How to use water heater thermostat?

BGCNVLA

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 7, 2010
62
0
39
Sonoma
Ok, maybe this sounds stupid but I just wired my light bulb to the water heater thermostat so now how do I use the darn thing? I remember reading that someone had set theirs to turn on at 99 and turn off at 101 but I don't know how to make that happen. Thanks!
 

BGCNVLA

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 7, 2010
62
0
39
Sonoma
I can't seem to maintain any temperature stability. The thermstat turns the light off at 100 but it lets the bator cool to about 90 before turning back on. Help!
 

Sooner

My kids Mom!
10 Years
Mar 22, 2009
6,665
13
266
Oklahoma
If you read the link above that is what it is talking about. I plan to try to drill the holes to see if I can fix the drop before the light comes back on.

It also took mine most of the day to level out on temp.
 

Penturner

Songster
9 Years
Feb 1, 2010
889
12
131
Reno Nevada
Thanks for the link, I just set up my light and stat and was looking for how to tinker with the stat. I have been running the system for the last 4 and a half hours and had the 10 degree swing thing going pretty well. This link stopped me from dismantling my stat. Just for the record my stat is right now at a full 10 degrees between high and low. will let you know what happens when I am done punching it full of holes.
 
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Chickenfarmer 1-2-b

Songster
10 Years
Oct 28, 2009
137
1
109
I am thinking about drilling the holes on my thermostat also. What is the easiest way to do that? Do I have to open the metal back first or just drill the hard plastic casing in the front? Do you just use a regular drill or some other more accurate drill like Dremel. For those that drilled out the holes, how successful are you in getting the temperature more stable, may I have a poll?. I read the web site from Sink-a bator who I believe originally posted this idea, but still not sure how to do this.
 

Penturner

Songster
9 Years
Feb 1, 2010
889
12
131
Reno Nevada
Chickenfarmer, I just got through drilling mine. I am not positive I did not damage it just yet. But I can tell you what I learned. You do have to take the stat apart. I didn't for my first set of hole and dinked the little metal disc. Anyway the way to do it right is to drill out the two rivets that are under the label. the metal back then comes off. there are three parts inside that will fall out or fall off. a metal disk that should be stuck to the metal back plate with some grease that looks like pretroleum jelly. next is a flat thin metal and right in the center of where the metal disc sets is a small pin. go very carefully and keep track of where these pieces go and which way is up. the photos in the link help. remove all those parts. you then drill holes from the circle where the metal disc sets to the outside of the case. you have to drill at an angle. I was able to get 3 nearly 1/4 inch holes on one side and 1 on the other. when I put mine back together I simply screwed it to a piece of 2X4 for now putting the screws through the old rivet holes. keep in mind there is also a hole in the back that allows air to the disc as well. I have mine plugged back in and testing to see if it shuts off or if I damaged the disc it is only up to 82 ATM so it will still be a little bit before I know. My mistake was trying to drill it without taking it apart. this is impossible because you are drilling right at the metal disc.
 

Barred Rocker

cracked egg
10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
790
32
189
King and Queen Co, Va
I didn't take mine apart to drill the holes. I just carefully drilled though the bakelite without going all the way through and used an x-acto knife to finish the job. Mine works well but it depends on its proximity to the heat source. If it's too far away, the temp swings may be too much. Mine turns on at 98-99 and cuts off at 100-100.5. You want to make sure it's not flush against the wall of the bator either. I used a half dozen small washers to space it 1/4 inch out.
 

Penturner

Songster
9 Years
Feb 1, 2010
889
12
131
Reno Nevada
Well i let mine run through two cycles. it started at about 80 degrees and stayed on up to 91 degrees according to a digital thermometer I have setting right next to the stat. it then shut off and stayed off while the temp dropped to 86.9 a 4.1 degree fluctuation compared to a 10 degree fluctuation I was getting. it then came back on and warmed back up to 88.8 a 1.9 degree fluctuation. Obviously the whole system needs some more time to stabilize but from a 10 degree hi and low to a 1.9 degree one is pretty good. it shows that the stat can take some abuse and still function as well. I am getting some flickering of my lamp that I did not have before. the first cycle the lamp started flickering at 89.2 degrees. right now I am getting them again at 88.8 degrees. This time the flickers are a little longer lasting than they where the first time. I am thinking that maybe the disc did get a little to damaged and will get another stat and modify it the correct way the first time. it will give me a spare housing to monkey around with. since I am doing all this to experiment with incubators anyway I expected to duplicate expenses when I started. this won't be the last stat I buy. I will say for now that it does make a big difference. not a 1 tenth of a degree stable difference just yet but I can live with a 2 degree swing.
 

fishman65

Songster
10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
479
6
131
flat rock
on my first one i took it apart, but it did'nt want to work right. On my second & thrid one i left it whole and just SLOWLY & CAREFULLY drilled 2-3 holes in the bakelite black housing. Both of my refrigerator incubators now work like a charm only a 1 1/2 degree fluctuation. Don't forget a fan and a couple of heat sinks make a big difference in temp stability. Just take your time and get it stable before you set eggs.
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