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My solution to frozen stock tank.
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Sned    Posted 02-10-2002 at 14:58:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Breaking the ice out of the stock tanks is a real pain you know where. My kids implored me to come up with a solution and here it is for anyone involved with the same struggle. I stopped by a local appliance store and drug an old fridge out of they're pile of junk ( I wanted an old chest freezer but there wasn't any ). After removing the condenser unit *six bolts and side cuts* I then cut the ends off a plastic barrel that were half the height of the depth of the frigde laying prone on the shop floor. I sent the kids off on a scavenger hunt looking for two concrete blocks, a piece of metal trailer skirting and a sheet of steel that would fill the inside cercumfrence of the old fridge. While they were out on the hunt I drug some old styrofoam sheets down from the rafters of the garage that were 1" thick. When the kids returned from they're successful mission we began to put it together. After lining the old fridge with insulation we screwed a porcilin (sp?) light socket to two 2X4 pieces ( wood will float incase water accumilates on the bottom) layed this on the bottom in the middle. Layed the two concrete blocks on either side of the HEAT light sockett. On the blocks we layed the sheet of 3/16" steel, then sat the barrel halves on, covered the whole thing with the trailer skirt sheet metal. My plan was that the heat lamp will heat the 3/16" metal which in turn will heat the water just enough to keep it from freezing, radiant->convection. We have had temps down into the teens now with no freezing and the best thing of all is that I didn't have to cough up any toad hides thanks to my scavanger crew.
Hope this helps someone,

John Ne.    Posted 02-12-2002 at 08:46:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
We would use a weighted barrel in the tank and build a fire with wood, worked okay. Used to have a custom made heater of steel that submerged, with only the feed lid/stack sticking out, also worked great,BUT, the best I saw was an old farmer had his tank sitting on concrete, with an open tunnel under the tank, 12x12 all the way through. The tunnel was covered with a steel trap door, Inside it he had three smudge pots. the old steel, oil burning kind used by road crews. They were fastened to a plank cut to fit the tunnel. He'd fill them, light them, and slide it under the tank, the smoke came out a small pipe on the non-livestock side of the fence. Worked great, easier than wood heating. John in Ne.

PCC-AL    Posted 02-11-2002 at 17:57:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't know where you are located, but it's gotta be cold. I don't have the problem, so I'm just thinging out loud, o.k.?
If the cold is not too intense and lasts too long at a time, how about painting the tanks flat black and covering most of it with black plastic poly whatever. Leave enough space for the livestock to drink. Just a thought. Good luck.

Sned    Posted 02-12-2002 at 07:38:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
The tanks we currently use are black and this helps when the sun is shining, but, at night when the temps go down is when we have our biggest problem. My kids check on the livestock in the morning before school ( it's there chore/responsibility )so they don't really have time to chop ice. We encountered a spell back in January when the temps didn't go much over 15 degree's! The pile of ice chunks was massive. I'm going to build a new barn this summer and am looking into a geothermal solution. By drilling a hole down below frost level and allowing the water to circulate by capilary action looks like a good idea to me. Anyone use this methode?
Sorry about my terrible spelling by the way.

Bill (VA)    Posted 02-12-2002 at 18:48:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
I remember reading somewhere about a Earth Chimney to keep a water tank from freezing. As I recall it was just a hole about 4 feet deep below the ground and a cement casing was inserted to keep the hole from collapsing... then the stock tank was put on top. The idea was that heat from the earth was enough to keep the water from freezing.

Duey (IA)    Posted 02-10-2002 at 19:51:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have been thinking of putting all of the junk mail I get on my garden, with a little dry sand on top, to hold it from blowing away. I figure that early on, keeping the paper wet down will also help. Also over lapping sheets should help. What do you think?? Duey

Duey (IA) Oooops    Posted 02-10-2002 at 19:53:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Sned, I meant to post on the subject below. Duey

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