Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

Last post 02-01-2010 5:17 PM by celticgirl61. 8 replies.
Page 1 of 1 (9 items)
Sort Posts: Previous Topic Next Topic
  • 01-04-2010 7:17 PM

    Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

    It has been well below freezing for a few days now, and I have lost my water to the barn (horse troughs).  I have been busting thick ice and pouring boiling water into my troughs for the last few days in an effort to keep my horse troughs in "working order".  Just a few mintues ago - a lugged 200' of water hose through my living room & into my hall bathtub to try and thaw them out enough so that water will pass through them.  I have a spigot at the house that isn't frozen - so I have water....it just may take me a while to get it out to the horses at the rate I'm going (more like floundering).  Rant...rant...rant....

     Surely someone here has had this problem, and had better sense than I, to be prepared for it.  I need to get a trough water heater/de-icer but am unsure of what to look for in a unit.  There are so many to choose from at a variety of prices.....  How many watts?  What brand?  Floating? Submersable? Thermostat control or not? 

    Please share any input you have on this subject - I'm ordering something by tomorrow.  This weather is supposed to hold out for at least a week & I'm not doing "this" until the weather breaks.  (And before anyone asks - it isn't usually this cold here.   THis whole week has been highs in the teens & twenties and lows in the single digits - just crazy weather right now.)

    Looking for an excuse to dust off my barn boots...

    www.skinnyhorse.com
  • 01-05-2010 8:18 AM In reply to

    Re: Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

    So sorry to hear about your trough troubles DND, don't have many suggestions as I have never had this problem living in Central TX.  Kudos to you for going to all the extra trouble to take care of your ponies though.  I'm sure someone here will have some good advice for you. good luck!

  • 01-05-2010 8:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

    We have two kinds -- we keep a tank in the washrack in the winter so when the pipe up to the barn freezes (like it has this week), we still have plenty of water.  We put a floating heater in that one (not sure of brand -- it's just a couple wire rings with a floating bit on top) to keep it clear.  Kinda like this:

    http://www.northernhorse.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/WinterWaterTrough-heater.gif

    In the pastures, we have the big rubbermaid troughs and add heating elements through the drain holes.  These work great and there is nothing on top for horses to fuss with.  However, if you have a horse that likes to tapdance in the troughs, they can stomp and break them.  It's happened once, we just replaced the element. 

    http://enduranceridestuff.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/tank_deicer.jpg

     I'm sorry, I don't know brands or prices on the stuff as I did not purchase it, but they all work great and it's lovely not to break ice!  We're getting crazy weather right now too, it's not supposed to be this cold all the time in NC!  Curse you, climate change!  Oh, we also have muck buckets in each stall that have submerged heating elements so there is plenty of water there -- horses drink a LOT in the winter!  None of the stuff is thermostat controlled as far as I know, but I could be wrong.  Kinda like this:

    http://www.rammfence.com/shop/images/16_gal_heated_bucket_M.jpg

     So I guess we have a little bit of everything, LOL, but hope it gives you some ideas.  They are all worth their weight in gold!

    ETA -- hoses are always left stretched out on the hill beside the barn so they don't freeze.



    Solaris -- 16 hh Appendix Quarter Horse = MY DREAM COME TRUE!
    We Are Flying Solo
  • 01-11-2010 8:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

    I was sure thinking about this post this weekend!!  It was 13 degrees at our house when I went out to feed Saturday morning and as I was using a hammer to break ice in the water trough and hauling warm buckets of water to the stalls I was saying to myself "I am SO glad I don't have to do this every winter!!". 

    I was a little better prepared for it Sunday though, I used large, insulated water and coffee thermoses to carry hot water to the barn for my old man's breakfast and dinner and to soak his alfalfa cubes. Smile  Luckily it is supposed to be back in the 60s this week.

    I'm sure those of you in Florida have similar stories?

  • 01-11-2010 3:34 PM In reply to

    Re: Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

    Whatever you decide to get, do make sure you get a "cage" for your de-icer if recommended. A friend sent a photo of her sturdy plastic trough after her de-icer burned clear through and melted the side of it. Glad no one got hurt!

    To keep pipes/faucets from freezing, you might want to get some foam insulation and/or heating tape to put around the pipes. The foam tubes are quite inexpensive--they're sliced down one side so you can wrap them around the length of your pipe. Just cut to length and use duct tape to secure. If you have any kind of enclosed area in your barn/garage, store your hose in there and carefully use a small heater with safety shutoff to keep the temperature above freezing.

    Stay warm!

  • 01-21-2010 1:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

    We've had similar problems at our barn.  Even though we're in the frozen north, our barn owner (I board) is short on cash and doesn't want to keep the heaters plugged in all the time.

     Electric tank heaters work well, but can be expensive to run. 

    Last winter I made a "redneck tank insulator", and it worked really well.  My pony's paddock has a typical 100 gallon Rubbermaid tank.  I used four large cardboard boxes, flattened.  Inside each flattened box, I put a couple of layers of bubble wrap (the kind you can buy at any office supply store). I slid each cardboard section into a heavy duty contractor plastic bag, then duct taped the four sections together around the tank tightly.  It won't warm the water, but if you put warmer water into the tank, it will keep it much warmer, much longer, than an uninsulated tank.

    The horses didn't look twice at the new wrapping on the tank, and on days when all the other paddocks had frozen tanks, mine was still free of ice, or had only a little on the edges.

    It's not expensive, and only requires a little time and effort to assemble.   Good luck!

  • 01-22-2010 10:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

    DocsNewDay:
    lugged 200' of water hose through my living room & into my hall bathtub to try and thaw them out enough so that water will pass through them. 

    Whew - that was an ordeal and a total waste of time.  The idea worked well as far as thawing the frozen hose.  But...it was so cold outside the hose just froze again once I tried to run water through it.  I went out and bought a tank heater.  It's the type that screws into the drain plug of the trough.  It wasn't too expensive ($35.00).  I did have to bite-the-bullet and buy a heavy duty 100' extension cord to run power.  It was almost twice as much as the heater, lol!!  It was well worth the $$ spent though. 

    Looking for an excuse to dust off my barn boots...

    www.skinnyhorse.com
  • 01-30-2010 3:41 PM In reply to

    Re: Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

     I know this sounds a bit weird, but we use (well, used, before Ta'ceyewi, but that is a long story) fish tank water heaters.  get whatever size your tank is, and stick it to the bottom of the tub  One of the problems I have with de-icers is that they only de-ice (duh) but with a heater it can be adjusted, so it isn't uncommon for my guys to end up drinking more in the winter, because the warm water is fun and, well warming to them!

    Good luck!


    Mojo, 1980?-10/1/2010. RIP Mo-man. I know your life had many bad times in it, and I sincerely hope I made your last few years here on Earth happy and comfortable, with as much love and yummies as your huge heart desired. I love you bud, have fun running in the pastures of heaven. Until we meet again...
  • 02-01-2010 5:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Water trough woes..... any recommended de-icers?

    Our water trough freezes each winter. What I do is put the bucket in a stack of tires with some hay. I still fill the buckets with boiling water. It insulates the trough and keeps the water liquid for longer. Try to stay warm!


Page 1 of 1 (9 items)
Featured Offers
  • Save 10% on the Best Selection of Books and DVDs Online at HorseBooksEtc.com.
  • Receive $5 off your next purchase of Safe-Guard Power-Dose
  • 100% All Natural Wunder Hoof is a Quick, Easy and Affordable way to a Strong Healthy Hoof; Build Thicker Walls & Improve Hoof Condition.
  • Keeping your horse's hindgut healthy can be a challenge, learn about Proviable-EQ a new product from the Makers of Cosequin.
  • Steadfast Equine - a uniquely different joint supplement. Visit www.arenus.com to see the benefits of a more complete joint health supplement plan.