The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (2023)

Our readers support us. This post may contain affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases.Learn more

In winter, frozen water troughs are a real problem. Luckily, there are some great water trough heaters for horses and livestock that will save you the hassle of breaking ice.

Water trough heaters are heaters designed to safely prevent ice build-up on troughs and buckets. It is important that water troughs do not freeze as horses and livestock should always have access to fresh water.

There are different types of trough heaters such as floating, submersible, bucket, solar and integrated.

Types of water trough heaters

  • Floating heaters:Floating heaters float on top of the water and are safe to use with plastic or poly troughs. You should always connect the deicer to a GFI outlet. Although they are a great option, some curious horses can play with them.
  • Tauchheizer:Immersion heaters lie at the bottom of the trough, keeping it out of the way. Most immersion heaters have wire guards so they are safe to work in metal and plastic tanks.
  • bucket heater:Bucket heaters are specifically designed for buckets and not full size water troughs.
  • Integrated heaters:Integrated heaters are convenient to use as you can easily turn the heater for the trough on and off with a switch. However, you often need a professional to install the plumbing, electricity and concrete.
  • Solar heaters:Solar trough heaters use the sun as an energy source, which means you don't have to mess with cords or wires. They can be used with automatic drinkers, manual drinkers, or even tied to your water line.

If you live in a particularly cold climate, a water trough heater can be a lifesaver. Not only does breaking ice on buckets take time, it can also be tricky as you sometimes have to do it multiple times a day.

Here are the best water trough heaters for cattle and horses.

Best water trough heaters

1. Farm Innovators Plug-In-Tankenteiser

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (1)

This water heater is designed specifically for use with Rubbermaid storage tanks, but can also be used with all plastic troughs. It's thermostatically controlled, so it only runs when needed.

The simple yet effective design is easy to install and can be done in minutes. The device is easily overlooked by cattle and horses because there is no line in the water.

It conveniently fits into the drain plug of potions and allows for easy use. Even 100 gallon tanks are kept ice free with this handy deicer.


  • Simple, convenient setup.
  • Works with large tanks.
  • Cable is out of the way.


  • The drain plug hole must be at least 1.75 inch or larger.

2.K&H Pet Products Ultimate Storage Tank Deicer

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (2)

This versatile heater can be used as a floating or submersible deicer depending on your needs. It includes a handy cord clip that prevents cattle from messing with the cord.

With a built in thermostat, this heater will automatically turn on and off when needed. It is safe to use with all storage tanks and is easy to install. A full cage is also included for added protection.

This heater is available in 250, 500, 750, 1,000 and 1,500 watts to meet your individual needs. It has been rigorously tested and certified to ensure your safety as well as the safety of your animals.

(Video) Livestock Tank Heater Test Results


  • Can be used as a floating or immersion heater.
  • Includes built in thermostat, wire clip and full cage.
  • Safe to use in all storage tanks and available in many sizes.


  • The water level must be monitored to avoid possible malfunction of the heater.

3. Farm Innovators Aluminum Convertible Plastic Tank Heater

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (3)

This handy heater converts from a floating deicer to a submersible deicer by simply removing the float. Not only is it used to prevent ice, but it also works to remove snow.

The unique cast aluminum construction offers best-in-class efficiency and safety, so you can rest assured your horses are safe. With the thermostatically controlled design, it only works when needed. The cord features a durable "anti-chew" design that keeps curious cattle at bay.

This de-icer works with all types of plastic tanks. With 1,250 watts, it is able to heat large troughs.


  • Works as both a floating and immersion heater.
  • Thermostatically controlled, with anti-chew design.
  • The cast aluminum design is safe and efficient.


  • Some users find the cable too short.

4.Farm Innovators 1500W Sinking Tank Deicer, H-429

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (4)

Even at sub-zero temperatures, this heater prevents the formation of ice. Thanks to the submersible design, it sits at the bottom of the tank, not in the way.

With a thermostatically controlled system, it works automatically when the water temperature reaches 35 degrees or less. It is compatible with all rubber, plastic or metal storage tanks. The 1.50 m cable leaves enough space for the deicer when it is plugged in.

This durable heater works for water troughs between 70-300 gallons. A robust protective cage protects him from curious animals.


  • At temperatures below 35 degrees, the thermostat switches on automatically.
  • Compatible with metal, rubber and plastic tanks.
  • Works with up to 300 gallons of water.

5.Farm Innovators Submersible Tank Deicer

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (5)

Check the price on Amazon

(Video) The AG Stock Tank Experimental - What Works Best?

This multi-purpose, submersible de-icer is great for keeping buckets, storage tanks and bird baths free of ice. For the safety of you and your animals, it is constructed of patented cast aluminum for ultimate efficiency.

As it is thermostatically controlled, it is only operated when required. It is safe to use in plastic tanks up to 50 gallons. The simple design is easy to install and keeps curious animals out of the way.

Its robust construction is designed to survive even the harshest winters. This heater is also available in 250 watts.


  • Multipurpose diving design.
  • The cast aluminum construction is safe and efficient.
  • Safe for plastic tanks.


  • The cable is short.

6. K&H Pet Products Eimerwärmer

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (6)

This practical immersion heater is ideal for small troughs or buckets. With a durable enamel finish, it's easy to clean and maintain.

It has the ability to keep buckets from freezing even at temperatures as low as -20 degrees. A cable security clip is included to prevent livestock from messing with it. It is thermostatically controlled to only work when needed.

This heater is safe to use on metal and plastic buckets. It is safe to use and easy to install.


  • The enamel surface is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Safe for plastic and metal buckets and tanks.
  • Works in temperatures as low as -20 degrees and comes with a safety clip.

Best Heated Water Troughs

1. Ritchie Automatic Heated Storage Tank Irrigation

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (7)

This large, low-maintenance trough is ideal for pastures with cattle or horses. With two automatic waterers in the unit, up to 40 horses or cattle can be watered on up to two different pastures.

The heating element is located just below the stainless steel tub, allowing for premium performance. In addition to the heating element, it also has insulation with highly energy-efficient polyurethane foam. The large access panel allows for easy access to the heater components and waterline.

This durable drinker is built to last and plugs straight into your power and water lines. For the safety of your animals, it has rounded edges to eliminate the risk of injury.


  • Waters up to 40 horses or cattle.
  • Features a heating element just below the trough and includes plumbing.
  • Safe, automatic and durable with easy installation.

2. Farm Innovators Heated Bucket

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (8)
(Video) Principle of buffer tanks

Whether for indoor or outdoor use, this 5 gallon heated bucket is easy to use and convenient. The flat back provides stability when hanging on the wall, which is ideal for barns.

It's thermostatically controlled to only work when needed, turning on at 35 degrees and off at 60 degrees. The unique hideable cable compartment conceals the cable in warm weather, making it suitable for year-round use. With a durable anti-chew protection, the line is safe to use even with playful horses.

Thanks to the leak-proof spout and tabletop measurements, you can easily track the amount of water your horse is drinking. In addition, the heavy-duty bracket has reinforced connections.


  • Ideal for indoors and outdoors, no matter what the season.
  • The line has a durable anti-chew protection.
  • Can be easily hung on the wall.


  • Will not fit all types of bucket hangers.

3. Brower MK32 Heated drinking trough for horses and cattle

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (9)

This large heated trough is ideal for pastures with up to 25 horses. Its innovative design makes it ideal for use in shared paddocks.

Not only does it have a 500 watt electric heater, but it also has polyurethane foam insulation around the trough. The insulation is also water-repellent and unattractive to rodents. It is free from any formaldehyde or chlorofluorocarbons.

The durable valve will not clog or rust, and the plug deflates in seconds. Its robust design is able to withstand harsh winter conditions.


  • Includes heating and also insulation.
  • Will not clog or rust.
  • Ideal for pastures with up to 25 horses.


  • Some users have had problems with the shut-off valve over time.

4.Classic Equine Stallbrunnenheizung

The 10 Best Heated Water Troughs and Storage Tank Heaters (10)

This automatic waterer is quick to refill, so you can be sure your horse always has clean, fresh water. It easily mounts in a corner to save space in your horse's stable.

The built-in heating system maintains an ideal water temperature regardless of the weather conditions. Its unique design eliminates standing water, keeping it clean and safe. The stainless steel hardware is durable and the float system is worry-free.


The rounded edge is safe and prevents injuries even for clumsy horses. Its durable design is built to last while minimizing water wastage. State Line Tack also has similar variants that are larger and suitable for cattle herding.


  • Fast refilling provides access to fresh, clean water.
  • The built-in heating system keeps the water at the optimal temperature.
  • Durable, safe and minimizes water wastage.


  • It is difficult to track the horse's water intake in the stable.

Also read: The 5 Best Heated Water Buckets for Horses

6 ways to keep a water trough from freezing

While water heaters and heated troughs are a great way to keep tanks from freezing in the winter, they're not a practical option for everyone. Fortunately, there are a few other ways to prevent water troughs from forming ice.

1. Place your trough in direct sunlight

Place your trough in a location where it will receive direct sunlight. Placing your trough in a south-facing area increases the amount of sunlight it receives.

While sunlight isn't guaranteed to keep ice out in cold temperatures, it certainly can help. This is a great option if you live in an area that doesn't get much below freezing in winter.

2. Insulate your trough

Insulation is a simple and effective way to prevent ice from forming over water tanks. Wrapping Styrofoam and foil-covered insulation around your trough will help prevent freezing.

Additionally, an even more effective way to prevent ice is to place your trough inside a larger trough and fill the gap with insulation. Alternatively, you can use a plywood box and place your trough inside and fill the gap with insulation.

3. Bury your trough

Although this can be labor intensive, burying your trough will provide protection from ice. The bottom can act as an installation to prevent the water from freezing over.

This option is not convenient for everyone and is best done before the onset of winter. However, if the soil is already too hard, a shallow hole can also be filled with straw.

4. Use a float

Many people swear by floats as an alternative to water heaters. A floating object will float around, moving the water and making ice formation less likely.

A soccer ball or 2 liter soda bottle partially filled with a mixture of water and salt can effectively serve as a float. However, some curious horses will play with floating objects and remove them from the water.

5. Try a constant flow drinker

Another alternative to trough water heaters are constant flow drinkers. They provide a small, constant stream of running water that helps prevent ice formation.

Even a small amount of water acts to break the surface tension. By laying a pipe to carry a spill through an buried perforated PVC pipe, you don't have to worry about spillage.

6. Water trough heater

As you saw above, a water trough heater is probably the best way to keep water in a trough from freezing. However, they are not as practical as other solutions.

Also read our guide tobest drinker for livestock.

frequently asked Questions

Are Water Trough Heaters Safe for Horses?

Water trough warmers are safe for horses and cattle when used properly. However, it is important that you read the instructions carefully and take all safety precautions when using them.

Be sure to plug your heaters into a GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interruptor) outlet. Always make sure the strings are out of the way and your animals are not chewing on them. Check your heaters regularly to make sure they are working properly.

What wattage do you need to heat a trough?

For troughs 50 gallons and under it is recommended to use 250 watts and for troughs 70 gallons and under 500 watts is recommended. Use 1000 watts for 70-100 gallon troughs and 1500 watts for 100-300 gallon troughs.

(Video) Mixergy Smart Hot Water Tanks: How to Operate with Boilers

Wattage measures the amount of electrical flow to the device. The following applies to trough heaters: the higher the wattage, the more efficiently the water is heated. The higher the wattage, the faster your water will heat up.


What is the number 1 hot water heater? ›

1. Rheem Marathon Electric Heater — 9.2/10 (Overall best electric water heater) The Rheem Marathon Electric Water Heater kicks off this list as the best electric water heater that money can buy because of its extended lifespan, lifetime warranty, and energy-saving features.

What is the most efficient hot water heater? ›

Tankless water heaters, as you probably guessed, have no tank. Instead, the device houses coils that superheat the water as it passes through the mechanism to its destination. The result is on-demand hot water that rarely runs out, making it one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat water in your home.

Which water heater lasts the longest? ›

A tankless water heater can last up to 20 years, sometimes even longer. Also called “on-demand” water heaters, these appliances do not work continuously to maintain a supply of hot water—and, as a result, they last longer than their tank-style counterparts.

Are AO Smith good water heaters? ›

AO Smith water heaters typically have low emissions, and the tankless options have anti-scale technologies. That means the tanks do not build scale over years of use, even if you do not wash them. Best of all, these models meet the minimum energy standard regulated by the federal government, sometimes exceeding it.

What is the average lifespan of a hot water heater tank? ›

Most conventional electric hot water tanks will last 10-15 years maximum. Gas-powered hot water tanks usually breakdown after 8-10 years, while tankless water heaters can last over 15 years with regular maintenance.

Which is better 40 or 50 gallon water heater? ›

Typically, the rule-of-thumb is that you want a 40 gallon tank for 1 to 4 people, a 50 gallon tank for 4 to 6 people, and a 50 gallon high recovery or 75 gallon tank for 6 to 8 people. Energy consumption for 40 and 50 gallon standard water heaters is quite comparable.

What is the average life expectancy of a hot water heater? ›

While the typical water heater has a lifespan of about 10 years, careful consideration of the factors that pertain to its lifespan can provide the InterNACHI home inspector and the homeowner with information about the potential costs that would be incurred by replacing the water heater.

Is Rheem or Bradford White better? ›

Overall, if you want to get a water heater that's competitively priced and features modern functionality, Rheem may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you're looking for a water heater that's powerful, highly efficient, and long-lasting, you may be better off choosing Bradford White.

Are more expensive water heaters better? ›

“Typically, the higher the cost, the better the unit will run.” You will, however, spend more up front for a gas hot water heater, such as the AO Smith 50-Gallon Proline Gas Water Heater, than you'll spend for a similar-size electric hot water heater, such as the AO Smith 50-Gallon Proline Electric Water Heater (both ...

How long does AO Smith water heater last? ›

A. O. Smith is dedicated to making water heaters that are built to last. While all A. O. Smith tank water heaters have a limited warranty lasting between 6 to 10 years, it is not uncommon to find water heaters that are still properly functioning well over a decade or more.

What should I look for when buying a hot water heater? ›

When selecting the best type and model of water heater for your home, consider the following:
  • Fuel type, availability and cost. The fuel type or energy source you use for water heating will not only affect the water heater's annual operation costs but also its size and energy efficiency. ...
  • Size. ...
  • Energy efficiency. ...
  • Costs.

What is the cheapest and most efficient way to heat water? ›

Usually natural gas is the cheapest way to heat water, followed by electricity, with propane being the most expensive.

Which lasts longer tankless or tank water heater? ›

– Longer Lifespan: Tankless water heaters have a long lifespan and require little maintenance. They typically last 20 to 30 years while tank water heaters last 10 to 15 years.

Is there a water heater that never runs out of hot water? ›

A tankless water heater heats up water as you need it, and it brings hot water to your appliances quickly—and never runs out.

What shortens the life of a water heater? ›

Sediment buildup shortens the life of your water heater and adds to your energy bill by reducing its efficiency. Draining two or three gallons of water is usually enough to flush out sediments, but always let the water flow until you no longer see particles in the bucket.

Should I replace my 20 year old water heater? ›

Water Heater Lifespan

If your tank water heater is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it. With proper maintenance, a tank water heater tank should last six to 12 years. A tankless water heater can last for more than 20 years. Check your water heater's warranty for the most accurate timelines.

Are AO Smith water heaters made in China? ›

A. O. Smith Water Products Company is headquartered in Ashland City, Tennessee, home of the world's largest water heater factory. The A. O. Smith network includes five manufacturing facilities in North America, plus plants in Nanjing, China and Veldhoven, The Netherlands.

Is AO Smith a Lowes brand? ›

A. O. Smith Corporation is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of residential and commercial water heaters and water treatment products. A. O.
About A. O. Smith.
01/12/2023Lowe's Bringing Lowe's One Roof Retail Media Network Sales and Operations In-House to Enhance Advertiser ServicesPDF
4 more rows
Apr 19, 2017

Is American water heater the same as AO Smith? ›

Brands. A.O. Smith operates under the following brand names around the world: A.O. Smith (United States, Canada, China, Europe, Turkey, India and Vietnam), GSW (Canada), John Wood (Canada), State Water Heaters, American Water Heaters, Reliance Water Heaters, Lochinvar, Takagi and U.S. Craftmaster Water Heaters.

How long do Bradford White water heaters last? ›

Bradford White water heaters are Built to be the Best®. With a professional installation and proper maintenance, our water heaters can last 10 years or more.

How long do Rheem water heaters last? ›

Rheem hot water systems have a typical life span of between 5 and 15 years depending on water conditions and how well the system has been serviced. You can add years to the life to a Rheem hot water system if you have it serviced every 5 years.

How do I know when my hot water heater needs replacing? ›

5 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Water Heater
  1. The System Age.
  2. Loss of Hot Water Volume.
  3. Rising Heating Bills.
  4. Corrosion.
  5. Reddish Discoloration in the Water.
  6. Too Many Repairs.
Jul 21, 2020

How much should I pay for a 50-gallon water heater? ›

A 50-gallon water heater costs around $1,000 for an electric heater and $1,200 for a natural gas heater of the same capacity.

How many showers can you get out of a 50-gallon water heater? ›

On average, hand washing takes about two gallons, Running the dishwasher uses 14 gallons, bathing/showering per person is 20 gallons, and washing a load of laundry is 30 gallons. So if you're in a family of four, a 50-gallon water tank should cover all those showers and washings.

What is the best size water heater to buy? ›

A small (50- to 60-gallon) storage tank is usually sufficient for one to two three people. A medium (80-gallon) storage tank works well for three to four people. A large tank is appropriate for four to six people.

What makes water heater last longer? ›

Flush the water heater tank once a year

On an electric water heater, turn the electric off to the heater. Shut the cold water off to the water heater. Open a hot water faucet. Connect a hose to the drain valve on the heater and run to a drain.

Should I flush my water heater after 5 years? ›

How Often Should I get My Water Heater Flushed? It is recommended that you flush your water heater at least once per year. Doing so will help to prevent the potential problems that sediment can bring over time.

How long should a 55 gallon hot water heater last? ›

With regular inspection, draining, and flushing, you can expect a gas water heater to last anywhere from 8-12 years and an electric water heater to last anywhere from 10-15 years.

Is Rheem a high end brand? ›

Rheem is considered a mid-range brand. Rheem air handlers and air conditioners generally cost less than premium brands like Trane, Lennox, or Carrier. Rheem is generally pricier than value brands like Goodman or Coleman. Rheem pricing is generally on par with other mid-range brands like Heil and Maytag.

Can a homeowner purchase a Bradford White water heater? ›

To ensure the safety of its customers and the quality and performance of its products, Bradford White Water Heater products should only be purchased through and installed by qualified plumbing and heating professionals.

Is Bradford and white water heaters made in the USA? ›

Bradford White's water heater manufacturing facility is located in the heart of America, in Middleville, Michigan. We proudly support the American workforce and manufacturing that make our products Built to be the Best®. It's a big part of why Bradford White is American Strong.

What is the most common problem with water heaters? ›

Water leaks are perhaps the most common type of water heater issue you'll face. Any water heater will start to leak eventually, as by nature water will eventually corrode your tank and create microscopic cracks or fractures.

Does Whirlpool make A. O. Smith water heaters? ›

A.O. Smith completes the largest acquisition in company history, purchasing Canadian water heater and building products manufacturer GSW Inc. and American Water Heater Company. The addition of the American, Whirlpool, GSW, and John Wood brands make A.O.

Are Rheem water heaters made in the USA? ›

Rheem Manufacturing is owned by Paloma, a Japanese water heater manufacturer headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. The North American operation is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and is among the largest American HVAC and water heater manufacturers.

Why do most water heaters fail? ›

The most common failure is a leak in the water storage tank.

A leaking water storage tank requires the water heater be replaced. Leaking occurs when the steel water storage-tank corrodes through.

What is the average lifespan of a home water heater? ›

Tankless water heaters typically have a lifespan of 20 years or more. Traditional water heaters with standing water tanks can last around 10 to 15 years before you notice signs of age.

Does brand matter for water heater? ›

Even water heaters with the same brand's sticker on the front differ in quality, longevity, and warranty depending on where they are sold. For example, water heaters sold at a big box store are significantly different from those sold through a plumbing supply distributor.

What type of water heater never runs out of hot water? ›

The tankless water heater is—you guessed it—tankless! Because there's no tank, it doesn't work off of capacity; it works off demand. A tankless water heater heats up water as you need it, and it brings hot water to your appliances quickly—and never runs out.

Should I replace my 15 year old water heater? ›

Water Heater Lifespan

If your tank water heater is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it. With proper maintenance, a tank water heater tank should last six to 12 years. A tankless water heater can last for more than 20 years. Check your water heater's warranty for the most accurate timelines.

How do you know when it's time to replace your water heater? ›

If you're not sure if you should replace your tank water heater yet, here are some signs that it's time to start shopping.
  • Leaking From the Tank. There's no going back from this one. ...
  • Dirty, Rusty Water. This is another sign that the inside of your tank has corroded. ...
  • Visible Rust on the Tank. ...
  • Less and Less Hot Water.
Mar 4, 2021

How long does a Rheem water heater last? ›

Rheem hot water systems have a typical life span of between 5 and 15 years depending on water conditions and how well the system has been serviced. You can add years to the life to a Rheem hot water system if you have it serviced every 5 years.


(Silver Cymbal)
2. Solar Water Heating from Worcester Bosch Group
(Worcester Bosch)
3. How do Know if Your Water Heater is About to BURST?
4. NO MORE BREAKING ICE in your Stock Tank/Water Trough! Top Mount Kit for Water Hose Setup
(Stock Tank Solutions!)
5. Four Water Heater Tanks Cut Open - Lessons to Learn
(Matt Risinger)
6. Plumbing - How Does a Hot Water Cylinder Work ?
(Allen Hart)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jerrold Considine

Last Updated: 08/31/2023

Views: 6641

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jerrold Considine

Birthday: 1993-11-03

Address: Suite 447 3463 Marybelle Circles, New Marlin, AL 20765

Phone: +5816749283868

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Air sports, Sand art, Electronics, LARPing, Baseball, Book restoration, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Jerrold Considine, I am a combative, cheerful, encouraging, happy, enthusiastic, funny, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.