Repair old incubator or buy new one?? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My old Brower incubator didn't work when I plugged it in a few weeks ago, (it was fine last season) and I completely rewired it. That didn't fix it so I ordered a new switch and thermostat wafer; they arrived today and didn't fix the problem. The little light on top comes on, but it just doesn't heat up at all. The only thing left to replace is the heater element, which will cost $19.00 plus shipping. The switch and wafer were $14.00 total including shipping. By the time this thing is working again I could have bought a new styrofoam one! What is the smartest thing to do at this point: spend another $23-$25 for the heater element and wait a week for it to get here, or drive to town and buy a new incubator at the feed store? I have eggs ready to start incubating already.

I think I just talked myself into a new one! I can always fix the old one when I have time and then I'll have two. Still, I'd appreciate your input. Is it likely the element needs replacing? What would be broken in it? The ends are enclosed in rubber or something; could I rip that off and rewire it?

-- Elizabeth in E TX (, January 16, 2002


I would suggest that you purchase an inexpensive $10-15.00, multimeter. This will allow you to check the resistance of the heating element and see if it is within factory specs or needs to be replaced, without tearing into it. I figure if you can rewire an incubator, you can learn how to use a multimeter. Learning how to use an multimeter will allow you to test wires for breaks, switches to see if they work, voltages in wires and outlets and all kinds of circuits and components. A multimeter will allow you to test the parts you replaced and determine if they are good or not and allow you to trouble shoot all kinds of stuff.

-- BC (, January 16, 2002.

We went through the same things a couple of years back also. bought parts and then it still didn't work well. Luckily for us a couple of the hens started hatching their own chicks so now we just make sure we have a band around the layers leg to make sure we don't sell them. Finally I didn throw the incubator out in the trash this spring. Good Luck !!!

-- Helena (, January 16, 2002.

An update on my incubator troubles: I did order the heat element (from Cutler's Supply) and installed it this morning--the incubator is already at 101 degrees and I'm watching it to see if the temp will stabilize there. Now I have an extra switch and wafer and might use them to build another incubator later. Thanks for your responses. BC, I do own a multimeter--guess I need to learn to use it!


-- Elizabeth in E TX (, January 19, 2002.

Cutler's Supply had the cheapest prices I've found on incubator parts; their website is at cutlersupply

They were very friendly and helpful on the phone. I ordered the element on Thursday at noon and it got here today, Saturday (They are in Michigan and I'm in TX)

-- Elizabeth in E TX (, January 19, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ