Non-electric heated water

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Titus2Woman, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. Titus2Woman

    Titus2Woman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2011
    Ok so my husband has a question for me... he wants to know how I plan to keep the water from freezing in the winter when we have no electric at the coop. It is too far to run extension cords. Does any one have any non-electric solutions? Solar or battery powered heaters? Any ideas?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Carry water each day, twice a day? Not exactly convenient, but it works for thousands of folks.

    Paint a short bucket black, or buy a black rubber bowl for outside, on sunny days. The black paint will absorb sunlight and add a few degrees. Won't help much in the teens, but for mid-twenties, it will work well. Lots of dog and horse people use these.
  3. JoePa

    JoePa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2011
    Lehigh County Pa.
    Get some deep cycle batteries and use 12 volt lights in a metal cookie can under the metal water container- get a charger to periodically charge the batteries - you can get 50 watt bults at a RV store -
  4. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Quote:There are solar powered water heating elements similar to stock tank heaters. I don't believe a 12v light bulb will produce enough heat to keep water from freezing. But I have no experience to state that as fact.

    Probably just have to hope for a lot of snow or temp electric with direct burial romex.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  5. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2009
    Pliny, West Virgina
    I think generally speaking solar power is way to expensive to get the amperage that is required to produce the heat to keep water from freezing. When you consider the solar panel itself, deep cycle batteries and regulators you get into some major buck... dunno maybe in the $1500-$2000 range?

    You could buy a roll of wire and bury it kinda shallow.... maybe about a foot deep?? Even string it on poles and or trees if need be.

    Lowes sales this for $96.97

    250' 14-Gauge Solid Copper Wire

    Underground feeder cable
    May be installed as interior wiring in wet, dry, or corrosive locations
    Temperatures not to exceed 90°C (with ampacity limited to that for 60°C conductors)
    May be used where exposed to direct rays of the sun or underground, including direct burial
    Maximum voltage rating for SE-U is 600-volts
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    How far away from an outlet is it? The outdoor heavy duty cords used for construction are pretty long and are the right type for that job.

    Other than that, you're looking at hauling water twice a day when it's freezing out. It's a pain, but if that's what you have to do, that's what you have to do. I'd suggest the rubber bowls from a farm store in that case, too. They're easier to knock the ice out of since they're flexible, plus the black color helps when it's not too cold out.
  7. mochicken

    mochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    NW Missouri
    Use black rubber or metal pans and take water out a couple times a day.

    You could build a solar water heater for free out of stuff you already have and put a $25 solar "waterfall pump" to make the water stay moving all the time, I designed a system for camp showers, I will try to post a "how to" here in a bit when I have time to type it all out.
  8. TN_BIRD

    TN_BIRD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2011
    Quote:This would probably be my suggestion, too.

    Another option is to condition the birds to drink the water before it freezes. MIght also want to insulate your container and add some hot rocks, marbles or hand warmers to your setup to keep the water from freezing too quickly.

    I don't know if anybody has ever tried some of those solar oven things, but my kids did a girl scout project by making a funnel with some cardboard and foil. When exposed to the sun, it got real hot.
  9. mochicken

    mochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    NW Missouri
    Here are a couple examples of "remote solar water heating" Nothing may work 100% but these things are usually built with things you already have

    First you have a couple drums painted black, they are made on top of your coop or on a makeshift water tower that is higher than the water bowl, gravity of course.


    Second we have an actual system that cycles itself, you have a cold hose and a hot hose, the hot water is pushed out by the heat and the cold water is siphoned in to replace the water displaced by the hot water pushed out. This is a GREAT setup and highly recommend it for remote water OR chicken coop water. I built a similar setup at my cabin, when I get a chance ill shoot some pics of it.

  10. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:The National Electrical code says you may use what is called "UF" cable which is designed for direct burial however it must be buried a minimum of 24 ". You could lessen the depth requirments by "sleeving the UF cable in PVC conduit back to the house which would bring the minimum depth up to 18 inches.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by