Yep, they seem to be getting more popular. They're often unofficially called "heated muck buckets" since they're the same size/shape. I have two and got them because I'll have two horses this winter who will probably be kept separately and I didn't want a huge trough. I got a different brand, but I've heard good things about them. Not to hijack... but is there any weird problem having them close to the metal barn? Guess I don't know exactly how the electricity works with them.
We've used heated water buckets for years and love them. The only caveat, I guess, is to not let them get empty. I can't imagine a problem coming from having one next to a metal pole barn, unless the plastic somehow got broken and the coils were exposed - but it would probably quit working if that happened. A GFI outlet would be a good idea. I remember one very, very cold night when the tank heater, the heated muck bucket, the heat tape on the hydrant, and the hair dryer I was using to thaw the frozen spigot blew the single circuit breaker in the barn... Blew, as in, broken til I could get to the hardware store in the morning. Not fun. If you can plug all your heating-type-things into different circuits you'd probably never have that problem.
They are also useful for keeping large quantities of beet pulp from turning to pulpsicles in the winter, if you feed a lot of beet pulp.
That's a useful thought and saves me asking a question- we just switched to feeding soaked alfalfa cubes and the horses never ate the whole batch of cubes at one sitting anyway, they'd save some for later, which is not really working with the mushcicles.
I figured it would kinda be a wash cost-wise, DH does all the watering and was lugging buckets to four sets of animals, I'll pay a higher electric bill to keep him happy and his back healthy.
D, ours is right next to an electric fence, about a foot and a half or two feet away. So far we haven't seen any trickle effect but we haven't had rain, just snow this AM.
He has another tank heater for a plastic water storage container that is right next to a metal building, but I don't know if it matters to him, it might, stray current can be destructive to metals and disturb the animals, so far he hasn't mentioned anything.
I've got 2 of them(only in green but same idea) that I use for soaking hay for a horse with RAO(heaves) and since he is out with another horse I end up soaking about 6-10 haynets/day. The tubs are used in the morning when I'm cleaning stalls and later in the mid afternoon when I'm getting stalls ready for evening and feeding and brushing horses. Even though I dump the water out every day, when we get really bitter temps the water will freeze during the day when I'm not using them so I plug them in in the morning when I'm finished soaking hay and pull the plug when I'm ready to soak the afternoon lot of haynets. This will be the 5th year I've used them and think they are the cats meow!
Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you!
I've got the exact same bucket and I love it. I used them all of last winter and never had a problem. If the temperatures at all allow I unplug them to save myself some electricity. I also unplug if they're likely to be empty before the next time I go out to the barn (and I let them get that empty when they're in need of cleaning, at least once a week.)
Because of the way my barn is set up while they're easy to unplug they're not easy to move, so I dump nasty water into five gallon buckets and dump outside.
I have used the 5 gallon ones for a couple of years, and just hooked up 3 of these 16 gallon jobbers last week. So far, so good. The only thing is that the barn where I am doesn't have GFCI, so, even though we are using 3-prong outdoor extension cords, we have wrapped the part where everything connects very tightly in plastic. We have ours bungee corded to a plastic/PVC fence. It sure beats schlepping water buckets!
Count me in as another one who would no longer live without heated water buckets! I got the first two as a Christmas present about 5 years ago and very quickly added the next three. The only difference is, mine are flat back buckets so they don't move against the wall. And since I have an electrical outlet for each stall, there aren't extension cords everywhere. Heaven to no longer be fighting with ice all winter!
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