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How do you keep outside water tanks that have no electricity from freezing?

What are your suggestions?

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Hi Robert, what had worked with my Behlen type waters.......when you put them in, (don't recommend in winter) use an "earth tube", which was about a 18" diameter by 8 to 10 foot long. Dig a deep hole, slid that tube down vertical, cut a hole in it for the water line to come thru. Believe it or not, I never had any of my 6 waterers freeze. The type of waterer I have, come with a ball that the cattle or horses push down, that helps insulate it too. Kind of a big expense, ran 3300 ft of inch and 1/2 black pipe water line, but it's saved alot of hassle for water in all my pens. Also, the ball type keeps the water from getting algae in the summer, so I never have to clean them out. What I have done before when I lived in Michigan, made a box frame, turned in over, dung down around the water tank, let the tank set on it, cut a keyhole in one end, and had a "trouble lite" with a 100 w bulb in it. This was inside a wall out of the wind, and it did work for goats I had, about 50 of them.

I put a splitter on the hot water line of the washing machine and run a hose out to the water trough on the really cold mornings to add hot water to the freezing water. The horses really seem to appreciate it! LOL. I am going to try the gallon jug trick to see if that works though.

I know they say you aren't supposed to use extension cords, and I don't know how far your tanks are from your electricity source, but we have a heavy duty outside extension cord running from my husband's shop to a 300 gallon tank. We've been using it that way for over 4 years. We couldn't be happier with it! it's under about 7 inches of snow right now, and doing just fine!  I think they have to say not to use an extension cord just to cover their butts. Or maybe we've been really lucky. (that's why we chose to plug it into the shop instead of the barn). At any rate, it's been a lifesaver in all this cold. And I can dip water out for the dogs, too. If you decide to do it, I would NEVER use more than ONE cord, though. get a long one as opposed to more shorter ones.  Hope this helps!

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