December 2, 2016

Prepare your EcoFount for Winter

With a blink of an eye, winter will be here. In this newsletter, you will find a series of useful steps that will help you prepare your waterer for winter so your animals can enjoy fresh water every day.

How to test your heaters

The best time to test your heaters is now, when the weather is warm. After-all, replacing parts during the dead of winter is something we want you to avoid. To test the heaters follow the steps below:

  1. Double check that the electricity is on to the unit especially if you have your Ecofounts wired through a junction box.
  2. Open trough by removing the wing-nuts.
  3. Pour a bucket of ice into the trough area. This will cool the water enough to trigger the disc thermostat and turn the heaters on. The heaters on the underside of the trough and the cable heater around the valve will all become noticeably warm to the touch.
  4. If your heaters do not turn on, follow the steps above one more time to ensure your trough cooled enough to trigger the thermostat. Once it has been determined that the heaters are not functioning, see the scenarios below to find the parts that you are needing to replace.

Replacing the heating components

You have determined that some or all of your heaters are not working in your EcoFount waterer. Below is a list of scenarios and replacement parts that will help you get your EcoFount functioning.

  1. Heater(s) on the trough is working but the cable heater around the valve is not turning on. All of the heaters in the EcoFount units are wired through the thermostat. If your cable heater is not working but the other trough heaters are, it is time to replace the cable heater. This will help prevent your valve and water supply from freezing.
  2. The cable heater working but trough heater is not becoming hot. All of the heaters in the EcoFount units are wired through the thermostat. If your 125 watt trough heater (one or both in the EcoFount 2) is not working but the cable heater around the valve is, it is time to replace the 125 watt heater(s). This will give added protection to the stainless steel trough and prevent it from freezing.
  3. No heaters are turning on. In most cases, this would indicate that your thermostat needs to be replaced. Ensure your electric is on to the unit.

NOTE: If in the off chance that your thermostat is no longer functioning, we recommend replacing all of the heaters at the time you change the thermostat. This will ensure that all of your heaters are functioning at the time of replacement.

Heater 125W #14150
Mounts to the underside of the trough

Heater 125W #14150
Mounts to the underside of the trough

Disc Thermostat #13830
Regulates the temperature in your Ecofount waterer

General Winter Maintenance

While the following tasks may seem minor, they have the potential to make a significant difference in the performance of your waterer.

Check the all-weather sealant around the base of the unit and the concrete pad. Ensure there are no gaps where air can penetrate the underside of the unit. Replace the all-weather sealant if needed.

Remove side access panel to verify that the waterline is not touching the side of the riser tube or side of the unit. Frost has the ability to travel from one object to the next. Centering your waterline will prevent frost from potentially freezing your line.

Clean the unit. The winter weather reduces the number of times the waterer is cleaned until spring. Cleaning now will help to maintain a cleaner water supply.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact your local Ritchie dealer or Ritchie Customer service at 800-747-0222 7:30-4:00 PM CST.