Paver and Stepping Stone Heated Waterer. (Modified form of the cinder block and light)

JDGreene

Songster
Oct 18, 2018
163
290
133
Tennessee
This is what I made. The pic pretty much sums up how it's made. The scale might be off a little.
Waterer.png

Instructions:

1) Put down one of the stepping stones and level it. This is important to have your waterer level when finished.
2) Stack the pavers as shown on top of the bottom stepping stone. You will have to slide two of them out a little to accomodate the conduit. They are not mortared in.
3) Install the conduit, box, light socket assembly as shown. This should be securely mounted somehow. The pavers all push together to close as much of the air gaps as possible.
4) Install the light bulb.
5) Put the other stepping stone down on top of the pavers.
6) Put your waterer on top.

Notes:

The round electrical box has mounting tabs but I didn't use them. I didn't need to since I set my base a few inches away from a wall so I could mount my conduit on the wall as it runs up it.
Turned out to be pretty sturdy.

I used 1/2" pvc. I'd assume you need a couple sections of conduit and several fittings so I can't really put a set dollar amount on these since everyones will be different.

The porcelain light socket is NOT waterproof. I didn't set my base in a flood area and I do NOT advise you to. I have a GFCI/ARC fault breaker on my circuit. You should have GFCI protection
if your base is in the elements. You can use a GFCI outlet but me and those don't get along. Electricity/water is not something to play around with so have someone who knows what they are doing
wire it up or do it at your OWN risk.

I'm starting out with a 35w bulb. I don't know how many watts to use at this point but that I just what I had laying around. It hasn't gotten below freezing here yet. The bulb can be changed out
as the weather gets colder but I have my light bulb circuit on a dimmer switch so I can adjust the heat of the bulb if I go bigger. I've tried a dimmer on a GFCI outlet and they didn't get
along very well. So far the GFCI breaker works fine.

As far as the wire goes, I used a 12/3 extension cord inside the conduit. This way I can plug/unplug up to an electrical outlet. With the porcelain light socket and pvc box, there is nowhere to
hook up the green (ground) wire so just put a wire nut on it keep it away from the other wires. If you use a metal box or metal light socket, you will have to hook up the green wire.

The base sits up higher than what I would like but I just put a few extra pavers around the edge for them to stand on if needed. Doesn't really matter to them though, they will stand on
the edge of the top stepping stone and in the water. My chickens are only 7 weeks old.

I estimate this costs about $40-50 if you buy all the things from Lowes. I had alot of this stuff laying around so it didn't cost me that much but I feel as though I have a good setup. The cost could be considerably less if you shop around.

Items I used:

$3.87 ea 2 Stepping Stones (15.7" x 15.7" x 1.80")
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Brickface-...6-in-x-16-in-Actual-15-7-in-x-15-7-in/3034744

$0.61 ea 18 Pavers (7.75" x 3.88" x 1.80")
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Holland-Re...-8-in-x-4-in-Actual-7-75-in-x-3-88-in/3010214

$2.21 for a 10ft section. Non-metallic PVC condiut. I'd say you need a couple sections.
https://www.lowes.com/pl/Conduit-Conduit-conduit-fittings-Electrical/4294653947

$4.00? Various fittings to make your conduit run. Probably going to be few dollars.
https://www.lowes.com/pl/Conduit-fittings-Conduit-conduit-fittings-Electrical/4294653948

$7.78 Hubbell TayMac PVC Exterior Round Box (Wow $7 for a pvc box. I didn't want metal so I used it. Comes with 4 plugs, you will need to buy the male screw in fitting.)
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hubbell-Ta...dard-Round-Celing-Wall-Electrical-Box/4005487

$1.49 Porcelain Light Socket
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Eaton-660-Watt-White-Ceiling-Socket/3143461

Wire.

Light bulb. Either incandescent or halogen. Nowadays they are more expensive than LED bulbs.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,970
37,534
1,096
southern Michigan
Beautiful picture and directions!
I have some big standard birds, and would be concerned about these bricks not being attached to each other. I thing it would be safer to have a solid box, and caulk or something to seal the opening for the light socket.
I'm sticking with my ugly metal heated bases myself, for now.
Mary
 

Ghosty

Crowing
Jun 26, 2018
671
1,083
251
SW Missouri
Beautiful picture and directions!
I have some big standard birds, and would be concerned about these bricks not being attached to each other. I thing it would be safer to have a solid box, and caulk or something to seal the opening for the light socket.
I'm sticking with my ugly metal heated bases myself, for now.
Mary
I have interlocking pavers in my dog pen and even my 50 pound pups can't move them. The pvc box connected to the pvc conduit is waterproof. Unless the box floods and reaches your socket it should be ok, but nothing is 100%, thats why you run to GFCI breaker. I may try this with a heating element, or I already have a porcelain socket. Thanks for the plans.
 

oldrooster

One Crazy Nut
9 Years
Feb 19, 2012
4,280
4,162
417
monroe county indiana
My Coop
My Coop
Beautiful picture and directions!
I have some big standard birds, and would be concerned about these bricks not being attached to each other. I thing it would be safer to have a solid box, and caulk or something to seal the opening for the light socket.
I'm sticking with my ugly metal heated bases myself, for now.
Mary
if nothing else using duck tape in circles around and a couple of times over and under ought to do it, the tape may not be rugged but the shear weight if tightly wrapped ought to keep it in place. please note this is just a jury rig fix, might get thru 1 or 2 winters but as you said calk or some sort of glue ought to be used....
 

JDGreene

Songster
Oct 18, 2018
163
290
133
Tennessee
Update: It got down to 17F. I was using a 100 watt bulb. There was a little ice trying to form around the outer perimeter where the water is so I'm going to say that is the cutoff point with this setup. Anything below that isn't going to work and be trouble free. If you are in Florida, South Georgia, etc, where it doesn't get any colder than that, then you should be fine.

I was not worried one bit about the plastic waterer melting so that could be a plus if someone is looking to use a plastic waterer instead of metal but I didn't leave the bulb on when it got a little above freezing either, since there is no need to.

Inside where the bulk of the water is was fine but that part is sitting directly over the open spot where the bulb and heat is. The outer ring where the water is actually sits over the pavers so the heat isn't really getting to the outer ring like it is in the middle. Maybe a smaller waterer will work better, not sure. My waterer has ~14" diameter.

I've since removed the stepping stone on the top and replaced it with a piece of 1/8" aluminum with a spacer on the edge to allow the heat to travel over near the edge instead of the paver blocking it. It may melt my waterer or it may not be any better. Won't know for several more days.
 

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