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Ozone
Dec. 10, 2009, 02:32 PM
What is your to-do before a temp drop?


Do you use heat tapes on your water supply?

Do you wrap your hoses?

Do you ever have a frozen water issue?

What changes have you made to make your water supply not freeze?

Suppost to be 13 degrees out tonight. I am going to get the water insulated tonight!

monalisa
Dec. 10, 2009, 03:21 PM
Bump.

Your ideas are welcomed. I am getting ready to move my horses to a very COLD bank barn.

Paddys Mom
Dec. 10, 2009, 03:51 PM
I unscrew my hose from the frost free hydrant, and try my best to drain it. Worst case scenario, my hose still has water in it and I have to water using buckets. However, I only have three horses, so its not too bad. My hydrant never freezes as long as I remember to unhook the hose. :rolleyes:

Calvincrowe
Dec. 10, 2009, 04:14 PM
Take your hose off the frost free hydrant!! Super important, unless you want to try to thaw out your formerly frost free hydrant. (ask me how I know that;))

Get heated buckets (I love mine!!):)

Close up your barn, the horse's body heat will really help keep it warmer in there.

Close and drain your auto waterers--they will freeze and crack and flood. Use buckets and hoses.

You can use an immersion heater to serve your horses warm water, which will take longer to freeze. Or haul from the house.

I buried my water lines 3 feet down, and haven't had a problem. You can also run a trickle of water through your hose to keep it from freezing, warm water works best.

If your water is sourced from your house, make sure you are taking the same precautions in there. If you have a pump house or well house, insulating it or having a heat source there will also be helpful.

JSwan
Dec. 10, 2009, 04:43 PM
I just unhook the hose, drain it, and throw it in the tack room.

The barn is insulated and the tack room is heated.

Never had a problem until last evening when I realized my beagle was missing.

Yup.... I'd locked her in the tack room.

2DogsFarm
Dec. 10, 2009, 05:02 PM
Yup - remove hose from hydrant!
(I learned this the hard way)

Heated 5gal buckets for the stalls are a Wonderful Thing.
For my big trough - 50gal barrel - I use a sinking de-icer with the cord encased in PVC pipe so "someone" can't fiddle with it and unplug it while I'm at work.

Also:
I feed tons of hay - I'd rather sweep out uneaten hay in the morning than worry my horse is not stoking his furnace all night.
I feed a last flake - 2 if they're small - around 9-10P and that keeps him until 6A the next morning.

enjoytheride
Dec. 10, 2009, 05:13 PM
Heat your tack room and put the hose in there, heat tape on the hydrant.

If you put the tackroom next to the washrack and put the hot water heater in the tackroom it will keep the tackroom above freezing and you can get water out of the spigots (because they are against a warm wall) even after your frost free hydrant freezes. Put a space heater in the tackroom and keep it above freezing for kitties and people warmth.

if you have no tackroom build a wooden box and insulate if you can. Roll the hose and reel inside the box. Drill a small hole on the top of the box and run a electrical cord through it and hang a incandesent bulb inside the box. The heat from the bulb and the small space of the box will keep the hose from freezing.

JoZ
Dec. 10, 2009, 05:22 PM
The big thing is getting the water out of the hoses. If you have rafters you can drape them over, this works pretty well. Or so I've heard. Our rafters are, oh I don't know, 30 feet up? Huge tall barn! We are determined to figure out a way to get the hoses hanging full length though.

Since we can't really hang the hoses, we have to try to keep them warm. First night of the cold snap we drained the hoses but left them in the barn. Epic fail -- bought two new hoses on Day 2. We have a kennel that is heated but not insulated (yes, those are dollar bills we are throwing right into the wind) -- tried to keep the hoses in there. It worked on Day 3 but not on Day 4. Bought four new hoses on Day 4. Today (Day 5) the hoses are IN THE HOUSE. Hoping that I can get them from the house to the frost-free hydrant without whatever water is in them freezing up solidly.

Another big thing -- the sun makes a HUGE difference. So anything you can do while the sun is on your barn, make the effort to do so. I have been out working at the barn during the period when the sun goes behind a hill. The temp seems to drop about 25 degrees when the sun leaves.

Luckily, we always need hoses over the summer, and can retire some kinked and leaky ones. But I wasn't budgeting for full hose replacement in the middle of the winter!

OneGrayPony
Dec. 10, 2009, 05:25 PM
My hose is in my mudroom. A tad inconvenient, as I have to coil it and bring it through the house, but decidedly unfrozen.

Extra hay to horses (check)

Hose unhooked from faucets (check)

Any drafty areas I generally put some hay bales in front of. I still leave some ventilation as I can't stand an unventilated barn.

Robin@DHH
Dec. 10, 2009, 08:46 PM
It was somewhere between 5 and 10 below (F) last night
here. That's not the coldest it has ever been. One thing
that will make unhooking hoses easier is plastic quick
disconnects. I used to buy the cheap ones but they break
so easily. Tried the brass ones but they freeze to the
hydrant. Last year we found a really sturdy plastic
quick disconnect for our hoses. It is called Gatorlock
and available from US Plastics. Makes connecting and
disconnecting hoses easier.

We also use less hose by having a plastic water pipe
installed near the ceiling of our cold barn. The pipe
is sloped so water quickly drains out of it when the
frost hydrant is shut off. One end is positioned just
above our frost hydrant and the other is just above
the stock tank in the run in shed behind the barn.
The end by the frost hydrant has a short hose
connecting the pipe to the frost hydrant (using the
above mentioned plastic quick disconnect). We
connect the short hose to the frost hydrant, turn
on the water and fill the stock tank, shut off the
frost hydrant and disconnect the hose. It does
require a bucket to allow the water in the pipe and
hose to be caught for later disposal. The hose is
short enough that it hangs vertically from the
ceiling so no water in it to freeze. The pipe slopes
steeply enough that no water remains in it either.
The few times we have forgotten to disconnect
the hose and ended up with water in the pipe
letting it crack, we just got the hacksaw and cut
the bad section out, glued in a replacement and
were back in business once the glue set up.

goodhors
Dec. 10, 2009, 09:40 PM
Sorry, I have "been getting ready" since Oct. I would MUCH rather do that stuff in warmer temps than what we have got now!

Put out insulated boxes for the horses to get used to and drinking from, so when the cold comes I just cover at night and plug in the heater. Horses are stalled at night. With them drinking from boxes, I removed and stored the summer tanks out of the way.

Put away all the non-used stuff, jumps, rails. Got in a new load of sawdust, put the tarp over it so things drain off well.

Got out the one heated bucket for my poorest drinking horse, so she is used to using it. Did keep the second plain bucket in stall, in case she decides to be picky. She can drink from either.

Put the rubber hammer on the post for knocking ice out of buckets when dumping them. Got the cat rubber dish out for water, takes longer to freeze with hot water.

Bought a hose cart, for winding up nightly. Holds a LOT of hose. Then roll the hose cart into the tack room to keep warm. Much easier than hauling hose into the basement every day. Tack room is heavily insulated, stays warm easily. Does have a baseboard heater unit, with temps set about 45F. Dehumidifier keeps the tack dry, adds heat to the room when running.

None of our horses are clipped, have plenty of hair. Our barn is cold, good air exchange, but not drafty. No ammonia smells at all. I might put a blanket on them if temps are below 0F with the wind blowing, so wind chill is bad. Blankets are READY for use, stored neatly at hand, but not out in the way, not at the bottom of the storage trunks either.

I have regular, double sliding big doors at each end of the aisle, and with age, sometimes icy ground, the edges may not meet flush. I have started putting a flap of plastic across the crack where doors meet. Works like the cloth behind a zipper in your jeans. Removes any draft and snow blowing in. The plastic goes up about 9ft, is about 14" wide, held on one door edge with spring clamps. Heavy plastic is from rug protection runners, cut to that width. Works very well, even in extreme cold plastic is still flexible. Does a terrific job of stopping drafts.

Tractor has had the oil changed, fuel is kept full in the tank. Radiator fluid is set for cold temps to prevent freezing. Chains on if needed. Things that might be needed for winter are stored in the front of shed or at hand, like the battery charger, electric cords. Light bulbs are all working, outside lights are working.

We are pretty much set for winter, just doing daily chores now. Winter routines are put in effect, like dumping the spreader daily. Wheelbarrow is kept full of sawdust for stalls, to save time when we cover for each other. Stacked bales near stalls so we don't have to get them down EVERY day or for morning feeding outside.

Paddys Mom
Dec. 10, 2009, 09:59 PM
It was somewhere between 5 and 10 below (F) last night
here. That's not the coldest it has ever been. One thing
that will make unhooking hoses easier is plastic quick
disconnects. I used to buy the cheap ones but they break
so easily. Tried the brass ones but they freeze to the
hydrant. Last year we found a really sturdy plastic
quick disconnect for our hoses. It is called Gatorlock
and available from US Plastics. Makes connecting and
disconnecting hoses easier.


I think you are my new favorite person!
I struggled with the metal disconnects last year and gave up on them.
I am looking on the US Plastics site now but I can't figure out what I need. Can you help advise me?

Robin@DHH
Dec. 10, 2009, 11:25 PM
OK Paddy's Mom, I will try to explain what connectors to
choose. Take a look at the manufacturer's site for better
pictures.

http://grnleafinc.com/CATALOG/GATOR_LOCK/Green_Gator_Garden_Coupling.asp

You are going to need either a QB or a QD part, the one
with the "ears" which secure the latch.

You will also need either a QF or a QA for the other side
of the connection.

I use a QD which is screwed onto my frost hydrant.
Then I use a QF for my hose end because the threads
it screws into are on the inside of the connector. You
are going to have to look at your hydrant and your
hose to see if you need threads on the inside or the
outside for each part to make the connection in your
application.

I don't think you want a coupling with a shutoff nor
one with a timer for these winter applications.

To make things a little easier, the stock number from
US Plastics (who are the cheapest source of these
I have found) equivalent to the manufacturer label are:

QB = 64852 QD = 64853 QA = 64851 QF = 64854

I hope this is enough of an explanation. If not, let me know
and I will try again. Sorry, but I can't easily do pictures
for you.

FraggleRock
Dec. 11, 2009, 08:00 AM
this is the one time i am happy i have no water in my barn :lol: . my water comes from the side of my house. it only froze one maybe two days last winter, and we did have a few days that neared -40. i got some heated buckets for the horse and goats in the barn (very much NOT insulated), and a floating tank heater for the two that live outside. really my barn is no warmer than the shelter it just has 4 whole walls not 3 and a half.

so basically i shut the barn door when it hits freezing, goats dont like the cold. and plug in water buckets when its around -10. i used to work at a barn that we had to drain 3 long hoses every night in winter, horrrible!

JSwan
Dec. 11, 2009, 08:44 AM
Fire went out last night.

Woke up to a 50 degree house, and two dogs and two cats fighting for a space under the blankets.

Built a fire, went out to the barn, and discovered I'd forgotten to unhook and drain the hose last night.

*(&!)@(*#)(***!**&&##^%&:mad:

But at least I hadn't locked the beagle in the tack room this time.

It's not even winter yet and I'm ready for spring.

MistyBlue
Dec. 11, 2009, 09:17 AM
LOL...doncha love those mornings JSwan?

My barn walls are insulated with R19 and a 3/4" plywood wall over the top of that. I haven't done the interior roof yet...probably because I can't figure out how to hold up 4x8 sheets of plywood and attach them over my head while on a ladder. At least not withoout killing myself. I won't cover them in anything but wood...plastic means birds peck holes in it and yank out the insulation and I don't want a mess up there.
My pipes are all above ground inside the barn...which was a dingbat idea on my part. When we built the barn the plumbers came long after the foundation foolks were done the the interior packed process barn floor had been levelled and packed...so I decided not to have it dug back up to sink the interior water lines under 4' of floor. (frost line in CT is 4') Also figured it would be easier to repair lines if they were above ground.
I can keep them from freezing though...the insulated walls help a whole lot keeping my barn from being frigid and blocks wind 100%. I use heat tape attached to the pipes and then cover all pipes with the foam insulation tubes. I use 1" pipe insulation to cover 3/4" pipes because the tubes have to cover the heat tape too without gaps. In 6 years I've only had one small section freeze twice, both times it took a few minutes with a Thermacare heat pad stuck to the pip to defrost it and both times the temps were below zero for a few days straight.
I don't use hoses inside the barn, so no issues with that. Outside the barn is a frost free, that's never frozen on me either. Well, once or twice the handle got wet and then frose shut on me, but I have the tiny hand blow torch thingy for that and that takes about 10 seconds to defrost the handle. (I use it on locks and beaner clips that freeze shut too)
However last night I had to shut off the waterr inside the barn and drain the lines. (takes 2 minutes with a wet/dry vac, I cheated) I had my interior pipes redone this past summer and have spnt the last few weeks trying to get the heat tape back on by myself. Unfortunately the heat cord was wrapped in a coil for neat storage and is now stuck all twisty and I don't have enough hands to hold it flat against the pipe while I cable tie/electrical tape it on. I need one more hand, so this weekend will drag hubby down the barn since he has two hands he's not using. :winkgrin: Then I can get that tape back up and put the new insulation on. (why do they call it heat *tape* when it's a thick electrical cord???)

Ozone
Dec. 11, 2009, 10:01 AM
Great replys and information ladies and gents!

I need to get one of those connectors Robin! Thanks for posting that!

Last night I took a bale of straw and put it on the slab where the hose lays, I disconnected it, drained it, put the hose on the straw, covered it up and also covered it up with two down comforters. Wrapped the spickets on that hose and the hot/cold area in the arena.

It was 13 out this morning but 30 in the barn and thankfully everything works!

The barn usually stays 15 degrees warmer then outside due to 22 horses body heat. The barn is not too drafty, we put blankets under the doors if need be.

I don't know how I feel about heaters in the water. Something about electric and water scares me.

We put in new water tanks in August, need heat tapes, insulation etc. so far so good! Stay warm everyone!

Ozone
Dec. 11, 2009, 10:02 AM
Fire went out last night.

Woke up to a 50 degree house, and two dogs and two cats fighting for a space under the blankets.

Built a fire, went out to the barn, and discovered I'd forgotten to unhook and drain the hose last night.

*(&!)@(*#)(***!**&&##^%&:mad:

But at least I hadn't locked the beagle in the tack room this time.

It's not even winter yet and I'm ready for spring.


I hate it when that happens :no: But, the beagle is not in the tack room :D

Paddys Mom
Dec. 11, 2009, 10:34 AM
OK Paddy's Mom, I will try to explain what connectors to
choose. Take a look at the manufacturer's site for better
pictures.


My hero!! :D
Who knew $7 in parts could make me so happy? :winkgrin:

trubandloki
Dec. 11, 2009, 10:43 AM
I have been lucky. My properly installed yard hydrants have never frozen. (knock on wood) I guess it was worth the hand digging 4' down.

In the winter I water carrying it in buckets (only two horses so not a big deal) and heated water buckets in the stalls and a heated manure bucket sized container outside. Love it.

We put bales of straw or hay along the bottom of the big sliding doors to keep some of the wind blown snow out of the barn.

Other than that there is not much to do for winter.

walkinthewalk
Dec. 11, 2009, 10:57 AM
I unscrew my hose from the frost free hydrant, and try my best to drain it. Worst case scenario, my hose still has water in it and I have to water using buckets. However, I only have three horses, so its not too bad. My hydrant never freezes as long as I remember to unhook the hose. :rolleyes:

Ditto all that except I have four horses and our hydrants ended up being on the outside of the barn so they are wrapped in insulation and Mr. WTW put some sort of waterproof tape over that.

The hydrants shouldn't freeze as long as they were properly installed.

I also bring out the heated stall buckets and heated stock tanks. I have long-since paid my ice-bustin' dues:)

That all being said, we live in Middle Tennessee where last night's dip into the high teens was like a trip to h*** for many.

This is suntan weather for folks in other parts of the country, and what works to prevent freezing here won't work in places where the word "frigid" is a way of life all winter:(

Gryhnd
Dec. 11, 2009, 11:00 AM
I don't know how I feel about heaters in the water. Something about electric and water scares me.

I too am nervous about electricity/water. Somewhat mild climate so not something we have to deal with the entire winter. Today I am hand-carrying buckets of warm water from the house to hang outside in the field - a pain, but manageable for just two horses - and it is supposed to warm up.

I am contemplating an outside trough heater for overnight ONLY to keep it from freezing, then remove it in the daytime when the horses would be out (most of the time it's warm enough in the daytime) and that would avoid having to break it up with an axe in the morning (this morning overzealous DH broke the water trough!).

Is there any type that is safer than others, or just any drop in/floating heater from TSC or similar normally works fine? The barn was wired by an electrician, but there is no outside outlet so I will have to run a cord from the water trough into the barn to plug in.

deltawave
Dec. 11, 2009, 01:17 PM
My barn is not insulated and in fact is pretty much open to the elements--I leave the dutch doors open so the horses can come in and out as they please, and the soffits are open for ventilation. So the barn is as cold inside as the world is outside. Horses are blanketed and fed hay to keep warm, human is grumpy until April. ;)

As to keeping water unfrozen--the main water pipe for the barn is located in the tack room, which is kept heated to 40 degrees in the winter to avoid pipe freezing. THAT room is VERY well insulated--I'm pretty sure it would take a day or more for the temperature to drop below freezing in there if the power went out. The outside waterer is insulated and heated with underground wiring and a well-house heater, which I discovered when it hit 15 degrees yesterday needs to be turned up a couple of notches! ;) I usually keep it at a certain level but wanted it one or two clicks warmer this year--obviously I turned the dial the wrong way! :eek:

Since the horses go in and out as they please, I only need the one waterer. No hoses, no buckets. :yes:

The auto-waterer is THE BEST investment I've made for my place, hands down. Would NOT want to do winter without it. It's a Varnan (http://www.varnanwaterers.com), FWIW.

horseowner40
Dec. 11, 2009, 04:20 PM
I live in South Dakota, and for the past week the wind chill has been -20 to -35 below zero. We use a water heater everyday in the winter and it keeps the water from freezing, I never ever hook up the water hose in the winter as I would never be able to keep ice from forming in them, I have tried insulating the hose but in super cold weather it did not work for me. I do refill the water every morning which is a bit of a hassle but at least I don't have to worry about freezing the hose. Good Luck!:)

TrotTrotPumpkn
Dec. 11, 2009, 04:29 PM
It's supa cold where i am.

Anywho, BO wrapped the frost free hydrant and we all got heated buckets and that's about it. Barn is not insulated. Oh, I guess we did move liquid supplements to the heated garage (bring them over on the four wheeler at feed time and back they go).

No hose...we carry water to the stalls. Seven of them, to be exact. It's no big thing--you carry in a different bucket than the one you are hanging and you don't spill on yourself that way (how many freaking times did it take me to figure that out you ask? I'll never tell).

Outside we have heated auto waterers. Probably Ritchie--I'm not even sure.

Pocket Pony
Dec. 11, 2009, 11:38 PM
Ok, after a couple glasses of wine I thought the title was "Insulting your barn in cold weather!" :lol:

Our pipes to the barn are wrapped and we clear the irrigation lines before an expected freeze.

If it is super cold we'll bring warm water up in a bucket from the house.

Barn is not insulated.

Granted we live in California, but it was in the teens this week! :eek:

starkissed
Dec. 11, 2009, 11:38 PM
we have our hot water tank and pipes in a corner of the washstall. We keep the tank heating off and on to keep things warm. And we wrap with heat tape (which is very safe, it just gets warm) and then we have some foam insulation on top of that. Dad and I had to re-do the whole get up last year and it worked great, no frozen pipes once!

outside we have autowaterers- but not heated. The newer ones insulate way better and the float on the top prevents a lot of ice. But when it get's really cold the do freeze up and just go around with the hot water bucket.

If they aren't out at night b/c it's too cold then we put a square of styrofoam over the opening w/ a brick and that pretty much 100% prevent ice. (down to like maybe 5 degrees?)

I dont think I could to the big troughs- just way too much ice to deal with, I would have to get a heater for them

JSwan
Dec. 12, 2009, 11:20 AM
Ok, after a couple glasses of wine I thought the title was "Insulting your barn in cold weather!" :lol:


That is what I do when I forget to drain and store the hoses.

It's the barn's fault and I curse a blue streak. :D