December 12, 2016

Ritchie Thrifty King Winter preparation


In this post, you will find a series of useful steps that will help you prepare your waterer for winter to ensure your animals can enjoy fresh water every day.

Prepare your Thrifty King for Winter

Our Engineer Ed features several steps you can take to prepare for winter in the following YouTube video.

Freezing Climates – Optional Heat Protection

Ritchie Thrifty King Series units do not come standard with heat however, if you live in an area where temperatures reach freezing or below or if your situation does not qualify for energy free usage, the additional heater will be needed. Follow the steps below to ensure proper function of your existing heaters.

How to test your Immersion Heater

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

Removed Heater

We recommend that the immersion heater is removed during the warmer months to elongate the life of the heater. If this has been done you can test the heater two ways.

  1. Plug the heater into a wall socket and immerse into a bucket of ice water. This will trigger the thermostat and the heater should turn on.
  2. Place heater in a freezer for 10-15 minutes. Once cold to the touch, remove and plug into a wall outlet. This should trigger the thermostat and turn the heater on.


Installed Heater

If the heater has remained in the trough during the summer, clean heater of deposits that may have accumulated, ensure that the electricity is on to the unit and immerse in a bucket of ice water to trigger the thermostat. The heater can be removed and follow the steps above.

If your immersion heater is not becoming noticeably warm to the touch a new heater will need to be purchased. Heaters can be purchased through a local dealer, online, or direct at 800-747-0222.

NOTE: If you live in an area that has long periods of freezing temperatures and you are not set up for energy free usage, a Self Regulating Heat Cable is strongly recommended to protect your valve and waterline from freezing. These heaters are extremely reliable and will need to be checked once the temperatures reach below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

General Winter Maintenance and Warm Climates

  1. 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 to ensure no gaps have formed that would allow air to penetrate the underside of the unit. Replace the all weather sealant if needed.
  2. 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.
  3. The Thrifty King series has a water seal groove along the top of the red valve chamber and in-between the red cover and the yellow base. This groove is intended to hold water during the winter which will freeze the covers down during the winter. This will create a firm seal against the cold and the wind. Fill this groove with water and for easy lid removal, spray the underside of the cover with a cooking spray.
  4. Clean the waterer. Cold winter weather makes cleaning a very cold chore. Cleaning your waterer ahead of time will help to provide fresh water throughout the winter. Watch the video below on how to clean your Thrifty King series waterer.


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