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Getting shocked...

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  • Getting shocked...

    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?

  • #2
    If the heater is new is it possible it smells funny to them? New stuff often still has a chemical type smell. Just a thought.


    • #3
      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.


      • #4
        Test the trough for electrical shock by putting your fingers into the water; you will need to be grounded though.
        And no, it doesn't hurt all that much, LOL.
        \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


        • #5
          If you have a small cut on your finger you will feel it even more.


          • #6
            Get a multimeter and check for voltage from the water to ground. It's the only way to be sure.


            • #7
              The barn mgr was probably wearing rubber soled shoes -- tell him to grab a t-post then stick his hand in the trough.
              "Ponies are a socially acceptable form of child abuse." - said by a friend when asked if she was going to find a pony for her 5 year old daughter.


              • #8
                Originally posted by mildot View Post
                Get a multimeter and check for voltage from the water to ground. It's the only way to be sure.
                This. "Empirical testing" with 15 amps of AC current can kill you. Grab a meter, buy one if you have to.
                Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mildot View Post
                  Get a multimeter and check for voltage from the water to ground. It's the only way to be sure.


                  • #10
                    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.
                    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                    Member: Incredible Invisbles


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JumperFun View Post
                      The barn mgr was probably wearing rubber soled shoes -- tell him to grab a t-post then stick his hand in the trough.
                      LOL! Ain't that the truth.


                      • #12
                        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.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by luvmytbs View Post
                          Test the trough for electrical shock by putting your fingers into the water; you will need to be grounded though.
                          And no, it doesn't hurt all that much, LOL.
                          Horses are much more sensetive to electrical currant then people so they may feel something that you can not. It can also vary if the ground is wet and such.


                          • #14
                            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 is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bank of Dad View Post
                              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.
                              Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...


                              • #16
                                Are the horses wearing halters?

                                Are they wearing halters while in the field?

                                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.

                                The other two, no halters... no shock.

                                Took his halter off, and no more shock.
                                Home of Janas Kernel of Independence and Doolittle's Pride N'Joy.


                                • #17
                                  These installations should always be on ground fault circuits breakers.


                                  • #18
                                    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.
                                    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                                    Winston Churchill