Incubator temp is still climbing. Why?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jungleexplorer, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started a new thread because no one was replying to my old thread about this and I need to figure this out soon. So, let me give a brief history to get this thread up to speed.

    I have Hova-bator 1588 with an automatic egg turner that is full with 42 eggs. I stabilized the incubator for 48 hours at 99.5 degrees before putting the eggs in. It worked fine for a couple of days and then the temp started to climb slowly. It got up to 101 and stayed there for over 24 hours. I decided to lower the temp.

    I have the old model 1588 with the eight little switches and switch 4 come on from the factory so I turned it off and turned switch 3 on. The temp went down to 99.8 for about a day and then started to climb again back up to 101. When it did not go down again for a day., I lowered the thermostat again to switch number 2. the temp again went down to 99.8, but once again it has climbed up to 100.8 and is rising.

    Just to cover the bases and to keep from going over the same things we have already covered. The incubator is in a small 10X12 foot room with only one window that has the curtain drawn, so there is no sunlight issue here. The room is temperature controlled to never go over 68 degrees. I am using room humidity to control the humidity of the incubator per the instruction found in this article about dry incubation: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-incubate-hatch-eggs-using-the-dry-incubation-method. The room humidity is set to 50% and the internal humidity level of the incubator has held at 30% pretty steadily.

    This a new incubator that purchased in February and this is only it's second time to be used. The first time I only had 20 eggs in it and tried the wet incubation technique which was almost a complete failure. Only one chick hatched out and 10 chicks drowned. The incubator temp held very steady at 99.5 during the first batch.

    I am baffled as to what might be causing the temp to rise, but I have pretty much narrowed it down to these two things. Either the thermostat on the incubator is bad, or the full tray of eggs is causing the turner motor to heat up so much that it is able to heat the incubator by itself. The little motor is very hot when I touch it.

    Anyone have any ideas on this?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I also have the old model 1588. I don't like those dip switches. It is a forced air, so that simplifies it quite a bit.

    Have you calibrated your thermometer? Unless you calibrate it, you really don't know how accurate it is. I'll throw in the hygrometer calibration too, as a bonus.

    Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration
    http://cmfarm.us/ThermometerCalibration.html

    Rebel’s Hygrometer Calibration
    http://cmfarm.us/HygrometerCalibration.html

    What kind of thermometer do you have? Some of those battery powered digital ones can mess up over time due to the humidity.

    I really don't see where the turner motor heating up would be the problem. If it adds heat, the thermostat should kick off sooner, adjusting for the extra heat. Same thing with any other potential heat source, unless the total heat added is such that the incubator heater never kicks on.

    I think the most likely culprits are the thermostat or the thermometer. But is the thermometer real close to that turner motor?

    I have my 1588 running right now but it is well below capacity with only a few turkey eggs. I'll load it with chicken eggs in a few days. The motor is barely warm to the touch. That does make me suspicious of that turner motor.

    Are any of your turner trays in any kind of a bind that would make the turner motor work harder?
     
  3. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two thermometers in the incubator, a mercury and a digital. The mercury came with the incubator and has a large flat piece of plastic attach to the back so it can lay on top of the eggs. Both the mercury and the digital are pretty close.

    I did a test using a digital medical thermometer from our house medical kit. First I just stuck it down through the vent hole in the top of the incubator lid. This put the probe at about the same level as the bottom of the incubator fan housing and about two inches above the top of the eggs. It took five minutes to get a reading. It read 100.4. My digital thermometer was reading 100.5 at the time.

    Next I cracked the lid as quickly as I could (to not lose too much heat) and placed the medical thermometer down with the eggs. The probe ended up just above the middle of the eggs. It took ten minutes for it to get a reading and the reading was 99.8. I don't know how fast the incubator can recover heat after being opened, but that could be the reason for the temperature drop. When I go to the store I might buy a new medical thermometer and permanently insert it into the side of the incubator at the top of the egg level, just to have a way to test the internal temp without opening the lid.

    Anyway, I am not sure there would be a huge temperature difference in a force air unit as far the level the thermometer goes because the fan should be circulating the air inside the unit. But even if there is I difference, the maximum my mercury and digital thermometers are off is at most 1/2 of a degree.

    The turner was sold with the incubator by Cutler Supply and fits perfectly inside it, so there is nothing I can see to bind it up other then the weight of the eggs themselves.

    I am wondering just how much the switches are supposed to change the thermostat setting? It does not say in the manual. I mean, does each switch correspond to one degree of temperature difference or what?

    For a unit that came so highly recommended and cost this much, I am very disappointed. For $150 you get a styrofoam box with a plastic fan and heater. For $200 I can buy the parts to build a complete brand new desktop computer (without monitor of course). Sure seems to me that it is a little overpriced for what you get, especially since it does not do the job it is supposed to do and requires almost constant supervision to not kill the eggs, as in my case.

    Anyway, it is what I have and I need to make it work (at least for this batch). So, any suggestions are welcomed.
     
  4. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, after three days at setting 2 my incubator has not dropped below 100. It has stayed around 100.5. I just lowered it to the lowest setting (switch 1). I am really disappointed in the quality of this incubator and Cutler Supply. I wrote to them about the problems I have been having with the unit the sold me four days ago, but they never responded. I like buying from small private companies, but when they offer no customer service and to not back the products they sell, it makes me wish I would have bought my unit from Amazon.com.

    I have wasted so much time and money on this project, it just seems like I have failed at everything no matter how much I have followed advice. I am very discouraged.
     
  5. sparrker

    sparrker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You said that you bought the old model genesis 1588 in February from cutlers. Did you choose the old one or did they just send that one to you? I bought the new digital genesis 1588 from cutlers at the end of January? I haven't used it yet , we need a little warmer weather...I would call them you'll get faster service. I e-mailed them also about something and never got an answer, so I called them, and got right through
     
  6. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I followed a link I found on this forum to a sale page on cutler supply where I bought the unit I have. It was not until after my first batch of eggs failed (I blamed it on humidity) and had my second batch already going that I discovered they had sent me the old model. I mean, who could have guess that Hova-bator would give the same model number to a redesigned upgraded unit. Talk about a recipe for confusion. I guess Cutler Supply had some of the old models in stock that they decided to pawn off on poor unsuspecting chumps like me. This alone says a lot about the kind of company they are.

    Old or new, the unit should be able to at least keep the temp right regardless. It does not. But Cutler only offers a 30 day return period, which is very short of an incubator, because if you calculate shipping times, setup and stabilization times and the 21 days for actual incubating, you will be past the 30 day period before you will find out the unit is defective. How convenient for them.

    But in my case it is even worse, because I am trying to hatch rare gamefowl eggs that have cost me $300. Yes! I know I should have done some test runs first before I ordered the eggs. But, I thought I was buying a dependable unit because of all the good reviews it had. There are a lot cheaper incubators on the market. I went for the high dollar one (in it's category). Sometimes I forget that everything is crapanese (made in china) these days, regardless of how much it cost. So far, I have $200 in the incubator and turner and $300 and eggs. If these eggs don't hatch because this unit is defective (or just plain garbage), I will just cry.
     
  7. billiejo21

    billiejo21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have a Hovabator, but I have 2 LG's and I spent so much money on eggs and had horrible hatches. I was so disappointed. I finally just spent the money on a Sportsman cabinet bator (which I got new off eBay for basically what I spent for the 2 LGs and turners) I fill my humidity pan with water every couple of days and leave it be til lockdown...I've had 70-100% hatches on all my shipped eggs. I was sad that I didn't do more research on here before purchasing the LG's...I don't even want to add up all the money I wasted on eggs!!! Good luck...hopefully you'll figure it out!
     
  8. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Billiejo. I think I will build my own if I should try again in the future. This way I will know exactly what I have and make adjustments to my system until it is perfected. Dedication to quality is a thing of the past when it comes to buying products. To quote phrase from Russian Cosmonaut in the movie, Armageddon, "American components, Russian components, ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!!!"

    I am glad that you have an incubator that works, but brand and model do not guaranty quality these days. Another person might buy the same thing you have and get a lemon. There is simply no company or brand integrity anymore. Companies don't rely on their products to sell themselves anymore. They rely on deceptive marketing, mass sales, and consumer ignorance. It is a sad time we live in. I say this not because of the failure of my egg hatching efforts, but because of the countless other products I have purchased in the last decade that were defective, unrefined and of poor quality.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I suppose your incubator is holding temperature one degree high. That's not a need for alarm, do you have an air plug you can take out? The worse that will happen hatching at 100.5 is your chicks will hatch half a day early. Hovabator recommends 100F in there forced air reading at top of eggs. A forced air has less cold spots but with 40 eggs it's not going to circulate at rapidly. I believe your reading of 99.8F at mid egg level was accurate. It sounds like your incubator is working perfectly. Hang on till you see the results of hatch. Don't forget to up your humidity to 60% last three days.
     
  10. sparrker

    sparrker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep your head up and maybe this one Will work. I think egghead is right on. Let us know if it worked for you:)
    I would still call Cutler and let them know how you feel and to answer questions you have. They may replace your lemon, we all know about lemons. Sometimes it just feels like we always have back luck. I know how bad luck/ lemons/ murphy's law works against some of us. But think about it, it does make us tougher.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012

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