This varies from unit to unit. Ritchie fountains range in capacity from 1.2 gallons up to 75 gallons. Ritchie quick refill valves negate the need for a larger trough. Having smaller amounts of water allows the water to turn over quickly and stay fresh. It is also more economical to heat fewer gallons of water. Our largest water capacity trough, the WaterMaster 96, holds 75 gallons and is designed for producers that have low water pressure and need the extra standing water available.
No. We hear this question from people that think a system like this (without a heat system) is an economical way to keep water from freezing. However, circulating water would require a pump running at all times to circulate water. Also, with no heat or warmer water being added, eventually even circulating water will freeze. Ritchie WaterMaster and CattleMaster can be constant-flowed in lieu of heat, with this water draining to waste, or to a reservoir or pond.
All Ritchie fountains use a valve and float system for automatic refill. This is the same principle as the toilet refill system in your house. The consumer supplies pressurized water to the unit.
There are some horse owners that are reluctant to switch from a bucket to an automatic fountain because they use the bucket to gauge how much water their horse is drinking. We do have a water meter that can be installed (Part #18218) or our Water Meter (Part #18218) in the fountain to answer this question.