Outside water tank heater


Old 11-23-06, 09:25 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: usa
Posts: 56
Outside water tank heater

I have a cottage on Lake Huron in Michigan. The water supply was from a cement crock well that took water right from the lake. It was very old and finally collapsed. For the short term, I put in a 1500 gallon water tank on the outside of the house and have water for showers and toilets trucked in ($60 per load.) This time of year, that last about 2 weeks--no big deal.

I have a fear that the tank will freeze with our lower temps so I want to put in a tank heater. The store where I bought the tank ( ytractor Supply) sells tank heaters for this purpose that you simply drop into the water tank, The instructions say not to use an extension cord however the only way I can get electricity to the tank is by using a cord. So, I'm thinking of using a super heavy duty cord.

The heater units that they sell only cost about $30. Will this be enough to keep a tank with 1500 gallons of water in it from freezing (it rest in a cage so as to not burn the plastic tank).

Here is a pic of the unit they sell, It's the second picture. http://www.deanbennett.com/stock-tank-deicers.htm

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 11-23-06, 06:08 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
The store where you bought it and the manufacturer of the equipment are the best to answer these questions.

As for an extension cord, do not use one. Doing so would be a very dumb idea. Run a circuit to the tank.

Do it right, or don't do it at all.
Old 11-23-06, 07:26 PM
scott e.'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Anderson, IN
Posts: 412
The heaters you describe state that they are for 400 gal tanks. How many 1500 watt heaters are you going to use??!?!?! Even in a 400 gal tank, they state that on very cold days, they will only keep a hole in the ice open. I think that this idea is destined to fail, or cost you an arm and a leg heating up the outside air. Might I suggest a pond pump that would keep the water moving. Just like leaving a slow drip in the faucet, moving water will not freeze.
Old 11-24-06, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 5

the reason the say don't use extention cords is if the connecting joint gets wet it shorts out. tie the 2 cords together at the joint and make a good silicone covering over the whole joint it should then be water proof
Old 11-24-06, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Listen to Racraft and do what the manufacturer says to do. When working with electricity in the vicinity of water, specific codes apply to prevent you from killing yourself or someone else.
Old 11-24-06, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
The prohibition on extension coprds has NOTHING to do with possible water damage.

Heavy duty extension cords are exopensive and too many people use light duty ones, which overheat and cause voltage drop possibly damaging the device. Further, the extension cords are subject to damage since they are not run with protection.
Old 11-24-06, 06:41 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Cinti, OH
Posts: 5,549
I think for the cost of the water "$60.00" I would just pump it out and re-fill it in the spring. That would be less of an expense than the heaters and the electric to run them.
Old 11-24-06, 02:48 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: usa
Posts: 56

I need to use the house through January 1 (end of hunting season). Right now, it's in the 50'sF during the day in this part of Michigan and down to the low 30's at night. That will all change in the next few weeks. I will drain the tank January 1. and close the cottage. Hope this will get me thru the next few weeks.

Last edited by BilinMichigan; 11-24-06 at 08:48 PM.

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