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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I got an email suggesting this idea to reduce the exposed water surface on stock watering tanks to reduce heat loss and freezing:

"I’ve got a technique I have used in the past, with pretty good success, to reduce the open water exposure yet give a good drinking area for the horses.-
I cut a board to cover the top of the tank. In that board I cut a hole that is the diameter of a 32 gallon plastic trash can. The hole is cut to the size of the trash can such that the lip around the top of the can will not go through the hole. These trash cans taper from the top to the bottom of the can (I imagine so they will come out of the plastic mold). I cut the bottom off of the can. I then slide the can (minus bottom) down into the hole that I cut in the top of the lid. The lip of the can stops the can from going all the way into the tank. I then screw the can to the top of the tank so the horses don’t pull it out. Next I fill the tank with water. Now the only exposed water area I have is the diameter of the plastic trash can. -I then use the bottom of the trash can that I cut off as my floating cover. It fits in the top of the trash can pretty well because of the taper to the trash can and it limits my exposed water to only a small ring which is the diametrical difference between the top and bottom of the can. All of the horses quickly learned to just push against the trash can bottom to drink."

Seems like it might work?

Gary
 

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That is an interesting suggestion. Do you know what part of the country that person lives in? (I'd worry a little about the floating cover becoming trapped in ice)
 
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Some of those old 100 to 300 year old livestock books that I download from archive.org have variations of that idea in them. It sounds like it might work.
 

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For insulating chemical vats floating sheres are used to retain temperature.
Here is one example. http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/pr...usplastic&category_name=9362&product_id=20538

For use with animals I expect you would still have to string the spheres together to keep them from nosing them out, eating them, etc.

Couldn't a person also use structural insulated panels and simply cut them to shape and float them on the surface? A special area would be required for animals to push down to get to the water much like automatic waterers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For insulating chemical vats floating sheres are used to retain temperature.
Here is one example. http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/pr...usplastic&category_name=9362&product_id=20538

For use with animals I expect you would still have to string the spheres together to keep them from nosing them out, eating them, etc.

Couldn't a person also use structural insulated panels and simply cut them to shape and float them on the surface? A special area would be required for animals to push down to get to the water much like automatic waterers.
Hi Windy,
I like the idea of the balls -- nice and simple.
Would horses attempt to eat the 4 inch ones?

On the new tank we are doing, I think we are going to try an opening similar to CS's tank and see how that works. Then maybe experiment with some kind of SIP like thing. We might try the plastic trash can idea as well.

As a quick way to improve the average galvanized stock tank with minimal work, I wonder how 1) a slab of the rigid foamboard insulation under the tank (or maybe straw?), 2) insulation strapped around the sides of the tank, and 3) the 4 inch balls in black (to absorb a bit of sun) would do?


Gary
 

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Bored horses will chew or gnaw on about anything. I'm not a horse owner and have not been around them but very little, still I think that they would horse around with them if they could (pun intended).
 

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I built a 2x4 frame around mine and filled the sides with pink foam. Did the bottom in some foil backed stuff cuz I ran out of pink after I cut a piece of pink to fit the tank with a hole for the cows noses to fit in.
I put a window on one side and painted the tank black there.
Put the electric heater in just in case...we've hit -20 or so, even worse with the wind. I'll know how it works when the light bill comes.

We used a version of the balls at a place I used to work at to keep some of our anodizing tanks warm. I think you'd have to tether them together and to the tank or the animals would have them all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I built a 2x4 frame around mine and filled the sides with pink foam. Did the bottom in some foil backed stuff cuz I ran out of pink after I cut a piece of pink to fit the tank with a hole for the cows noses to fit in.
I put a window on one side and painted the tank black there.
Put the electric heater in just in case...we've hit -20 or so, even worse with the wind. I'll know how it works when the light bill comes.

We used a version of the balls at a place I used to work at to keep some of our anodizing tanks warm. I think you'd have to tether them together and to the tank or the animals would have them all over the place.
Hi,
Please let us know how it works out.

Here is another one in SW Alberta (very cold) with a little performance data:
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/SteveTank/SteveTank.htm

Similar to the one CS built.

Gary
 

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I looked at our elec bill for Dec. It showed quite a difference from last years even with having a 2HP milker pump running for 20-30 min twice a day this year.
I believe the insulation and window setup for the stock tank has helped out quite a bit.
 
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