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Electric & Energy-Free Waterers: What’s The Difference?

Owners and operators of any livestock enterprise are aware of the importance of a reliable and consistent supply of water. Automatic waterers have become commonplace in most commercial livestock operations; however, those in the business know the challenges faced in areas with severe weather. Winter can make maintaining a consistent water supply difficult, especially when temperatures drop below freezing. Luckily the invention of electric and energy-free waterers has helped solve these problems. SPI offers both models in many sizes. If you aren’t sure which option is best for your situation, read on to learn a bit more about the pros and cons of each.

Electric Waterers

Electric Waterers rely on a submersible heater which keeps the water at a consumable temperature for livestock.  Electric waterers are a popular choice among commercial livestock farms, due to their convenience and effectiveness.  Due to their ease of use, livestock require no training to use these waterers.


  • Ideal for areas with severe climates
  • Easy to clean (bowl drains quickly) and maintain (most models require no tools for service)
  • Due to their ease of use, livestock require no training to use these waterers


  • During an extended power outage, water could freeze
  • More expensive to install in pastures as hydro must be in place
  • More expensive to operate than Energy Free models

Energy-free Waterers

These waterers seek to fulfill the same goals as electric waterers do. The only difference being that these units use no energy! Non-energy waterers keep water from freezing by using insulation around the tank above the waterline to keep water from getting too cold. In addition, these systems seek to keep water moving to prevent the possibility of freezing.



  • Less expensive to operate than Electric models
  • More economical for pasture installation than Electric models
  • Lid and door design prevents contaminants from entering bowls resulting in cleaner water
  • Easy to clean (drains quickly) and maintain (all models require no tools for service)


  • Requires consistent use to keep water moving which prevents freezing (minimum number of head varies per waterer)
  • In severe climates, even consistent use may not prevent freezing
  • More complicated for animals to use as they are required to press a door to access the water


In Summary

There are many variables which can affect which system is best for you. Contact SPI today to discuss your needs and we can find or make the perfect system for you.

Call 1-800-269-6533

SPI Plastics Inc.

165 Stoneman Drive, Box 100
(Shouldice Block Road & Joynt Street)
Shallow Lake, ON
N0H 2K0

T   519-935-2211
TF 800-269-6533
F   519-935-2174

Business Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8am to 4:30pm
Friday: 8am to 4pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

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