary much more than 1/2 a degree.
    Also add a heat sink to the incubator if you have room - I just use a couple of water bottles.

    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  3. rahul2299

    rahul2299 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2012
    cover bulb with foil or when they lit temp will increase immediately which can harm eggs... until ur temp meter detect ur temp can rise and chicks can die.. eggs must be heated by warm air not direct bulb light source.
  4. MI chickens

    MI chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 21, 2011
    Zeeland, Michigan
    I've used a double layer of foil as a loose "tent" that's open at the ends. It blocks the direct light from the bulb and I think it helps the thermostat operate more evenly. I have a water heater thermostat that I modded and it stays within + or - 1/2 degree with the foil tent.

    Maybe you might want to try lower wattage bulbs.

    P.S. My thermostat shares the tent with the bulb, the foil doesn't come between the two.
    Also when I modified the thermostat, I removed the metal cover (drilling out the rivets). Then I drilled out the 1/4" hole in the metal cover to about 1/2". This exposed the bi-metallic disk to more of the bulbs heat. I then reassembled it using appropriate size screws and nuts. Drilling this was easier with a drill press, if you try this be careful taking it apart and putting it together, it easy to mess up.
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  5. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2010
    Southern Oklahoma
    I have a cooler incubator, you can see it here. It is controlled with a modified water heater thermostat. Before you try to modify the thermostat, you need to know why, and how it works.

    A water heater thermostat, for water heaters, detects radiant heat, NOT ambient temperatures. In order for the thermostat to work even better, holes can be drilled into the thermostat to help it to react faster to temperature change.

    A regular central heat/air thermostat detects ambient temperature.

    Here's a video explaining radiant and ambient temperatures, within a home made incubator.

    This is RebelRooster's vid.
  6. nnanjoku2

    nnanjoku2 New Egg

    Jan 28, 2012
    U no some of this water heater thermostat has pole .should I remove d pole before it can work well?

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