Poultry Water Heater

Tool Concept

Primary problem statement:
I am a Homesteader and I want a tool to Keep my poultry waterer from freezing because commercially available solutions are too expensive. .
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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.
Documentation Wiki: 

Bill of materials and sourcing

Step-by-step build instructions

  1. I traced the outside diameter of the feed pan onto the sheet metal and cut a disc out using sheet metal shears, then cleaned up the sharp edge using a file.
  2. I then drilled a hole through the side of the pan about 3/4" from the rim and then cut the rim to make a slotted hole to accomodate the power feed. I slit the gormmet and placed the cord through it, then slid it into the slotted hole. I then replaced the small piece I had cut out to make the slotted hole and used JB Weld to hold it in place.
  3. Next I used some JB weld to adhere the thermostat to the inside wall of the pan and some wire holders and small screws to hold the heat tape to the inside of the feed pan.
  4. I used the sheet metal disc to close in the feed pan by drilling holes through the rim and the disc and used more small screws and nuts to fasten it in place.

Supporting materials, research, and resources

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