Which is more cost-effective- heat lamp, tape or heated waterer base?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by moenmitz, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Gotta find a way to keep my four galvanized waterers from freezing. Was planning on heat lamps, but I read on here that would run me $30+ month for each one to operate!!! Is heat tape or the heated waterer bases any cheaper to use? PLEASE say yes!!!
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I figured out my consumption based on, example, a 40 watt light bulb cost me 13.5 cents a day to run 24 hrs. around $4. a month. You need to get out your electric bill and see how much you pay per kilowatt hr.
  3. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    You mean that piece of paper that brings me to tears and that I avoid looking at lest I go into hysterics- that thing I throw away as soon as I right the check? Eeek. If you say so.

    Any idea on the kilowatt usage of a heated base though?
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A heat lamp is BY FAR the most wasteful and expensive possible way to keep water ice-free.

    I have never run the other two side-by-side but there are pretty reasonable theoretical grounds for suspecting a heated base would be somewhat more efficient than heat tape.

    Note to those who want to read labels and compare wattages, that's only when the thing is *running* and you don't know what its duty cycle is going to be.

    I can tell you that I run two heated water tubs (the ones that muck-bucket-sized versions of heated buckets, with the heating element embedded in the plastic, you know?) for my horses. And these are outdoors in temps that get down to -25 F or lower. (I.e. bigger appliances in more-severe conditions than anything you'd use in your coop). They are essentially invisible on my electric bill (I know for sure, b/c the barn is on a separate meter).

    Good luck, have fun, be safe,

  5. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    I think my heated base is said to use the same amount as a 100 watt bulb.It's made by KUHL I believe. Will
  6. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Thanks for the info! That is the way to go then.
  7. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    I personally do not use any.

    Where are you located? And, are the waterers inside a coop?

    Mine freeze maybe 2-3 times a year and when it does happen, I just take out warm water for the chickies and they love it.
  8. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    North Iowa. Otherwise known as Antartica of the MidWest. -10 to -20 temps are fairly common, and -60 is generally a once or twice per winter occurence. Average night time temps are single digit by December, already we have had several single digit nights and the water has been frozen rock solid half a dozen times. The barn is neither heated, or insulated so we will be watching the birds closely in case they have issues with the cold, but they are all heavy breeds that are supposed to be cold hardy, so crossing our fingers. When it gets below zero we will probably run a few lamps to take the chill off at night, but I know they need to build hardiness to the cold if they are going to survive, so no plans to baby them. Just lots of deep litter and fluffy friends to snuggle with.

    We use double walled galvanized waterers, so when they freeze, they are a real bugger to get open and take apart, let alone to bust the ice out of without ruining them. I have 4 different pens going, for 50 layers, 2 ducks and 12 turkeys, so it has become an issue already. I had planned on using the heat bulbs as I didnt want to shell out the cash for four heated bases, but I see now a month's worth of electricity for running four bulbs would likely cost as much or more, so I am just going to bite the bullet and order the bases.
  9. Village Farm

    Village Farm Out Of The Brooder

    We just got one of those galvanized bases, since once it's below about 20F the double-walled fount freezes in a couple of hours and as noted above is extremely difficult to de-ice. We had been swapping a couple of founts out over the course of the day but realized if we were gone overnight the chickens would be completely without water.

    My very favorite part was reading the dire warnings in the accompanying information not to use the heater base anywhere near water! Second favorite was the bit about only using it indoors, and third was that it mustn't be used with an extension cord.

    We all have indoor coops with their own electricity supplies and buy heater bases with no intention of putting water near them.
  10. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I use the heated base, they SAY it turns off when not needed, and keeps the water just above freezing.

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