Farm Innovators 250 Watt Stock tank deicer - question!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Emak2323, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Emak2323

    Emak2323 In the Brooder

    20
    26
    42
    Apr 30, 2019
    Hey all - I recently got the 250 Watt Stock tank deicer. The instructions mention two things: 1. don't use an extension cord (which I would need to), and 2. Install a ground rod 8 ft deep. Have others done this?? I can't find anything in other articles or posts about this. Temps are already below freezing, so I've been swapping out the water, but want to get this installed asap.

    Thank you!
     
    BirdsBeesTrees and gtaus like this.
  2. Ratchnick

    Ratchnick Chirping

    226
    370
    98
    Oct 13, 2019
    Anchorage Alaska
    How do they want you to hook up the ground rod? This seems odd. Of course everyone uses extension chords.
     
    BirdsBeesTrees, Emak2323 and gtaus like this.
  3. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

    1,517
    3,237
    332
    Sep 17, 2015
    Grounding rod, so that's the secret!! I have heard many stories of livestock being zapped when they go to drink by those stock tank heaters. Have no personal experience to share, I've always just broken the ice apart once or twice a day (I'm in a relatively warm climate)

    Personally, I would use a heavy duty extension cord (don't skimp, get a heavy one, and as short as possible also). Ignore the extension cord advice but heed the grounding rod advice. How do you plan on keeping the connections on your cord dry btw?
     
    gtaus likes this.
  4. Ratchnick

    Ratchnick Chirping

    226
    370
    98
    Oct 13, 2019
    Anchorage Alaska
    Houses are not even grounded with an 8 foot ground stake!
     
    Emak2323, gtaus and ShannonR like this.
  5. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

    1,517
    3,237
    332
    Sep 17, 2015
    You got me on that one. Neither are electric fences. All I can think is, houses and electric fences aren't underwater, either.
     
    Emak2323 and gtaus like this.
  6. gtaus

    gtaus Crowing

    1,403
    4,724
    357
    Mar 29, 2019
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    How big is your stock tank for water? According to the stock tank size chart for tank heaters, you would use a 250 watt heater for a 30 gallon tank.
    tank heater chart.jpg

    I use the Little Giant metal base heater with a old style metal 3 gallon waterer. That heater is only 125 watts. So far, with temps outside down to 2F, the water has not frozen.

    They state to use a GFCI outlet and a proper grounded extension cord, but you don't have to worry about any 8 foot rod driven into the ground.
    Little giant base heater.jpg
     
    Emak2323, Folly's place and ShannonR like this.
  7. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

    1,517
    3,237
    332
    Sep 17, 2015
    I like this option better, that and the heated dog bowls seem less..... zappy.
     
    Emak2323 and gtaus like this.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

    16,655
    20,553
    906
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It is important to use a very heavy duty extension cord, rated for outdoors, and to have things plugged into GFI outlets. That stock tank deicer is meant for stock tanks, not small containers. @gtaus has the right idea!
    Mary
     
    gtaus likes this.
  9. gtaus

    gtaus Crowing

    1,403
    4,724
    357
    Mar 29, 2019
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Thanks for the confirmation. I was in town today and stopped by the local farm store to check out those tank deicers. The ones at my local store clearly indicated that they were only to be used in large (30 gallon or larger) metal stock tanks.

    I also checked into getting a heated dog bowl and read some reviews last night on Amazon. The plastic heated dog bowls have a number of reports where the heating element had burned through the bottom plastic cover and posed a fire hazard. I don't think I would trust a plastic heated bowl in my coop full of wood chips.

    The advantage of using the Little Giant metal base heater is that they were designed for outdoor use in the chicken coop. The entire base is made out of metal - no plastic to burn through. I think that would be safer than a plastic heated dog bowl. I am very happy with my Little Giant metal base heater.

    One last comment, my local stores selling heated dog dishes had less expensive plastic bowls, and more expensive (and larger) metal heated dog dishes. However, when I turned over the metal dog dish, the heating element enclosure had a plastic cover on the bottom. Again, I read a number of reports of those dog dishes burning through that bottom plastic cover, so I am not interested in that type of heated bowl. I would only feel comfortable with a metal heated dog bowl that had a metal bottom. But maybe I'm overly cautious on this issue.
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

    16,655
    20,553
    906
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    My metal heater bases are up on concrete blocks so they aren't actually down in the shavings, and GFI protected.
    The heated dog dish I use for our barn cat is on the concrete barn floor, and again, plugged into a GFI outlet.
    Mary
     
    BirdsBeesTrees and gtaus like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: