Thursday, December 18, 2008

About Watering In The Winter...............

Recently, I've been reading about a lot of issues with frozen hoses and troughs. All I can say is to tell all how I get through Wisconsin winters with at least three months of often below zero weather. So here it goes. I don't know what set up everybody has out there, but I learned this several years ago, after spending ridiculous amounts of time bucketing water to fill a trough and it taking hours in the freezing cold. This is what I have and what I do. Hope it helps!
First I have an outdoor water spigot that comes up directly through the well, but is outdoors. As soon as it starts to get cold and in the thirties at night, I start disconnecting the hose and roll it up and keep it indoors. By disconnecting the hose and turning off the spigot, the water drops back down to the well and will not freeze. Even if the spigot is turned off and the hose is still connected, the water in that hose will directly freeze and freeze down through the spigot and the you are screwed until spring. Simple as that.
Since I have started disconnecting the hose and bringing it indoors, I have not had a problem with frozen spigots or hoses. It keeps on working right through the entire winter. I keep one 100 gallon tank full with a drop in heater for the two horses during the winter. I clean it out once a week and refill it usual once or twice a week. The goats have an over sized heated 30 gallon bucket in which I do the same. I keep them on separate circuit as to not blow a fuse as I know the water heater for the horses draws 15 amps. It's easy to overload a circuit, especially when the electric is exposed to water and snow.
I hope this helps any of you out there struggling with frozen water. I know how you feel, I've been there and it took me a few years and bazillions of buckets to figure it out! Good Luck!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Good advice, we basically did the same thing as you.Frozen buckets and pipes suck and there's no way around that, except to keep them unfrozen in the first place.

Callie said...

Thanks, Arlene, It took me a few years to figure it out, but now I'm sensible about it. It's a little work, but a lot less than bucketing!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks for this. I knew about bringing the hose indoors, but didn't realize that the water freezes all the way down the spigot when you leave the hose connected. I thought it just wouldn't flow because it was frozen in the hose.

I did discover today that I cannot make one outlet into two due to the de-icers requiring 1500 watts. So, I'm going to keep one plugged in during the night, unplug it in the morning and plug the other one in during the day.

We have always had water freeze during the winter, but never to an unmanageable point like this past week. I'll bet the plumbers are getting a lot of calls this winter due to broken pipes.

Karen Chaton said...

I love quick releases! Sounds like you've got a good system.

I just posted about how I keep my horses water unfrozen too :)

Callie said...

NuzMuz, sounds like a good plan. Like I said, it took me a few years to figure it out.

Karen, I'll pop by and check out your post as well! Thanks!

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

Nuzzling muzzles you may want to consider timers. I have used them in the same situation. You can set them so they switch every 4 hours and the water doesn't get overly cold. They have good outdoor ones. I used it for my baby goat light to go on at night and turn off at daylight.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

mmm, I sure wish I would have read this BEFORE I forgot to remove the hose from one of the water spigots in the barn LAST winter! gah!

It not only froze the pipes, it burst, too!
For the rest of the winter I had to lug waer buckets up our steep, mucky hill to the barn twice a day...and then in the Spring we had to pay for the repair of the ruptured pipes.

Totally not fun.

Yep. I learned my lesson. lol!

New Mexico

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm going to do a post about what we're doing for water here. We normally don't have temperatures this cold. The rare time or two, it got this cold it was just for a day or two. But this cold snap we're in they are predicting may last until the first of the year. That will test any plan I've ever had........and if it's this cold here, I can't imagine what it's going to be like when it reaches you!

Netherfieldmom said...

we routed the gutters on our steel-roofed barn into the water tanks, one in the paddock, one in the pasture. That way whenever there's rain or snowmelt, our tanks fill with fresh clean water! We've only hauled out water once or twice last winter. This winter not once since fall. I clean out the tanks whenever it's thawed. Harvesting that runoff is a big blessing!