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Problem with trough heater?

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  • Problem with trough heater?

    Every yr. I get the heater that sinks to bottom of trough.I have a very good extention cord. Put it in the trough today and it shocked her. Has front shoes. Never have had a problem. Any ideas?

  • #2


    • #3
      Make sure everything is grounded including extension cord. I'd try plugging the heater directly into the wall outlet and placing in water to see if it's the heater itself or the extension cord causing the problem. I've heard that sometimes you need to add an additional ground wire that sits in the trough and attaches to a metal post in the ground by the trough. Or, maybe it's time for a new heater.


      • Original Poster

        This is a new heater. I buy a new heater every yr.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Madi View Post
          This is a new heater. I buy a new heater every yr.
          Why? You shouldn't be buying new heaters every year. They last more than a year.

          REad the thread I linked. Every time I've had zaps coming from the water it's been due to faulty extension cords and/or water or moisture inside the cord plug itself.


          • #6
            I just bought 2 new sinking tank heaters.

            The literature that came with them advises against using extension cords.

            They also strongly recommend driving a ground rod 5 feet into the ground near the water tank, and if it's a metal tank, run a copper ground wire from the rod and clamp it on the tank.
            If it's a plastic tank, they suggest running the ground wire from the rod and just letting it dangle into the tank.

            My hubby says that's overkill as far as grounding, but I'm going to do it anyway.
            Save lives! Adopt a pet from your local shelter.


            • #7
              Make sure that the extension cord is not in the water!
              Is the tank Rubbermaid or Galvanized?

              And no...you should not need to buy a new heater every year. I have only had 2 heaters in 15 years.


              • #8
                Originally posted by dawglover View Post

                The literature that came with them advises against using extension cords.

                That covers their butt on warranties. Because half the time it's a problem with extension cords, outlets, etc. not the heater.

                I've got 3 troughs quite a ways from the house. All 3 are heated with drain plug de-icers or sinking de-icers and all run off extension cords. I've had the same situation for 5 years. Before then it was just two water troughs. But you must use outdoor extension cords, and run a decent size gauge (I use 12 gauge).


                • #9
                  Get a new extension cord with GFCI and a fence tester. Test the water with the fence tester. Could still be the heater, even if it's new. Sh*t happens.


                  • #10
                    I don't know how many horses you have, but for my two, I ditched the floating/sinking/drain-plug heaters and got two 16-gallon plastic heated tubs (about the size of a muck bucket).

                    Here's a pic:

                    I've been using mine for 10 years now, and they both still work great (knocking on wood since I might have just jinxed those tubs). They are both on extension cords. No exposed heating elements, so no risk of shock. I've had zero problems with mine.

                    Tractor Supply carries them as well as most of the feed stores and farmer's co-ops in my area. Lots of the online horse places sell them now too; I think Valley Vet has them, but with their size, it's better to find them locally and avoid shipping charges.
                    Equus Keepus Brokus


                    • #11
                      Don't use an extension cord. I did, once, until I discovered that it had heated so much that it was too hot to touch. I immediately called my electrician and got an electrical outlet installed where the tank heater cord can reach it directly. I also use a GFI plug, just in case.
                      My Equestrian Art Photography page


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by draftdriver View Post
                        Don't use an extension cord. I did, once, until I discovered that it had heated so much that it was too hot to touch.

                        I have also had this problem. Didn't have to do with extension cords though. This happens to me every now and again when I first install heaters in the winter that were used the year before. If there is any gunk on the heater at all, I have figured out it will get extra hot (yes, too hot to touch even under water). If you let them run for a bit it will burn off the gunk and they'll start running normal. I can't tell you how many I replaced that did that until I started doing some testing with them. I now have 9 heaters (and only 3 water troughs).

                        In my cases it didn't have to do with extension cords at all. Happened if I plugged them up in the house in a bucket of water too.