Safe? My galvanized heated water base is VERY hot to the touch!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by wordgirl, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    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!
  2. Ameraucanas

    Ameraucanas Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2015
    I do not know, sorry.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Call the customer service number for the company that manufactures the heater.
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I used one of those, and it also overheated. The water was actually hot, even on very cold days. It was being used in a pen with 3 breeding roosters, and I got rid of it. The best things I have used are the plastic heated water bowls, the larger 4-5 quart models. The water stays thawed but cold. They only come on when the temperatures are less than 35 degrees.
  5. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    That's a great idea, but unfortunately I'm not sure I can tell who made the heater. It's 6 years old, and the sticker that was originally on the top of the heater is scraped off. I can look again at it to see if there's any identifying marks anywhere else.

    I may need to try that. I have a small one (probably 1-2 quarts) that we've used for barn cats outside, but probably would need bigger for my 12 hens. Have you had any issues with the hens getting wet in the bowl--falling in and soaking their feathers or anything? That would be my only concern.
  6. mechanic57

    mechanic57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2014
    I'm not familiar with the one you use. I have one made from a cookie tin. In my kitchen, the tin got to 213 degrees before I shut it off. I posted a thread and got a lot of feedback about how its not nearly that hot when outside on a cold day with the water to absorb the heat. It finally got cold enough to freeze water today (high temp was 32 degrees with a 20mph wind). I set it up today and it is not hot when sitting on a cinder block and the 5 gallon metal waterer on top. It measured at 70 degrees.

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