Research in the United States has shown that cattle can put on 15 to 20 percent more weight in a year, just by having access to clean water.
In Australia too, there is growing interest in maintaining the quality and availability of stock water.
A simple, yet effective idea, is to fit shade over water troughs.
Not only does it provide stock with some relief from the sun, but it should also lower the water temperature.
This in turn may reduce algal growth and water loss due to evaporation.
Ideally, float valves should be matched to meet the water demand of the stock.
Rather than considering the maximum flow of the valve, selection should be based on the pressure the float valve operates at the trough.
Quite often this may only be around 100 kPa (15 psi).
Many farmers are now installing additional troughs to ensure stock do not have to walk as far for water, but also to optimise feed utilisation within a paddock.
More troughs means more float valves.
But as long as a regular maintenance program is followed most valves will provide years of trouble-free service.
A properly operating valve means no loss of precious water.
“In dry seasons you don’t want things going wrong with fittings and valves,” Brendon Finger, ‘Telarah’, Clermont, Queensland, said.
In dry seasons you don’t want things going wrong with fittings and valves.
“So we use Philmac products because they’re reliable, cost-effective and easy to use.”
Your trough valve maintenance program should start with checking that the lever arm moves freely up and down.
If there is any ‘stickiness’ it could be due to debris, a bent pivot pin or, in the case of a sleeve valve, a dry O-ring.
If the valve weeps, it is likely the seal is worn or clogged with debris.
Once the valve is disassembled, it is easy to check for wear in the seal, and that the valve is clean.
Fitting a new seal is as easy as simply prising it from the flapper or remove it from the cap or plunger.
In most cases, you can turn the seal over and reuse it.
When replacing a sleeve valve seal, it is recommended that the O-ring on the plunger be re-greased with rubber grease.
Philmac recommend regular maintenance of float valves and provide a full range of spares to ensure years of trouble-free operation.