Keep ibc from freezing

Old 04-25-20, 07:57 PM
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Keep ibc from freezing

We are getting some animals and I don't have water to the barn I'm going to set up a tote to fill with rainwater during the summer. The way I was going to do it it needs to be sealed so I can't cut a hole in the top. In the winter, I'm in Ohio, I will need to keep it from freezing. From what I can find I need a 1000 watt heater.
Old 04-25-20, 08:11 PM
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You could use a 1000w heating element like used in a water heater but you'd have to install it on a metal plate.... preferably stainless steel.... and then attach that to the tote.

I'd been on a site where the member actually used a heating element with a nut on it right thru the IBC tote. You will need some type of thermostat too.

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Old 04-26-20, 04:21 AM
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Preventing freezing in an IBC just sitting out in the open is going to be expensive. Why not build a small, insulated building for it and heat the building. You can super insulate the building so it will take much less energy to keep the water from freezing. The reduced energy cost could pay for the expense of the building in a few years.
Old 04-26-20, 08:51 AM
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Much easier to get a $40 bucket heater that's 1,000 watts AND designed for the job.

Now, If I were you - I'd scrounge up ~6 shipping pallets (usually free if you look around)
buy a used food-grade IBC, seems like Ohio cost is around $60

So, find a convenient spot, put down a pallet, set the IBC on the pallet, then cobble together a "crib" of pallets on 4 sides, with a "lid" pallet at the top with a cutout so you can access the top to refill with water. Next stack straw bales on all 5 sides for insulation, and mound up fresh wood chips/mulch on 4 sides, leaving yourself an access notch on one side to get to the spigot and leave space for a 5 gallon bucket.

Basically, an IBC inside a straw bale igloo, inside a wood chip mound. The latent heat of the water, straw bale insulation, and heat from decomposing mulch will keep the main tank from freezing, allowing you fill a 5 gallon bucket from a front spigot, and kept that bucket from freezing with the bucket heater.

Last edited by Hal_S; 04-26-20 at 10:43 AM.
Old 04-26-20, 04:29 PM
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It'll be in the barn out of the wind. But it's not insulated

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