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Cost (and tips) for running new hydrants... adding heated auto tanks later

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  • Cost (and tips) for running new hydrants... adding heated auto tanks later

    Any ideas on costs for supplies (like piping) running hydrants? Luckily we have a friend in the business who we be assisting, so we'll be saving a lot in that regard.

    We need a minimum of 4 new hydrants. The first will be about 150-200 feet from an existing frost free hydrant. The next 2 will be 100' apart. One will be only 30 or 50 feet from another the 2nd new hydrant.

    Has anyone frost free hydrants and electric, and then gone back later and installed automatic, heated waterers? Good idea/bad? Any insight?

    We also need to set up a lot more paddocks this spring, including dividing the big field which will give the grass some time to (try to) grow. We're also considering adding a small section off the barn for some MUCH needed hay storage. So we have lots to do and have to prioritize, which is why auto waterers aren't in the budget for at least a year or two. But, we *need* more hydrants and electric near the hydrants.

    Any insight would be much appreciated. We are on city water with great amazing pressure, so we're not too concerned about the fact we're running water so far. Thanks!

  • #2
    Plastic hose suitable for potable water is cheap, like about $50 for 500'.
    The major cost will be trenching it into the ground as deeply as necessary
    to keep it from freezing (depends on where you live) and purchasing and
    installing the frost free hydrants. Don't go cheap on the hydrant or you
    will regret it if you are in a fairly cold climate. We have had good service
    from the Woodford brand, but there are surely other quality brands.

    You can certainly run the electric wire in the trench with the waterline,
    but wire is fairly pricey and doesn't have to be buried as deeply as
    waterlines as electric wire won't freeze so you could put the wire
    in later in a more shallow trench.
    Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, Wisconsin

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by FatPalomino View Post
      Has anyone frost free hydrants and electric, and then gone back later and installed automatic, heated waterers? Good idea/bad? Any insight?
      That's my plan. I have four hydrants at paddock gates that we laid down the electric with the water lines when we installed them. Ran the wire through the fuse box in the barn so the circuits were set aside and left the wire underground at the faucet. We're planning on coming back to put in heaters and or possibly tanks at some point.

      My electrician/plumber is also a horse guy and does this kind of thing regularly. He actually thought it was pretty smart to set it up that way.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by FatPalomino View Post
        Any ideas on costs for supplies (like piping) running hydrants? Luckily we have a friend in the business who we be assisting, so we'll be saving a lot in that regard.

        We need a minimum of 4 new hydrants. The first will be about 150-200 feet from an existing frost free hydrant. The next 2 will be 100' apart. One will be only 30 or 50 feet from another the 2nd new hydrant.

        Has anyone frost free hydrants and electric, and then gone back later and installed automatic, heated waterers? Good idea/bad? Any insight?

        We also need to set up a lot more paddocks this spring, including dividing the big field which will give the grass some time to (try to) grow. We're also considering adding a small section off the barn for some MUCH needed hay storage. So we have lots to do and have to prioritize, which is why auto waterers aren't in the budget for at least a year or two. But, we *need* more hydrants and electric near the hydrants.

        Any insight would be much appreciated. We are on city water with great amazing pressure, so we're not too concerned about the fact we're running water so far. Thanks!
        I just put 3 Nelson waterers in my fields--I already had the water lines and electric boxes in the fields. The waterers & insulations tubes were about $1800. I figured it wouldn't be a big deal to dig the lines up & Tee in (I was wrong, it ended up being a very big deal, and quite expensive--I have a total of about $8500 in the 3 waterers when you include excavation, new electric lines, trenching, etc).

        My advice is--if you think you will be installing waterers in the future, lay your lines with that in mind NOW. Make very detailed and accurate notes about where the lines are. Bury your electric lines when you bury your water lines, and be sure you use the appropriate materials on both so you only have to do it once. My water and electric lines are buried 4' deep, which is great for freeze proof, but since they were pre-existing to me we were kinda guessing on exact locations! My electric was questionable, so we ended up cutting the old lines, digging a 3' deep trench and running a new line to two of the waterers. This was not cheap. It was, however, cheaper than having a horse step through a shallow trench and get zapped!

        As much as you can make one waterer (or faucet/outlet) do double duty for two fields. You'll be ever so grateful A) when you get your electric bill, B) when you fill the things C) when you have to chase down a problem D) on the intial expenditure.

        I do love having the auto waterers but they didn't come cheap!

        Comment


        • #5
          FP -

          Before committing to anything - contact your local soil and water conservation district and see if there is any cost-share money available.

          There is usually cost-share available for the type of project you are doing - and it can knock up to 50% of the bill off.

          It is a very simple, easy process and well worth exploring. It can mean the difference between a budget job you're not happy with - and your dream watering system.

          Seriously - check it out.
          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
          -Rudyard Kipling

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by JSwan View Post
            FP -
            There is usually cost-share available for the type of project you are doing - and it can knock up to 50% of the bill off.
            I'm on it!
            Thanks for the insight. We plan on putting the hydrants on the fence lines (to stabilize them, reduce the horses knocking into them, and be able to use them on more than one field).

            We would probably put automatic waterers in the middle of the pasture. I wonder if we set up the water and electric lines like that, and marked it very well (any ideas on how to do that? Metal stake in the ground?) so that we (or anyone else) could come back later and easily put them in... if this would be a good idea???

            Any thoughts on brands of frost free hydrants to stay away from???

            Comment


            • #7
              Holler if you need any help on the cost share stuff.

              I put my hydrants outside the fence line like you are thinking of doing. Works great.

              I can't think of any brands to stay away from. If you run the water and electric at the same time and put them at the same depth, you can locate the line later easily - by the electric.

              Good luck with that project. I've always wanted automatic waterers but just never got around to it. Still hauling hoses and using stock tanks. Works ok except in the middle of winter and then I end up being very grumpy until spring. Must be worse where you live!
              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
              -Rudyard Kipling

              Comment


              • #8
                RE brands - we have Nelson autowaterers in the fields - the ones that are all steel - and love them. I personally would only use Nelson. They are easy to clean, reliable, and have no sharp edges or anything that can injure the horses. My horses prefer these to their buckets. When we installed ours, we also installed a frost free hydrant and receptacle near each paddock as a back-up system in case the autowaterer ever failed. They are also handy to have in general.

                If you do decide to phase in autowaterers, definitely drop all the lines / electric at the same time during the first step so you only have to trench ONCE. It can take a while, after you fill a trench, for the thing to settle as you want it (you may get sink holes, have to refill, etc) and for grass to grow back. IMO, the worst part of the process is getting the land back to how it was before being trenched (and because of that, I try to avoid trenching at all costs). That is especially so wrt autowaterers, as the water line needs to be below the frost line (ours are at least 4 ft deep, and the trench was nearly 2 ft wide). To the extent possible, try to avoid trenching across any area the horses must cross (i.e., keep trenching outside fencelines, and avoid crossing their pathway to and from the barn).

                We also were careful to position the waterers so that they could serve two pastures in the event we ever further subdivide the current fields (I have 3 large fields, but may at some point split some of these in half). If we were ever to split a field, we need only replace the current Nelson with a double unit, using the same plumbing / electric setup already in place. Also make sure to position them in such a way that minimizes the chance that one horse can trap another horse (e.g.), don't place them in a corner).

                With respect to contractors, I contacted Nelson directly and they provided me with a list of installers in my area who had installed many Nelsons. The one I chose is a well drilling company and they were excellent and reasonably priced - less than the barn building companies that also install autowaterers, for example. They were also fast (trenched and installed 3 autowaterers in one day). I made the mistake of using a different company for another autowaterer and they were twice as expensive and it took them nearly a week to install just one autowaterer as they did not really know what they were doing, as it turned out. So try to find someone who has done a number of these, and for whom installation is not a big deal.
                Roseknoll Sporthorses
                www.roseknoll.net

                Comment


                • #9
                  You asked about frost hydrants people don't like. In addition to the Woodford
                  which I DO LIKE quite a bit, we also have a Campbell which has given us rather
                  poor service. It needs frequent adjustment and leaks water (which freezes
                  and causes other problems) in winter. I don't know if we have a particularly
                  bad machine or if the whole product line is bad; but I would not install another
                  Campbell.

                  One thing to be aware of, if you run your water line anywhere where you
                  plow off the snow (like under the driveway) you need to put it deeper in
                  that area as frost will go down further where there is less snowcover
                  than where the ground is insulated by snow.
                  Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                  Elmwood, Wisconsin

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks for the insight.

                    Anyone familiar with the cost share programs? What is the goal of a cost share program? It sound amazing! I looked for local info and couldn't find much. I called and was transferred around a lot and didn't get anywhere. Will try again this week.

                    Much appreciated!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      These might help until you're able to speak with someone.

                      http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/XCM171.pdf

                      http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/partners/districts.html

                      http://www.cacd.us/


                      I enrolled my farm years ago.

                      Very generally it is a way of assisting landowners to install environmentally sounds practices on their land - practices that are very expensive to install.

                      You agree to maintain the practice for a period of years (10 in my case), you fill out an application and then after the Board approves your plan - you pick up a check.

                      There are not usually tax implications to that assistance but you will need to file Schedule F (farm return) to account for the cost share payment. Also double check with your accountant (things like Section 125 exclusions will need to be discussed - but the conservation staff should be able to help answer questions too)

                      Practices usually available for cost share are designed to protect soil and water quality.

                      Installation of fences so that rotational grazing can be done.
                      Buffers around waterways and ponds (similar to filter strips for cropland)
                      Installation of water lines so that livestock don't congregate in or foul water
                      Well capping
                      Filter fabric in dry lots/sacrifice areas along with tax credits for installing sand/stonedust.

                      Some items are cost shared (you get so many cents or dollars per foot to help offset the cost) and some are tax credits - dollar for dollar credit for a sacrifice paddock/dry lot

                      Programs and funding vary from year to year.

                      There are also programs like CRP but that's pretty complicated. If you have questions about that I'd be happy to talk about that as well.

                      Some people do not approve of these programs because of their personal philosophy or political leanings. I'm just offering the information and you can do what you want with it.

                      My farm was profiled in a recent book on eco-friendly horsekeeping - it's available on Amazon. I can attest to this program and recommend it to others. This farm no longer pollutes the water, the animals are healthier, the grazing better - no complaints.

                      I love to rail against the gubmit but honestly - this program does help landowners and the environment - and the public as well.

                      Hope that helps.
                      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                      -Rudyard Kipling

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        WOW! Thank you SO much. Learn new things everyday!!! I couldn't find much on google... will look thoroughly at those links.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I believe that my county has a link to their Soil and Conservation dep't on their website - maybe check your county's website.
                          Roseknoll Sporthorses
                          www.roseknoll.net

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