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Picking a Thermostat.

Picking a thermostat to go in your homemade incubator can be hard for the first time builder. There are lots of options that can be made to work well. Price an ease of setup are the main differences across the board.

cheapest off the shelf option is a water heater thermostat. Obviously the name tells you that it was never built to run a incubator but it has been proven over an over again to to work well. There are thousands if not tens of thousands of eggs all over the world hatched using water heater thermostats.

The big complaint people have with the water heater thermostat is its big temperature differential. There is about 6*F between the temperature the thermostat powers on an where it powers off. This does not mean that the incubator will vary in temp by 6*F. It means that you have to take extra care in placing the thermostat in the incubator. This extra work is counter balanced by the fact that you can buy a water heater thermostat at most hardware stores for cheep.

second off the shelf option is non digital central heat thermostats. The kind found on the wall of many homes. These thermostats are very sensitive but need tweaking to work at a hotter temperature range. They also cant hold up to much wattage so they require a low power power-supply an a relay to run the heater. You have to decide if this is something that is with in your skill set.

The next option is the wafer thermostat. Its probably the best option for most people.
wafer thermostatIts simple to wire an install an easy to use. It has been the backbone of the incubator industry many years an is even used on pre-electric style incubators. The issue with the wafer thermostat is you usually cant find waferthe locally. They have to be ordered an cost around $22 plus shipping.

There are lots of digital options that have came out in the last few years. Some are even special built to be used in incubators. They usually cost a bit more but what you are paying for is extreme sensitivity an ease of use. The downside to digitals is there complicated internal parts making more possible failure points which may or may not lead to higher failure rates.

Picking a thermostat is a personal choice. All these options plus many many more will work. It comes down to what you want to do. Do you want to work to save money, spend money to save work or somewhere in the middle?

Then there is the "no thermostat option." Some people use dimmer switches an low wattage light bulbs to heat there incubators. Once set right they will stay somewhat stable as long as the room temp does too. This can work but I don't recommend it. Most peoples homes change temp threw out the day an any change in room temp means the incubator changes temp too.

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