How to Keep Water From Freezing in a Stock Tank

Written by tim anderson
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How to Keep Water From Freezing in a Stock Tank
Keep your stock tanks from freezing in winter with a few simple tricks. (The Farm image by bonjo from

Running a farm and keeping livestock is a challenging task that requires constant maintenance and upkeep for the safety and livelihood of the animals. This is especially true when the colder months of winter arrive, and you are faced with additional tasks such as keeping the water in the stock tanks from freezing over so your animals can continue drinking the water they need to survive. Fortunately there is a simple way to keep the water in your tanks from freezing over.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stock tank water heater
  • Level
  • Wood blocks
  • Shovel
  • Post-hole digger

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  1. 1

    Drain the stock tank of all water. Remove the plug from the bottom of the tank and allow the water to drain out. Lift the tank if necessary to help push the rest of the water out. Take blocks of wood and place them underneath the corners of the stock tank, adjust each corner as necessary until the entire tank is level.

  2. 2

    Place the stock tank water heater in the bottom of the tank and connect it to the nearest electrical socket. Replace the plug in the bottom of the water tank and turn on the water to fill the tank. Wait for the tank to completely fill with water before turning on the stock tank water heater. Check the stock tank the following morning and look for any ice on the surface, indicating that you may need to adjust the settings on the water heater to heat the water to a warmer temperature.

  3. 3

    Manually adjust the water tank if you cannot afford a water heater, or if your stock tanks are too far away from an electrical socket, such as in the middle of a field. Take blocks of wood and place them under one edge of the water tank, forcing the tank to sit out of level. Turn on the water to stock tank and leave it on at a low rate, so that the water is continually pouring into the stock tank and running over the edge of the out-of-level tank, with the movement of the water keeping it from freezing.

  4. 4

    Dig several 4-5 foot deep holes with the posthole digger beneath the stock tank and mound dirt up against the side of the tank for additional insulation. Because the temperature beneath the surface of the earth generally maintains a 52-55 degree temperature year-round, except in the most extreme cases, the additional few degrees can help raise the temperature of the water in the tank, while the dirt on the sides helps protect it from the exterior cold.

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