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which float for water trough?

moloss

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I need a better float for my troughs....I currently use the cheap one you get at tractor supply....guess what it doesn't work well at all....what brand of float do y'all use with good results? Thanks chris
 

SRBeef

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I use a Ritchie steel-housing float valve as pictured in the photo below. I've had this one for a few years, not sure if they still make it. The steel housing clamps firmly to the take with screws and the float and valve are completely enclosed by the metal so cattle can't mess it up....at least so far.

One secret to success is the electric wire to keep them out from behind the trough and stepping on the hose etc. Be careful the wire is not too close to the water, trough or hose or you can get induced stray voltage. What is shown works well.

Good luck.

Jim

 

dun

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We just use the Little Giant with the metal housing. Had on that the float (styrafoam) went bad in and can;t get a replacment. It was in use for 11 years when it finally quit working. All the others use the plastic float, haven;t had any of them go bad and some are as old or older then that one was.
What works for us is to put a male to male nipple in the and connect high pressure (steel braid) washing machine hoses. Also have a pressure reducing valve to the tank since we run aorund 90 psi pressure and most of the tanks are downhill from the well so the pressure is higher.
Tried the expensive hudsons, What a freaking joke they are.
 

Brute 23

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The regular old style stem with the ball float on the end. They all break but these are by far the most dependable for us. Those others get a little build up on them and they are junk.
 

grannysoo

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We use the Little Giant plastic housings (the cheap ones). Tried the metal ones, but it seems that the threads for the water hose strip out real easy. These last for a few years or until the cows tear them up, and they are cheap to replace.

I always keep an extra or two laying around.
 

cypressfarms

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I've always used the cheap plastic ones. They last for several years at least. I do put heavy duty hoes going to them though; the hoses seem to be the weakest point in my setup. Goldfish in each water trough keep the buildup down, and make for an interesting trip when checking the troughs.
 

dun

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cypressfarms":2lgpx1eo said:
I've always used the cheap plastic ones. They last for several years at least. I do put heavy duty hoes going to them though; the hoses seem to be the weakest point in my setup. Goldfish in each water trough keep the buildup down, and make for an interesting trip when checking the troughs.
The sharp bend in the hose where it goes in is the reason we use the washing machine hoses. They don;t kink and bend like a regualr hose will
 

cfpinz

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We use the Little Giant metal ones as well. I'm tickled with them for the price. Calves kept bending one of them up so I notched a 1x6 board around the fitting and screwed it to the tank over the valve on that one. We use the washing machine hoses in the summer and in the winter I put quick disconnects on each end so we can keep them in the basement near the woodstove til they're needed.
 

Jim62

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In my experience, anything but Hudson. Some of them don't work right off the bat. Some work for a short while. They will gladly send you a rebuild kit, but I have never had one work after installing the kit. Junk!

I use the plastic Little Giant exclusively, now. They are reasonably priced and work for years with no upkeep.
 

killingtime

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What do you guys do to keep your tanks and your hoses going to your float valves, from freezing up in the winter? I know they make the tank heaters but I was wondering if there was another alternative. What about the hoses, do you just cut the water off going to them when it is below freezing?
 

SRBeef

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killingtime":33noizd7 said:
What do you guys do to keep your tanks and your hoses going to your float valves, from freezing up in the winter? I know they make the tank heaters but I was wondering if there was another alternative. What about the hoses, do you just cut the water off going to them when it is below freezing?

In my case I don't use the tank and float valve at all in the winter/after freezing weather sets in. My main water source over the winter is a Petersen concrete waterer with undergound water line and its own heater. I don't think there is a good solution to keep a hose on top of the ground flowing in very cold weather. The folks I know that use tank heaters fill the tank up manually some how and then just use the heater to keep the tank from freezing.

I just use the tank in the summer in one pasture that is far away and in an awkward location to have a lane back to the Petersen waterer.

Jim
 

cfpinz

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killingtime":1z2woj9g said:
What do you guys do to keep your tanks and your hoses going to your float valves, from freezing up in the winter? I know they make the tank heaters but I was wondering if there was another alternative. What about the hoses, do you just cut the water off going to them when it is below freezing?

We only have a couple open tanks here at the house, the rest are frost free units (Ritchie and Mirafount). We use the stock tank heaters here and just take the supply hose loose and keep it in the basement til it's needed.
 

dun

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We seldom use the above ground hose supply after the freezing sets in. If/when we do, we fill the tank in the morning then drain the hose then fill it again in the evening and drain the hose
 

killingtime

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That's what I was figuring, but I didn't know if you guys had any tricks, I didn't know about.
 

JRGidaho`

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Regarding tank valves, we use the Apex valves from Tru-Test. They are a full flow valve that can put a lot of water in a trough in a hurry. We run 50 - 60 gpm coming off a 1 1/2" line. They'll do 20-30 gpm on a 1" line. They come in either high pressure or low pressure configuration. Low pressures work up to about 60 psi. If you have more pressure than that, they will not shut off. They will work down to about 4 psi so they do well on gravity systems also.

Our winter stock water source is a spring on the foot of the mountain. We use a continuous everflow/flow thru system to keep tanks open. At -25F we will get just a little bit of ice around the edge of the tank, but they never freeze over. Flow thru systems don't work so well if you have to pump water from a well as the well may not have enough capacity to run all the time, but they sure work well on spring developments (assuming it is a good spring!)
 

flyingS

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I use the 1" Hudson Valves and the metal mounting bracket. The only place I have been able to find the valves and brackets are Valley Vet. You can buy them on their website. They also have a disc that allows them to have continual flow with out full output during the winter. This will be the first winter that I have used the disc. We have overflows in all of out tanks so that the continual water flow does not create issues. I use the Hudson Valves because they are the only valve that I have found that is affordable that will put out enough water to take care of 600 or more cows. We have 20 and 30 ft tanks serviced by 1' Iowa hydrants fed off of a 2" line. The pumps have a 60lb pressure switch, I am not sure exactly what the flow is, but it is quite a bit.
 

JRGidaho`

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We had used Hudson valves in the past and found the Apex to be more reliable and versatile than the Hudson. On the operation we manage we typically water 300 to 500 pairs from 500-gal concrete tanks using an Apex valve off of either 1 1/2 or 2" pressurized lines. When we switch to the spring-fed gravity system in winter, I sometimes use two valves per tank.

There are several other ranches we work with running herds in the 500 to 1000+ range on various sized tire tanks with Apex valves.

The forest service recently purchased a bunch of them to put in spring development tanks on a lot of the FS allotments around here.
 

flyingS

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JRG

Can you run an Apex valve off of a hydrant that does not set over the tank? I know, why would you have a hydrant that did not set over the tank? They were existing when I took the job. I have to run a hose and be able to attach the float to the side of the tank with a bracket. I am interested in trying anything that will work. Hudson was the only thing that I had seen that would do the job until I read this forum. Is there a website for Apex?
 

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