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Any tips for cleaning out heavy stone troughs please?

14 replies

Scoopofchaff · 02/08/2018 22:24

"Inherited" ancient stone water troughs from previous owner of field which are too heavy to move (or even tip over to empty). We don't have a water or power source near field. Planning to wheel barrow water carriers over to them when clean and in use. (Horse living elsewhere currently.)

The troughs haven't been used for years and are filthy.

First, any tips on how to clean them out? A power hose is out because of electricity/water supply issue.

Do I just bale them out with a jug, scrub insides with scrubbing brush and some animal friendly disinfectant?

Secondly, when in use, I'll keep topping them up/cleaning any leaves out with sieve etc but how regularly should you drain and scrub out thoroughly?

Any other tips/ advice please?

Sorry if these are stupid questions! Always dealt with water irrigation system thing before now!

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Scoopofchaff · 03/08/2018 07:14


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smerlin · 03/08/2018 07:36

Can't help much but definitely get a siphon if you can (e.g. from aquarium shop) to remove the water from the bottom. Bale out some water with a big bucket first.

Scoopofchaff · 03/08/2018 08:06

Thank you Smerlin that's a great idea!

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smerlin · 03/08/2018 09:19

Based on ours - metal not stone- you'll see when it needs cleaning as the walls start going green. In this weather, water and trough go green quickly.

We bale out a bit of water every day or two to allow it to refill with fresh (luckily from an automatic pipe tho) and scrub with a stiff brush

Scoopofchaff · 03/08/2018 09:22

Thanks again Smerlin much appreciated!

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Butkin1 · 03/08/2018 12:51

We bale our metal troughs thoroughly with a bucket and one of those pooper scooper things with a flat and sharp base on a handle. We then scrub them clean at the start of the year and they go all summer without an issue although the water keeps topping up so it's fresh (ish!).

Scoopofchaff · 03/08/2018 13:18

That's really useful to know; thank you Butkin!.

I was intending to start the scrubbing process today but heat has driven me back!

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Gabilan · 03/08/2018 19:24

Going back to the siphon idea, you might find asking fish people how they clean out tanks (with fish in situ) gives you some ideas. You can get vacuums and scrubbers for tanks that might help, if not too expensive.

Scoopofchaff · 04/08/2018 06:46

Thanks Gabilan will definitely check out the local pond centre! Depends how vacuums and scrubbers are powered I suppose! Will go and seek some advice.

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PoshPenny · 04/08/2018 07:07

I've only ever had metal troughs but I use the bucket and chuck it technique and use my stiff feedbowl brush to scrub. I've also found a dustpan very useful for getting out the bits at the bottom. I wouldn't use any disinfectant at all, I would think it could taint the flesh water.

Scoopofchaff · 04/08/2018 07:13

Thank you PoshPenny ! Yes I don't want to taint the water but I did think of using a steriliser like Milton used for baby's bottles. Not sure though! And don't know if I can get it here anyway (live abroad continental Europe).

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OverTheHedgeSammy · 04/08/2018 07:59

Bicarbonate of soda is excellent for getting stains out of just about everything and is often used in water to settle a horses' stomach anyway.

Scoopofchaff · 04/08/2018 08:50

Oh yes, thanks OverthehedgeSammy Should have thought of that!! I use industrial quantities of bicarb as it is as we have a septic tank so no bleach allowed.

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Scoopofchaff · 06/08/2018 12:28

Just quick report back!

Trough is baled out and drained and we discovered it has a drainage hole in the bottom with ancient bung! Whey hey! Wasn't expecting that! Even found bit of plastic pipe that was used to connect it to (currently broken) irrigation system.

DH managed to connect many hoses together and we washed the whole thing out. It came up quite well! Lef it to be "sterilised" by sun today and will be back with scrubbing brush and bicarb tomorrow (just to make sure).

Thanks for all your tips and ideas everyone! They made the process a lot easier than it might have been! Especially dutpan tip, as that really got in to the corners!

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