Floating electric water heater makes the water taste bad??
It's been cold here, right now it's 11 degrees. I bought a brand new floating water heater for the horse tank, I guess it's been about a month now.
My Sammy is getting a bit drawn in the flank and I'm wondering if he's drinking enough. The amount of water in the tank goes down in a somewhat normal manner, maybe a bit less. He does eat snow for the fun of it, it seems. Before I got the new heater (old one went kaput) and the tank froze, I broke holes and he happily kept them open for the day.
Since the heater is brand new, I'm wondering if it is imparting a taste to the water.
I think it might be shocking him. One of my horses doesn't like to drink out of heated buckets. I can't leave a floating/sinking heater in when they're out anyway, they play with it. So I pull it out in the morning and put it back in at night.
I thought of that and have stuck my hand down in the water and don't feel anything. It's a 1500 watt one. The cord which goes to it has a covering which he has partially chewed off by playing with it but the part in the water is still covered. If it were shocking him, I'd feel it, right?? I've never had a bad heater so don't know if it'd be the kind to knock me down with a shock or a slight tingle.
We have two kinds of sinkers but the horses mess with anything in the tank too much so they get to drink out of those heated muck buckets. Nothing in there to cause problems.
Agree that you might have a grounding problem which I doubt you'll feel with your hand - but get down on your knees and drink like a horse and you might feel it!
The old guy gets the sucked up look if he hasn't got adequate forage. It's a noticeable change and occurs really quickly, he can have tons of water and soaked pulp or pellets but if there's not enough grazing or hay it's this )( in the flanks.
Sounds like a grounding problem to me..been there...done that. We had problems in the wet months...like now in Ontario. The wet ground definately gives a better ground. I have switched to the big (16 gallon) buckets that have an integrated heater...like a heated stall bucket. We have 3 of them sitting in an insulated box. This kills two birds with one stone, so to speak, as the horses are no longer shocked and the electricity bill is much lower as each bucket is only 250 watts. I have seen a significant difference on my electrical bill!
No, you don't always feel it just by sticking your hand in. We went through this. You need to ground your tank if its metal, or ground the water if your tank isn't metal. Like, metal wire into water, other end clamped to ground rod.
Do it yesterday, before he stops drinking all together. It's hard to convince them that the water is "safe" after you fix it.
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
Well, then maybe the grounding problem it is, then. My hot fence is grounded and maybe somehow hubby can redo the set-up. The ground if frozen solid right now. I haven't seen or heard of a 16 gallon heated bucket. Guess I'll look those up and maybe have one as a back-up.
The heater will be on at night and off during the day.
That makes me think of one time I was watching a horse not let the other horses drink from a trough, thought it was cute so walked over and started videoing it. When I was done, it kind of clicked that maybe he was getting shocked, so I unplugged the heater.....and he drank.
Thanks for all replies. I've looked up the heated buckets and they are the same size as the one I already have (not heated though, just for water in summer in the far pasture)...and my Sammy thought it was hilarious to stick his hoof in just on the edge and dump...just as I got it filled. He's a water horse like no other. I've caught him with both front legs in the current big tank, splashing away. I mean, the guy needs his very own pool. It's cold now, of course, but for the 16 gal. one, he'd prolly think I bought him another toy. So, for the time being we are plugging in at night and unplug during the day. You guys have saved my Sammy and probably me in the process...HA!!
Every time we tried to put electric deicers in our water tanks, we had some horses that would not drink enough and if they had any other source, would drink out of that one, not at all from the tanks with heaters.
We had one pasture with a large water trough and an overflow dam by it.
When we added an electric tank deicer, some of the broodmares only were drinking out of the dam, would not touch the tank.
I would say, some horses just don't like those electric heaters, so we quit using them and are, all these years later, still breaking ice for our horses.
We have not had any health issues from that, when we may have had some from some horses not drinking enough in the winters when they didn't like the water.
Curious that not all horses object, that makes it harder to see why some do and correct that.