type of water in incubation

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to incubation. One thing that may get overlooked is the type of water you use. Water is water, right? For the most part, yes, all water will effectively raise the humidity the way it’s intended. Below is more information on why the type of water you use matters a lot for other purposes, including hatch rates. Feel free to contact Brinsea, the Incubation Specialists at (888) 667-7009 or on Facebook or Instagram if you have further questions!


There are three main sources of contamination that you need to be concerned with during incubation. The first two are obvious and most people take care of them well, that is, the incubator and the eggs. Both of these can carry and harbor bacteria if not cleaned properly, and we have more information on cleaning your incubator and whether you should clean your eggs. The third contaminate could be the water itself that you use during incubation. 

The Incubator

If not cleaned properly after each hatch, incubators can become a breeding ground for bacteria. This includes the evaporating block, if used.

The Eggs

Dirty eggs can bring bacteria in with them, but cleaning the eggs improperly can also cause bacteria to fester. When in doubt, it’s better to leave the eggs alone and discard any that are too dirty to incubate.

The Water

We always recommend using distilled water in your incubator. Distilled water is free of contaminants and it prevents mineral deposits in the incubators. Such deposits allow bacteria to grow. Distilled water can also help to extend the life of the silicone tubing, which is important if you are using an Advance Humidity Pump or an EX model incubator. 


We have received a few comments from customers online, including one email from a woman named Ann in South Vienna, OH. Ann wrote us: 

“A friend suggested that we use distilled water . . . it’s probably in your literature. We’ve a well. And the grown up chickens, we, the dogs, the cats, goats, cow, and beef calves do not have trouble with the water. BUT . . . if there is any bacteria in it, in the warm, closed environment of an incubator, it could cause problems. We switched to distilled water and our hatch rate improved significantly! Thanks bunches. You have a great product.”

Another customer, Humberto, shared on our Facebook page:

“One very important point, always use the correct water. Not from the tap.” 

Thank you, Ann and Humberto, for sharing your experiences and prompting us to focus on the importance of water when it comes to incubation. 

If you are using tap water, let alone well water, next time you incubate some eggs use distilled water and let us know if you see any improvement in your hatch rate the way Ann did. 

Contact Us

If you have further questions about water in incubation please feel free to contact Brinsea at (888) 667-7009. You can also reach us on Facebook and Instagram. Happy hatching!