Homemade water heater

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jim s, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. jim s

    jim s Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 9, 2009
    Hi everyone, I enjoy reading the posts. I recently made a water heater for the birds similar to the cookie tin idea that was posted here earlier. The problem is, I used a tin pan placed upside down with a light bulb inside, and it is not doing the job. The tin is 5" deep and about 15" diameter. I put a 5 gal metal waterer on top. I assume I need to put a bottom on the upside down tin to trap more heat. I wonder if you have any ideas on what kind of bottom to put on and how. I don't weld, but thought I would put a piece of sheet metal on the bottom, but then I thought there may be some insulation material that would work better. I have a 100 watt bulb in there now. I am in MN and it is cold, about 10 -15 degrees F during the day, which is the only time I have the heater on and water out. Thanks. I am not very computer saavy, so no pictures. Maybe later.
  2. celticfarmer

    celticfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 30, 2009
    Northern MN
    You could try and find the base to a flower pot that fits and JB weld that to the bottom. The clay heats up nice and might do the job. I personally think that 5 gallons is too much water to try and keep warm with a light bulb especially if it is out in the wind.

    I just end up filling the water bottles twice a day with warm water.
  3. Humhill

    Humhill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2010
    Liberty, NC
    One link that was posted on the thread mentioned using foam, non-combustable insulation. It looked kinda like packing material to me.
    Otherwise, I'd get a cookie tin with a lid and start over.

    ETA- I agree, 5 gal is a lot of water to heat.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  4. jim s

    jim s Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 9, 2009
    Thanks for the feedback. I don't fill the container to the full, usually 1-2 gallons. I have about 40 birds.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If it's just sitting there (not being moved around), you could always just set it on a think piece of plywood...or better yet, one of those thick paving stones, since they would probably hold the heat better. But if it's being moved in/out or around, I agree with the others...either find a complete tin or try one of the clay pot water heaters. I use a clay pot, and think it holds heat better.
  6. thaokou21

    thaokou21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    Quote:Hey, Jim. I thought, with that amount of chickens you have, you really dont need a water heater at all. I have around 43 chickens. Age range from 2months to 2year old. I lock them up in a barn size of about a two car garage. My chickens gives off so much body heat that the water dosent even freeze. Im from Wisconsin.

    The only hard part about this is, I get tirer of bringing water to them because they are all put into different cages that I made for them. The cage is not small. Its pretty big. I have 18 rooms cages.

    I just ordered some water nipple so, Im gona install a 50 gallon barrel with pipes and water nipple to them. Hopefully this will save me of water feeding them.
  7. jim s

    jim s Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 9, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. Thaokou in WI, sounds like you have a nice amount of space. I tried keeping the water in the coop, but it was such a mess, and the coop is about one third your size.

    Thanks for the ideas on different bases. I currently have it on concrete blocks, but they are not level, so I have a piece of plywood at one end to level it. The space between the block and heater has to affect the heat of the tin. I realized after reading your comments that I can put the plywood leveler under a piece of plywood, insulation or concrete block and solve my problem, simply. Thanks.

    Also, I was at the local feed store and saw a very similar water heater base selling for $60!
  8. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    I found one of those water heaters for $42.00 also at a farm & tractor store. They work great and I have no problem keeping my 10 gal fountain liquid. I do keep it inside though. Normally it hangs from the ceiling, but with the need to set it on the heater, I turned a hog pan upside down then placed the heater on that and the the water. It brings the level of the water pan up high enough that the girls do not kick litter into it. Since it is the only water they have, I have to refill it two to three times a week so the dust isn't a big problem.
  9. marcym

    marcym Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    Here's what I do, pardon the poo. It's too cold here in IA to clean out the coop till Spring.
  10. RIBill

    RIBill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    For what it's worth, if you fill it all the way with warm water in the morning, it will probably still be liquid by evening. 5 gallons is a lot of water. Anything non-combustible will work for a bottom. But I'm betting you're losing most of your heat to the air, not the ground. A metal tin is a great conductor. That means it will conduct heat away from the light and out. Anything with a thermal mass would probably work better. That said, if a single bulb doesn't work, my first effort would be adding another light while making a new system which works a little better.

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