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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2004
    Marshall, VA

    Default Outside waterers in cold climate for many fields

    We're putting in more paddocks (5-7), and are toying with running a line for automatic waterers. Right now we have a few spigots and fill big water troughs with hoses - a pain in the ass, but without the expense of running a water line, installing the waterers, etc. Nelson says we need to make a BIG concrete base to keep from freezing in the Northern VA winters.

    Thoughts? Recommendations? I could do one waterer between every two fences, but that's still quite a big project.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003


    The bigger thicker concrete base is probably easier to do than the cement sonatube installation, however the latter one doesn't freeze. The tube is installed at a depth of 9+ feet and catches some geothermal heat to keep it from freezing. I have that installation in the outside Nelson and it's never frozen. And it gets quite a bit colder here in CT than VA usually.
    Make sure to run the waterlines out to the waterers deep also, below the frost line.
    I have my Nelson set right into a fence line so it can be used from both paddocks, very convenient.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Rixeyville, VA


    I don't use Nelsons but have had Miracos for the last 10 years. I have had no problems with Virginia winters freezing my waterers. The concrete base does not have to be particularly big. Also, be aware that you can make your own concrete forms. If you can hammer together a wooden frame and mix concrete, you can make a concrete form. Do it yourself and save money.

    While running the lines, also consider adding more hydrants and electric while you are at it. The cost is in the digging, not the hydrants and electric.
    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2010


    Hi dressage, you might want to check out our Cobett waterers. They don't require electricity and they'll easily work in your cold winters. Check them out at or give us a call at 1-888-699-4722 •

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2008


    I swear by my Nelson waterers. I installed them in "reject" concrete sewer pipes. They work great and the horses love them!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2005


    Nelsons work great. I've had 'em for over 20 years, 30 different waterers on three different farms, and only once has one frozen....heating element failed and Nelson overnighted a new one at no charge. They are outstanding.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2001


    I have four of these: and love them.

    I rented a place in Middleburg that had Nelsons in concrete and not one worked during winter. They probably weren't installed correctly but it put me off them anyway. I love my waterers - no standing water to attract bugs, birds or my goofy horse that was forever standing in or flipping over the water trough. They've installed them in some pretty cold climates with good results too. I also like the lack of electricity. Electricity, water and horses really don't mix well.
    Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA


    I highly recommend the "horsedrinker" Bar waterers. We have 6 of them, some shared between the pastures and have yet to had 1 freeze, the horses learn real quick to use them and the best part is that there is no standing water to worry about West Nile hazzards, less expensive to install as you don't need to pour concrete or run electric lines, I don't know why anyone would even consider any other waterer for outside use.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    West Coast of Michigan


    Love my Varnan. Zero freezing, lots of water for horses to drink deeply, uses toilet parts so you can just fix it yourself (although I've had to do this only once in 3.5 years) and simple to clean.
    Click here before you buy.

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