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Spinoff. What is the safest way to heat a tackroom?

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  • #21
    We have a small tack room, it is well insulated, and keeping the light on 24hrs keeps it warm and dry, believe it or not. Maybe not for relief from the cold but enough to keep mold away from the tack.
    Custom Equine Art


    • #22
      Originally posted by SLR View Post
      If I can convince my water heater to unhook itself every now and then and do that , I'd be golden.
      Well, there's your problem then -- lazy heater. Round pen that puppy until it submits to work properly!
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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      • #23
        I had a Monitor propane heater installed years ago. Pricey, about 2k plus the tank, but works very well. (there is more to the building than just the tack room, so it does a fairly large space).

        You can get smaller propane heaters that run on tanks that you can use when you are there. Northern Tool usually has a decent selection.

        I would be concerned about using anything with cords. A hardwired electric heater would be safer, if you can do that.

        If I was building my barn today, and not going with propane,I would look for a second hand oil furnace and tank to install. Electric is crazy expensive here.


        • #24
          We have an awesome tiny boiler that heats our barn floor and the pony wall that runs around the barn and arena. It is awesome. I love heated floors and can't imagine anything else. Even if the boiler dies, the cement floor and walls hold the heat for a LONG time, and keep the barn/arena temp constant.

          We also have jacket and lap warmers in the form of spoiled cats. Also work well, but slightly more expensive to run than the boiler.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


          • #25
            Our tack room is in a small building connect to the south end of our rather large bank barn. The front wall and entrance faces east so it gets the warming morning sun, passive solar effect. The south wall has another room next to it and the back and north wall are below grade with a shop and garage above. It’s about 10+ by 20. I rebuilt the east “outside wall” with 6” insulation, double pane winowds and door. I used a 6’ 220 volt baseboard heater. It is mounted on a wall that has nothing hanging above it. We have a table in front of it and is fixed in such a way that it can not be pushed up against the wall which would affect the efficiency of the heater. Baseboard works by convection that’s’ why it is mounted low, drawing cold air up into the coils and heated and the warm air rises and circulates which is why you don’t want to block off the warm rising air. The coils do not glow and do not get hot enough IME to set something on fire. Though they will melt some things. They are not like the plug in types that you can see the heating elements glowing red. It keeps the room very toasty. I do not like ANY type of electric heating, ie plug space heaters, that is not hard wired, meaning wire directly into the wall wire on a dedicated circuit on its own breaker. Meaning nothing else is connected/plugged into that line. In other words plug in types. It’s not the actual heating unit that can cause a fire but the wire and or plug. Base board heater are inexpensive but if you don’t have a dedicated 220 wire in the room or have a long run to get the 220 line to the room the electrician is. It shouldn’t be because it is very simple to do in most cases. From what I understand and I understand the science the 120 volt baseboards are not very efficient and should be avoided. But to each their own.


            • #26
              Originally posted by subk View Post
              If you ask your insurance agent--the guys that actually bet money on what causes barn fires--you'd find that something over 90% of all barn fires are caused by stroing hay in the barn or smoking in the barn. So while yes, you should certainly have an eye toward safety when deciding on heating it's probably a smaller fire factor than you think. (Actually, talking to your insurance agent might be a great place to get data on what really causes barn fires and what you should do to prevent them.)

              I have hard wired electric baseboard heaters, properly installed, wired and set just to keep the pipes from freezing. I don't loose any sleep at night over it.
              I have asked my most recent insurance agent that exact question and was told it has little to no bearing on our insurance rates and he saw exactly how much hay we store.
              We have a very large classic bank barn. We store several thousand bales of hay and about half that amount in straw. Along with lots of other stuff. Our previous insurance company sent 2 people to inspect the property and took no issue with our hay storage. My present insurance agent is a friend he owns the company and it is quite large and insurers a LOT of farm properties in the Mid-Atlantic area. He said the actuaries show that so few barn fires are caused by hay storage it is a non issue. They are far more concerned with the type and quality of the wiring. And the competency of people that run the operation. But I suppose every insurance company may have different feelings and may depend on location.
              For someone to state that 90% of all barn fires are caused by “hay fires” or spontaneous combustion of is blowing smoke. No pun intended. The statistics will back me up on this.
              Yes, “green” or wet hay can and does get hot. Shame on the person that either sell poorly produce hay and or the person that puts up a lot of hay without checking the moisture content. Hay moisture/heat probes are not very expensive. Stored “wet” hay does not catch on fire. What it will do is give tell tail signs that there is a problem in the way of a faint to stronger smokey smell. There maybe some visible smoke. But this is not coming from bales at or near the top of the stack. For baled hay, and yes wet baled straw and a number of organic material to spontaneously combust it has have a high moisture content and be under pressure. It will only spontaneously compbust when air is introduced. If you should smell or see the above tell tail signs DO NOT dig into the stack because as soon as you get down deep enough to the very hot bales and introduce oxygen/air then you have a problem. Do nothing but call the fire department. If you are game get a water hose into the area you think the smoke or smell is coming from until the fire department arrives. If you are buy hay in quantity from a reseller there is probably little worry. These people check the hay they are buying and storing before delivery. If you have a leaky barn roof over you hay/straw storage area get t fixed.
              Of course this is all based on personal experience, conversations and research. Use what you want throw out what you don’t.


              • #27
                Originally posted by CHT View Post
                We have an awesome tiny boiler that heats our barn floor and the pony wall that runs around the barn and arena. It is awesome. I love heated floors and can't imagine anything else. Even if the boiler dies, the cement floor and walls hold the heat for a LONG time, and keep the barn/arena temp constant.

                We also have jacket and lap warmers in the form of spoiled cats. Also work well, but slightly more expensive to run than the boiler.
                Yes to radiant heat in the floor! BO built it into the tack rooms, bathrooms, it is heavenly. I've come in from the pasture during winter and just laid spread eagle on the heated tack room floor. Great for drying wet turnouts over night too. Barn cats also love it.....
                “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky


                • #28
                  Originally posted by gumtree View Post
                  For someone to state that 90% of all barn fires are caused by “hay fires” or spontaneous combustion of is blowing smoke.
                  Not that I disagree--just passing along what my agent who saved me a bunch of money by getting my hay out of the barn. But the quote was 90% of fires are caused by spontaneous combustion AND smoking in the barn--as in smoking cigerettes.

                  Just for the record, I've witnessed hay burning because of spontaneous combustion twice in the last 5-10 years--which seems like a hell of a lot for something that supposedly doesn't happen all that often...


                  • Original Poster

                    gumtree, Right on. My insurance agent also told me it didn't make any difference whether we stored hay in barn or not. It did not affect the rates. Of course maybe they build that in anyway. Smoking in the barn, oh well, that's a no brainer. Not gonna happen in mine.
                    Interesting about the spontaneous combustion, it makes sense about having to be exposed to air, but then again, 2 dairy barns close by both went up at nite due to hay, and no one was around to "expose" it, so I just don't know.
                    Looked at the wall hung convection heaters, and I guess acommon problem with them is that the plastic can crack and expose the wires inside. Again, they are plug ins.
                    Think the safest will be the hard wired baseboard, because I don't need it during the day when the barn is busy, just at nite in the cold, when no one is there but the horses and barn cat. Just need it to be warm enough to keep the lazy water heater happy. The room is insulated. The pipes in the wall are insulated, just not enough.


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                      What if you took a ceramic heater and put it in a wire dog crate? Then nothing could fall on it and get close enough to catch fire. Or even the oil radiant as mentioned? If you had it in a wire crate that was big enough, no matter what could fall on it, you should be fine.
                      I use a ceramic heater but mine is on a little shelf right next to the plug in....which is almost 5' off the ground and it is located above my feed counter.