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What wattage heating element would you recommend for this cabinet incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by houdiniduck, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. houdiniduck

    houdiniduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my grandpa's Bator he built in 1976. I want to think about replacing the heating element and thermostat. What size element wattage wise would you suggest? Where is the best place to purchase it as well. Thanks all!
     
  2. HatchCraft

    HatchCraft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a very interesting old home built incubator. I like the sheet metal interior and egg turner cups. It might help if you posted a picture of the interior and any existing heating element and fan. Assuming it's a force air design with a fan, I would use a finned strip heater .The fins dissipate heat faster. An non-finned strip heater would work also. The heater will require brackets or bolts to stand the heater off the surface of the interior and into the air stream. 250 to 300 watt should be plenty. Be cautious of using higher wattage heaters in a small box, they get very hot. The 225 watt wire heater with insulators sold by GQF works great but need to be mounted on a vertical surface directly in front of a fan like in the sportsmen incubator. I took a picture of finned and non- finned heaters I have in my shop.Notice the standoff brackets on the finned unit. Also a picture of a mounted wire heater similar to GQFs.

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  3. houdiniduck

    houdiniduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your response, I will take pictures of the inside later today when I get home.
    It is a very well built family heirloom. I love it, I just need to get it to a point I can use it. :)
     
  4. houdiniduck

    houdiniduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are the pictures of the inside of the Incubator. We put all the insides back in as he had them. This incubator sat in a shed for 25+ years. I brought it home and replaced the outer cabinet, other than that and a light fixture everything in there is how he made it when he built it. I want to replace the element and the thermostat since I can't get it to maintain a constant temp. It spikes real high when the heater is on, then it cools down once it shuts off.
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  5. HatchCraft

    HatchCraft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very nice design. Well worth restoring. I am guessing it's missing a metal water pan that sat on the brackets above the heating element on the bottom of the cabinet. This was a common design feature in older incubators where the element warms the water in the pan increasing the evaporation rate. Warm moist air would rise to the top to be circulated by the fan. Look like a heavy coil type element . If you disconnect the element and take a ohm measurement the wattage can be calculated. If the element still works you might keep it. If it needs replacing, a strip heater should work well. Get it running and see how it does hatching eggs. I can't see the thermostat in the picture but I'm guessing it's a wafer type. A bad wafer or sticking thermostat switch would cause the temp spike. I would replace the complete thermostat. The heater must be working.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  6. houdiniduck

    houdiniduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, there was no pan to go with it and I figured I would use an oven safe glass baking dish to put the water in. We are going to replace the thermostat first to see what happens. I have mostly decided to replace wit a digital thermostat from incubator warehouse, but I am also kicking around the idea of putting another wafer thermostat in to maintain the original design. I can't decide... What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  7. HatchCraft

    HatchCraft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not familiar with the thermostat from incubator warehouse,but as a rule quality digital controllers are more accurate and stable than wafers. I build a lot of incubator using both digital and wafer thermostat . I personally would go with the wafer retaining the original character of the incubator.
     
  8. houdiniduck

    houdiniduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for weighing in, we decided to get another wafer thermostat first. I want to keep it as original as possible, putting in a digital one just didn't sit right with me! [​IMG]
     

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