Rotational preventative maintenance will help your water reticulation system deliver the right stock water capacity for your animals.
As you rotate stock to meet grazing demands prior to paddock changes, checking the performance of your valve ensures troughs remain full and eliminates pooling from leaking valves.
This is best practice and it means the trough valves are operating optimally during times of high demand. Trough valve maintenance may not often be top of mind, but it’s vital for a healthy water system. An annual cycle of water-related maintenance is particularly important prior to summer when dry periods place increased demand on the water system.
Servicing is recommended once every twelve months and, in some cases, depending on the severity of winter and the valve’s exposure to the elements, the servicing can be every six months. When maintaining the valves, it is important for sleeve or plunger-type valves to have a non-petroleum-based grease applied to ensure the longevity of O-rings and other rubber components. Do not use Vaseline as it will only create issues, not resolve them!
The ability to isolate the water supply to the trough will make maintenance easy and the best solution is to have the ball valve inline prior to the trough valve.
The valve can be either plastic or brass depending on the installer’s preference. Retrofitting a valve can be difficult unless the area in question can be isolated at another point. For best practice, the isolation valves should be included when the water system is installed.
Variations in water quality can provide a real challenge on farm. The particles that create build-up in a trough valve are often not visible to the naked eye. The surrounding topography should be considered when choosing a valve. If the area is prone to gravel, lime and other particles in the water, the recommendation would be to avoid diaphragm-activated products or to make sure you have a good filtration system that eliminates any particles fouling the valve. With new installations it’s a good idea to flush all lines prior to installing trough valves to eliminate any foreign matter from the system.
Water troughs need to be hygienic to support good animal health, and a total cleanout is recommended about every three months (that’s where the isolating valves come in handy). Troughs don’t normally have drains or outlet valves, so the standard technique is to bail out the contents, scrub the walls and scoop out the residue. If you can, choose a warm sunny day and leave the tank empty for a few hours to help kill off the algae before refilling. If you have clean water always available, your animals will drink more (and cows will produce more milk, in compensation for your efforts).
With good installation and regular maintenance, your troughs should provide a reliable, clean water supply for your stock. To ensure their water demands are met in peak times, trough valve maintenance prior to peak demand is essential.
For more information, spare parts or replacement valves talk to your local Farm Source team..
Article supplied by Hydroflow