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Tank/trough heaters

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  • #21
    Thanks everyone and horsepuller for your response.

    We have gotten away with the big muck bucket type heaters, but its a pain to continually have to refill them mid day.
    I didn't want to put a ground in to attach to the hot water heater, and my outlets are all gfi, so I guess I am good to go.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld

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    • #22
      DITTO on the plug heater-- just make sure you don't lose the plug after the winter is over- like the morons I just worked for..
      I'm pretty sure they are more expensive but the horses won't play with them- so safer, they last longer.
      I had one of the heaters that float MELT a hole in a rubbermaid trough- we had a particularly cold night, half the water trough froze.. then the horses drank so the ice stayed above the water, the heater got stuck in the ice and on the lip of the trough. Weird, but it apparently can happen. I think the plug heater keeps the water warmer.

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      • #23
        Bumping up an old thread because I figured out how to get electricity to my tank. I plan to get the drain plug heater. My question is does it actually warm the water to the point that it is sort of warmish or just keep it from freezing? I give all the horses in the barn warm water in the winter. It would nice to be able to do that for the babies in the field as well but non frozen would be an improvement.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home

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        • #24
          Laurie, it heats it. It feels room temp.

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          • #25
            Perfect, thanks! It will be in place by this time tomorrow.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

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            • #26
              I am saving some of the expense of heating my stock tanks with a fairly simple and easy to do addition. I went to the store and bought one of those foam pads that are sold to put under your sleeping bag when camping. Then I cut it so that it fit the water surface in the stock tank. (Actually, you want it just a little bit smaller so it can easily float down as the water level drops as most stock tanks are tapered.) Cut one or two muzzle sized holes in the sheet of foam so horses can get a drink. I only put mine in at night as our horses tend to drink a lot during the daytime and very little at night. But you could leave it in 24/7.
              It has reduced my electric bill enough to notice; lots more than the $10 the foam pad cost me.
              Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
              Elmwood, Wisconsin

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              • #27
                I don't have to pay for electricity so that is not a concern. I would have done it long ago but couldn't figure out how to safely get electricity to the tank but I solved that problem. I will have to use a hose instead of just pulling up the handle but with only two yearlings in the field I shouldn't have to worry about that more than a few days a week.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                  I don't have to pay for electricity so that is not a concern. I would have done it long ago but couldn't figure out how to safely get electricity to the tank but I solved that problem. I will have to use a hose instead of just pulling up the handle but with only two yearlings in the field I shouldn't have to worry about that more than a few days a week.
                  Yes, it is wonderful. I keep a bucket in the stall for my older horse, and I throw the bucket in the tank in the morning to defrost.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Robin@DHH View Post
                    I am saving some of the expense of heating my stock tanks with a fairly simple and easy to do addition. I went to the store and bought one of those foam pads that are sold to put under your sleeping bag when camping. Then I cut it so that it fit the water surface in the stock tank. (Actually, you want it just a little bit smaller so it can easily float down as the water level drops as most stock tanks are tapered.) Cut one or two muzzle sized holes in the sheet of foam so horses can get a drink. I only put mine in at night as our horses tend to drink a lot during the daytime and very little at night. But you could leave it in 24/7.
                    It has reduced my electric bill enough to notice; lots more than the $10 the foam pad cost me.
                    Did you use this in addition to the heater in the tank?
                    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

                    Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue

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                    • #30
                      We do use tank heaters along with the foam cover floating
                      on the surface of the water. We are in northwest Wisconsin
                      and last night the temperature was below 0 F. We would
                      have solid ice in our stock tanks without heaters running
                      daily. Since we are home nearly constantly, we don't let
                      our stock tanks get down below half full and have no
                      worry that the floating insulation could touch the heater.
                      Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                      Elmwood, Wisconsin

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        If the horses are playing with the cords and the heater then you are well served to use the in-tank plug type heater in a Rubbermaid 75 or 100 gallon tank. Please do not run more than 25 feet of extension cord to the tank and make sure the extension cord is rated for 15 amps minimum. That means that the extension cord will run at least $30-40 for 25 feet. Anything more than 25 feet or less than 15 amps and you run the risk of starting a fire. If the distance is greater than 25 feet then you should install a buried underground Romex feed of 12-2 wire to an exterior outlet near the water tank with a GFI.

                        Also be aware that GFI's do go bad over time and will trip regardless of a ground fault when they do. Simply replace.

                        Gawd it's cold tonight!

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
                          Ok, so being dense here, none of you actually ground the actual heater?

                          just use gfi ext cords into gfi outlets?
                          Correct. This is what I have done for 15 years without problem. Rubbermaid tank with drain hole heater. This year we moved and the water tank is in far more open area. I had a carpenter build a tank cover, it is like a rectanglular box with styrofoam insulation sandwiched between sheets of plywood. Top part is 1/4 open for horses to get to the water. I just place it over top of the tank. It also has a little "port" in back for the heater cord. I am shocked at how warm the water is. Literally warm, not only "not frozen" And I am waaaay up north.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Mozart View Post
                            Correct. This is what I have done for 15 years without problem. Rubbermaid tank with drain hole heater. This year we moved and the water tank is in far more open area. I had a carpenter build a tank cover, it is like a rectanglular box with styrofoam insulation sandwiched between sheets of plywood. Top part is 1/4 open for horses to get to the water. I just place it over top of the tank. It also has a little "port" in back for the heater cord. I am shocked at how warm the water is. Literally warm, not only "not frozen" And I am waaaay up north.
                            Is your water staying warm just by being inside the insulated box, and you are not using a heater? If so - any chance you'd be willing to share pictures?!
                            "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

                            Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by IFG View Post
                              Rubbermaid trough with plug hole heater too. I plug into a heavy gauge outdoor extension cord with no ground, and I plug the cord into a GFI outlet.

                              Plug runs through fence so the horse cannot play with it.
                              I now have electric to the run in but it still takes one extension cord. I use a heavy duty one and plug into a 3 prong no problems. I am sure it is safe because DH is very particular about things like that, I am not handy at all.

                              Before we had electric ran we ran 500 feet of extension cords to our house across the lawn. Unfortunately our septic field blocks me from being able to move my pasture any closer. DH taped every connection and we had no issues, just like the guy at Lowes suggested.

                              I have a 100 gallon tank and wouldn't go any less. I hate the PITA of constantly filling or worrying since I have to take a tank of water down from the house in the back of our Polaris. Maybe I would feel different if I had water access right there. Love my Rubbermaid and drain heater, not that expensive and totally worth it

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I unfortunately have to use a 50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank because I have a 14.2 pony and a 26 inch pony. The 100 gallon just isn't short enough.

                                I decided on the submergible disk looking heater because it is made for 50 gallon troughs and is only 500 watts (compared to the 1500 watt plug hole heater). We are using one 100 foot extension cord from an outdoor GFI outlet (the extension cord is outdoor use, heavy duty, and rated correctly for the amps and watts).

                                My mare will NOT drink out of it! I installed it late last night and woke up to a non-frozen but completely full trough. I did see the mini take a few sips out of this morning but my mare just stands there with her lips about 3 inches above the water and won't drink. How do I tell if it's sending out a shock? I've held my hand in the water and don't feel anything. I'm wondering if it just looks funny? Ugh!
                                "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

                                Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I really like this heater, they last a long time and have been horse proof so far.

                                  http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.h...=tank%20heater

                                  The last drain plug heaters we had snapped when cleaning them. I called the company and was told they get brittle when it is cold out Hello, this is a winter product...

                                  I do make a pretty fancy PVC chase for the wiring so it is completely enclosed. This also holds the heater in place.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    You need to read the instructions and follow them for grounding the Rubbermaid type heaters.

                                    Because the tank is not metal, you need a way to ground it. To do this, you pound in a ground rod to the desireable distance into the ground, clamp a piece of metal wire that conducts well to the rod, and put the other end of the metal wire INTO the water that is in the tank. Any stray voltage will use this wire to travel OUT of the water, and into the ground rod.

                                    We had never done this, and never seemed to have a problem, and with an old heater too. Bought a new heater, installed it, and just plugged it in. My mare stopped drinking. We thought something was wrong with the heater, but really, we didn't follow the directions, and the stray voltage had nowhere to go (i.e. we had no grounded the tank/water properly and the instruction DO say to do this).
                                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by OTTBcooper View Post
                                      I unfortunately have to use a 50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank because I have a 14.2 pony and a 26 inch pony. The 100 gallon just isn't short enough.

                                      I decided on the submergible disk looking heater because it is made for 50 gallon troughs and is only 500 watts (compared to the 1500 watt plug hole heater). We are using one 100 foot extension cord from an outdoor GFI outlet (the extension cord is outdoor use, heavy duty, and rated correctly for the amps and watts).

                                      My mare will NOT drink out of it! I installed it late last night and woke up to a non-frozen but completely full trough. I did see the mini take a few sips out of this morning but my mare just stands there with her lips about 3 inches above the water and won't drink. How do I tell if it's sending out a shock? I've held my hand in the water and don't feel anything. I'm wondering if it just looks funny? Ugh!
                                      No, your horse isn't drinking from it because there is likely stray voltage in the water, and she's getting shocked. See my post above to explain how to fix this.
                                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
                                        Ok, so being dense here, none of you actually ground the actual heater?

                                        just use gfi ext cords into gfi outlets?
                                        See my post about needing to ground the tank/water. You dont' attach something to the heater itself.

                                        FWIW, before we followed the instructions for the heater and grounded it properly, we had always just installed the drain plug heater, filled with water, and plugged 'er in. That always seemed to work.

                                        We did this with a new heater, and my mare refused to drink. Lo and behold, we hadn't followed Rubbermaid's instructions for how to properly ground the tank/water.

                                        And this was plugged into a GFI outlet, and my mare was still getting shocked.

                                        No extension cord involved, tank heater was plugged directly into GFI outlet.

                                        Once we grounded the unit like described above, she resumed drinking and we haven't had a problem since.

                                        You really need to follow the instructions that come with the heater to properly ground the unit.
                                        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Suckerforhorses -can the grounding wire drape over (and touch) the edge of the rubbermaid tank?

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