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Paddock water tank blues

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  • Paddock water tank blues

    Okay the GFI sh*t the bed but not before leaking a wee bit a negative electrical feedback to the horses at our one outside water trough heater. SO now I am pretty sure it's no longer exuding random bits of electricity but of course the herd is not having anything to do with the water! While waiting for colic, what can I do to interest them in the water trough again?
    Fortunately we turn into stalls nightly with twin water buckets of fresh water, but I do prefer that they drink and pee outdoors. Do I need to relocate my water trough, issue daily buckets of water(ugh!) or is there someway I can get the horse(s) to drink?

  • #2
    Lots of smaller buckets away from the bad zone


    • Original Poster

      I was looking for some suggestions as to how I might get my water trough back into use again.


      • #4
        Interesting question, how do you disguise something for a horse?
        I'd move it a few feet and rotate it 90 degrees, so it's shape and placement are different. Then I'd experiment and wrap the outside with blue plastic tarp.
        Are you testing the water to make sure there is no electrical charge?
        Here is a nifty article on detection of stray voltage specifically for farmers

        I was going to suggest placing rubber mats around the trough (the type used to line the aisles in barns) for the horses to stand on, but I think that would be too slippery. Maybe the mats, then cover them in deep soil? It seems that that would prevent the horses from becoming conductors.
        Ah, of course Coth has adressed this, and yes some had to move their tanks.
        Last edited by Chall; Dec. 8, 2012, 09:50 AM.


        • #5
          FWIW, Home Depot (and others) sell a great little GFI interrupt that I use on every single electrical plug, including outside on the stock tank heaters between the heater plug and the electrical outlet. They've survived all kinds of inclement weather and keep doing their job. They cost about $12 and are worth the peace of mind for me. Can't find it on the website, but they're near the extension cords in the store.


          • #6
            We had to re-acclimate the horses to drinking from the stock tank after being shocked at one farm that we rented. It turned out that none of the outlets in our barn had the grounded wire hooked up, although the electric panel was grounded. (At least, I think that's what my husband said!)

            At the end of the day, I took the herd boss (who happens to be my main riding horse that we had had for almost 10 years at that point)to the water tank. You could tell he was thirsty and wanted to drink. I scooped up water in my hands adn he drank from that. I kept doing the same think, but lowering my hands an inch or so, with the final time, my hands being under water. That time, I let him start drinking and slowly pulled my hands apart and out of the water. As soon as the rest of the herd realized Stormy was drinking, they figured it was OK and they all would drink from the stock tank again.

            It worked for me anyway. Hope it'll work for you too.

            And the GFI plug switches ^^^ that bathsheba suggested, they are great for peace of mind. I bought one not too long ago for my chicken's heated waterer, and it was close to $20 at our local Lowes.



            • #7
              I did similar to CR, but used bits of carrots as a bribe. I also put rubber mats around the tank so that the horses would be insulated from the ground, JIC.

              BTW, I had a GFI plug-in which melted this spring (not purchased from Home Depot). The receptacle was OK -- electrician checked it. He suggested that I have him install a GFI receptacle, which I did.
              My Equestrian Art Photography page


              • Original Poster

                Fed them apples at the water tank near turn in time. Wouldn't eat apple pieces on the tank. Suspicious...