Requesting Heated Nipple Waterer Help

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
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Massachusetts
I currently have a 5 gallon bucket with 3 horizontal nipples placed about 2 inches from the bottom. I purchased a 250 watt multi-use de-icer for winter. I've never used one before so I've got a few questions.

Is there a recommended way to rig it in the bucket? Do I suspend it? If so, at what level to keep the nipples from freezing?

I'm in Massachusetts. Should I consider additional insulation around the bucket?

I'm a visual learner so pics of similar setups would be helpful. Thanks.
 

birds4kids

Songster
May 15, 2015
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I am putting together the same thing today but putting the nipples higher to better keep the heater submerged, and keep a better thermal mass to hopefully keep the nipples warmer on the outside. Also going to put a pump in to make sure the sides of the bucket stay warm. Cold enough I should know if it works by morning.
 

birds4kids

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May 15, 2015
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It went to about 12f last night, I didn't get out early to check the bucket, it was 21f and sunny by the time I checked on it, the nipples on the shaded side and they were not frozen. I wont declare a win yet but this is promising.
 

aart

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I would definitely insulate the bucket as much as possible, can only save power.
Is your deicer recommended/rated for plastic buckets/troughs?
Some have the heating element suspended by framework to keep it from touching vessel.

I don't think you need to suspend it at a certain height in that small of a vessel.

Mine uses an aquarium heater in mine:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aarts-heated-waterer-with-horizontal-nipples
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Mine is the C-250 pictured here.
http://www.farminnovators.com/agricultural.html

The directions included with the product are not really clear as they picture what appears to be the floating model.

I was hoping someone would post pics of their setup. I feel sort of weird plugging it in and dropping in the bucket.
It says in bold letters: SAFE IN PLASTIC
So I assume it is.

When I am unsure of a products/process I try to test it out in a safe place.
Plug it on and put it in a similar bucket somewhere where the worst case scenario won't be a problem and see what it does.
Drop a thermometer in there too to see what the temps are near and away from element.

I've seen many pics of those type heaters in buckets...one put it in an oven proof glass dish in the bottom of bucket.
If you do some searching I'm sure you could find a lot of discussion and pics.
 

TalkALittle

Songster
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Dec 15, 2014
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Massachusetts
I read it as questioning safety in plastic at first too but when I reread it I think the concern is generic instructions that show a different model that floats.

I bought a different model
http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/api-500-watt-de-icer/0000000096125
Just dropped it in and cut a hole for the cords since I ran a pump too.


Yup.I know it can be used in plastic and could do a temperature test for best placement, but figured with all the smart people on here, somebody probably already did that and figured out an optimum installation method.
 

birds4kids

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May 15, 2015
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Again I used a pump so location wont matter for me but if I had just the heater I would put it to the bottom of the bucket and hope convection circulates the water enough, if you want to be more specific I would put it below the nipples.

I would also make sure the water stays well above the nipples, 2" isn't much to submerge the heater and isn't much mass to keep the nipples warm between cycles of the heater.
 

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