Need help with homemade incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by startingaflock, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. startingaflock

    startingaflock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2009
    I finished building my incubator (styrofoam cooler type) and I am having problems with the thermostat. It has about a 10 degree variance of when it shuts off and comes on. Does anyone else have this problem. I am using a hot water heater thermostat, a 25 watt light bulb, digital thermometer and a computer fan. Any ideas? I have a little time to tweak it. I want to put eggs in in February (21st).
     
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Put the thermostat 2 inches from the light on one side of the incubator an the fan on the other side.

    You may need a hotter light too.
     
  3. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Although I have no personal experience with the "hot-water-heater thermostat", I have seen several "posts" on BYC regarding them. A "Search" would yield much info.

    It seems to me that it is important to position the "heat" (light-bulb) NEAR the thermostat. ALSO, I believe someone who was "in-the-know" drilled some holes somewhere in one of theses thermostats to make it "more responsive". I don't know the details of that.

    Try a BYC "Search" for water heater thermostat and see what "turns-up". [​IMG]

    -Junkmanme- [​IMG]
     
  4. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

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    Jul 15, 2009
    King and Queen Co, Va
    I"m using the hot water tank heater thermostat in my homemade incubator too. I was having similar problems as you are. My temp swings were nearly 20 degrees between shutting off then on. I found a page here on byc where someone drilled holes in the plastic part of the the thermostat and it worked like a charm. I did that and mounted it about 6 to 8 inches from my heat source. Works great now, there's only a couple of degrees variance now and my eggometer remains at constant temp of 99.5.

    Here's the link, the part about drilling the holes is in the second part of the page. You don't have to do any of the stuff he talks about in the first part.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=26580-thermostat-modification

    btw: I'm going to start my first hatch in the new incubator on Feb 28. I'll be interested to see how your hatch turns out too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  5. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep !!!

    Barred Rocker has supplied you with the information that I was referring to.

    GOOD JOB there, Barred Rocker !

    and jus1jack did some great research and improvisational, creative modifications !! (not to mention his time to show us the "solution" !!!)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I give you fellas the [​IMG] !!!

    -Junkmanme- [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  6. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

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    King and Queen Co, Va
    Thanks Junkmanme. Yep, that info pulled me out of a head scratcher. Also just because the proximity of my thermostat worked for me doesn't mean that will necessarily work in your case. The size of you incubator will determine that. Play with it some, you may have to try different positions.
     
  7. startingaflock

    startingaflock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2009
    Thanks everyone. We will try this and see what happens. I am setting eggs on Feb.21st so that they will be hatching during March (spring) break and my oldest son will be able to see too.
     
  8. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Michigan
    I tried precisely this with my thermostat; twenty minutes later, I had a broken drill bit, a dented (but not whole-y) thermostat, and a table that looked like it had been shot.
     
  9. startingaflock

    startingaflock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2009
    We tried this last night. NO luck! The light now turns off at 99, the temp continues to rise to 102 and then it drops to 76 before the light comes back on. We too had some problems with the drill bits but DH drilled a bit and then used a nail punch to knock the rivets out. I should have saved the $30 that I spent on the thermostat and put it towards an inexpensive incubator! I might just go buy one anyway, forget screwing around with it anymore!!!
     
  10. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

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    King and Queen Co, Va
    Quote:Ok, I think ya'll are trying to drill through the metal part. I didn't even mess the back shiny metal part. I went right through the front and side, in the plastic (black part). That shouldn't be breaking drill bits. I had to hold back to keep my bit from going in too far. You have to play around with the positioning to get it to work right. Mine was too far away at first and had too much variance. I moved it closer and it worked perfectly. Mine switches off at around 100 and comes back on at 98. Maybe it's not going to work in certain circumstances, I don't know. Just letting you know don't even bother taking the back off or trying to drill through the metal.
     

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