how to hold the temp in a diy incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jjtrucker, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. jjtrucker

    jjtrucker Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 23, 2014
    My husband made me an incubator out of a thick Styrofoam cooler. He did it using a 60w bulb that says it only puts out 42w and hooked it to a dimmer so I could adjust the amount of heat it puts out. We also installed a computer fan and I have 4 holes in the Styrofoam. One hole behind the fan, one on top, one in the side, and one on the front. I am having trouble holding the temp study. I have adjusted the dimmer several times and the temp keeps going up or down. Would more holes help it hold study or what can I do to hold the temp?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Are the external temperatures where the incubator is located relatively constant?
     
  3. jjtrucker

    jjtrucker Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 23, 2014
    Yes. I put it in the back hallway where it stays fairly cool. Mostly I can't keep the temp from rising.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Making an incubator, without using a thermostat, is difficult to make work, imho.

    Not worth the hassle and certainly not worth risking valuable eggs. A simple bi-metal thermostat or a simple wafer thermostat will regulate the temperature within a one degree swing.

    IncubatorWarehouse has a simple bi-metal for $16 or a wafter (like the store bought foam 'bator's use) for around $30.

    It is the way to go. The dimmers cannot be manned 24/7 and the ambient temps will swing wildly, no matter what. Better to use a thermostat, like the store bought incubators use.

    If you wish to spring $40 -$50, you can even get a digital thermostat, with heat pack and fan built into one unit.
    http://incubatorwarehouse.com/egg-incubator-accessories/incubator-thermostats.html




    This is the "all in one" incukit"

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    This is the $16 bi-metal kind. They work well.
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    This is the Incukit again.

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    This is the wafer style thermostat below
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  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are lower cost options that work very well if setup properly...

    Water heater thermostat (bottom) about $9 locally at most hardware stores, the swing is bigger then other thermostats but I have zero issues holding the eggs where they need to be using one even with the swing using fake eggs it averages out to pretty much dead on to 99.5° once property set and with a fan blowing over it...

    [​IMG]

    Another very low cost option is the cheap 12V digital heat controllers on Ebay, about $4 delivered to your door...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    Those hotwater heater thermostats can also be customized just a bit, by drilling a few holes to allow for the heat to better "trip" it. I highly recommend YouTube watching. There's got to be 2 hours of videos, over a dozen, by Rush Lane Poultry. Wade has built dozens of these home made incubators and he's made Youtube videos using just about every combination of inexpensive components. He gives you the scoop on the various ways and means.
     
  7. jjtrucker

    jjtrucker Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 23, 2014
    Ok thank you. I originally bought a little giant incubator and it is horrible about keeping a good temp. No matter how much I adjust it the temp won't get to where it needs to be and I even set the darn thing up almost a week before I put eggs in. That is why I am trying a homemade one and so far it is doing better than the little giant but just not quite there yet.
     

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