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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Default Help Stock Tank De-Icer Advice

    The weather forecast is unseasonably cold, so we tried to hook up our drain plug de-icer in the Rubbermaid stock tank and it leaks, again. Seems to happen every year and I have to buy two new ones. I've been using the Farm Innovators brand, have tried the drain plug de-icer from Tractor Supply (could not get it to stop leaking, period.) So, I have to buy new ones and fast.

    KBC in Lexington has an Allied 3 in 1 de-icer http://www.kbchorsesupplies.com/browse.cfm/4,3282.html. Has anyone used this one? We have some very playful OTTBs, so I can't use a floating or sinking heater. Recommendations needed.

    HELP! Advice please. FAST!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    South-Central PA
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    2,323

    Default

    I wrap thread sealing tape around the threads. I've been using it for 4 winters now, and not a leak yet. I also use the thread sealing tape around the plug when I re-insert it for summer use. I have the Allied Precision drain plug deicer.

    (not the deicer you linked to, but the one that resembles "U" and lies flat close to the bottom of the tub).
    Cindy



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Are you taking the entire drain assembly out of the trough??? My heaters leaked for years, and then I figured out I was not removing the whole drain assembly. I was merely putting the de-icer cord through the drain assembly and trying to get it to seal with the assembly in. I didn't even know there was a 'drain assembly' let alone something that would come out! I use the Rubbermaid 100 gallon trough BTW. I could get it to work with a lot of aggravation but it wasn't the right way. Since I got a clue and read the instructions very slowly (seriously, for years I did it wrong), I finally took the assembly out and haven't had one even threaten to leak on me since. Of course, I say this and I'm installing heaters tomorrow. Hope I didn't jinx myself!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 24, 2009
    Location
    Maryland
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    59

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jaimebaker View Post
    Are you taking the entire drain assembly out of the trough??? My heaters leaked for years, and then I figured out I was not removing the whole drain assembly. I was merely putting the de-icer cord through the drain assembly and trying to get it to seal with the assembly in. I didn't even know there was a 'drain assembly' let alone something that would come out! I use the Rubbermaid 100 gallon trough BTW. I could get it to work with a lot of aggravation but it wasn't the right way. Since I got a clue and read the instructions very slowly (seriously, for years I did it wrong), I finally took the assembly out and haven't had one even threaten to leak on me since. Of course, I say this and I'm installing heaters tomorrow. Hope I didn't jinx myself!
    Seriously?!? The whole assembly should be removed??? I just removed the drain plug, & fed the chord through, but then, my trough would leak when I took out deicer for the summer. I went out & ended up buying a new 100 gallon rubbermaid tub. The old tub is sitting in my basement waiting for me to take some sealant to it. Thankfully, I read this response (I was planning to "attack" my old tub this weekend & install deicer after sealing the drain). I'm guessing that means the whole assembly comes out for the heater, not just the drain plug?? Good to know! I think I'll fool around with it later this week. I didn't receive directions w/my deicer when I bought it. Thanks for the info!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2007
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    Tennessee
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by unicorndreams21 View Post
    Seriously?!? The whole assembly should be removed??? I just removed the drain plug, & fed the chord through, but then, my trough would leak when I took out deicer for the summer. I went out & ended up buying a new 100 gallon rubbermaid tub. The old tub is sitting in my basement waiting for me to take some sealant to it. Thankfully, I read this response (I was planning to "attack" my old tub this weekend & install deicer after sealing the drain). I'm guessing that means the whole assembly comes out for the heater, not just the drain plug?? Good to know! I think I'll fool around with it later this week. I didn't receive directions w/my deicer when I bought it. Thanks for the info!
    Yes, seriously. Doesn't that suck?? (as in, if you've been fighting leaks and haven't been taking the whole assembly out!) I know I sent at least one trough and two de-icers back for leaking when I was the dolt who didn't know about the drain assembly. I wish that it was something left off the instructions, but instead it was something I just misread. When it said 'remove drain assembly' I thought it just meant remove the drain 'plug'. Oh no, you have remove the threaded thingy the drain plug goes into and the square on the inside that holds threaded thingy in, and the rubber dam/seal thingy (it's late, and I can't come up with proper terms). Basically, there should be nothing but a hole cut in the plastic where your drain plug and assembly go when you are done dismantling it. I just screw it all back together and put it in my de-icer box so I have it ready when I take them out in the spring. Then you run your cord through that hole and the rubber dam on the de-icer sits on the inside of the trough. Screw the plastic thing on the other side and make sure you use the right side (there's A and B, can't remember the difference but there IS a difference). Seriously, no more leaks once I understood the instructions. Well over 10 years of doing it wrong though. I'm so, SO glad I'm not the only one.

    I've bought at least 2 different brands and they all fit in the same. Not sure if that's for ALL drain plug de-icers though. I've used the Allied brand and another one (I'll look tomorrow).



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
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    South-Central PA
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    Wow - guess I'm lucky. I've only ever removed the plug, but I've not had a leak yet (season 5)! I'm almost afraid to do it the "right" way now. I haven't put the heater in yet, because it's been staying warm (warmest November on record). I'm trying to prolong the extra electricity use as long as possible.
    Cindy



  7. #7
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    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    The brand I have now says to remove the drain plug only. Getting a new one today.



  8. #8
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    How many of you ground your heater? Just read the directions, again, such as they are, and it says to ground them.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    How many of you ground your heater? Just read the directions, again, such as they are, and it says to ground them.
    I never have (and mine say to ground too).



  10. #10
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    Apr. 7, 2007
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    Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    The brand I have now says to remove the drain plug only. Getting a new one today.
    Does it say remove just the drain plug or does it say drain plug assembly? If it says just drain plug, you should be fine. But if it says assembly anywhere in there, you've got to remove all of it.



  11. #11
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    Just checked the directions in the box, it says drain plug...BUT when I go online to the manufacturer website, it says to take out drain assembly. Doing that tomorrow. Thanks for your help.



  12. #12
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    Apr. 7, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Just checked the directions in the box, it says drain plug...BUT when I go online to the manufacturer website, it says to take out drain assembly. Doing that tomorrow. Thanks for your help.
    You could certainly try it by just removing the plug first. I find a dry rock, put it underneath where the heater cord comes out, and just fill the trough up to the heater to check if it's leaking (check for wet spots on the rock that is). But if you don't want to deal with possibly doing it twice, you could go ahead and remove the whole assembly. I have to use channel locks to get the outer piece loose enough to unscrew. You just unscrew the piece that goes around the threaded center and then the whole thing comes out.

    Glad I could help and hope that helps a few others. It's just not crystal clear on the instructions, and I battled those dang things leaking for years.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2005
    Posts
    468

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    ????
    I've always just taken the plug out (round screw in thingie with a square section outside that I turn with channel locks). That said, I've usually had quite a bit of trouble with leaking, and it takes several attempts to get it right. The other day I wrestled with one for HOURS then determined it must be no good. Went to the tack store, and they no longer carry the univeral one, so I got sinking trough heaters by the same maker. You have to install a wire cage around it... but then the cord comes up and out of the tank.... so I rigged up PVC piping to protect the cord from the horses... add $10 per tank for two sections of PVC plus a curvy part to send the cord out through the fence.

    Today I tried the remaining universal heater, and could not get it to not leak.

    So, how do you take the rest off? Just attack anything down in that neighborhood with channel locks? and, how hard is it to put it all back together in the spring?



  14. #14
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    Apr. 7, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by westernrider View Post
    ????


    So, how do you take the rest off? Just attack anything down in that neighborhood with channel locks? and, how hard is it to put it all back together in the spring?
    Where the plug goes into the threaded part on the outside of the trough, around the outside of the threaded area is a round black flat plastic piece that has two flat edges to it (on the sides, about an inch wide). Take the actual plug out first. Get channel locks on the flat edges of that plastic piece and turn it to the left to unscrew. That's all that holds the whole housing on. Once you get that loose, the whole piece will come out.

    Once you start looking at the assembly, it will be easy to figure out.

    If that doesn't work, I can take photos of me dismantling the thing



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2005
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    thank you so much!! your description was enough that when I looked at it, I could see what to do! it worked and I just got one set up. I had just cleaned/filled a trough for the weanling pasture, and was using a sinking heater but was not happy about the cord....

    So now that you helped me get the plug heater working, I drug that trough out and set it beside the newly filled trough-- and just used a bucket to move all that water from one to the other. Now I'm happy with the arrangement for the babies... thank you very much

    I drug the other plug in heater out of the trash, to check it out more thoroughly, but the red screwy part had broken from the red plate... so even though it heats up when I plug it in, that seems a little iffy to me... so I think I better give up on that unit. I think I got two years use out of it, which is better than most.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to help me out.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 7, 2007
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    No problem and happy to help! I have 2 horses that I can use a sinking de-icer with. The other 4 horses are terrors. I can't even fill the water troughs without them pulling hoses out to play with. So I have no choice but the drain plug ones for them.



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