You have to ground something.
Previous poster said she grounds the tank. I have read the directions and you do have to ground either the heater or the tank.
It looks like a PITA, so I don't go that route, and go with 2 or more of the heated electric buckets, which don't need grounding.
the tank heater I use is the kind you screw into the drain plug on the Rubbermaid tank. the heater is then plugged into a GFI plug. You don't have to do anything to the tank. No one said nothing had to be grounded. I said you don't have to do anything to the tank.
Surely you are plugging your heated buckets into GFI receptacles, right?
Installation Instructions for Model #99DP:
Important: To insure safety for both you and your livestock it is essential that you read and follow the entire instructions on this instruction sheet.
1.Unscrew and remove the drain plug from the drain hole of your stock tank. Save this plug because you will need to reinsert the drain plug once the heating season is over and you have removed your de-icer from the tank.
2.Remove the plastic nut from the de-icer.
3.For use in a Rubbermaid® tank: We recommend that you remove the entire drain assembly. To remove this assembly you must first remove the plastic nut found on the outside of your Rubbermaid" tank. This nut holds the drain assembly in place.
After the nut is removed, the drain assembly can be removed. You should remove the threaded drain assembly, plastic nut and rubber gasket. Save these items to be reinstalled in your tank after the heating season.
If you are using a Rubbermaid tank and have removed the drain assembly as described above, you should choose side “B” of the nut as shown in figure #1. You will install your deicer with this side facing the tank.
For all other tanks: You will note that the nut has two sides. One side is marked side "A" and the other is marked side "B": You must determine which side of the nut to place against the drain hole.
a) Determine the correct side by placing the nut against the drain hole on the outside of the tank. Try to fit the diameter of the raised inner ring of each side of the nut into the inner diameter of the drain hole (see Figure 1). Choose the side that fits most snugly. This will help secure and center the de-icer within the opening of larger drain holes found on some tanks.
b) If the raised inner ring (on both sides of the nut) shown in Figure 1 is larger in diameter than the drain hole diameter found on your tank then you may use either side of this nut. This indicates that the drain hole is small enough to allow your de-icer to remain centered within the drain opening.
c) If the nut is "bumping°' into the ground or any other surface which the tank rests on, you must shim under the tank to raise this area. The nut should then twist freely.
4.Be sure to leave the rubber gasket on the threaded side of the de-icer and against the plastic plate of the heater housing.
5.Set the de-icer on the inside of the tank. Let it rest on the bottom of the tank with the bolts facing downward toward the bottom tank surface. The rubber gasket should be between the inside of the tank surface and the plastic plate of the heater housing (see Figure 2 and Figure 6).
6.Insert the power cord plug through the drain hole from the inside of the tank. Depending on the diameter of the tank drain hole, you may have to separate the cord (see Figure 4) and then reassemble it after it has passed through the drain hole. Be sure to align the arrows located on the outer diameter of the mate and female plugs before reassembly.
7.For installation through a wide range of drain holes, the power cord can be disconnected as shown in Figure 4. Note that there is a rubber sleeve which protects this connection from moisture. This sleeve should fit tightly over this connection.
This connection is water resistant and not water-proof. This connection should never be placed directly in water as electrical shock will occur! This could result in death or injury.
If the sleeve does not fit tightly, then you must seal this connection by tightly wrapping electrical tape around any openings.
8.Test to be sure that the plastic plate and rubber gasket both fit flush against the diameter of the drain hole from the inside of the tank. If not, proceed to either step "A" or "B" below.
a) If the bolts (attached to the circular disc at the end of heating element) are forcing the heating element upward and are not allowing a proper seal between the drain hole and the de-icer, unscrew these bolts until the gasket and plastic plate are flush against the drain hole opening.
b) If the bottom of the plastic plate is bumping into the bottom of the tank surface and preventing the de-icer from laying flush against the drain hole, snap the plastic strip off along the groove as shown in Figure 5. If breaking this strip was necessary then you must also take a knife and cut the overlapping piece of gasket.
9.Insert the plastic nut onto the cord using the "slot" in the nut. The plastic nut should be inserted so the side chosen in step #3 is facing toward the tank surface. If you have not completed step #3, you must do so before attempting this step.
10.Tighten the nut onto the threaded stem of the heater housing and up against the outside tank surface. Position the nut so that the raised ring fully inserts into the drain hole of the tank. (see Figures 1 and 2) This is only necessary if you have determined that this ring is of smaller diameter than the drain opening in your tank, as tested by completing step #3. This will stabilize the de-icer.
11.Tighten this nut "snug" but do not over tighten. Be sure the unit is unable to twist in the tank.
12.Using a screwdriver, lower the bolts (see Figure 6) so the bolt-end is tight against the bottom of your tank. If the bolt-end will not reach the bottom of the tank, then lower them as far as possible.
If you are experiencing leaks:
a) Check to be sure the unit is fitting flush against the diameter of the drain plug on the inside of the tank. See step #8.
b) Did you choose the correct size of nut? See step #3.
Do not allow lime or other impurities (e.g. iron, mud, fish waste, etc.) in the water to build up in excess of 1/32" on the diameter of the tubular heating element. This is an allowance of 1/64" on each side. An excess build up can cause the heating element to burst, sending electrical current directly into the water. The frequency of cleaning depends directly upon the composition of your water supply (e.g. lime and iron content).
Remove these deposits with a lime removing liquid obtained at any farm or hardware store. Begin by soaking the heating element in a shallow pan containing the liquid and then remove the deposits being careful not to damage the heating element.
Ground Fault Interrupter must be installed in the circuit. This is a very sensitive device that cuts off the electrical current if there is any leakage of electricity in your water tank. This device may be obtained from any electrician or hardware store.
1.Have a qualified electrician install a properly grounded receptacle outlet, acceptable for outdoor use and protected from snow and rain, immediately adjacent to the location where the heater will be used.
2.Route the supply cord and locate the heater so as to be protected from damage by livestock. 3.Do not use extension cords.
4.Inspect cord before using.
5.Unplug heater at receptacle outlet when not in use or before removing from tank.
6.Store heater indoors after winter season.
7.To ensure continued protection against shock hazard, connect to properly grounded outlets only.
Plug it into a functional GFI plug, done.
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. (Steven Wright)
Thanks Katarine for clarifying. We do plug ours into a GFI plug which is why the grounding thing was confusing me. I was thinking "but isn't the GFI acting as a ground if needed??" It isn't hard to confuse me though!