February 16, 2014

Taking the freeze out of winter

The weather has been brutal this winter. I don't ever remember a season with so many days below zero as this one. I'm pretty sure it lead directly to the loss of Crusher. But even before it fell below zero, I was still struggling to find an (economical) way to keep their water from freezing. Rather than running the electricity for an expensive heated water dish, I took a DIY approach.

Using a cinder block, I ran a 60W light bulb into one of its chambers and then sat the water dispenser on top. The heat from the light bulb is concentrated just enough to keep the weather above freezing. It's worked perfectly all winter and hasn't been a blip on the electric bill.

One trick to make the cinder block easier is to chisel away a small slot on the bottom of the block so the extension cord slides in more easily. Also, a note about safety. Make sure the cinder block sits up high and doesn't get caught up in any hay or pine chips. Fire is a real concern with this setup.

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