API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer

8.5Expert Score
Quick Summary

The API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer will keep your bird bath ice-free all winter long, even in sub-sub-zero temperatures. It has a super-practical 10-foot power cord and a non-stick coating on the heating element for easy cleaning.

Cord Length
We Liked
  • Thermostat-controlled: only runs when needed
  • Non-stick coating retards corrosion
  • 10-foot cord with anti-rub guard
  • Safe for all bird baths
  • Multiple thermostats for extra safety
  • 1-year warranty
  • Very good warranty service
We Didn't Like
  • Not easy to clean
  • Ribbed cord protector may frighten birds

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API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer Review

Photo of API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer

The API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer performs like a champion in the bitterest cold and has the longest power cord in its class.

“Was -30F this week – about half the bird bath is still liquid.”

It’s easy to find room for this 5-inch disk in the bird bath, and you’ll love having ten feet of power cord to work with. That’s unheard of in this type of product!

You’ll never have to worry about excess power usage because multiple internal thermostats ensure that the API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer operates only when the temperature below 40ºF (4ºC).

“Winters here in northern Missouri get very cold and snowy, have never had the water freeze. Its still going strong after 4 years.”

Table of Contents

Who is this product for?

If you live where the winters are the coldest in the country, the API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer was made for you.

With 250 watts of power, it’s a great choice for keeping large bird baths ice free.

What's included?

Photo of API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer in box

The API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer is a one-piece unit. No assembly is needed, and it comes with instructions.

Overview of Features

The API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer is a compact round cast aluminum unit that’s about 5 inches in diameter and one inch thick.

The API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer weighs a measly 1.25 lb (about 570 grams), which makes it super easy to handle and place, but also means the weight of its 10-foot power cord could pull it out of the bird bath.

Solution: a rock, brick or other weight to hold it in place. 

It’s controlled by multiple internal thermostats so the heating element only activates when the water temperature drops below 40ºF (4ºC).

A lightweight ribbed plastic tube protects about 29 inches of the power cord against abrasion from rough surfaces.

The API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer is made in USA by Miller Manufacturing and comes with a 1-year warranty.

“This de-icer is working very well. I especially appreciate the ten-foot cord.”

How to use the API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer

The API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer seems to be more sensitive to any hint of a short circuit than other bird bath de-icers. If you purchase this de-icer, take extra care to ensure that your outdoor GFCI outlet is working properly.

If you do need to use an extension cord, it might be a good idea to get the API LOCKNDRY  extension cord that is recommended for this de-icer. The two products lock together securely to form a water-resistant seal to prevent electrical shorts.

To use the API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer:

  1. Place the de-icer in the center of your bird bath.
  2. Place a rock or other weight on the de-icer to hold it in place and make it lie flat.
  3. If the bird bath is empty, add water.
  4. Connect the cord to an outdoor GFCI outlet or to the LOCKNDRY extension cord and then to your GFCI outlet.

The de-icer will switch on when the water temperature drops below 40ºF (4ºC).

The API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer does have a non-stick coating but you’ll still need to clean it regularly with vinegar or a lime remover to remove any mineral deposits, especially if you have hard water.

(Mineral deposits cause ‘hot spots’, so if you don’t stay on top of them, the heating element will eventually fail.)

With all those nooks and crannies it helps to have a stiff scrub brush for the dirty work.

Alternative to this product

Farm Innovators 150 Watt C-50P Chicken Waterer De-Icer

Despite the name, this product is actually a bird bath de-icer too. For very cold winters in the Midwest and the colder parts of Canada, this unit is another good choice. A smoother surface makes this heating element is easier to clean; it has enough power to do a good job down to about -10°F (-23°C) and it comes with a 3-year guarantee.

However, at 65 inches the power cord is not quite as convenient, so unless your bird bath is very close to a GFCI outlet you will need an extension cord and safety seal.


The API 250 Watt Bird Bath De-Icer works well to keep a large bird bath ice-free in the bitterest cold of winter. It has the longest power cord of any bird bath heater and multiple thermostats to control power usage. If you live in an area that gets extreme winters, this unit will perform much better than a lower-wattage bird bath de-icer.


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