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Old 01-23-2009, 06:40 PM  
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Stock Tank Heaters.

What can anyone tell me about floating stock tank heaters? I read on this website:
http://www.hydrogenappliances.com/hotwater.html
that they can be dangerous. I don't want to electrocute my horses just to keep from chipping ice! And Ty is really mouthy with things in the pasture, not chewing or cribbing, just licking things!

Has anyone used the one on the website? What can you tell me about them?
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:45 PM  
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After many winters we bought stock tank heaters this year. I was very leery of the floating ones because I know my horses. I bought the drain plug kind
and they have been working beautifully.
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:48 PM  
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Re: stocktank heaters

There are several heaters that stay on the bottom of the tank, much safer around horses. I use inch and a quarter schedule 40 PVC to make a guard for the cord, tie it securely outside the horses pen. Sometimes have to use an elbow to take it out of reach with another straight length. Cal-Ranch carries them, or you can mail order from tack catalogs.

I found that most horses think the floating ones are special toys, and will not leave them alone. Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:10 PM  
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See, that's what I'm afraid of...that Ty will pull it out of the tank to play with it! I'm trying to talk the BO and Paul out of using these things, I think the ones that go into the little drain hole at the bottom of the tank would be safer, but this website says you should only use 12-24-48 volt batteries and not 110 due to the risk of electrocution.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:31 PM  
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get a sinking one, and use pvc to protect the cord. Also make a habit of inspecting the set up for damage and sticking your hand in the water daily to make sure it hasnt shorted out.. that will happen.. they will give a slight charge to the water.. not enough to hurt anything, but enough to make the horses not drink..

also, chipping the ice out isnt enough, you need a heater. Most horses do not like drinking really cold water when it is cold, and will get dehydrated and colic, even if you are breaking the ice out.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:34 PM  
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We have used tank heaters for years. I would not go a winter - or even a few days - without them. I like the drain plug ones the best for the horses that like to play with things. Right now I have a floating one, sinking one, and one that actually hangs over the side - the heater part extends down into the bottom of the tank (kind of L shaped with a bracket on the top to hold it on the tank and the cord to attach to) - this one only goes on a metal tank though as it could melt a plastic or rubber one slightly. I love this one, it works better on a big tank than any of the smaller heaters. I keep our water tanks where they are against the fence or barn where I can put the cord out of reach of the horses. Make sure the heater has the ground prong on the plug (most do) and also make sure your extention cord is heavy enough for the heater and also has a ground plug. For good measure you can also use a GFI outlet - the kind that has the button that pops up and stops the electric circuit incase of a surge or short. Once you use one you'll never be without it.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:55 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merleliz View Post
See, that's what I'm afraid of...that Ty will pull it out of the tank to play with it! I'm trying to talk the BO and Paul out of using these things, I think the ones that go into the little drain hole at the bottom of the tank would be safer, but this website says you should only use 12-24-48 volt batteries and not 110 due to the risk of electrocution.
The drain plug heater I have is designed to be used with 110. I do, however, plug it into a GFI plug so if anything happens, it shuts it off. ANY heater you use that plugs into 110 can cause electrocution. Mine does say not to use an extension cord; but I got a very heavy one that does not get hot (the heaters draw a lot of juice so if you have to use an extension cord get a good one! I also tape and cover up where the cord joins the extension cord to keep it from getting wet).

The floating ones are dangerous because it's hard to hide the cord (the required cord length changes as the water level goes down), plus they tend to become play toys. We had a sinking one and my horse pulled it out of the tank all the time. We covered 3/4ths of the tank and kept the sinking heater under the cover and somehow she still got to it.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:01 AM  
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I have used the floating heaters for as long as I have had horses. I have never had any problem. I do have half my tank covered and the cord goes through the middle of the cover, this keeps the heater under the cover and also protects the heater. I have in plugged into a GFI. I think most of the tank heater have an automatic shutoff, so if you run out of water it will shut off. I have a one horse that plays with everything, but he has never tried to get the heater. Maybe the cover keeps him from getting at it.
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