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Waterer Rise Tube

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Stickney94

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I have a cattle waterer in the middle of a bldg surrounded by a concrete floor. The water line and riser tube are 50+ years old. As such, the riser tube has "silted" in and it no longer provides adequate ground heating during late winter. The riser tube is also only 10".

I'm looking for any tips/tricks/ideas to try and clean out the riser tube or better insulate it in some way. I realize that jackhammering out a bunch of concrete and doing a complete replacement may be both the best and only option.

But, CT is a creative group -- perhaps you have some ideas I hadn't thought of. :D

Would appreciate any feedback even if that is rent a jack hammer.
 

TCRanch

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What kind of waterer? We had an old Ritchie on a concrete slab (eventually replaced it) and wrapped heating tape (some call it wire) around the pipes. Actually, still do with the new waterer and in the pastures with wells. But that's assuming you have electricity.
 

JMJ Farms

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I’d love to offer some advice. But I’m unfamiliar with your setup. We never get below the teens here, and that’s usually only once every decade, so freezing is almost a non issue for us.
1) What is the riser made of?
2) By silted in, do you mean it has silt inside the pipe?
3) Cattlemen by nature are pretty creative. The fact that you haven’t found an easy solution leads me to believe your idea of a jackhammer may be your best option. But maybe you can come up with an easier fix. Concrete is great until you need to get under it!
 

kenny thomas

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Can you take a big water tank and pump to the area where the riser is. Put as much water pressure down the pipe as possible. Keep washing the sediment until it clears.
 

SBMF 2015

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This sounds all to familiar, except in addition to the silt ours was chewed insulation,and rat yuck 😝.
If you have to take the fountain off, cut the riser tube off flush with the concrete, lay down,and start digging it out by hand. It sucks! Ours was a square 10"x12" through the concrete. So I was able to use a spade to loosen the dirt and scoop the loose stuff out by hand.
Instead of a jackhammer if you rent a concrete saw you could cut the hole around the riser bigger,but still small enough that your fountain covers it. Then you could use a hand post hole digger to clean it out and replace the riser with a larger one.
 

Silver

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How far down to the silt? If you have enough height you might be able to use an air lift pump to clean it out.
 

sstterry

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I agree with Kenny on the silt. As to the insulation, how cold does it get, how often below freezing, and do you have power nearby?
 
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Stickney94

Stickney94

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Redgully said:
I'm not really understand how you have it set up as it's not a system I'm familiar with but a small hose with compressed air stirs up silt pretty well.

Thanks for all the replies. I'm in MN. It gets cold.

The "silt" is 50+ years of various debris (manure, insulation flakes, riser tube pieces, manure, etc). In general its fine material that has sorta "cemented" together.
 
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Stickney94

Stickney94

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sstterry said:
I agree with Kenny on the silt. As to the insulation, how cold does it get, how often below freezing, and do you have power nearby?

Below freezing Nov-Mar. Yes I have power.

Anyone ever filled in a riser tube with spray foam?
 

SBMF 2015

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Stickney94 said:
sstterry said:
I agree with Kenny on the silt. As to the insulation, how cold does it get, how often below freezing, and do you have power nearby?

Below freezing Nov-Mar. Yes I have power.

Anyone ever filled in a riser tube with spray foam?
The mice and rats LOVE that stuff. Once you get it open, try and keep it open. If you ever have to work on the water line then you will be able to. I'd run a heat tape down along the water line. You can even put a 100 watt light bulb down there. It will generate enough heat to keep thing from freezing.
When it get single digit highs we put a little space heater under our fountains. That usually works.
 

sstterry

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Stickney94 said:
sstterry said:
I agree with Kenny on the silt. As to the insulation, how cold does it get, how often below freezing, and do you have power nearby?

Below freezing Nov-Mar. Yes I have power.

Anyone ever filled in a riser tube with spray foam?
Have you considered a stock tank heater? Cheap and simple solution as to the freezing problem.
 

ChrisB

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Sounds like one of our waterers. It was installed by someone else but they filled the riser tube with insulation, basically defeats the purpose of the riser in my opinion. And if we get a stretch of days where the high is in the negatives it will freeze. My thought was to use a shop vac and suck all the insulation/debris out that I can. I would screw the connections together to keep them from coming apart while shoving them down. Course I've been planning on doing this for 10 years or so... I would not use spray foam or any kind of insulation.
 
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Stickney94

Stickney94

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sstterry said:
Have you considered a stock tank heater? Cheap and simple solution as to the freezing problem.

You are referring to the floating kind? Or another type?

Because the riser tube has only about 24-30" of depth it gets "partial" heat from the ground. But what that results in is a lot of condensation. That condensation just slowly builds up and freezes. Sorta like a melting glacier in reverse. Eventually it grows to the water pipe and overwhelms the heat tape on the water line.

The light bulb idea is an old trick, but this waterer is small and with so much moisture I was wary of going that route. But, a stock tank heater . . . hmmm . . . I may have to think if I could make that work. Thanks!
 

sstterry

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Stickney94 said:
sstterry said:
Have you considered a stock tank heater? Cheap and simple solution as to the freezing problem.

You are referring to the floating kind? Or another type?

Because the riser tube has only about 24-30" of depth it gets "partial" heat from the ground. But what that results in is a lot of condensation. That condensation just slowly builds up and freezes. Sorta like a melting glacier in reverse. Eventually it grows to the water pipe and overwhelms the heat tape on the water line.

The light bulb idea is an old trick, but this waterer is small and with so much moisture I was wary of going that route. But, a stock tank heater . . . hmmm . . . I may have to think if I could make that work. Thanks!

The one I use on occasion is similar to this one. It sits on the bottom of the tank. Just an FYI, I would plug it into a GFI outlet.



https://www.walmart.com/ip/API-300-...=sem&msclkid=b8eb8b0c8086109c27e9d46f47f66963

 

Silver

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Here is an example I found on youtube of the airlift pump I mentioned above. Easy to make with odds and sods you have laying around. You could just use a pressure washer to break up the sludge / silt and the air lift pump to lift it out of the riser pipe.

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHsQPQPwV1k[/media]
 

Redgully

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Silver said:
Here is an example I found on youtube of the airlift pump I mentioned above. Easy to make with odds and sods you have laying around. You could just use a pressure washer to break up the sludge / silt and the air lift pump to lift it out of the riser pipe.

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHsQPQPwV1k[/media]

Is that similar to this, this is how i clean out mud from the bottom of my bores, this bore is 300ft deep and it sucked the mud out no worries.

https://youtu.be/95LVVe7OpRM
 

Silver

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Redgully said:
Is that similar to this, this is how i clean out mud from the bottom of my bores, this bore is 300ft deep and it sucked the mud out no worries.

Yes, exactly the same idea.
 
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Stickney94

Stickney94

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Thanks for all the help. I ended up using variations on several of the ideas (water loosening/vacuuming) and have dug out the riser tube to about 50" -- so roughly twice as deep as before. The excavation revealed that the water pipe itself isn't very deep. The farmsite is an old dairy so I think they just relied on far more head watering to help keep the line clear.

I started another thread to ask about water line heat tape.
 

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