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Waterer Gets Heat From Underground
“The earth’s temperature at 8 ft. below the surface stays at 49 degrees even during the coldest months of the year. I’ve harnessed that heat to keep my homemade chicken waterer from freezing over,” says Dan Ambrose, Grand View, Idaho, about his “earth-heated” waterer.
  The waterer consists of a 13-gal. plastic tub with a closed loop of 2-in. dia. pvc pipe that extends 8 ft. deep below ground.
   Ambrose simply cut 2 holes in the bottom of the tub and installed 2 bulk head, double-threaded 2-in. fittings to connect to the pvc tubes. Inside the tub, he attached 2-in. pvc threaded couplings with one 9-in. long tube and one 11-in. tube. A 4-ft. deep underground water line hooks up to a nipple at the bottom of the tub. A float assembly mounted above the water intake controls the water level inside the tub. Chickens drink through a 4-in. dia. hole that Ambrose cut in the middle of the tub’s snap-on lid.
  “The whole principle is that cold water sinks and warm water rises, and since one tube inside the tub is 2 in. shorter than the other, it causes the water to constantly circulate,” says Ambrose. “I installed the waterer last winter and it worked great. One morning the temperature got down to 6 degrees, but only a very thin layer of ice developed.
  “I installed the tank at ground level, but the chickens kept scratching dirt away from the tub. To solve the problem, I cut up some old bowling alley gutter and buried it vertically in the ground around the tank, like a little fence.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan Ambrose, 22219 River Rd., Grand View, Idaho 83624 (ph 208 834-2388 or cell 208 598-3498; pdugger@earthlink.net).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6