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Wood fired stock tank heater?

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jeff in ca

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My wife did chores for the neighbors and they have electric stock tank heaters. She wants me to install heaters here. I would rather have a wood fired ones. Does anyone have a design to build one or where can you buy one?

Thanks

Jeff
 

Denny

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We had a couple when I was a kid they were about 8"x12"s wide and set on the bottom of the stock tank with a chimney coming straight up and the other end was a 45 degree angle box with a lid above the water level you would get a fire going down in the bottom and get the draft pulling air through then just fill with wood and close the lid. We held ours down with a couple cement blocks. An older rancher since retired used a 55 gallon barrel in a 1000 gallon tank he'd get a good fire going in it and it would keep the water warm he claimed it was easier on the cows drinking warm water.The barrel was basically a trash barrel with some rocks in the bottom to hold it down.
 

Hayguy

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built one a few years ago out of 12" 1/4 wall pipe along the same design as Denny's first one. welded 3" legs on bottom so water goes all around the pipe. really like it with power rates where they are. burn nothing but scrap wood (old fenceposts, broken planks, pallets etc) helps keep things cleaned up.
 

Cedarcreek

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I've got several that are about 12" diameter that set vertically in the tank with the stove pipe coming off the side of the top and the draft tube for the fire to get air going down the side. They have an ash pan and a grate that sets on top of it in the bottom. you lift the grate and ash pan out with hooks to clean them out. We used mostly coal in them especially in cold weather. A fire with good coal would hold for 24 hours. I can get pics if you want them.
 

Hayguy

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Cedarcreek said:
I've got several that are about 12" diameter that set vertically in the tank with the stove pipe coming off the side of the top and the draft tube for the fire to get air going down the side. They have an ash pan and a grate that sets on top of it in the bottom. you lift the grate and ash pan out with hooks to clean them out. We used mostly coal in them especially in cold weather. A fire with good coal would hold for 24 hours. I can get pics if you want them.

pics would be appreciated, my design displaces a lot of water and it would be nice to use coal for the longevity of burn. Thank-you
 

Big Swede

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I bought one of those electric coils once and plugged it in. As soon as I saw how fast it made the dial spin on the electric meter I unplugged it. So I've got one for sale, been used about 2 minutes! :lol:
 

George

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When I first came home from the Corps in 1971 I was as broke as anyone.

Had 10 cows and 2 horses so I needed to water them.

I took a steel 55 gal drum and cut it in thirds at the rings going around. Got about a 24" piece of about 3" pipe and welded it in the middle of one of the "tubs" from the barrel forming a chimney right in the middle.

I then welded the other “tub” under the first and cut a door and welded hinges to it. It would hold about 15 to 20 gals of water in the top, open the door and start a small fire in the bottom, once going close the door ( enough air leaked past the door for a damper the fire would smolder for hours ). I would cheat and kept a bucket full of corn cobs and diesel fuel to start the fire with. Place 2 cobs across each other , wood on top and light with a match.

Most of the time with hedge apple wood I could fire it once a day and be good. If it went out and the water froze it only took minutes to thaw as the fire was under the tank and the chimney came thru the middle of the water.

I later made a larger one out of a 500 gal fuel tank. Same basic design except I put it in a small hill so that over ½ of the fire box was surrounded by dirt and it was short even holding about 200 gal of water.

I used the large one till the late 1970s or early 1980s and replaced it with a Ritchie fountain ( 3 of them ) that I added an extra 3” piece of Styrofoam insulation to the insides so the electric heater does not come on as often.

To keep the edges of my “tanks” from being sharp I split a garden hose lengthwise and slid it over the edge and drilled small holes about every 6” and used baling wire to keep it on.

It we had a cold snap and the water was frozen in the 200 gal tank I could have it like bath water in about 15 minutes - - - I think keeping the “chimney” to about 3” diameter really saved on wood.
 

myersfarm

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I have the pipe so I plan on building one of these in several places on farm


http://cattlecreekranch.ca/thermosink.html




but will use one of these for the valve

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Freeland-Free-Flo-Automatic-Livestock-Watering-Valve-/400240792322?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d3035d302
 

Nicky

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Will someone post pictures please? I've not heard of these before, sounds like a dandy idea. Our tire troughs don't get much idea but the one powder river metal we still use sure does.
 

Cedarcreek

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The pictures people have been waiting for.
Top view with original lid. The heater is cast iron and weighs close to 180 lbs. There are a couple of ears on it to lift it out of the when its not needed.
DSCN1059.jpg

Side view, the tube for the draft air goes down the side. stove pipe comes out the top of the other side and a 6" stove pipe just slips over the cast. The lid is rotated over the draft tube to control how much air the fire gets.
DSCN1067.jpg

The ash pan.
DSCN1071-1.jpg

The Grate made out of 3/4" rod to replace the original cast that was no longer available.
DSCN1061-1.jpg

The grate setting on the ash pan and one of the hooks used to lift them out to clean the ashes out.
DSCN1063-1.jpg

replacement lid I made because the other had too much cracked off the edge from setting the hot lid down on the snow. It let in too much air and the fire wouldn't hold.
DSCN1068.jpg

Underside of lid showing rim made of 3/8" rod welded to it.
DSCN1069.jpg
 

GM88

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I built one out of steel but made it out of 14 inch pipe, looks just like the one in cedarcreeks pictures . welded channel Iron down the side for a air intake, and pipe off one side of the top for a chimney. Start it with a wood fire then put a bucket of coal in for the night. Cost me 9 $ last winter for coal and if you leave the dampers open on a 400 gallon water tank you could hot tub at -30(hard on coal). Takes a bit of time to get the coal going well so you can shut the dampers down . The mine here is real good if you can get big lump coal it will last a long time.
 

Cedarcreek

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GM88 said:
I built one out of steel but made it out of 14 inch pipe, looks just like the one in cedarcreeks pictures . welded channel Iron down the side for a air intake, and pipe off one side of the top for a chimney. Start it with a wood fire then put a bucket of coal in for the night. Cost me 9 $ last winter for coal and if you leave the dampers open on a 400 gallon water tank you could hot tub at -30(hard on coal). Takes a bit of time to get the coal going well so you can shut the dampers down . The mine here is real good if you can get big lump coal it will last a long time.

That's what we did. It would use about 1/2 ton of coal a winter. I quit using the one when I switched to an insulated tank with a propane heater. When we were using it there was 3 of us around to do chores, now it's just me and I wanted cut down on the workload so I could leave for a part of a day at times to go to the kids basketball games.

Sure is a lot cheaper than the electric I used temporally until I could make other arrangements. It was costing me $3.25 a day.
 

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