Farm Innovators 250 Watt Stock tank deicer - question!

mamajos

Songster
Jun 2, 2016
33
172
129
St. Paul, MN
If so, I've been using them in my 5 gallon waterers, with the horizontal nipples. One heater happens to be the 250, and the other is the 150. I use a heavy duty grade extension cord plugged into a GFI outlet. I've had very good luck with them and no problems--used for years.
 

Emak2323

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2019
22
30
42
If so, I've been using them in my 5 gallon waterers, with the horizontal nipples. One heater happens to be the 250, and the other is the 150. I use a heavy duty grade extension cord plugged into a GFI outlet. I've had very good luck with them and no problems--used for years.
Yes! This is what I have - I found this setup from another article on here. I have a heavy duty extension cord and a clamshell connector (I think that’s what it’s called) to cover over the connection point.

The thing about the rod in the ground still is kind of freaking me out, but know on wood, it is working well so far. The water has been kept around 55-60 degrees. I like having the water hanging so it’s less filling and less mess.
 

Emak2323

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2019
22
30
42
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.
I know there are quite a few versions of this stock tank de-over. At least two of them are not safe for plastic, but this 250w one is supposed to be. The instructions mention the grounding rod, but I just found it odd that no other post I could find related to this de-icer mentioned it. Maybe I’m just the nerd that reads all the fine print!! Haha
 

Emak2323

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2019
22
30
42
How do they want you to hook up the ground rod? This seems odd.
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?
I have a heavy duty cord and a clamshell connection to keep water out.
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
1,668
5,436
377
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I know there are quite a few versions of this stock tank de-over. At least two of them are not safe for plastic, but this 250w one is supposed to be. The instructions mention the grounding rod, but I just found it odd that no other post I could find related to this de-icer mentioned it. Maybe I’m just the nerd that reads all the fine print!! Haha
I agree that there are many versions of these stock tank deicers. The ones at my local farm store ALL state they are for metal stock tanks. The lowest 250 watt heater was for a 30 gallon metal stock tank. None of those deicers were designed for small poultry waterers. But, as you said, you evidently found one that could work (although for some reason you need an 8 foot grounding rod!).

To put things in perspective, a 1.5 gallon heated dog dish uses 60 watts. My Little Giant metal base heater uses 125 watts for up to a 7 gallon metal waterer (stating it's too hot for plastic). I can't imagine a 250 watt heater being safe for a small waterer for poultry, but maybe you could post a link to the product you bought and I could be better informed. At any rate, I'm still concerned about a need for an 8 foot grounding rod. :idunno
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
1,668
5,436
377
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
My metal heater bases are up on concrete blocks so they aren't actually down in the shavings, and GFI protected.
Just wanted to thank you for that piece of advice. I bought a 16" x 16" concrete patio block this weekend at Menards for less than $3.00 and feel much better about having my Little Giant metal base heater sitting on the concrete block.

concrete patio block.jpg
 
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