How do you know if your wafer is bad?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by willow, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. willow

    willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sherman, NY
    Well, I'm trying to figure this mess that I have out. Can anyone give me the signs of a bad wafer and/or thermostat? Right now my 1 'bator was doing fine on temp. but now it won't go up past 95 no matter how high I turn it.
     
  2. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    Quote:Hmmm, I think when the wafer goes bad it "makes" the connection and the heating element burns constantly...cooking the eggs.

    Does your incubator have a light? Does it go on and off?

    Ed
     
  3. willow

    willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2008
    Sherman, NY
    Hi Ed,
    Yes, it has a light and it comes on and off but it just stays on for a couple of minutes, goes off and temp. still isn't going up. Could it be the thermostat?
     
  4. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Great question! I will be watching this. [​IMG]
     
  5. Darin115

    Darin115 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2008
    Asheboro, NC
    How much are you turning the knob? I have to turn mine almost a complete round to lower it a couple of degrees.

    You may not be turning it up enough.

    My bator is over 20 years old and has the same wafer in it that it came with. Still works like a charm.

    Holds temps steady.

    Darin
     
  6. DANNY

    DANNY Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA
    I change my wafers and thermostats every year. When you turn the adjusment what happens? Is the heating element working?
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    I'm not sure how the wafer thermostat is installed on store-boughten incubators, but the wafer thermostat I put in my homemade 'bator, you can actually LOOK at it (from the side, you know?) and see how it's moving when you turn the knob, and whether it's getting closer or farther from the little clicky switch that turns the heating element off/on. When the wafer center presses close enough against the switch (that's the little nubbin sticking out towards it), you can hear the switch click off and the element turns off; when the wafer center moves away from the switch, you can hear the switch click on, and the element turns on.

    I found that if the wafer is installed a little bit crooked (slightly crossthreaded? I dunno) then it will not behave properly - turning it 'more on' can actually bring the center of the wafer *closer to* the nubbin and cause it to turn off at a lower temperature. I don't know if that's your problem.

    Have you recently increased ventilation or humidity, or has room temperature gotten cooler, or have you removed anything insulating that was lying against/on the incubator? Any of those things could make it hard to keep the temperature up.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    South Alabama
    Pat gave you some good info there...he's a lot more experienced than I am (like I have zero experience and he has an experience number equal to the national deficit [​IMG] ).

    From what you said, the heating element is working but it appears it isn't running for a long enough time to heat up to the required temperature.

    Pat, being inexperienced here, does the wafer gradually expand with rising temperature or does it hit a "set point" temperature and expand pretty much all at once?

    If it's a gradual expansion, then it seems that the wafer needs to be adjusted so that it is further away from the micro-switch button/nubbin....this should allow for more expansion, causing a longer time before the wafer contacts the switch button, and thus the heating element will be turned on for a longer period of time which should increase the incubator temperature.

    Does that sound about right?
    Thanks,
    Ed
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Er, just to clear up two things, a) I am the *female* type of Pat [​IMG] and more importantly b) I too have like zero experience with hatching eggs -- indeed, I currently have one day-old chick that looks like it's going to be the ONLY one from a 26-egg setting, which is my first attempt at incubating.

    I'm just passing on what I've noticed about the operation of wafer thermostats, is all [​IMG]

    it seems that the wafer needs to be adjusted so that it is further away from the micro-switch button/nubbin....this should allow for more expansion, causing a longer time before the wafer contacts the switch button, and thus the heating element will be turned on for a longer period of time which should increase the incubator temperature.

    Yes, what turning "up" the heat does (via adjustment knob) is move the wafer a little further from the microswitch, so the wafer has to heat up more and expand more before it finally presses the switch hard enough to turn the heat element off.

    It is kind of fun to tinker with and study, actually, when there are no eggs in the 'bator [​IMG]

    I had a lot of trouble with a slightly-misthreaded crooked wafer not producing predictable linear results when the adjustment knob is turned, which *could* be the o.p.'s problem -- turning the knob further (conceivably) even more than a full revolution) will eventually bring the wafer into a further-away position.

    But there are other possibilities too, as noted.

    Pat​
     
  10. willow

    willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2008
    Sherman, NY
    Thank you all for the info. I actually put a towel over it to insulate it but it didn't even warm up then. Nothing at all has changed in or around it except the temp. inside. It WAS fine then it dropped and I can't get it back up there. I've only been turning it up a little at a time because with my luck the way it's been so far I'll probably fry them.
     

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