Light bulb to keep water from freezing

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by eagle227, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. eagle227

    eagle227 In the Brooder

    Jul 11, 2014
    What watt bulb should I use to keep water freezing in coop, coop size 12x16, 25 chickens, five gallon water. I have a 60 watt bulb in it now and this morning it had some ice in it. I took a #10 metal bucket and put the bulb in it and the put a plastic milk grate upside down over it and set the water on top of that.
  2. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I think your bucket heater would work better if it was making DIRECT contact, with the water fount. The plastic milk crate is messing up the heat transfer. I use one of those cookie tin heaters. with a 40W bulb. The water fount sits directly on the cookie tin.
  3. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    You don't mention just how cold your coop temperatures are.

    Regardless, I agree that you should make direct contact with the heat source and water source for best results.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I would be scared to death of a set up like that. Water could drip down into the bucket with the bulb. Do a thread search for "cookie tin water heater". At least in this application, the bulb is enclosed.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Another approach would be to place water in a black bowl than is placed on a dark surface. Then suspend very securely a heatlamp 18 to 24 inches above bowl. Also make so bowl surrounded by walls on three sides to funnel additional light from bulb onto bowl. In all likelihood your current bulb will not get done if temperatures extremely low. Birds may bust bulb so make certain it is properly grounded.
  6. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Keep in mind that hot air (and water) rises. It would be more effective to have the heat source below the waterer and focus the heat to the waterer. The metal bucket is actually conducting good portion of heat to the surrounding environment rather than the waterer. The milk crate further disperses heat through convection into surrounding atmosphere because of the space between the waterer and the bucket.

    I use a 6ft heating cable inside a wood stand. The stand has an opening on top where warm air rises thru and a 1 gal waterer sits. The system is only warm to the touch and water never froze. It also comes with a thermostat to automatically turning it on and off.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  7. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Songster

    Jun 10, 2014
    Why not just buy an aquarium heater for $15?
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Heat rises though convection, not though radiation (light source I suggested) or conduction. Once heat source is enclosed up and down no longer matter.

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