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Water heater

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by odysseychicken, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I am trying to decide on a heated waterer for the winter. I think I have narrowed it down to two choices and wanted to see if anyone here had any experience with either.

    My first choice is to make a bucket waterer with nipples. I am looking at this bucket heater, http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-250-...p/B002QXN1EQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8 . There are lots of great reviews for it but some contradict each other. All of them say that it keeps the water thawed but some say their nipples still freeze and others say their nipples don't. I suspect that the ones having the issues with frozen nipples may have the heater set up to float. I would set it up to sit on the bottom. I am hoping this will keep the nipples thawed as well. Any thoughts?

    My other option (much pricier) is this, http://www.jefferspet.com/products/k-h-heated-poultry-waterer-2-5-gallon-gray . I am attracted to this over other brands for two reasons. First, it is only 2.5 gallons. I have a small coop and don't want to take up all the space with the waterer. Most of the other heated waterers are larger. Second, and this is the biggest plus for me, it has a button valve on the cap. I can just lift the water jug off of the base, even if there is still water in it, and it will not spill. All the other heated waterers out there require you to flip the whole thing upside down to refill. I like this design much better and this is the first time I have found one offered in a heated unit. The one down side is that I don't think it has an option to hang it.

    If I can keep the nipples from freezing I think I would prefer the bucket option because it is much less expensive and I can hang it so it takes up less room in the coop.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want cheap, build a cookie-tin heater. I built one for less than $5, five yrs ago, and it still does a great job. I use a common 40W bulb in it. I would think the nipples would freeze. I never had them, but if it gets to 10 degrees or so, I think those exposed nipples would freeze. The other heated fount you show, looks good, but $60? You are depending on good ol RedChinese engineering there, and once it craps out, it's done. The cookie-tin craps out, put in a new bulb, and you are back in business.
     
  3. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I have looked into making a cookie tin heater but decided against it. I know many people have great success with them but I worry about fires. I also want something with a thermostat so it only kicks on when it needs to. I don't mind spending a little more money for piece of mind. Maybe I will do a little more research into the safety of the cookie tins. I am still curious if any one has had success keeping the nipples from freezing.
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, all I can say, is I found the tin heater very easy and cheap, to make, and if you take any care at all, TOTALLY safe. It does not get anywhere hot enough to start a fire. Maybe somebody will come on here with info on freeze proof nipples.
     
  5. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

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  6. Chaos18

    Chaos18 Minion King Premium Member

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    Slowly Losing it......
  7. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

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    Last Feb, when temps never got above freezing and sometimes hit 0 overnight, I have saw at bowl with even a skim of ice. I did get a little ice buildup at the edge, the heat comes from the bottom and the plastic sides don't conduct that heat very far above the waterline, so if the water is low and a chicken shakes some drops on the rim of the bowl, those will freeze. Filling the bowl fixed that, and I tried to fill the bowl at least once a day, so never much accumulation.

    Get a heavy, outdoor-rated extension cord. Run it when it won't get damaged by too much foot or vehicular traffic. The connectors are the "weak links" for shocks and shorts. If you can do a single run of cord that is best, if you have to connect 2, they make waterproof covers, or use a lot of electrical tape and wrap the whole thing in heavy plastic. Do not allow any connectors to be the low point where water can run down the cord to the end. Use a "drip loop" to ensure any water falls off the cord before it gets to the end. This is just making the cord dip down, then up before the very end of the run.

    If you have a friend who works with electrical stuff, ask them to look over your installation before it rains or snows on it. You can't be too cautious when dealing with electricity.

    Once you have electric to the coop for the water, consider adding a light, perhaps on a timer if you want to promote more egg production in the winter. I run my lights 3 - 7 AM and not in the evening, so they go to bed at dusk (5 PM or sooner) and wake up at 3 to start eating and laying. Even if you don't want supplemental lighting, having a light in there you can turn on when you need to work inside after dark is going to be welcome at times.
     
  8. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a very similar heater to your first link: http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Stoc...F8&qid=1444702246&sr=1-2&keywords=K&H+de-icer

    I use it sunk on the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket. It also worked in a 3-gallon bucket. Two years, no problems. I imagine the contradictory reviews about nipples freezing have to do with the style of nipple being used. My experience is when I used it VERTICAL nipples (the style that installs on the underside of the bucket), they will freeze below about 20-22F. By "two years, no problems", I am referring to using the HORIZONTAL style nipples (these install on the side of the bucket), in which they have remained unfrozen down to -9F, which is the coldest temp I've been able to test yet.

    The reasons are too many to list, but besides the less prone to freezing issue, I think the horizontal nipples are far superior to the vertical ones. They dribble less during use, are easier to install and allow a chicken to drink a bit more naturally are a few of my favorite reasons. The bucket can be sat on a block instead of needing to be suspended, as well. Buy them on ebay or I think a BYC member sells them, too.

    Here is my winter watering setup using the horizontal nipples, mind you the insulation on the bucket is absolutely NOT necessary, it just helps conserve a bit of electricity:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015

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