How the Drinking Post Waterer Works

waterer_yard hydrantIf you’re familiar with how a frost-free yard hydrant works, then you already understand the concept of how the Drinking Post Waterer works.

If you’re not familiar with how it works the following excerpt is taken from the Wikianswers page titled "How Does a Frost Free Hydrant Work":

“Frost-free yard hydrants are installed to provide water to various locations in the farmyard during all seasons of the year. They are manufactured and installed in such a way that they will operate throughout the winter without auxiliary heat. 


A major component of a hydrant is a stop-and-drain valve. This valve is located below frost level, usually 2 to 3 m below the ground surface. The valve is operated by a lever or wheel that is connected to the valve by a control rod. When the valve is open, water flows from the supply line, through the valve, up the riser pipe and out through the head of the hydrant.

When the valve is closed, the flow of water stops, and a drain hole in the valve opens. The water contained in the riser pipe flows out of this drain hole into a gravel bed, leaving the riser pipe empty and preventing ice formation.”


While there are some subtle differences in the specifics of how a yard hydrant and a Drinking Post Waterer operate, the underlying concept is identical.   By keeping the operating valve below your local frost line we are able to provide water at 50 degrees Fahrenheit to your animals year round without the use of electricity.


If you are in the market for an energy free automatic waterer, the location of the valve (is it above or below your local frost line) is going to be the major differentiating factor in this type of waterer.   There are countless manufacturers of 'energy free' waterers that employ a wide range of insulation and heating techniques to attempt to keep the water from freezing in the winter.  While others will go on and on touting the thermal effectiveness of their insulation, and provide alternate installation instructions for 'extreme' or cold climate installs, Drinking Post Waterer is the only waterer that addresses the issue directly in a common sense fashion by simply placing the operating valve below your local frost line.  Because of this it is impossible for a properly installed Drinking Post Waterer to freeze.  We are proud to point out that our waterer uses NO insulation because it simply is not needed... just like there is no insulation on your yard hydrants.


To operate the Drinking Post Waterer, a thirsty animal simply presses their nose on the paddle inside the bowl and it fills with water.  When they are done drinking and walk away, the paddle is released the remaining water drains down through the interior of the waterer and into the ground below.


Benefits of the Drinking Post Waterer not requiring any electricity to operate year-round include:

  • Eliminate 100% of you electricity bill
  • Power outage during the winter months = no freezing = no problems for you.
  • No potential for electric shock
  • No potential for barn or structure fires caused by electricity running to or through your waterers
  • No chance for accidentally overheated water from an improperly adjusted heating element


Easy installation:

  • Cement pad not needed or recommended for installation
  • Requires no electricity
  • No used tires needed for installation in cold climates
  • No insulation required to prevent freezing


Installation of The Drinking Post horse waterer is very simple and straightforward. Below is a drawing of the overall installation requirements. For a PDF version of complete installation instructions scroll over the "Resources" tab in the top navigation of this website, and click on the "Installation Instructions" in the drop down men


Click here for step by step photos of a Drinking Post installation.


How is this different from other ‘energy free waterers’?

Many energy free waterers rely on what is know as a ‘thermos system’, typically combined with heavy insulation materials inside the waterer itself to attempt to keep the water from freezing during the winter months.  Essentially, this involves digging  a deep hole in the ground and placing a conduit inside of it.  Usually a 10’ to 20’ length of pipe that may be 4” to 8” in diameter vertically in the ground underneath the actual waterer.  The heat from the earth will rise up to the waterer to prevent the unit from freezing.  These style waterers will always have a minimum number of recommended head rating to keep from freezing  in the winter. This is because a certian amount of water needs to regularly flow through the unit to prevent freezing.  This is not the case with Drinking Post Waterer.


By locating the control valve below the frost line and never having any standing water above the frost line in the Drinking Post Waterer there is:

  • No reason or need to install a large conduit underneath the the waterer to capture heat.
  • No need to install or rely on any type of insulation inside the waterer.
  • No cement pad required or recommended.
  • No minimum usage requirements.

Drinking Post Waterers prove to be an excellent fit in high use areas as well as remote or distant pastures where running electricity doesn’t make sense and you may have uneven or seasonal use.  The Drinking Post Waterer can literally sit unused for months through the dead of winter and still produce fresh, clean water instantly on demand.

This is why our customers are able to install Drinking Post Waterers where it was difficult or seemingly impossible to install automatic waterers before:

  • No electricity is required to keep the unit from freezing all winter long
  • There is no minimum usage requirements to keep the system operational year round
  • Once the unit is installed, it costs nothing in the way of electricity to have it sitting ‘action ready’
  • It does not require a solar panel
  • All that’s required is a pressurized water line
  • Installation is EASY


This provides flexibility in how you choose to manage your pastures, outdoor paddocks, and stalls. 

The simplicity of the technology ensures minimal maintenance and long-term reliability. When the paddle is pushed, only the actuator rod, the intake valve and the check valve move. Due to the simplicity of the design, The Drinking Post horse waterer will provide an unlimited supply of clean water year round.
In addition, The Drinking Post Waterer is housed in a tough 8″ diameter protective sleeve with a .24” wall thickness, which dependably withstands the elements and the abuses of life in the field or barn.

Where can I install The Drinking Post Waterer?

The Drinking Post can be installed anywhere you have a pressurized water line with at least 45 psi of pressure. This includes pastures, barns, paddocks, on a fence line…ANYWHERE your livestock, cattle, horses, goats, sheep, llamas, etc need convenient access to fresh, clean water.



If you have any questions regarding installation, feel free to contact us at:

(888) 537-5365



In addition, you may have an interest in reading about:


Health benefits of not having any standing water and safety benefits of utilizing a non electric waterer


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