Best Tank Heaters for Livestock


Maintaining the right temperature in your livestock tanks is not just about providing comfort; it’s about ensuring survival, particularly in harsh winter conditions. The choice of the right tank heater is pivotal and depends on a myriad of factors including livestock type, tank size, climate conditions, and specific requirements such as energy efficiency or safety features. Let’s explore some top-notch tank heater options, each uniquely suited to cater to diverse needs and scenarios.

1. Floating De-Icers

For small to medium-sized tanks, Floating De-Icers are the go-to. They gracefully float on the water’s surface, preventing ice formation in a localized area.

K&H Pet Products Ultimate Stock Tank De-icer
K&H Pet Products Ultimate Stock Tank De-icer

A versatile and safe heating solution, suitable for all types of stock tanks. It operates on a thermostatic control, automatically turning on and off to maintain water temperature just above freezing, ensuring energy efficiency. Users can choose between floating or submersible configurations, adapting to various tank conditions. The unit includes a full cage, floater, and cord clip to keep the heating element free from mineral buildup and the power cord away from animals. With wattage options tailored to different climate zones, this de-icer provides a customized solution while ensuring safety, as evidenced by its MET certification.

2. Submersible Tank Heaters

Submersible Tank Heaters take the heating game beneath the surface, offering a more uniform heat distribution, ideal for larger tanks.

Farm Innovators Model H-429 Submersible Water Tank Heater
Farm Innovators Model H-429 Submersible Water Tank Heater

Offers efficient and reliable heating with its 1500-watt, cast aluminum construction. Designed to rest at the bottom of the tank, this submersible heater operates only when necessary, thanks to its thermostatic control. It’s designed to be durable, and rust-resistant, and features a heavy-duty anti-chew cord protector, safeguarding the unit from animal interaction. Additionally, its caged barrier ensures safe operation in plastic tanks, preventing warping or melting, making it a safe and energy-efficient choice for maintaining unfrozen water in your livestock tanks.

3. Drain Plug De-Icers

Drain Plug De-Icers, installed through the tank’s drain plug, specialize in heating from the bottom up, offering remarkable efficiency and uniform heat distribution.

API Universal Drain Plug De-Icer
API Universal Drain Plug De-Icer

Offers efficient heating through its stainless steel element and is designed to fit tanks with a 3/4″ drain hole. This de-icer is thermostatically controlled with over-temperature protection, ensuring safe and consistent heating. It’s ideal for tanks holding 100-300 gallons of water and comes with a 6′ anti-rub cord. Its convenient drain plug design allows for efficient bottom-up heating, ensuring even heat distribution throughout the tank.

4. Propane Tank Heaters

In remote areas where electricity is a luxury, Propane Tank Heaters come to the rescue, ensuring your livestock’s water remains unfrozen even in the most isolated locations.

Trojan Specialty Products Propane Stock Tank Heater
Trojan Specialty Products Propane Stock Tank Heater

A robust solution for locations lacking electrical access, utilizing LP Gas or Natural Gas for heating. This unit is thermostatically controlled, ensuring efficient operation and a constant radius of drinkable water around the heater. The heater boasts a marine-grade powder coating on its heavy steel casing, enhancing durability. Its design features adjustable brackets for compatibility with various tank materials and shapes. The Trojan 66B is designed for ease of servicing while offering reliable, continuous operation, making it an ideal choice for keeping livestock water unfrozen in the most remote and challenging environments.

Making the Right Choice: Factors to Consider

While each of these heaters brings unique benefits to the table, selecting the ‘perfect match’ for your needs involves careful consideration of the following:

  • Safety Features: Prioritize auto shut-off mechanisms, sturdy builds, and protective guards to safeguard both the equipment and your livestock.
  • Energy Efficiency: In times of soaring energy prices, efficient heaters that minimize power usage without compromising performance are invaluable.
  • Durability: Opt for corrosion-resistant materials, especially if your water has a high mineral content, ensuring longevity and reliability.
  • Capacity: Match the heater’s power and size with your tank’s volume, ensuring every gallon of water stays warm even in the coldest temperatures.
  • Climate Considerations: For areas where the mercury plunges drastically, choosing a heater that stands up to the rigors of extreme cold is crucial.

Above all, regular checks and maintenance of your tank heater are imperative. A well-maintained heater not only guarantees consistent performance but also prevents potential safety hazards, ensuring your livestock have uninterrupted access to liquid water, essential for their health and well-being.

In conclusion, the journey to choosing the best tank heater for your livestock is a nuanced one, with considerations ranging from the size and type of your tanks to the specific climatic challenges of your locale. Whether you lean towards the energy-efficient and thermostatically controlled K&H Pet Products Ultimate Stock Tank De-icer, the robust and reliable Farm Innovators Model H-429, the versatile API Universal Drain Plug De-Icer, or the off-grid reliability of the Trojan Specialty Propane Stock Tank Heater, the key lies in aligning the product’s features with your unique needs.

Remember, the welfare of your livestock is paramount. A suitable, efficient, and safe tank heater is not just an accessory but a critical component in ensuring their vitality through the cold months. Choose wisely, and maintain diligently, and your livestock will thrive regardless of the temperature outside.


  1. Can I use the K&H Ultimate Stock Tank De-icer in a plastic tank without causing damage?
    Absolutely! The K&H Ultimate Stock Tank De-icer is safe for all types of stock tanks. It comes with a protective cage to prevent direct contact with the tank material, ensuring no damage to plastic tanks.
  2. How does the Farm Innovators Model H-429 Submersible Water Tank Heater save energy while preventing water from freezing?
    The Farm Innovators Model H-429 is thermostatically controlled, which means it only operates when necessary. This smart feature ensures energy is only used when the water temperature approaches freezing, making it both effective and energy-efficient.
  3. Can the API Universal Drain Plug De-Icer be used in tanks smaller or larger than the recommended 100-300 gallons?
    The API Universal Drain Plug De-Icer is optimized for tanks holding 100-300 gallons. For smaller or larger tanks, it’s best to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or consider a model designed for your specific tank size to ensure efficient and safe operation.
  4. How do Solar Lake Aerators continue to work during cloudy days or at night?
    Solar Lake Aerators are equipped with a built-in 2200mAh battery, which gets charged during sunny conditions. This battery allows the aerator to continue functioning for up to 72 hours without sunlight, ensuring continuous operation during cloudy conditions or nighttime.
  5. Is it necessary to remove the API Solar Water Wiggler during cloudy or non-sunny days?
    No, the API Solar Water Wiggler is designed to operate unattended and will continue to function as long as there’s a residual charge. However, for best results and continuous operation, it’s recommended to be used in full sunlight.
  6. What makes the Trojan Specialty Products Propane Stock Tank Heater suitable for remote locations?
    The Trojan 66B Stock Tank Heater uses LP Gas or Natural Gas instead of electricity, making it ideal for remote areas without electrical access. Its thermostatically controlled heating ensures efficient energy use and consistent water temperature.
  7. How often should I check and maintain my tank heater to ensure optimal performance?
    It’s recommended to regularly inspect your tank heater for any signs of wear, corrosion, or damage, especially before the onset of winter. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning mineral buildup and checking for proper operation, should be performed at least once every season or as specified by the manufacturer.
  8. Can I adjust the temperature setting on my tank heater to be warmer than just above freezing?
    • Most
  9. tank heaters, especially those with thermostatic control, are designed to maintain a water temperature just above freezing to prevent ice formation. They typically do not allow for temperature adjustments as their primary function is to ensure the water doesn’t freeze, rather than heating it to a warmer temperature. If you require a specific water temperature, you might need a different type of heating system designed for that purpose. Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications and guidance for proper use.

Join the discussion below by sharing your experiences, tips, or reviews. Your contributions help others make informed decisions and navigate their chainsaw choices with confidence. Let’s build a community of shared knowledge for all wood-cutting enthusiasts!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


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