Cookie Tin Water Heater




Introduction: Cookie Tin Water Heater

About: tinkering



A cookie tin water heater is a convenient and safer way to keep water from freezing outside during the winter. I use mine with my chickens in Colorado. While we do not have notoriously brutal winters, you can ramp up the wattage on the light bulb to have a warmer heating tin.

This can be used on any outdoor water source, have one on my dog's outdoor water bowl as well.

If you like this Instructable please vote. :)

Step 1: Material

This is a very simple build with some limited tools.

Cookie Tin: These can be found at the dollar store or any supermarket for a few dollars. You can buy these empty, but because I am a glutton for punishment, I opted for the full cookie tin.

Light bulbs: Incandescent light bulbs are much harder to find with the new LEDs, however they can still be found on the internet. I found decorative light bulbs 40W bulbs. the larger the watts the more heat the bulb will produce.

Bottle Lamp Kit: These can be found at any supermarket for around $10.

TermoCub: This is not necessary for the build but it does help not wasting money heating water when it's warm enought that it wont freeze.

Hammer and a nail: to poke a hole

Drill and bit: to widen the hole.

Step 2: Eat the Cookies

If you decided not to buy an empty cookie tin then you will need to empty the cookie tin.

This is the most rewarding step of the build.

Step 3: Adding the Hole

I began by using a hammer and nail to puncture a hole.

I then used increasing drill bits to widen the hole to the width of the provided tube thing from the bottle kit.

**CAUTION** The tin is soft and will peel out in sharp angles near the hole.

Step 4: Wire the Lamp

Use the provided instructions from the lamp kit to wire the bulb inside of the the cookie tin.

Step 5: Plug It In

Plug into a GFCI outlet. away from any water that could hit the outlet.

I have placed the tin on an upturned feeding tray to keep it elevated from leafs and debris that the ladies would kick into the waterer.

Because my bulb is a small bulb the tin is only warm to the touch. if you were to buy a larger bulb for more heat it will result in a much warmer tin, use caution and common sense.

You now have a fully functioning cookie tin water heater!

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    6 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Enjoying how simple you've kept things. Could certainly see making this out of a found lamp (for parts). What state are you in? Wondering how low you see tempuratures get.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Definitely, any old lamp would work as long as it can hold the bulb still in the tin, to ensure it isn't baking around on the sides.

    I live in Colorado. There has been one sub zero night so far and the water frosted over but did not freeze entirely. The ladies were able to poke holes in the frost and drink from the water below. If it got any colder I would substitute the current bulb for a 60W or 70W bulb. But it has not been necessary for me


    Reply 1 year ago

    Fun read! I actually found this able a while back! I went with a heater I found on Craigslist. Can't beat a good deal.

    Also fun fact I'm currently in St. Paul visiting the in-laws for the holidays. Hopefully the chickens' heaters are working.


    Question 1 year ago

    So.... the existing water dish goes on top of the cookie tin, and this warms it from below?


    Answer 1 year ago

    Hello, You are correct, the water bowl rests on top of the warmed cookie tin.