Winterizing water tanks

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Terri9630

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I need ideas on how to keep my cows water from freezing. There's no power within a half mile of my pasture. I'm thinking of a 12volt circulating pump with battery and solar panel. Any other ideas?
 

Peanut

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Is there a way to enclose the tank or is it a large trough? Around here simple drop light will keep tanks or drums from freezing. I use automotive heat shielding also.

You're at a higher elevation than me... Whats your average winter temp at night? The NWS would have that data.

Didn't Jay have a similar thread recently?
 

Pearl

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Is there a way to enclose the tank or is it a large trough? Around here simple drop light will keep tanks or drums from freezing. I use automotive heat shielding also.

You're at a higher elevation than me... Whats your average winter temp at night? The NWS would have that data.

Didn't Jay have a similar thread recently?
Jay had a thread about extra stored water. A drop light would still take power.
 
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I built insulted boxes around my stock tanks. 6" roxul batting around the sides and three inch styrofoam on the bottom. Plastic tanks don't freeze up as bad as metal.

You still need to break the ice on top during really cold weather, but it will be much thinner than without insulation. Critters can break through thinner ice as well.

Another option is an insulated cover that sits directly on the water. You have to remove it for the cows to drink though. Do not use straight styrofoam. It must be glued to a piece of plywood.

Critters chew up the stryrofoam for funsies.
 
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Tirediron

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how does the water get to the trough , the best, most efficient system that I have experienced is a tank buried below the frost line, with a pump to circulate the water when the cows are there to drink, triggered by an electronic eye. otherwise insulation and some form of solar heat. another possibility is a wood or fuel burner submerged in the tank, depending on available fuel sources.
if you build it you can fix it, if you buy it, you will probably need to fix it
 

Supervisor42

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An axe with a daily visit (or two) to chop ice?
I had to think back thru 5 decades to remember what we used.
It was axes powered by teenagers.
One pecan pie can fuel them for days:p :thumbs:.
 
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Sadly, we have two local teenage boys who do odd jobs and work hard. They dropped out of school and are tied to their mothers apron strings. She is a certified wing nut who keeps them close and tight and takes all of their earnings.

We all keep them in work and some of that work involves tutoring to get their GED and hopefully drivers licenses so they can at least get better jobs or an apprenticeship in the trades. Good kids, both of them.
 

Tirediron

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If we are opening waterholes a cordless saw is very effective, we also had a chainsaw, without chain oil, dedicated to water holes,
 

Terri9630

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Is there a way to enclose the tank or is it a large trough? Around here simple drop light will keep tanks or drums from freezing. I use automotive heat shielding also.

You're at a higher elevation than me... Whats your average winter temp at night? The NWS would have that data.

Didn't Jay have a similar thread recently?

Its a 200 gallon oval tank at 7500ft elevation. We get into the low teens at night. No power available down there or id just use a heater like I do at the house. The wildlife have pulled off the surround/insulation the previous owner tried to use. I guess they like plywood and cotton batting?....
 

Terri9630

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how does the water get to the trough , the best, most efficient system that I have experienced is a tank buried below the frost line, with a pump to circulate the water when the cows are there to drink, triggered by an electronic eye. otherwise insulation and some form of solar heat. another possibility is a wood or fuel burner submerged in the tank, depending on available fuel sources.
if you build it you can fix it, if you buy it, you will probably need to fix it
Up until now I hauled the water down there 200 gallons at a time. We just had a well dug.
 

Terri9630

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If we are opening waterholes a cordless saw is very effective, we also had a chainsaw, without chain oil, dedicated to water holes,
Last year the tank got to where I couldn't break the ice anymore. It stayed frozen well into April. I ended up buying another tank and a heater.
 

Terri9630

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An aerator would maybe work and might draw less power than a pump.
paint the south side of the tank black
I thought of a bubbler but I don't trust the stupid Holstein to not dive for it. He thinks everything is a toy and has gone in up to his ears after pinecones.
 

Supervisor42

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If electricity isn't an option then capturing heat from the sun in some manner is the place I'd look. Or figure out a way to build a fire under it! 🤪
Maybe a row of short copper tubes painted black sticking out?
I remember seeing ice pull away from tree branches that hung down in a tank.
 

Terri9630

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If electricity isn't an option then capturing heat from the sun in some manner is the place I'd look. Or figure out a way to build a fire under it! 🤪
I thought of that! Or a propane pilot light underneath the tank but an unattended flame in the forest probably isn't a good idea.
 

Supervisor42

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I can't picture that.
You only need to warm the top couple inches of water because that is what the wind freezes.
Imagine on one side of the tank, a 1x12 on the outside of the tank.
Attached on the other side of it are 1" dia. black copper tubes, 14" long, spaced 2" apart like a picket fence.
The tubes extend 12" above the water surface, and 2" below it.
They could be attached to the board with a hardware strap.
The assembly would just hang on one side of the tank and could be easily lifted off for summer.
 

Supervisor42

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The only other 'no-power' solution I can think of, is to build a 3-sided shed around the tank to prevent the wind from being able to blow across the surface of the water.
But that would be a lot of work.
 
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Neb

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Would something like a mirafont work?


Ben
 

Terri9630

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The only other 'no-power' solution I can think of, is to build a 3-sided shed around the tank to prevent the wind from being able to blow across the surface of the water.
But that would be a lot of work.
The one that froze up last year was in a shed out of the wind.
 

Tirediron

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if there is wood handy: Build a wood-fired stock tank heater - Backwoods Home Magazine
the flaw with this guys design is the stack needs to be much taller than the inlet, and if you insulate the stack it will draw much better, as in just weld another pipe around the outside of the stack and fill it with ashes, when it is full cap it so rain cant get in but leave a vent hole to prevent steam pressure
 
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