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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2005
    Location
    Wild Wild West
    Posts
    1,756

    Default Tank/trough heaters

    I have heated automatic waterers in all of my fields, but have leased a field from a neighbor for turnout. We have been using a metal stock tank in there all summer, but now I need to keep the water from freezing (and I should have worked on this just a little sooner, as it's going to be 19 degrees Saturday night!). I have never had to use tank heaters, and I'm wondering what the best one to buy is. I also have one horse who is very playful, and I'm worried about him taking the heater out or chewing on it.

    Advice on what I should buy and how I can prevent the horses from playing with it?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2006
    Posts
    123

    Default

    I too live in the wild wild west. Lovely weather we are having, huh? Anyway, I have the sinkable tank heaters. Solid rings look like donuts and they feature a long cord (5-6 ft) to the electricity source. I don't like the floaters they get played with. And if it is a problem you can always encase the cords in PVC pipe with elbows, make an upside down U shape bottom of the tank over the top and to the ground to protect the heaters and cords.
    Proud to be owned by Just Walter
    and member of the *Barefoot Eventers Clique*



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    4,793

    Default

    Mine would play with and remove the pvc elbpw. I would sink double fence posts where the tank is and stick one end through the fence and do the cord and pvc elbow there. Or spend the bucks for a rubbermaid with drain hole heater, up against the fence. But even with the rubbermaid, I have a stout pvc pipe over my virtually unreachable cord and still find chew marks on it when the water gets low and the tank can be shoved around.
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    Pendleton, SC
    Posts
    357

    Default

    I love my rubbermaid with drain plug heater. Had it for 3 years so far and haven't had a problem. I actually found a great deal on the heaters 3 years ago and bought two. The spare has been sitting in the box, unused for if/when I need it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2006
    Posts
    123

    Default

    My rubbermaid was melted when the tank heater came into contact with it and my horse started playing with the 8 inches of water and tank heater. Ugh. Anyway there are metal tubs with holes and plugs too.
    Proud to be owned by Just Walter
    and member of the *Barefoot Eventers Clique*


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2004
    Location
    Elkton
    Posts
    4,470

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ttldr1 View Post
    I love my rubbermaid with drain plug heater. Had it for 3 years so far and haven't had a problem. I actually found a great deal on the heaters 3 years ago and bought two. The spare has been sitting in the box, unused for if/when I need it.
    That's what I used last winter... no problems, no frozen water



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 1999
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    14,658

    Default

    Ditto on the rubbermaid. Ours is on a fence line with the cord on the side where blind Pockets pony lives, not with the two TB clowns.
    "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2008
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    163

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ttldr1 View Post
    I love my rubbermaid with drain plug heater. Had it for 3 years so far and haven't had a problem. I actually found a great deal on the heaters 3 years ago and bought two. The spare has been sitting in the box, unused for if/when I need it.
    Like others - this is what I use and it works great.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2002
    Location
    Michigan The Hunt Country
    Posts
    343

    Default ditto

    Quote Originally Posted by kipster View Post
    Like others - this is what I use and it works great.
    the rubbermaid and plug heater.
    Get larger than you think youll need to avoid filling on blizzard days--the "must clean taank daily" worry doesnt apply when -20 hits--plenty of liquid h20 does--iM CURRENTLY PLANNING An insulated cover to keep heat in/electric use down but they really dont use too much electricity. klr



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,580

    Default

    I purchased the rubbermaid heater, but the instructions said to be sure it was grounded.

    Since I am plugging it into an extension cord to run to the barn, but don't have a ground, I returned it.

    How many just plug it into a non gfi outlet?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2005
    Location
    Wild Wild West
    Posts
    1,756

    Default

    I've got no power where the trough is, so I need to run an extension cord into the barn, which I figure gives them even more to play with if they are pulling the heater out of the water. And smart ideas on how to best use the extension cord?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2002
    Location
    Chesterton, IN US
    Posts
    1,400

    Default

    There's a difference between "grounded" and a "gfi" (ground fault interupt). Unless it's an old outlet,the three prong outlets should all grounded. You want to make sure to use a three prong outside extension cord. (Of course, they tell you not to use it with an extension cord too)!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,580

    Default

    So, do folks use the 3 prong extension cord, plugged into a gfi outlet without a ground attached to the heater?



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2004
    Posts
    3,299

    Default

    Another vote for the Rubbermaid and the drain plug heaters



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2005
    Location
    Wild Wild West
    Posts
    1,756

    Default

    Has anybody used a metal tank with a drain plug heater? I bought a drain plug heater this weekend for our metal tank, but haven't hooked it up yet. Right now I've got one of the sinking heaters in there.

    One hint that someone at Lowe's passed along. If you are using an extension cord, buy some rubber electrical tape, and tape all around where you plug the heater cord into the extension cord. Hopefully that will help keep moisture out.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    4,005

    Default

    If electricity is an issue, I would get a solar Bob trough (www.horse.com) and get also get a submersible tank heater or a couple of large, heated, muck buckets or water buckets.

    Years ago, we had a severe cold spell. Our electricity in the barn is barely adequate for our needs. The submersible trough heater must have drawn more electricity than we had. The circuit breaker blew, and the water tank froze solidly. In the early am, I went to the barn and found a frozen water trough and a colicky, dehydrated, horse.

    One day and $1200 later, the horse was home from the vet hospital and I realized I had to figure out something better for the heating of water on the coldest night. We now use several heated water buckets in the barn and the barn aisle, and a solar bob trough outside. Now, there is water, even if we lose electricity. The heated water buckets do not draw as much electricity as the trough heater, so we have not blown the circuit breaker again.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    24,061

    Default

    We use a GFI outdoor extension cord plugged into a GFI outlet. We also hang the part of the cord with the plug from a hook so it's not laying on the ground. Haven't had any trouble in 4 years.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,580

    Default

    Ok, so being dense here, none of you actually ground the actual heater?

    just use gfi ext cords into gfi outlets?



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2000
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    Rubbermaid trough with plug hole heater too. I plug into a heavy gauge outdoor extension cord with no ground, and I plug the cord into a GFI outlet.

    Plug runs through fence so the horse cannot play with it.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,772

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fivehorses View Post
    I purchased the rubbermaid heater, but the instructions said to be sure it was grounded.

    Since I am plugging it into an extension cord to run to the barn, but don't have a ground, I returned it.

    How many just plug it into a non gfi outlet?
    The National ELectric Code accepts a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFI) in place of a ground. So if you don't have a grounded circuit, simply purchase a portable GFCI and plug your heater's extension cord into it. Test the GFCI each time you fill the tank. (as recommended periodic testing )
    Last edited by hosspuller; Oct. 15, 2009 at 09:48 PM. Reason: clarification



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