Monday, October 10, 2011

Heated Water Bucket - How to Build

Beat The Freeze In Your Bucket

I could have done what I do every Fall and go to the feed store to buy heated buckets and all sorts of commercial heating devices "ready made". After spending several hundred dollars in the past years for anti-ice, frost free, sinking, floating and a whole variety of other commercial devices for keeping water a liquid and not a solid for our 5 horses, 8 goats and 23 chickens I just had to try to build my own heated water buckets. 
Most of my readers know that I often try to save a dollar when I get a chance. After searching a bit I found a very inexpensive heating element used to warm an auto engine block, a "plug-in freeze plug heater". It looked to be just right for our Alaskan winters, many sub zero days. I already had the buckets,I just needed to add the heat. A tight fit hole-cut in the bottom of the bucket, a water tight seal and I was well on my way to warm water for my animals all winter long. There are some cautions in building your own.The first is, do not plug this thing in with no water in the bucket, it will melt right through. The second is, you will need to plug this device into a time clock or thermostat or it will actually boil the water. I put 4 water buckets on 1 electrical system and plugged it all into a timer to save energy and to keep the water temperature at the optimum.

Other shorts you may enjoy: 
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder
Don't dump your livestock tank heater
Goat Water System
How to Build a Milking Stand
My goat is getting shocked at the trough


  1. You're a very ingenious man!

    Of course our winters here in TN are so mild compared to yours but our one month of below 0 night temperatures would also freeze all of our buckets & I'd have to switch to the heated buckets. What I hated the most about that was they needed to be manually refilled! My "summer" buckets are self watering (another expensive accessory that I'm sure a handy guy like you could make for 1/4 of the price).

    Great to see you posting again!


  2. Do you know the watt usage of the frost plug? We live off grid, so that's a huge problem if it's too many watts. Shannon in Chickaloon, AK

  3. Not real sure how it would work for a chicken.

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