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problems with automatic waterers

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  • problems with automatic waterers

    I have my horse boarded at a facility that I (for the most part) love. It's a beautiful facility and very accomodating barn owners. I've been at this farm for almost 3 years and have been mostly very happy.

    They have automatic waterers and this past month I have had 3 occasions where I have found my horse without water. The first time was because the waterer was left turned off by someone after it was cleaned. The last 2 times (including today) there was an electric shock coming through the water, so when my horse would try to drink he would get shocked.

    I'm wondering if others have had this problem and is there a solution? It bothers me that I am always the one to discover the problem. I'm not out there every day, but still I'm always the one to realize something's wrong. I realize it's a problem that's easily overlooked, as with the automatic waterers, you can't tell how much they're drinking. All 3 times I know he was without water for some time because every time I have brought him a bucket of water and he sucks the whole thing down and then some.

    Anyway, just wondering if anyone has any suggestions I can bring to my barn owner. I want to put a bucket in his stall, but they didn't seem to want to do that..

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Tell the BO/BM the problem and how many time it's occured. If it's an issue of they cannot afford to replace the waterer or have it repaired then ask that it be turned off and a water bucket or two hung in his stall. If they can't keep water buckets filled and get the waterer fixed within a couple months move out. Are other waterers in the barn experiencing problems? Could be a allover installation problem...
    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
    Thank you for everything boy.


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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thank you, Katie. The first time it was shocking him, they said it was the heating tape shorting out and they replaced it and it was fixed for a short period of time. That was 3 weeks ago, and then today it was shocking him again.

      It doesn't appear that any other waterers are having the problem. My horse is in an end stall, and I'm wondering if that has something to do with it.

      I called and left a message but haven't heard back. I'm just wondering if there's something else wrong for it to be screwed up again so quickly.

      Comment


      • #4
        Waterers are often effected by very cold weather. Did you have a cold winter? Pipes and plastic parts can freeze and crack with temperature change. Something on the inside probably broke exposing a wire or something electric. Can you take the top off yourself, like you would when cleaning it, and nose around? If it's something obvious I'd point it out immedatiately. If it's not visiable from the top of the waterer it could very well be something further down in it or worse, in the wall of the stall (or whereve the pipes and other hooks up go through). That takes some "excavating" to get to.
        Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
        Thank you for everything boy.


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        • Original Poster

          #5
          OK, great, that is helpful. I wanted to have some kind of suggestion to bring to my BO when I talk to her.

          It seems to me it has to be more than just the heating tape to be happening again and again.

          We had a very snowy and relatively cold winter. FWIW, we had a bunch of snow yesterday when it was acting up again.... perhaps that has something to do with it...

          Comment


          • #6
            Lack of access to water, along with the lack of ability to track the horse's use of water is colic waiting to happen.

            Any barn owner worthy of the name would immediately hang a bucket in your horse's stall and change it daily until all identified problems with the auto-watering system were verified solved...and then she'd keep doing it for another few days just to make sure.

            Yes, it's a pain if you've already gone to the trouble of installing and working with an auto-system, and anything out of the normal routine in a busy working stable makes life just that much harder for the staff. But water is one of the areas where, as a BO, you suck it up and do it right because the potential consequences are too great, particularly right now when they don't have access to outside troughs yet (at least not here in the NE).

            If you're there every day, tell them you can manage the water bucket, but that you want it installed until everyone is 100% certain that the auto-system is working. You're not being a princess; you're being responsible.

            <steps down off soap box>

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks, bayou roux. I tend not to stand up for myself very well. I have a feeling I'm going to have to get a little grouchy about this.

              I'm not out there every day, or the bucket in the stall would be a non-issue. I'd just manage it myself, but I can't because of my work schedule, sometimes I miss a day or 2.... which is why I board my horse... so they can take care of him...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bayou Roux View Post
                Lack of access to water, along with the lack of ability to track the horse's use of water is colic waiting to happen.

                Any barn owner worthy of the name would immediately hang a bucket in your horse's stall and change it daily until all identified problems with the auto-watering system were verified solved...and then she'd keep doing it for another few days just to make sure.

                Yes, it's a pain if you've already gone to the trouble of installing and working with an auto-system, and anything out of the normal routine in a busy working stable makes life just that much harder for the staff. But water is one of the areas where, as a BO, you suck it up and do it right because the potential consequences are too great, particularly right now when they don't have access to outside troughs yet (at least not here in the NE).

                If you're there every day, tell them you can manage the water bucket, but that you want it installed until everyone is 100% certain that the auto-system is working. You're not being a princess; you're being responsible.

                <steps down off soap box>
                This, double ditto!
                Jeanie
                RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Perhaps too obvious, but can they move him to another stall until it is fixed? Don't know where you are, but since it is Spring don't let them just turn off the heat tapes and not fix the problem.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    That's a good idea, mudroom. I love his stall where he is right now, but if I can't be sure the problem is fixed, I guess I can't feel comfortable with him there unless he can have a bucket.

                    My concern is that they're just going to change the heat tape again and say, "oh it's fixed" which is what they did before but it didn't fix the problem... and then the problem is that I can't rely on someone noticing if it's acting up again...

                    Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I Vote change stalls til fixed

                      Jingles for you ~ nothing worse than worrying about water and horses IMHO ~

                      I vote to change stalls til waterer is fixed completely FOR SURE !
                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Horses out in groups aren't having their water intake individually monitored.

                        But lack of water is a "100% no-go" for a boarding facility. Not one inch of compromise there, IMO. I don't mind if a horse goes a few hours without water now and then for whatever reason, but to not immediately correct this kind of problem is negligent and asking for trouble.

                        Forgetting to turn one on is forgiveable (but you should be assured it won't happen again anyntime soon) but failure to fix a waterer that's shocking a horse suggests they aren't really taking very good care of them. It can really put a horse off drinking, too.

                        Another reason I love my Varnan waterer: nothing electrical anywhere near the water, and even if it stops working there are always 20 gallons in the tub.
                        Click here before you buy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with either moving stalls, or hanging a bucked and leaving instructions for the staff to keep it filled. One of my waterers is acting up (not refilling consistently), so I hung a bucket. Clean and fill in the morning, and top up if needed at night. Not that hard to do.

                          My worry would be that your horse is being conditioned to be afraid of his waterer and that he may only go to drink when he is desperate.
                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There IS an electrical problem if your horse is getting shocked from a waterer. There is an increased risk of your horse getting electrocuted. There is also an increased risk of a fire. Barn owner needs to get a qualified electrician to fix the problem ASAP!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Autowaterers that are properly grounded should not have the potential to "shock" at all, ever. I think that moving to another stall is the best option, at least until the problem is totally fixed.

                              In this case, based on what you have said, I also think that hanging a bucket--for now--is also a reasonable solution. I can understand why a BO after spending $$$$$$ on autowaterers might be reluctant to hang buckets, but it seems that there is a valid mechanical/electrical problem going on here.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We were getting a tiny shock with our waterers..we had put our new grounding rod for the electric fence to close. The horses would drink when we turned the fence off (only 1 wire on top of the Centuar) Not sure if you have a charger close by, but thought I would mention it in case If you do..in the instructions for the charger it states how far about the ground rods should be from other ground rods and waterers.
                                .

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Tell the barn owner to test it with their tongue! (and not while wearing rubber boots)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My suggestion would be to find a new barn ... IMMEDIATELY. To have something like this to happen once is unfortunately but repeatedly is unforgivable and may cost your horse its health or even life. If they can't provide the basic necessity for your horse - clean accessible water - then they don't deserve to have your business.

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