It took just one instance during a rough winter to convince Jim Dimmerman that the only watering fountains he'd use were the best on the market.
"As I was completing my morning rounds, I noticed water spraying everywhere from the main line," says Dimmerman. "The water fountain had frozen overnight; to access the water, the draft horses knocked the unit off its base. That was the moment the quality and dependability of livestock waterers became a priority in my mind."
As operations manager for Bunker Park Stables, Dimmerman oversees the daily functions of the riding facility located in Andover, Minnesota. With more than 70 horses on the property, and a diverse herd featuring draft horses, Quarter Horses and Shetland ponies, Dimmerman has to not only consider the size of each animal when selecting livestock equipment, but also the extremes in weather changes.
"The horses live outside year-round at Bunker Park Stables and all of our water fountains are exposed," explains Dimmerman. "Because of the weather conditions we face, our fountains must be the best. They need to be well made, durable, cost-effective, provide clean water and cannot freeze. And lastly, the fountain has to be diverse enough to accommodate the ponies, all the way to the draft horses."
Nowadays, Dimmerman relies on Miraco E-Fount Energy Efficient Heated Ball Waterers for Bunker Park Stables.
"The design of E-Fount waterers is very well thought out," says Dimmerman. "They are strong, durable, never freeze and always provide fresh clean water – free of algae. The height and function of the product is perfect for the ponies as well as the Percherons."
E-Fount water fountains are the most economical electric heat waterers available today, states Kenny Fixmer, Miraco and Gallagher territory representative. The construction of the E-Fount features a durable outside shell and an inside component that is energy efficient and provides superior insulation.
"All Miraco E-fount waterers are equipped with a 75-watt heat element and thermostat," Fixmer explains. "E-Founts only require 4kWh of electricity during a week of negative 25 degree Fahrenheit temperatures, which is crucial during a Minnesota winter. The fountains are also built according to high standards to be as energy efficient as possible."
In fact, Dimmerman was able to put his E-Fount to the test when locally-based Connexus Energy asked Bunker Park Stables to participate in an energy efficient water fountain study.
"The company couldn't have asked for a better time to conduct their study," says Dimmerman. "We experienced a particularly harsh winter with snow on the ground the first week of November and the ground didn't start thawing until the middle of April. This was the worst winter I've seen since 1995."
Energy Efficiency Programs Coordinator for Connexus Energy, Ken Glaser, said the long winter made for a perfect opportunity to truly test the energy efficiency of the Miraco E-Fount and a similar sized water fountain of one of its competitors.
After 3,767 hours of monitoring, Glaser found the Miraco fountain used 246 kWh and the competitor's fountain used 948 kWh.
"That's a savings of 702 kWh, which in Andover, translates to roughly $80 a year – and that's measuring just one water fountain," says Glaser. "In an operation like Bunker Park Stables that utilizes multiple fountains throughout the property, you can see how quickly the savings add up."
Dimmerman says he is pleased with the findings of the energy efficiency study and the results just add to his trust in Miraco's watering systems. "I appreciate Ken Glaser and Connexus Energy demonstrating the value, reliability and durability of the Miraco fountains. Hopefully this information will help others with livestock operations make better purchasing decisions in the future."
"Regardless if you have two horses or a large herd of livestock, you will notice a savings utilizing Miraco water fountains," says Glaser. "If we can show savings in the middle of a particularly long winter in Minnesota, you can show savings pretty much anywhere you live."