incubator hot/cool spots

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Ema, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    My dh built me an incubator made from a cooler, the big blue and white ones they sell at wally mart. well he was trying to surprise me for xmas and he had eggs incubating in it when he brought it up xmas day. the temp was a steady 99.5 and the humidity was pretty steady to but the hatch went really wrong and all embryos died. So the incubator sat fora few weeks and now we bought 2 new thermometer/hydrometers and I got one on each end of the cooler on the inside where the eggs will be, one on the upper left side and one of the bottom right side.

    but the temperature difference between the 2 is 9 degrees. its driving me nuts I have been tweaking it all darn day and I cannot get it to work. I redirected the computer fan more towards the light bulb thinking maybe there isn't enough air movement in there. and it still hasn't helped. Dh is thinking we might need a stronger fan to move the heat around.

    The light bulb and thermostat at on the right hand side and thus that thermometer is reading near 105 with low humidity and the left hand side is reading at 98.6 with 20% humidity. I have tried just about everything I can think of and I need help.

    Is it possible my fan is not strong enough?? I got eggs I would really really like to hatch, I can get more, not from my girls since they are not really laying but from the farm down the street, but I wanted these to go in tomorrow, I am so green at incubating, and I have read so many threads I am about as confused as one person can get.

    please advice me,

    Ema
     
  2. tristancolli

    tristancolli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Kinmount
    it might be that the fan isnt strong enough but it may also be where the fan is located from the heat sorce. Post pics it may help with a diagnosis.
     
  3. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    That just sounds wrong. A 9 degree difference is huge. With a fan that should never happen. Even if the fan was just slightly blowing it wouldn't be that high. Check the accuracy of your thermometers.
     
  4. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    I want t post pictures but my laptop is not recognizing my pix program so therefore I have no clue how to upload them I think my dh needs to fix the program.

    anyhow if you are looking at the cooler on the right hand side it goes Fan----light bulb----thermostat there is about 6 inches in between each we got the instruction to build our cooler incubator from the how to pages here in byc.

    I truly think it might also be the fan, but won't know until dh can switch it out and he is at work till 5 am :-( guess all I can do it wait and then get him to switch it tomorrow and see what happens.

    I would love me a nice store bought bator, but cannot afford one, so we will tweak this until I am blue in the face and get it right!!

    if he gets the program going I will post pics for sure

    Ema
     
  5. TinaK

    TinaK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2010
    Australia
    I have a home made bator with a fan and 2 thermometers. I get a 1 degree variation from one end of my incubator to the other.

    I know that the temp in my bator will fluctuate 4 degrees before the light comes back on... but the temp within my wriggler held constant.

    Have you tried testing it with a water wriggler yet? We don't have wrigglers here in Aus so I filled up a sandwich bag with warm water, wrapped it in a second bag and placed it around my thermometer probe to simulate an egg.

    I was amazed at the difference between the ambient air temp in my bator and the temp inside of my wriggler. I found that even if my heat in the bator fluctuated my home made wriggler held steady.

    I also found that I had to increase my air temp by a few degrees to ensure that the centre of my wriggler held steady at 37.5* (celsius).

    Here is a pic of the layout of my home made bator (not including open water jar for humidity and & a closed water jar operating as a heat sink).

    [​IMG]

    I'm trying it out for the first time now. I don't know if I'll have success... but I'm pretty confident that the bator is holding temp well and working as it should!
     
  6. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    well I see a problem with mine already after seeing yours...my fan is beside the light bulb, not like yours so it can push the heat away, in other words its blowing on the bulb and towards the thermostat and likely pushing it back and forth instead of all around, as on the front of the bulb we placed some tin foil thinking the light might be too bright or hot for eggs. hmmm I think my bator needs more work, and thanks for the fantastic idea, I will need to try this out for sure.

    Ema
     
  7. TinaK

    TinaK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2010
    Australia
    Good luck with your modifications Ema! I based mine on a few designs I saw online. Check the sticky at top of the incubating page. I'm sure there is a list of all the home made incubators there somewhere!

    This is one of the links I saved: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/gopherboy-farms-the-gopherbator-egg-incubator

    There is also a good pdf of the instructions but I can't attach! here is the quote that lead to my fan position......

    "We have found that the best position for the thermostat is along the back wall of the cooler, away from the light on the end. The fan is still best placed in the corner, so that the sides are each touching a different side of the cooler".
     
  8. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2010
    Southern Oklahoma
    I have a cooler incubator, and the fan is blowing across the bulb to the thermostat. First of all I need to know if you are using a water heater thermostat? I am using one, and I did a water heater thermostat modification. Here is a link to drilling holes into your thermostat to make it more sensitive to temperature changes.

    By the way, My incubator holds temperatures steady throughout the incubator. I would like to see some pictures of your incubator too.

    Here are some pictures of my setup.

    [​IMG]

    The screw driver is to adjust the thermostat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is my egg how my egg turner works.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the placement of the fan and light and thermostat. By the way, even after the modification, the metal side of the water heater thermostat has to be facing the light bulb, and be within 1 and1/2 inches.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    After getting a much better thermometer, I let the incubator stabilize for a while. The humidity is very low due to the low moisture in my room. I don't add water to this incubator the first 18 days, so the only moisture this incubator gets is from my room.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  9. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    My incubator is the exact same as yours, same set up and all, minus I do not have an egg turner as of yet and I do believe my fan is smaller. we are changing the fan today to a bigger one and we are going to try and see how that works for us, some of my eggs will be 10 days old today, still sitting on the counter, I hope they will still be viable, ugh.....
     
  10. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2010
    Southern Oklahoma
    Have you modified your thermostat? I would do that if I were you. It really works, and I know that I didn't have much money to go back to the store, and get another thermostat. I didn't want to ruin my good thermostat, but I figured I could take the chance.

    I did it, and I am very happy that I did this.

    The porcelain that they make water heater thermostats out of is pretty tough. I thought that I might crack the thing in half by drilling into it, but it was fine.
     

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