Insulating stock tanks for winter - Page 2
 
 

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Insulating stock tanks for winter

This is a discussion on Insulating stock tanks for winter within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Insulated stock tank
  • Best way to insulate stock water tank

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    10-30-2012, 11:18 PM
  #11
Foal
DimSum That water heater looks like a great idea. I think I will give it a go so I don't have to rely on the water heaters as much. Thanks for that
DimSum likes this.
     
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    10-30-2012, 11:44 PM
  #12
Yearling
We insulated are metal water tank with the blue styrofoam insulation and built a plywood box around it with a lid, so the only part that is open is the side the horses are on, so they can stick their head in. Insulating makes a huge difference, on the power bill. Now I need to insulate a bigger round plastic one. And figure out how to keep the small water buckets from freezing so quick. It hasn`t been to terribly cold yet, but I have to smash ice and add hot water 2x a day, so they can drink... frustrating, and alot of work. We need to invent something better than whats already out there.
     
    11-02-2012, 01:18 AM
  #13
Yearling
I don't know if this will work, since I just did it and haven't had any freezing temps to speak of yet.

I took a leftover sheet of styrofoam type insulation and cut it to fit the bottom of the tank. I set the tank on top and I piled river rock around the bottom of the tank, all the way around up to about 2 inches. Because it stays sunny here most of the time (but certainly not warm!) the rocks will act as a heat sink and hopefully release heat into the tank during the night.
This is all theoretical, and I am waiting to see if it works! Worst case scenario, it looks nice!

I also keep a wooden board in the trough because the lizards here tend to jump in and drown unless I keep a ramp for them. This did come in handy the one night we got to 16 degrees F and had a thin layer of ice. I simply swirled the board and it broke the surface ice up. I don't know how well that would work with any thicker layer, though, and I suspect it wouldn't work very well.

I think insulating is a good idea in the long run.
     
    11-02-2012, 02:46 AM
  #14
Foal
I also figure about $1/day added to my electricity bill for a tank heater (150 gal tank). I attached my tank heater to a thermo-box so it would only kick on in temperatures far below freezing (lower than 20F). That was, of course, not enough to keep ice from building up, but only very little which I just broke in the morning and evenings if the horses didn't already do that. Now, I have a frost-free hydrant above the tank, it's easy to refill if I have to scoop ice out. The tank heater was only in use when it was so cold that ice yould build up too fast and too thick to break. I did try to leave part of the tank covered with ice for insulation, though. This saved somewhat electricity, but was, of course, more work-intensive.
I would rather spend $75 on insulating my tank, but my horses would chew on any exposed wood and play with styrofoam, so I couldn't figure out how to insulate. Also cleaning isn't really possible if I can not tip the tank over anymore.
     
    11-03-2012, 09:50 AM
  #15
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DimSum    
Perhaps this DIY project would work for your needs:
Build a Solar Stock Tank
Very cool! Unfortunately, I don't think we get enough hours of sunlight during mid winter for this to be effective. We can also get 2-3 months if very cold temps in the -20s and -30s.
     
    11-03-2012, 12:38 PM
  #16
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by caljane    
I would rather spend $75 on insulating my tank, but my horses would chew on any exposed wood and play with styrofoam, so I couldn't figure out how to insulate. Also cleaning isn't really possible if I can not tip the tank over anymore.
Stick your tank 2/3 outside the pen with only 2-3 feet for them to access. Cover the part that is outside that they can't reach. Even an old door over the top will greatly improve heat retention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolio    
Very cool! Unfortunately, I don't think we get enough hours of sunlight during mid winter for this to be effective. We can also get 2-3 months if very cold temps in the -20s and -30s.
Building such a cover will not completely solve the icing over problems. You will still need the tank heater but the heater will run 50% less thus dramatically reducing your operating costs.
     
    11-03-2012, 02:36 PM
  #17
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolio    
Very cool! Unfortunately, I don't think we get enough hours of sunlight during mid winter for this to be effective. We can also get 2-3 months if very cold temps in the -20s and -30s.
wow that's cold!
     
    11-03-2012, 08:52 PM
  #18
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DimSum    
wow that's cold!
Ah, but its a DRY cold... If you don't count the snow. We usually get at least a few days a year that dip into the -40s range, so -20 isn't that bad. I don't know what will be in store for us this year though. So far, we have had the coldest October since they started recording temperatures in the 1880's. We haven't seen a day above freezing in just over 3 weeks.
     
    11-03-2012, 08:59 PM
  #19
Yearling
We insulated one of our two tanks today (OK hubby did). He built a frame using 2x2 lumber and fit 1 1/2" styrofoam insulation with reflective backing (facing in) under an outer layer of 1/2" plywood. He cut a 12" x 18" opening in the top for the horses to drink out of.

This first tank is made of galvanized steel and has straight sides, so hubby was able to make a box with a pretty snug fit. The second plastic tank is tapered toward the bottom and has a thick lip on the top, so the fit in a rectangular box won't be near as snug. I am thinking of we may need a different design for the second tank. Any suggestions?
     
    11-03-2012, 09:22 PM
  #20
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolio    
Ah, but its a DRY cold... If you don't count the snow. We usually get at least a few days a year that dip into the -40s range, so -20 isn't that bad. I don't know what will be in store for us this year though. So far, we have had the coldest October since they started recording temperatures in the 1880's. We haven't seen a day above freezing in just over 3 weeks.
((shudders)) and I complain when it gets 0 here
     

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