Trough Heater Talk - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-20-2013, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Trough Heater Talk

Hey all! I've got a trough heater question. I've noticed that the wattage varies a lot on trough heaters. Some are 1500, 1000, 500, etc. My little barn has some lovely rigged power from the house. Two 1500 or even 1000 heaters will trip the breaker, I'm told. I need two heaters because I have one horse trough, and one lower trough for my mini donkey. I'm around Chicago, IL so it does get below zero and I'm wondering what wattage I can get away with. I've got a 50gal trough, a 75 or 100gal trough (which is what I'll most likely be using instead of the 50gal), and a 40gal for the donkey. I'm planning on making a cover using thick foam for the troughs, so that should help keep the wind from freezing the water as easily.
I don't need the water to be warm, merely unfrozen. So... any help?

If I make a cover to reduce wind exposure and to help trap heat, what's the lowest wattage I can go for with a heater on each tank? It's generally in the 20's or teens during winter, but it can go down to negative ten pretty regularly.

I do have two different circuits out in the barn, but I've already got a 2 joule electric fence charger on one of them so... :)
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-21-2013, 08:36 AM
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As the daughter of an electrician first and foremost I have to warn you that you seriously need someone to come out and install the proper wiring in your barn to be safe. Fire or electrical shock are very big possibilities when a tank heater is not plugged in to a good source.

That being said I have 100 gallon tanks. Have tried the deicers that only use 1000 watts and never had any luck keeping the tanks ice free. Just a small amount right around the deicer would be unfrozen. The 1500 watt heaters do a good job at keeping all the water thawed and at a nice temperature. There have been many studies done that show a horse drinks much more water in cold temps when the water is heated between 40-50 degrees vs. keeping it just above freezing.
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-21-2013, 08:49 AM
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Insulated, Solar Horse Watering Tank

These don't use any electricity.

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