My husband was busy moving the 10 inches of snow we got, so I went out to clear the water trough, put out hay for the horses and turn them out. Since the temperatures dipped to nearly 0 last night, I brought out my rubber hammer, strainer for dipping out ice, and bucket to clear the water tank. We have two solar tanks, which we've used for years now. When it's this cold, we usually have to use the hammer a couple of times just to crack the ice around the rim of the tank's bob top, then clear away a few pieces and we're good to go.
I'm sure not complaining, because the 90-gallon traditional metal water tank these tanks replaced would be solid ice by now. I've read where some folks have made a makeshift insulation around their metal tanks for the winter, using bales of hay/straw and a wooden frame to hold everything in place. I'll bet, though, that they've had trouble this year. We've had one of the coldest winters on record.
But I digress. Because we live in the "sunless" Syracuse area, we do usually carefully pour warm water in the tanks at night to help them not freeze around the rim as much. Last night, though, even though I knew we were going to hit subzero windchill, I decided not to worry about it. I figured the continuing snow would insulate the tops from the chill. And I was right. They weren't even frozen. All I did was remove the snow from the tops and the solar panels.
I guess that's what I love most about doing Horse Journal. When it comes to describing our experiences with a product, we can tell you like it is, because there's no pressure. Our goal is simply to help you make purchases that help you keep your horses easily and efficiently.
See http://horse-journal.com/article/solar-water-trough for more information.