Farm Innovators HBC-120 Heated Birdbath with Deck Mount Review

7.5Expert Score
Quick Summary

Farm Innovators HBC-120 Heated Birdbath with Deck Mount is an attractive and rugged unit that is easy to empty and clean. It's a good choice if you can keep a very close eye on the water level.

Effectiveness
8.5
Durability
9
Cord Length
5
Value
8
We Liked
  • Very attractive design.
  • 120 watts means water stays liquid in the coldest weather.
  • 18-inch bowl, good depth for small and medium birds.
  • Twist-off mounting makes for super easy cleaning.
  • Optional matching pedestal is availalble.
  • Hidden electrical connection, no cord.
  • Thermostat-controlled.
  • Simple installation.
  • 3-year guarantee.
We Didn't Like
  • Hump in center of bowl makes water shallow directly over the heater.
  • May overheat at times (see below).
  • Requires outdoor extension cord.

Table of Contents

Farm Innovators HBC-120 Heated Birdbath with Deck Mount Review

The Farm Innovators HBC-120 heated birdbath is a very attractive product that’s extremely easy to mount on your deck rail (4 to 6 inches wide) or on a 4″X4″ post. 

It does a good job of keeping water from freezing even in the coldest temperatures. The 18-inch wide bowl is a good size for condo or apartment balconies but large enough to accommodate quite a few birds at the same time.

Your outdoor extension cord connects directly to the bottom of the basin, so there’s no need for a safety seal or gasket as it’s unlikely that moisture could penetrate.

Who is this product for?

Bird lovers really seem to appreciate the solid feel of the HBC-120 Heated Birdbath, which weighs almost 8 pounds. You won’t need any tools to mount this on your deck railing – the four thumbscrews tighten onto the rail and hold it securely in place.

That’s a blessing for renters, who won’t need to drill any holes to install it.

You can use this bird bath on your deck all year – just unplug the extension cord. There’s no pigtail cord to tuck away.

If you like to have options, you can also put this bird bath on a matching pedestal (sold separately) and have a classic bird bath in your yard.

“Been using these for years. We have a place on the lake and have 2 of these there plus one at our main home. Two have the pedestal (looks great) and one is attached to the deck railing.”

What's included?

The HBC-120 Heated Bird Bath is ready to use right out of the box, which includes the basin (with heater inside) and the mounting bracket for your deck rail. (The optional pedestal is not included.)

It doesn’t have a cord (just a plug in the bottom), so you won’t need an additional safety seal or gasket to keep water out of the power connection.

“I keep it on our balcony all year round. The thumb screws keep it securely on the wooden railings and the super easy twist off dish is a breeze to “dump, clean and refill.”

Overview of Features

Farm Innovators’ HBC-120 Heated Birdbath is a beautiful scalloped bird bath made of compression molded plastic in a light gray color that looks a bit like concrete.

The built in heater is controlled by an internal thermostat so there are no settings to fiddle with, and no need to use a timer to control the power supply. This bird bath does a great job of keeping water from freezing.

“Extremely impressed. It’s a negative 18 degrees in Iowa with wind chill down in the -50 category. There is about 2-3 inch wide band of ice around the perimeter of the bowl. Water is still open for the birds in the middle.” 

The basin is 18 inches wide and about 1.5 inches deep at the edges; it holds about one gallon (4 litres) of water – perfect for songbirds.

The included mounting bracket is made to fit on a rail or post from 4 to 6 inches wide. If your deck has a thinner railing, you’ll probably need to add some width by shimming.

If you have a wood rail that’s wider than 6 inches, it’s easy to add a 2X4 or 2X6 on top to attach the bracket to.

You’ll find it very easy to attach the basin to the mounting base (or optional pedestal) easily and just as easy to remove it to empty and clean.

The slim profile of this bird bath looks great but may be the reason why the basin has a “hump” in the middle (just over the heating element).

The water in this area is less than an inch deep when full.

Thanks to the quick evaporation of warm water in cold dry air (an issue for all heated bird baths) it may not take long for this part of the basin to dry up.

If that happens, it can cause the heating element to malfunction, which may be the reason a handful of owners report that the HBC-120 Heated Birdbath can heat water up to 75°F (24°C) or more.

So you’ll need to keep a close eye on this bird bath to make sure the center of the basin doesn’t go dry.

How to use the Farm Innovators HBC-120 Heated Birdbath with Deck Mount

  1. Thread the female end of your outdoor extension cord through the middle of the mounting bracket.
  2. Fit the mounting bracket to your deck rail and tighten all four thumbscrews securely. 
  3. Push the extension cord onto the plug prongs in the bottom of the bird bath basin.
  4. Place the threaded portion of the basin over  the threaded portion of the mounting bracket and turn clockwise to secure it. (Don’t overtighten.)
  5. Fill the basin with water.
  6. Plug your extension cord into an outdoor GFCI outlet.

Alternative to this product

Allied Precision API 650 Heated Bird Bath

This 20-inch heated bird bath is one of the better looking and most reasonably priced heated bird baths on the market. Easy to empty and care for, it does a great job at keeping water from freezing in winter. However, it can be a bit tricky to install and often doesn’t sit perfectly level on its hinged mounting bracket. 

Conclusion

The Farm Innovators HBC-120 Heated Bird Bath with Deck Mount is an attractive and effective way of providing water for birds in winter. It’s reasonably priced and very easy to install on a deck railing or post.

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