Insulating Stock Tanks
The moment you have all been waiting for. A blog post from NP ;) And to top that, it’s a post about insulating stock tanks!
For some brief background: our Rubbermaid stock tanks have in-tank heaters that mount in the drain hole of the stock tank. While they do shut off when the water temperature gets to 50 degrees, in the dead of winter, it takes all day to warm up 125 gallons of water. When you have 2 and sometimes 3 stock tanks, an electricity bill can get pretty darn high. Spoiler alert- I will be posting more about using my 6 years of LEAN manufacturing experience to talk about other farm wastes and how we combat them. But let’s get through this first.
What I used for material.
- 2x4 boards ripped down the center.
- 1 ½” Foam board.
- 2-3 cans of expanding foam.
- 7/16” chip board. 4 x 8 ft.
The first step was cutting down the boards and building a basic framework for the tank. We’ll just call the frame boards 2x2.
With that said, the frame does not need to be built ford tough. Most of the rigidity will come when the chip board is screwed in place. The next step is cutting the foam pieces to fit the openings of the frame. Don’t forget to cut a piece for the bottom.
I cut some pieces to fit in the corners and glued them in as well.
I don’t have any down to the penny cost savings on this but I can give you some rough estimates. Typically before insulation, our electric bill would jump up $80-100 or more a month with one tank. Now having 2 insulated tanks, the bill is about a $30-40 jump. That’s twice the tanks for half the $$. I’d say saving even $50 a month is well worth it.
It is the second week of January as I write this and we are just now plugging in heaters. Even at that, an hour is long enough to heat the water up and keep it from freezing the rest of the day. My next goal is to find a timer to alternate heaters on a four hour schedule. The temps have been down into the single digits and the most ice I have seen is less than a quarter of an inch. Without the insulation I would have been plugged in weeks ago.
If you stuck with me long enough to read this far, I’ll throw in my final tid-bit of advice….for FREE! Fill your tanks in the morning if possible. Most of the time our critters don’t drink much at night and fresh water in the morning helps warm up what water had been sitting all night getting even colder and not being drank. Every little bit helps make life easier and lets us spend time and money where it’s needed most. Thanks again for reading this and feel free to ask questions. I like to keep things short and sweet, so if you want further explanation, I will do my best to assist you.