When trying to determine the best heated horse waterer, you need to consider the following:
1. How is the water heated?
There are three main ways to provide power to a heated horse trough or waterer:
1. Gasoline or propane. This is the worst possible option and should be avoided at all costs. No matter how well this type of heated waterer is installed, there is the ever present danger of the combination of flammable fuel and fire. While it may be looked at as convenient to some, there are much better options.
2. Electricity. The only problem with using an electrical course to power your heated water troughs is that it is expensive. I know of horse farms that spends thousands of dollars over just one winter to keep the trough heaters going. If there was no other alternative, then electricity would be the way to go, however, there is an alternative, and it is:
3. Solar Powered: There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings out there about solar powered horse troughs, the main one being that if you live in a part of the country that has more cloudy days during the winter than sunny days that the solar powered heaters will not work. This is simply false. The term solar, in this usage, does not mean “sunshine”, it means solar activity, which is always present if the sun is in the sky, because it arrives to earth in the form of ultraviolet waves, which is not stopped in any way by clouds. The current day solar powered panel that keeps the horse water heated is using solar power and converting that into energy, not taking solar light to convert into energy – that’s a totally different technology.
2. How expensive is the unit?
These units can be expensive, therefore, you need to take a look at what your current solution to keep the horse water heated is costing you and if there is going to be a savings, and if so, how many seasons will it take to recoup the investment and being putting the difference into your pocket each year. Most premium, solar powered horse water heaters will cost less than what your current method is costing you in one season.
3. How will it hold up to the animals and elements, in other word, how long can it be expected to last?
It’s not going to pay to go cheap in your purchase of a solar powered horse water heater/trough, because if all that has to happen is to have your horse walk by it and give it a nudge or a kick and then it’s broken to the point of being useless, what did you really gain by going cheap? Get the best, pay the price and know that it’ll be able to take solid abuse or accidental rough housing, because it is made and designed correctly. The ones we use and recommend have been field tested for decades and are still in use.
4. How easy is it for the horses to drink from?
The average horse is going to consume 8 gallons of water every day, that means they are going to need to be able to use your trough without hassle. If the trough is going to require your horse to learn all kinds of gymnastics to get to the water, you are probably better off sticking with your current solution. The troughs we recommend are easy for the horse to use and require minimal, if any training.
5. Does my winter weather conditions really warrant the investment?
Look, if you live in Florida and you want to spend the money on a solar powered heated horse waterer, then, well, go right ahead I guess. It is your money. You are going to know if your local environment is going to necessitate having such a piece of equipment. If you know that you spent $500 or more in electricity last winter to keep the water flowing, or if you are just plain tired of pouring hot water on the frozen water every couple of hours, seven days a week, then what are you waiting for? The one key piece of information that has come from people we’ve spoken to who have purchased solar powered horse waters is that they all LOVE them and are thrilled silly with their decision to purchase one.
We highly recommend SunTanks as the solar powered heated horse waterer for you. You can read about the 25 gallon heated horse trough and the 42 gallon heated horse trough, and when ready to order click for the pricing list.