My DIY water heater

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mareed2k, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. mareed2k

    mareed2k Hatching

    Apr 24, 2010
    I have created the following water heater to keep freezing temperatures from forming ice in the waterer. I live in Dallas, Tx so it does not get extremely cold. I have had this running for about a month with no problems. What do you think?

    The waterer is sitting on a cinder block (concrete) (above).

    This is a better look at the cinder block "heater" that I added (above). It is a cinder block that has a stepping stone on the top as a cover. Inside one cavity of the cinder block I added a light bulb. The light bulb puts off just enough heat to keep the concrete block warm. The waterer then sits on top of the concrete and keeps it just warm enough not to freeze.

    If you slide the stepping stone off you can see the light bulb inside (above). It is attached to the concrete block with a home made aluminum bracket that is screwed into the side of the concrete block. Also I drilled a hole in the side of the block to allow the electrical cord to enter. I then attached it to a bulb base and connected the electrical. I am lucky enough to have 110v electrical service to the coop (via an extension cord).

    Here is a better look at how it is attached (above). There is an aluminum plate on the bottom of the cinder block to keep any wood from coming into contact with the heat or electrical components.

  2. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    very cool. Wish I'd seen this before buying 3 heated waterers.
  3. ginbart

    ginbart Crowing

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    Did you say what watt your light bulb is?

    I may have to try this. I live in Pa and it gets cold up here with my water always frezzzzzing.
  4. mareed2k

    mareed2k Hatching

    Apr 24, 2010
    I am not exactly sure what the wattage is on the bulb (guess about 60W). My neighbor replaced a "vanity" light fixture above their bathroom mirror that is a row of about 8 round bulbs. I took one of the ceramic bulb sockets out of the strip and used one of the round bulbs from the fixture. It seems to be working great and I have seven spares when it burns out. I had the cinder blocks out back and the cord is from an old computer. I have zero dollars invested in this project.

  5. owler

    owler In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2010
    Northen NJ
    Better by a stock pile now because you will not be able to find those bulbs soon. Government has declared them the cause of the end of civilization.
  6. mat2dong

    mat2dong Songster

    Jun 17, 2012

    I know this may be to late but there are thermo-swtchs that only turns on at freezing temps. Hope that helps others:)
    1 person likes this.
  7. KristyHall

    KristyHall Crowing

    Jan 27, 2011
    North Alabama

  8. RonC

    RonC Songster

    Feb 28, 2012
    Only a few days a year you should have to worry about the water freezing. I have lived near Dallas all my life and a week or two around Febuary are the only times it stays cold for long. Good idea though, will have to try it as mine sit on a cinder block also.
  9. sarahmanyeggs

    sarahmanyeggs Hatching

    Nov 13, 2013
    [​IMG]I just finished my new water heater... What a HUGE time-saver it will be for me! I live alone, and this one chore was almost enough to make me reconsider raising chickens in the winter months. (It's SO much work and it's SO COLD!) No fun ... Just NO fun !

    But I will give it another day or two, as I have just completed my beautiful water fountain, made with the cinderblock (that I already had in my garden) and one light bulb.

    Oh, I DO hope it works WELL. My chickens were becoming ..... just not fun in Winter in Idaho.

    Thank you for this beautiful idea!

    Sarah Dot Many Eggs @ Out Look Dot Com[​IMG]

  10. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing 5 Years

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    @ Mareed2k:
    Something you may find that is even more energy efficient.

    For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should. This is what it looks like and it thermostatically controlled to come on at just above the freezing temperature. You would have to wrap it to suit your particular application if it is viable for your set up. It is available at Home Depot in Canada.


    Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. They freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

    The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

    April looks after that however..

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013

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