How can I set timed switches out to my coops, yet also have lines of electricity that run all the ti

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DocumentedPure, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. DocumentedPure

    DocumentedPure Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2017
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    I am planning on building four coops on my property, in close proximity to one another. For water, they are going to have 5 gallon buckets, with nipple waterers, and aquarium heater/pumps inside to keep the temperature above 40 Fahrenheit. I also want to add a light in the 10 x 10 covered dog run (clear plastic roofing material, partially covered with a tarp). I want the lights to have a timer set up that automatically turns off and on every twelve hours. In the winter, inside the coop I want to have a small bulb with a timer that goes off and on every 12 hours for internal light.

    I also want to have heat tape that runs on the inside of the laying area, so that when temperatures approach 0 I do not have to worry about hatching eggs going bad before I have a chance to get to the coop. I want to have a switch activated for 12 hour times in late fall early spring, and 24 hours in the winter.

    What do you recommend for the wiring of this? Have any of you used heating tape common for reptile enclosures to heat your laying area or coop? Is there a way to set that up using a temperature controlled timer?

    Has anyone had any success doing any of these things? How would you recommend doing this, in terms of safety for the chickens, safety from fire, convenience, comfort for chickens, low cost of goods, and low cost of electricity?
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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  3. dewtattoo

    dewtattoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2017
    Modesto, CA
    My Coop
    I simply ran a surge protector into my coop, and plugged my timer into that. I have room in the surge protector to plug in as many as four timers if I need them. Currently I only have 1 timer hooked up for my interior lights, but I will most likely be adding more for cooling fans as this summer heats up.

    I don't have a timer hooked up in this photo, but you get the idea.
    [​IMG]

    One suggestion I might add though. If you are using a surge protector that is going to be exposed the the interior of your coop like mine is in the photo above. Choose the type of surge protector that has the hole protectors that keep foreign objects from getting in the plug holes.
     
  4. DocumentedPure

    DocumentedPure Out Of The Brooder

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    That is very good. After some thought, I think I well do everything above ground to avoid having to bury it when I move. But I would like to run them through some non glued PVC in order to protect the cords. I want to have it set up so that each unit has electricity going to it. Should I split the power for the timer early on and have two cords running all the way out? Or should I have a break in a single line where one line goes out to the last one and then branches off at each coop and have individual wiring setups on each line? What size and type of bulbs should I use?
     
  5. DocumentedPure

    DocumentedPure Out Of The Brooder

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    Do those string lights use a lot less electricity? Or do they serve another purpose?
     
  6. rbreininger

    rbreininger Out Of The Brooder

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    Typically that type of outlet is called 'tamper-proof'. It has a plastic shield in it that moves when you plug in but resists children being curious.
     
  7. dewtattoo

    dewtattoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2017
    Modesto, CA
    My Coop
    The rope light is excellent for lighting up an interior with a warm glow instead of a harsh white bulb, yet it's bright enough to read by if need be. The little bulbs in the rope light are LED so they use less electricity. I used a 24 ft strand to light up my 5ft wide by 4ft deep by 7ft tall coop.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    All that's is pretty easy for one coop.....BUT.....running power out to the coop(s) should be done very carefully.
    Cords should be plugged into GFCI outlets and total power load should be carefully calculated.

    4 coops makes it exponentially tricky and dangerous.

    Every connection has the potential to start a fire.

    Every cord and connection should be protected from chickens, water, dust, and rodents.
     
  9. DocumentedPure

    DocumentedPure Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your concern. I had not taken into consideration how rats and dust could affect the safety. I will ask my local hardware store and ask my electrician about how he things I should build it. GFCIs were my greatest initial concern, because I do not want to shock the chickens or cause a fire.
     
  10. rbreininger

    rbreininger Out Of The Brooder

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    I found this at Home Depot and will be installing it in the coop I am building. All the internal outlets and switches and lights will be fed from it plus the heated waterer in the run outside.

    [​IMG]
     

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