A simple, low-cost solution to keep your poultry waterer from freezing.
I needed a heater to prevent my chickens' water from freezing and looked at what was available commerically. What I found was just too expensive, around $80.00, so I decided to attempt to make my own. My first attempt was to build a wooden box and place a drop light fixture inside. While functionally this worked, I was concerned about the potential fire hazard of the wooden box so I decided to take another stab using metal.
The benefit of using the heat tape is that it comes with an integral thermostat factory set to power on at about 40 degrees and off again at about 45 degrees.
By turning the pan upside down I now have a heater that looks remarkably like those expensive commerically available heaters. I set my water container on top and I can tell you it works like a charm! My total cost? $30.00 for new parts and of course there is some value to the miscellaneous stuff I had laying around too, so maybe $35.00 which I consider quite a bargain.