Winter Water Situation

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by NWMO, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Missouri
    We have a small pond that will freeze over very quickly. We have chopped through the ice, but the pond water quality is poor in my opinion (lots of moss and fairly shallow, making some 'mucky' water)....I have a large Rubbermaid stock tank, close to a hydrant and last year tried a submergible heater....however, I think I have issues with the system not be grounded. Last year, some horses that were boarded here went to drink and obviously received a jolt.....i had the heater hooked up to an extension cord......and then tried another cord with appropriate grounding plugs and it seemed to work, but often 'blew' fuses.......anyone have a set up like this, with an easy way to 'ground' the system for a "non electrical" person like me?
     
  2. vallyfarm

    vallyfarm Well-Known Member

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    Upstate NY
    The way to go is get a bubbeler pump from the fish store - the thing that blows air into the tank. Get a med to large one and a lond air rock. Put the tube in something like a garden hosw to stop nibbeling on it. The air will bubble up and stop the water from freezing. NO chance of electrical shock to the animals. I tried 4 different heaters, and my goats wouldn't drink with any of them... was told about the bubbeler, and have had no problems. I did have to run the tubing in conduit to stop the goats from eating the tube. Works like a charm.Mike
     

  3. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    Not sure that air would be enough for our tanks to not freeze over......I would think some type of heat would be necessary......but, will try this....how big of any air pump do you use? I am sure it would be dependent upon the gallons in the tank.......I am thinking I probably have a 150 gallon tank.......
     
  4. lyceum

    lyceum Well-Known Member

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    Attica, IN
    We have never had a cow or goat get a jolt from a heater in a water tank. The only problem we have had is the cows not keeping any water in the tank and the hoses freezing.

    Lyceum
     
  5. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You don't need to have water in front of animals all the time in the winter. Just give them as much water as they will drink twice a day and they'll do fine. What you don't want is ice building up in the tank to the point where you can't use it anymore.

    Jennifer
     
  6. lyceum

    lyceum Well-Known Member

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    I agree! Our cows don't drink more than twice a day during the winter.

    Lyceum
     
  7. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to have to carry water everyday, if I can avoid it.....so therefore the tank and tank heater. The submersible heater came with instructions on "grounding" the heater.....but I am operating under the assumption that if I use a "grounded" plug, I should be getting the same results as with a grounding rod. The other thing I wondered about was if I lose some of the ground with an electrical cord? I don't know enough about electricity......just enough to know to respect it!!!
     
  8. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North Central Idaho, Zone 5
    For those of you with hot water available on the ground level, indoors...here's the way winter watering works for me...

    I have a small galvanized water tank...50+ gallons, I think it is. It'll freeze over to about 1-2 inches when we get temps down below 25 degrees. I check their water every 2-3 days, and, since we've been having an unusually warm fall, have only had to break ice once or twice so far, because I didn't get my hose situated in time for our first heavy freeze.
    I have about 140ft heavy duty garden hose that I have attached to a [partly installed] basement bathtub faucet with a quick-connect and turn on the warm or hot water to refill the tank. Melts it all quite nicely when it does freeze. Of course, I have to bring the hose into the garage and wind it up to keep the residual water inside the hose from freezing. I try never to let the water level get too low, so check on it every 2-3 days.

    Around here, at 3k elevation and our latitude, I have learned that I MUST move that hose from the outside standpipe to the bathtub at the end of Sept. OR deal with water frozen in the hose by putting the whole blessed thing IN the bathtub to defrost it!!!

    It hangs on one side of the knocked-down stanchion post right beside the garage door and water remaining in it stays unfrozen in winter.
     
  9. Allan Mistler

    Allan Mistler Just a simple man

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    Location:
    Central New Hampshire
    I got tired of carting water out for my cows every day too so I built a drain-back water fountain for them in the barn using a $50 12 volt diaghram pump. The inspiration came from this... http://www.horsedrinker.com/ I didn't have water in the barn aside from a pitcher pumped well and I don't have the electrical reserves to power the tank de-icer any longer since the barn is fully solar powered now. I built the fountain using a stainless steel bowl and paddle triggering a microswitch that turns on the pump and closes the drain back valve. When the cattle stop drinking, they release the paddle and the drain back valve opens to allow the bowl and 3/8 water line to drain into the dry well. It helps if you already have a shallow well to tap the water from but not a big deal to just dig a quick six or seven foot deep well (you do have a backhoe, yes?) and place a piece of 18" PVC pipe into the hole , cap it and then buy one of these 'horsedrinker's' to be supplied by a 12 volt pump system. The Flojet pumps will keep a system pressurized and have adequate flow to support these waterers.
    Despite the fact that I'm too cheap to spend $400 on one of these, the principle is sound and my homemade device is working flawlessly... even in the dead of winter.
     
  10. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    VA
    I spent nearly $500 for a Freedom Fountain frost proof waterer. It doesn't use any electricity and works well here. The local water quality people paid for 75% of the cost of installing it, since it enabled me to fence the cattle out of a stream.

    I dug a 4' deep hole below the fountain and insulated the sides with styrofoam. It drains back, too, and the ground temperature from 4' deep is always above freezing. The air in the hole stays at about 52 to 54 degrees year-round.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
    Church Road, VA