A stock tank heater is essential if you are keeping livestock and the cold season sets in. If the water in your stock tank freezes your animals won't get their daily fill of water. Whenever the outside temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you cannot maintain a stock tank without a heater. You can purchase the stock tank heater from your local farm supply outlet. It will not cost you much since the heater can be cheap, depending on the features that were incorporated in it. What you should look for in particular is an automatic shut off safety feature, which would turn the device off in case an animal accidentally takes it out of the water.
Step 1 - Drain the Stock Tank
Locate the drain plug that is on your stock tank and take it off. This will allow all of its content to drain out. Keep the drain plug in a safe location until the time that you will need it again.
Step 2 - Install Concrete or Wood Blocks
Get a piece of wood and cut it into blocks of equal thickness. If you do not want to cut wood you may also use concrete blocks for this purpose but the concrete should all be of the same size. Raise each of the corners of your stock tank and slide one wood or concrete block under each of the corners. To make sure that the water tank is not leaning in any direction, use the level.
Step 3 - Install the Stock Tank Heater
The stock tank heater should be installed at the bottom of the water tank. Its power cord should have an available power connection or outlet nearby. However, do not plug the stock tank heater in until have filled up the stock tank again with water.
Step 4 - Fill Up the Stock Tank
Get the drain plug for the stock tank that you have set aside earlier and put it back. Fill the tank with water. Keep an eye on the tank as it is filling up with water to make sure that the water is level. Once the stock tank has been filled to capacity, you can connect your stock tank heater to a power outlet.
Step 5 - Keep an Eye on the Stock Tank
Each morning, make sure that you visit the stock tank to watch out for any signs of freezing. If a thin layer of ice is forming on the tank, you will have to adjust the setting on the stock tank heater to a higher level.
Although most of the stock tank heaters in use are powered by electricity, there is also a solar design that you can find for the device. Such a tank heater would allow you to save a lot of money on energy costs. However, such a design allows heat loss at night and it might not be able to keep the water from freezing during days when the sun is not shining.