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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Freeze proof water tank. Will this work?

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Justin SE IOWA

10-14-2013 17:44:25




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I built a separate pen for a new calf and it is about 150 feet from my barn. I don't have electric or water there yet. I built a little 12' by 12' building for it. I am thinking of taking a 18" water pipe 5' long and capping one end. Then burying it 4' deep so 12" will be above ground. This will be inside the building so the wind wont get to it. I will haul water to fill it when needed. Will it still freeze?

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Justin SE IOWA

10-15-2013 13:35:59




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
I have seen online where people just take a 100 gallon stock tank and insulate it really good and put a lid on it with a small opening for the animals head. They say it dont freeze. Also I have seen where they drill a hole 5 feet deep and set the tank on top of that hole and the ground heat keeps it from freezing. I am gonna bore water and electric to this building but am just trying to save an electricity.

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NEBeef

10-15-2013 12:01:38




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Tony Bular, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
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It will keep the water from freezing when the air temp falls below freezing, but the question is how far below freezing? It will freeze eventually if it gets cold enough.

But a larger problem (as someone else mentioned) is cleaning it. What are going to do the first time the calf craps in it? Which it will, for sure, no matter how you cage it!

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Walt Davies

10-15-2013 08:55:05




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Why not move it closer to the barn should be that hard.
Walt



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Tom-NoCenTX

10-15-2013 06:07:10




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Few problems. Cant clean it properly, will get calf poop and dirt in it, calf will get sick. Will freeze and be near impossible to thaw. Best to choose another solution: carry water twice daily, run electric, move pen closer to barn, sell calf now. Tom



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dboll

10-15-2013 05:57:10




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
would'nt it just be easier to trench in some electric wire? Then you could run a light bulb to. The only energy free waterers that work in Mn is ones that have alot of cattle drinking so that fresh water is always entering the waterer.



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mkirsch

10-15-2013 05:18:14




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Freezing is the least of your worries.

Won't matter how much "cage" you put around it. The calf will figure out how to fall in the hole.
Otherwise, it'll just get filled with manure.

You're better off just having a regular watering tub/trough/bucket, and filling it in the morning and evening. They don't need a constant supply of water, and after a couple of days they will figure out when to drink.

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JML755

10-15-2013 05:13:14




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Battery? Solar? Wind turbine? You need SOME way to either heat the water directly or keep it circulating. Marina's use bubblers for boats that are kept in the water in winter up here in Michigan. However, THAT takes electricity. And with only 4' of water 18" in diameter, I would think that on a really cold day, you'd be pushing more cold water down then pulling warm water up, i.e. the whole pipe might freeze.

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FBH44

10-15-2013 03:12:43




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
I'm reading all this, and sxtarting to really laugh, imagining a PVC pipe, with copper ground rods driven down all around it, alum foil tops, windmill on the roof top, ... couldn[t help, sorry. Seriously, it might work if you can conduct enough deep ground heat up to match how much heat gets lost. Do not insulate the bottom of the pipe, but insulate all arouund it, but only down to frost level. Go as deep as you can, and goofy as it might seem, a bynch of sawed-off copper-clad ground rods right alongside, but only up to the bottom of the pipe, might help conduce heat up. Don't want to conduct cold down. And MOST IMPORTANT!! don'[t let any of your buddies see you doing this..

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George Marsh

10-15-2013 10:56:19




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to FBH44, 10-15-2013 03:12:43  
In places, the Alaska pipe line was built on perma-frost. The engineers burried copper tubing filled with amonia gas. The amonia gas conducted the heat upward from the ground to the winter air. No moving parts. This allowed the ground to freeze deeper. In the summer, the heat would not flow in reverse. The idea was to keep the supports on frozen ground year around.

Don't really think this would be a cost effective way to keep water from freezing.

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MarkB_MI

10-15-2013 02:43:01




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Ever wonder why the oceans don't freeze from the bottom up? After all, it's a lot colder at the bottom of the ocean than at the surface. It's because water is one of the very few substances that expand when they freeze.

So you're assuming that the warmer water at the bottom of the tank will keep the surface from freezing, because as the water cools it will descend from the top to the bottom. That works until you get down to around 39 degrees F, when water reaches its maximum density. Once water gets colder than 39F, it starts to expand, so now the colder water rises to the top of the tank, where it just gets colder.

So, no, I don't think your idea will work. But give it a shot and let us know how it turns out.

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varmint

10-14-2013 22:50:44




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
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dig the hole as deep as you can (6ft is ggod) then cut a peice of bluebord to fit yor tank an cut a bout a 12 inch hle in the middle of it & set the tank on it



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Nate V. IA

10-14-2013 21:04:10




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Central Iowa

Grandpa uses a regular oval stock tank <200 galllons with a 2x6 framed and insulated box around it, complete with a insulated lid. He heats it with a 60 watt bulb, he closes it at night and the lid is hinged in the middle so its only half exposed during the day. He's got a handful of mini horses drinking out of it, I don't think he has much trouble with ice.

The wife's horses only get hand watered twice a day in the winter when its really cold, they don't seem to mind.

Nate

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Janicholson

10-14-2013 20:43:58




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
If it was burried at least 4 feet below frost line, and insulated above the frost line with 4 inches of foam, and was near level with the grade, it might not freeze. The key is getting the earth heat into the bottom of this longer tank. (and making the hole deep enough) the water will move from warm (bottom) to colder (top)due to thremo siphon Like a farmall A or B.
Will it always be clear? It depends on real temps. Zero to minus 10 degrees for a week, I doubt it. (I would move the shead closer and face the fact that animals cost). Jim

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da.bees

10-14-2013 19:49:57




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
I believe your idea of burying the pipe will keep it from freezing quickly as if all was above ground. The only problem i see is how are you going to clean it out,esp if the top is level with ground. Leaving it 12"above ground and mounding dirt around it will help. I also buy George's idea about a piece or two of copper for heat conduction. Aside from cleaning it out if it doesn't work you can run electric for tape and the trough will be insulated.

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Edd in Ky

10-14-2013 19:47:12




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
If it was simple, cheap and easy, you would be able to buy it in all the farms stores.



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DeltaRed

10-14-2013 19:43:43




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
When I was a kid we took a 10-15 galloh washtub.We built a 'box' around it.The tank top was about 30-36 inches above the ground.We insulated the box,put a 60 watt lightbulb in the box.The water never froze,even in the coldest temps.We carried water to it in 5 gallon buckets.



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LOU from Wi.

10-14-2013 18:42:11




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Sounds like your chasing the Willow -THE- WISP. Don't mean to be offensive, but unless heating the tank or circulating the water, it will most likely freeze up on you. Hope you can succeed. regards LOU.



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Wheat Farmer

10-14-2013 18:41:09




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Put about 6" of slack coal(Fine stuff)around and under the pipe. Frost will not penetrate the cold. Put a ball on top of it that will move around, but still be a able to drink from. The Ball works great outside with a little wind.



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George Marsh

10-14-2013 18:16:45




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Justin,
Most of the time heat rises, however it's a little different with water. The warmest water in a lake goes to the bottom, around 37 degrees. Water freezes from the top down. Sorry, I don't think your idea will work unless you have a way to bring the warm water up, some way to circulate the water. George



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George Marsh

10-14-2013 18:29:07




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to George Marsh, 10-14-2013 18:16:45  
Heat travels through a conductor from high energy to low energy. Copper is a good conductor of heat. Just wondering, if you had many copper pipes in the water would that allow enough heat to rise two keep the water from freezing.



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Justin SE IOWA

10-14-2013 18:04:44




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
What if I leave the pipe ground level and build a cage in front of it so the calf can get his head in for a drink but not fall in? I can run an extension cord down there and use a tank heater but am trying to get away from that. A tank heater costs me a dollar a day for my wife's horse tank heater every winter.



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teddy52food

10-14-2013 17:57:48




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Anytime the temps get below freezing, water will freeze.



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eddy52food

10-14-2013 17:56:59




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Anytime the temps get below freezing, water will freeze.



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showcrop

10-14-2013 18:02:24




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to eddy52food, 10-14-2013 17:56:59  
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Then why do you see so much open water in so many places after it has been below freezing.



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Bret4207

10-15-2013 03:45:59




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to showcrop, 10-14-2013 18:02:24  
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Moving water, springs, turbulence that pushes warmer water up, any number of reasons.



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rusted nuts

10-14-2013 18:21:03




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to showcrop, 10-14-2013 18:02:24  
Could be "spring" water, It is warmer than the air. Could also be "moving" water. Moving water doesn't have to move real fast to keep from freezing Unless the temp really get down there.



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David G

10-14-2013 17:55:44




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Yup, will freeze just like a lake.



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aveyky

10-14-2013 17:53:34




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
in northern ky, when it gets cold enough, even the top of a pond will freeze. I think the ground will insulate whats below it, but the foot above will freeze. the stores around here like tsc sell a freezeless tank that has insulated balls the cows push down for a drink in cold weather.



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Bret4207

10-15-2013 03:47:32




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to aveyky, 10-14-2013 17:53:34  
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In northern NY I've seen the top and bottom of a stream freeze and a tunnel form in the center where the water flows. Not every stream every year, but it happens.



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IaGary

10-14-2013 17:52:15




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to Justin SE IOWA, 10-14-2013 17:44:25  
Probably, and what happens if the calf stubbles and falls in a 5 foot deep hole.

Gary



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Hoofer B

10-15-2013 04:44:34




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 Re: Freeze proof water tank. Will this work? in reply to IaGary, 10-14-2013 17:52:15  
Be sure to put OSHA approved rails with reflective tape, well lit and a sign that says " deep hole" and If this ideas does not work, " thin ice" or "thick ice" LOL



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