Last night when I was changing my chickens' water I set my hand down on the heated base and it was VERY hot--I couldn't keep my fingers on it for any length of time. I unplugged it because I was worried it was overheating (and last night didn't get very cold, so the water was fine without extra heat), and now I am afraid to turn it back on again. Is that amount of heat normal? The base did seem to cycle on and off (it was kind of making a low hum and then clicked off after a little while), so maybe it would not stay that hot continually, but I felt like it was too much heat for being unsupervised in a coop filled with wood chips! I'm already quite paranoid about fire safety in the coop, so maybe I'm overreacting, but I wanted to check and see if anyone else knows how hot their bases get, and if I can keep using this one safely. I think it was just the very top that was so hot--the sides didn't really heat up. I have been using it for a few days and hadn't noticed it getting that hot before--maybe the heat normally transfers into the cold water fount and does not usually get the base so hot (I was changing the water, so there was nothing on the base for a few minutes)? I do have the base up away from the wood chips on an overturned plastic cement mixing tub, but wood chips still get between the heated base and the mixing tub, so it's not 100% chip-free, and of course the chickens toss the chips around as they scratch in the bedding. The heating element on the underside of the base is not covered, unless the gray pad of sorts is a cover for the heating element and is not the element itself. The base is about 6 years old, and this is my first winter using it in a couple of years (the past three winters I had ducks, who used a plastic heated bucket, so I am re-learning how to deal with chicken water in the winter). Thank you for your help!