Water Heater.............extension cord?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tenderkat, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps


    I am exploring ideas for a water heater in my coop. Their standard 1 gallon red and whiter jug freezes everynight. For whatever I actually end up choosing, I will need to use an extension cord from the house because I don't have electrical out in the coop. Are there any general precautions/guidelines I need to keep in mind dwith extension cord use? I don't want to create any hazards. Thanks!!
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    How far is the run and how much power are you looking to use? Don't use cheap cords. Heavy 12 gauge exterior cords are the best and readily available. A couple of lights and a water bowl heater will be fine. Don't try to run anything like a stock tank heater at the end of a long run.
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Yes you have to determine how long the cord run will be and how many Amps you will be drawing. A long run will drop the amount of Amps the cord will carry safely, Tape any connections with black electrical tape to weatherproof it. Try to keep it off the ground and support it good in case of Ice build-up, Try to get someone who knows electricity to help you find out what size breaker the power is coming from IE a 15 amp/20amp ect. If after it has been used for a few hours check the cord with you hand and if it feels hot to the touch you are drawing to much power for the cord to handle and a failure or fire could accure. If you take these simple steps in mind you can safely run cords to your coop for power needs.

  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Try to run it overhead. Critters will chew on it.
  5. ldemmert

    ldemmert Out Of The Brooder

    Get a heavy duty, agricultural extension cord, put it in gray conduit (Lowes etc 10' sections for $1) to protect it from chewing critters. You'll have to cut off one end to fish it thru the conduit but replacement plugs are also available at Lowes etc for less than $5.
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I have approximately 150' of 16ga cord strung across my yard at any given time. I check it to see if it's getting hot and it never has. For a light or electric fence box this is sufficient, and the cords were given to me.

    If you're going to invest in new cords I would get at least 14ga medium or heavy duty cords. Preferably in orange or yellow --- I mowed over one of those dark green "landscape" colored cords once.

    Everyone says critters will chew on the cord, but nothing has ever chewed on mine. The birds don't seem to mess with it either. I've melted one with a brooder light, and mowed over one, but no critters have damaged any cords(yet). I'd be more concerened about human error, and I sure wouldn't cut the end off just to string it through conduit.
  7. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I have had critters, domestic and wild, chew on extension cords.

    If you're going to go through the trouble of using conduit you might as well use some romex and put a receptacle in the coop. But then that would mean more work wiring it your breaker box or tapping in to an existing circuit.
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:I agree about the second part too. I plan to run conduit and "real" electricity to my new coop eventually. I had/have the extension cords because of my chicken tractor --- you know, portable.

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