Hovabator 1602n (with egg turner) - HELP!


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 28, 2011
Hello everyone!
I'm having the worst time with this incubator....Hovabator 1602N still air.
Background: I've never hatched eggs before....this would be my first couple of attempts. My incubator was used once...about 2 years ago, by my son's preschool teacher....and she was able to hatch 1 chick (from a dozen eggs).
I've gone through 2 batches of eggs (my own...thankfully, I didn't spend $$ on them)...and I am unable to regulate the temperature to be anywhere where it needs to be. This thing ranges anywhere from 95 degrees...to 120 degrees (yes...you are reading it correctly...Yesterday it reached its highest yet! UGH)!! I've read and re-read the directions.....I've looked online
....And apparently I am the only person with this severe of a problem with the temps . (I've litterally left it at 100.7 degrees....and have peeked in on it 4 or 5 hours later, to find it at 116 degrees!)
Its been moved from my dining room to my bedroom (temps are more stable in my bedroom). I've pulled the plugs....put them back in...???

What am I doing wrong?? I could probably maintain a reasonable temperature if I were to stand over it and watch it 24/7....but that is unreasonable.
The basic premise of the thermal disc seems to be a relatively simple concept...that should maintain a fairly close temperature range....once it is set next to the switch to where it needs to be.
Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be?
My 7 year old son is also getting frustrated
~~ he has been logging daily entries in a journal to document the information along with the gestation of a chicken. I know he'd love to finally complete his journal with an actual hatching
(as would I).
Thanks so much....I am really enjoying this site...so many people who share my love for chickens!

Any info would be very much appreciated.

I made a still air bator my first year and had lousy luck. Temp was so hard to regulate. Last year, I used a genesis with a fan and hatched 10 of 11 eggs (12th quit growing).
I've come to think that same thing....just purchase a more reliable incubator. When researching...I thought I would see more people having the same problem that I was having....and though there were some complaints....it didn't seem to be as extreme as the problems I was having.
Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your input!
Hi Sherlocklabs and

I bet you must be terribly frustrated by now. You may need to bag it and replace the thermostat or incubator, but you may want to do some variable first and see if you can tweak it into a working unit.

Are you currently running the incubator empty?
What type or types of thermometers do you have and where are they located in the incubator?
What is your current room humidity and temperature?
What is your current incubator humidity, how are you checking it, how stable is it and how mach water do you have in the incubator (just one well filled or more)?
Do you have the plugs in or out?
How often do you open the lid and can you describe what happens when you do?
Have you visually inspected the thermostat to make sure there are not any obvious problems including dirt or other stray materials caught in the discs (I ask because you said it was used)?

That sort of detail might help in figuring where to start.
Hi, I'm no expert but I have been just recently started using a hovabator still air model(no clue what the model number is or what generation) and had my own troubles. does your model have a screw or metal adjuster that you have to turn to adjust the wafer to get the correct temperature? with still air it was hard for me to find the right temperature. I would put it so that the temp would read 98 or 100 and it would be fine, then an hour-3 hours later it would be at 116+. I had a very hard time and I played with it for a week and a half before I got the right temp. so ill give you as much info as I can to try to help you. I have a few analogies for some problems so sorry if I type a lot.

with the egg turner, the metal and motor hold and emit heat and make your incubator hotter. the way still incubators work is that the temperature will kick on and off to stay at a certain temp. so even when u have it on for a half hour and it is at the right temp the egg turner and eggs are still not holding the heat that they will in one hour, and after they are at that temp they will begin to emit heat.
kind of like when you put a frozen or cold meal in the microwave or oven, the outside of the meal may be hot, cooked and at the right temperature but the inside could be completely frozen and raw. because it was frozen(at a certain temp) when it was put into the heat or when the heat was turned up, even though it was hot enough for the outside of the meal to cook and reach a certain temperature at a certain time the inside did not reach that right temperature at the same time the outside did. because of this the outside of the meal usually burns or dries up while the inside is just cooked and moist.
to get the heat required throughout the whole egg and incubator a lower temperature is needed. once again using food, it is like roasting marshmallows! you can stick your marshmallow into the fire and the outside will get brown cooked and soft very fast and will burn quickly, but even though the outside is cooked the inside will still be hard uncooked and squishy. to get a perfectly roasted marshmallow use coals not fire and you have to be far enough away so that it is not too hot.

so when you increase the temperature you have to put it lower than what is needed so when the eggs and egg turner fully adjust and get up to temp the heat emitted by them is accounted for. what mine told me to do(my incubator's instructions) when I took my egg turner out for lockdown was to turn the dial/screw one full turn around plus one degree to increase the temperature and adjust to the right temperature to account for the turner being taken out. because still air incubators gets hotter from bottom up with the egg turner you really have to decrease the temp. because of this when the heat two inches up in the turner the eggs are at 100 the very bottom of the incubator will be approx. 88-90 degrees. on top of this you then have to adjust the temperature lower so the heat from the egg turner does not make the temp spike and or be too hot. So depending on what kind of turner you have it could be increasing the temp a lot more than you expect. with your turner in and your temp spiking you should decrease your temp a lot. plus the embryo's increase the temp as they grow because the larger the chicks get the more heat they emit.

what id suggest is to play with the temps before you start another batch. if you are in the middle of a hatching cycle turn your temp dial at least one full rotation to decrease the temp. on my incubator one line on the dial is one degree, so if I turn my dial one line clockwise it increases one degree and so on. with the egg turner in the line's on your dial may not be accurate and equal to one degree because of this you can be partial of a degree off. you have to really know how much heat your turner adds/emits. before you start another batch take the turner out, clean everything and turn the incubator on at it's lowest possible heat setting. let it run for a good 2-3 hours and from there increase the temperature to the correct temperature you need. mark it on you dial for easy setting. then put your egg turner in, do not increase or decrease temp at all. let it run for a minimum of 2-3 hours, if not more to get up to temp. now you can compare and will know how much heat your turner adds and emits during incubation. adjust the temp that many degrees lower and you should be at perfect temp!! then in different colour mark on your dial where the temp with a turner is needed for easy setting!!! you have to watch the increase during incubation due to embryo development, but other than that your heat problem should be fixed! :) temp may need to be adjusted a few degrees give or take during cool or hot times of year and depending on the eggs. good luck!!! I hope I helped! :) and sorry again for writing a ton!
I had the same problem with my 1620. I think the lack of circulating air is a big factor. I have the 1588 and have had good luck with it. I think I might get the fan kit for it and try that. I must say the Hova 1588 setting its temp at 99.5 makes it so easy that the reason I might try to fix the 1620 i just plain old being stubborn and so that I could hatch eggs at different times and not have to wait 21 or so days. Question for anyone that turns eggs. Do you leave the temp alone when you turn or do you need to play? I found it way to easy to adjust temp too soon.
That was the information that I got from research for my incubator. but that is very high spiking. sorry again for the novel but if it helps im glad. and I agree, if you don't want to spend more money on that incubator it may be saving you time and money by buying another one. let us know how it goes and what you decide :)

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