How long do the immersion heaters last?

Immersion Heaters are warranted for one year. We recommend taking this heater out at the end of the heating season, cleaning it, and storing it until the next heating season. We know of customers that had multiple heating seasons with this heater by doing this. If left in, this heater can have mineral deposits build up on it. These mineral deposits will create a hot spot and the heater will burn out.

Do you need electricty to run these?

Ritchie Thrifty King units, when used in the right application, do not require electricity. All other units, in freezing conditions, require electricity for the heating system. Ritchie recommends electric service on any new installation, including Thrifty King installations. If heat is needed later on, the electrical service is there. WaterMaster and CattleMaster are available with constant flow for use without electricity.

At what temperature does the thermostat come on?

This varies depending on which unit you are using. Immersion heaters come on around 45 degrees Fahrenheit and go off at around 60 degrees. The disc thermostat is preset to come at 55 degrees (+ or – 5 degrees) Fahrenheit and go off at 65 degrees (+ or – 5 degrees). Larger steel units use a Fenwall thermostat, which is adjustable from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees.

Do I need to use an immersion heater and self-regulating heater with my plastic units?

If these units are being used in a freezing environment, the answer is yes. The exception to this is using Thrifty King units that meet the requirements for energy free usage.

The heat element on one side of my OmniFount, EcoFount, etc. is very hot and the other is lukewarm. What do I need to do to fix this?

The problem here is a burned out or bad heating element, or a bad connection. If it is the element that is farthest away from the thermostat, the thermostat may not be satisfied and that is why the other heater is so hot. Generally the other heating element will not be doing any heating if it is not as hot as the other side. If you have cold hands, a 50-degree element may feel lukewarm. If it is truly warmer than the surrounding components, it may have a bad electrical connection that is passing some electrical current. If this is the case, the electrical connection would probably be hot. Both heaters should always be the same temperature if the components are good. A new heating element or repairing the connection will fix this problem.