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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Ritchie Waterer Question

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08-27-2012 12:16:04

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Another question on pig waterers...hopefully not too off topic for this board.

I've found an older well-used Ritchie hog waterer at a good price ($60). Similar to Pork King 2 but painted instead of stainless. Rusty on the outside, and would need to be gone through and get new heating elements and thermostat for sure, perhaps new valve and float. Looking at maybe $100-120 for parts. Ritchie customer service said that current Pork King parts should fit. Is it worth fixing it up?

Ritchie's a good name, but dang they are expensive new. This one would be a good size as I'm only going to be feeding out a small number of pigs. Just hard to find anything used that hasn't been beat to death.

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08-30-2012 13:18:47

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to Mfan, 08-27-2012 12:16:04  
Those drinking cups can freeze up inside a regular dairy barn so I would be careful with those.

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08-29-2012 04:12:54

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to Mfan, 08-27-2012 12:16:04  
That started getting long and I have to get to the pig show.

Smidley SS is the way I went. I like them and wouldn't change. The problem with polys is that sows will chew them up and wreck them. I farrow and I don't consider my self a pig finisher. (Or farrower to most in the hog business)

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08-28-2012 21:13:09

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to Mfan, 08-27-2012 12:16:04  
The metal ones were designed for the show room where there is no manure. Even if they give it to you, you can do better. Look how they anchor them to the concrete.

Alot of blame gets dumped on them because everyone thinks they can instal them. We never had problems with mice, or freezing when we had a new instalation. Actualy no problems if the farmer said to do it right and it was in above freezing weather/ the livrstock could drink elsewhere for a day or two.

Many farmers could work on their own waters, but if they had problems, and it was real cold, the manure was a foot deep around the broken water....they always had more pressing things to do.

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08-28-2012 04:31:06

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to LazyWP, 08-27-2012 12:16:04  
What is the best way to install? A cement pad with a gravel approach?

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08-28-2012 05:55:43

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to Hogleg, 08-28-2012 04:31:06  
I pour a cement pad with a 12"dia. and 36" long pipe in the center for the water lines and electric to come up thru. I have the waterer there when I pour the pad. I put in Stainless steel anchor bolts and also mash the bottom of the waterer down into the cement a 1/4 inch or so. This makes the bottom seal tight. You don't have any air leaks this way. I then mount a electric receptacle box on the wall of the waterer with short 3/4 inch long SS screws. Just like you would a wood board. This way you have something to plug the electric submersible heater into. I also put a 40 watt light bulb in a plug in light holder into the receptacle. This little 40 watt light does several things. 1) It will keep the water valve and lines from ever freezing. 2) The top submersible heater will rarely run with the small light on, only on real cold below zero days. 3) It makes the waterer glow in the dark. So I can tell at a glance that the electric is on in that waterer.
I have installed 10-11 of them this way. I have had zero problems with them. My electric bill is at least a $100 less in the cold months. The old metal waterer thermostats would not kick in right. If you had them set too low then the waterer would freeze or too high an then the waterer would steam on warmer days. Plus not none of mine had any of the insulation left on them. You could not keep the mice out of them. On these new waterers they are insulated inside the plastic. I also like the big clean out plug that you can easily pop out for cleaning. I get some calves that carry feed back in the waterer. This way I can easily clean them weekly without any troubles.

My chores in the cold winter are ten times better with these waterers!!! I have not had a frozen waterer in two years. Used to be every time we had a cold spell one of the thermostats would not work right and I was working half a day to get it unfrozen.
This post was edited by JDseller at 22:27:15 08/28/12.

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Ruth at Ritchie

08-28-2012 09:12:03

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to JDseller, 08-28-2012 05:55:43  
JDseller, this is Ruth from Ritchie and first I want to thank you for being so incredibly helpful with installation questions regarding our waterers. We certainly appreciate it and your kind words about the waterers.

I noticed that you had mentioned that you mounted an electric receptacle to the side of the unit. We would like to offer you a different solution on how to install the outlet and have engineers that would be happy to help with suggestions. Any modification to the unit, such as drilling into, voids the 10 year warranty. We design our waterers to have a long life and want our customers to enjoy the labor and time savings they provide. For future reference, should you choose to install more, please do not hesitate to contact us for other options. We can be reached by calling 800-747-0222 or by emailing us at

Again we sincerely appreciate all of your kind words and assistance in answering questions about installation.

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08-28-2012 08:30:15

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to JDseller, 08-28-2012 05:55:43  
Thanks for the recommendation. Are you mounting the receptacle with light bulb on the underside of the waterer (down in the ground pipe), with the submersible heater cord going up into the unit? Not trying to be dense, just trying to picture how it's setup.

Also, I'm guessing that I would have more freezing issues if I used a 4 hole unit (HG4) with a small number of pigs as compared to the HG2? (not getting enough water through it)

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08-28-2012 22:13:20

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to Mfan, 08-28-2012 08:30:15  

Mfan: Yes I am mounting the conduit box and receptacle in the bottom. In the pictures above you can see how on the waters there is an opening next to the water valve to let the cord down through.

Pic 1) Top view of a Ritchie Watermatic 150 with the heater in the water tank.

Pic 2) Is just the simple plug in light socket I use. I found that a 40 watt bulb works best. 20 are not enough and a 60 is too much.

Pic 3) Is just a standard old conduit single box.

I mount the box up a few inches on the side wall of the waterer. This keeps it out of any water that may leak. I use a threaded wire clamp on the box where the wire comes through and just a metal cover. I do ground the box to the bare copper neutral. (I see Ruth from Ritchie says any hole voids the warranty) If two 1/8 inch holes 1/2 inch deep void the warranty then the waterers are junk to begin with. So I will have bigger problems than that. I just use two 10 guage x 3/4 inch long SS sheet metal screws to anchor the box to the waterer wall. It all depends on how the wire comes up the tube as to where I put the box. I have some on the ends and some on the back side wall. I wanted a solid mounting for the electric. I did not want a cord end just laying in the bottom of the waterer. I am not going to bet the area under a waterer is always going to be dry. So I chose to put the grounded box up several inches off the bottom. If it gets wet it is insulated from the outside of the waterer and will blow the breaker.

Twenty years ago I had an electric heater short out in a metal hog waterer. It killed twenty sows just a week before they where going to pig. Just about got me when I when over a metal gate to see what as wrong with them. So since then I have been real careful on making sure everything is grounded. That waterer killed half my sows. It made paying the bills tough for a while.

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08-30-2012 08:53:00

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to JDseller, 08-28-2012 22:13:20  
Thanks for posting the pictures. I am going to bite the bullet and go with a new plastic unit.

Here's another question. What would be a good inside a barn cattle waterer for winter usage? I've got two smaller barns that can house about a dozen cows each. They are going to be winter housing and I thought it would be better to put the water supplies in the barn, rather than outside fountains.

Problem is that the barn water hookups would be from lines from top or side of waterer, and not from underneath as for outside fountain. I'm familiar with the cups used for dairy barns, and thought of using a couple of them with the lines protected from damage. Just wondering if there was another alternative.

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08-27-2012 18:44:28

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to 504, 08-27-2012 12:16:04  
Any opinion on the cattle/horse ones?

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08-27-2012 19:48:49

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to Hogleg, 08-27-2012 18:44:28  
HogLeg: I have more cattle waters than hog ones. I have been using the Ritchie WaterMatic 100 and 300 now for three years and had ZERO problems. I love them easy to clean and insulated well enough that a 40 watt bulb under them keeps them going. I just bought some for fall install. The 100s where $300 and the 300s where $425.

I am taking out all the other brands and types. I love being able to not worry about waters in the cold.

This post was edited by JDseller at 22:23:54 08/28/12.

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08-27-2012 14:12:39

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 Re: Ritchie Waterer Question in reply to Mfan, 08-27-2012 12:16:04  

Mfan: Just forget about the old metal Ritchie hog waters. They always where a PIA to keep working in the winter. They would either be on all of the time or not come on and freeze. Plus the mice eat the insulation off of them in about the first week.

I had the metal Ritchie cattle waters too. I switched them all over the last several years. The the newer Ritchie poly insulated ones. I adjusted the floats when I installed them and have not touched them since.(twelve total waters) They also use a submerged heater. It has its own thermostat. My electric bill is at least a $100 less each month in the winter. They just work ten time better.

They make the same style in hog waters. The model for a two hole water Ritchie HG2 Thrifty King stock # HG2 16259. I just called and check the price here at the local Coop. $435 complete with installation kit. That is just a hose, clamps, and some bolts.

You are going to have close to half that in an old metal used one. I would just bit the bullet and go with new. You will save enough in electric to help pay for it in just a few years.

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