by the heater in the water trough? Help me out here if you can! We have 6 horses at our small barn. Two mares in the pasture with the newly installed water trough heater. last weekend we noticed them eating the ice from the trough that doesn't have a heater (we broke up the ice and threw it outside the trough) then the one mare, we noticed, was throwing her stall water bucket around her stall both last saturday and sunday....duh....i think i realized that maybe they are getting shocked. I told the barn owner about it and he checked it out, cleaned it, stuck his hands in it and he didn't get shocked. Moved horses around and put his gelding in that pasture and when i brought him in last night he went in his stall and drank an entire bucket of water (he never does this).....so, any ideas why they might not be drinking out of this trough?
We had this happen with one of our troughs a couple winters ago. There was just enough of a trickle of electricity from the heater for the mare with shoes in front to get a shock. People could put their hands in the water and not feel it, the barefoot pasture mate could drink out of the trough just fine, but the mare was clearly getting zapped! A new tank heater solved the problem.
Multimeters are cheap and I think every farm/barn should have one. My last one is a 'good' one as opposed to the 8.00 one and I only got that as a replacement because the test leads are longer. Meters are the only safe way to test for leakage.
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We had a drain-plug de-icer go bad and the horses couldn't drink out of that tank, happily we noticed it same day- they were staring at the tank andJJ was guarding it as 'his' but no one would drink. We could not feel the electicity in the water, but they could. I think it was some tiny amt, say .06 volts maybe? Nothing we could sense, but they could. We replaced that heater and tada, .00 volts. It took the horses a few days to trust that water tank again. In the meanwhile we augmented it w/ another tank just beside it.
I believe they are more sensitive to it than we are. Get a multimeter and be done with it.
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Could someone explain exactly how to use a multimeter with the rubbermaid trough? I've never seen one or used one, but I just looked it up and I know I don't have one.
There are two probes, one red, one black. Stick the black one in the ground beneath the trough. Turn it to the voltage settings, start in the middle (so you don't blow your meter) and dunk the red electrode into the water. If you don' read anything, lower it a notch, and try again.
If you get to the lowest setting and don't detect voltage, the water's safe.
I have a water tank heater (the drop-in heater) that shocked one horse when I placed the heaters into the tanks this year... and not his two pasture mates. Only thing different, he was wearing a halter and the bottom metal ring was touching the water and would shock him.
A horse's muzzle is much more sensitive to current than a human's fingers.
There's a good chance an inexpensive multi-tester won't indicate a problem because it lacks sensitivity to low current flows. You'll need an electronic meter that will indicate as low as a fraction of a milliampere on the AC ranges.
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