Before we jump into the FAQ’s here is some general info about the Drinking Post to get us started…
The Drinking Post works a lot like a frost-free yard hydrant. The base of the Drinking Post is buried 18″ (46 cm) below the local frost line and connects to a pressurized waterline. All the water comes up from below the frost line and drains back down below the frost line with each use. The animal activates the water by pushing a paddle. When they release the paddle, any water left over drains into a leach field below the Post. When the paddle is pushed, water starts to fill the bowl immediately and fills fully in 5-8 seconds. When it’s released, it drains completely in 30-45 seconds. Since all the water drains away, there’s never any standing water in the unit – and no standing water means there’s nothing to freeze! It stays frost-free year round without any electricity or heaters required. Every time they push the paddle they get fresh, clean water from the water line and there’s never any algae growth. Now, let’s get into the FAQ’s!
1. How do I know what size Drinking Post I need?
The size of your Drinking Post depends on two things: (1) what type of animals you have and (2) the depth of your local frostline.
The above-ground height will be determined by what type of animals you have. Here are the guidelines for above-ground height:
- Pigs – 12″ | 30.5 cm
- Sheep/Goats – 12″-18″ | 30.5-46 cm
- Cattle – 18″-24″ | 46-61 cm
- Alpaca – 24″ | 61 cm
- Horses – 30″-36″ | 76-91.5 cm
**These guidelines are for adult livestock. If you have juveniles who will also be using the same Drinking Post, you will need to adjust the height accordingly so they can reach.
If you have multiple species, you will use the shoulder height of your smallest animal as a guideline. The best practice is to have one waterer for each type of animal you have (see FAQ #9). Similarly, if you have adults and juveniles sharing a Drinking Post, you will use the shoulder height of the juveniles as your above-ground height.
The below-ground depth will be determined by the depth of your local frostline. You will add 18” (46 cm) to that frostline depth to come up with your below-ground depth. The base of the Drinking Post must sit at least 18” (46 cm) below the local frostline in order for it to stay frost-free year round. It is very important to have an accurate frostline depth before choosing a size. You can use the “What Size?” Tool on our website to help you determine what size you need. You can find the “What Size?” Tool here: https://dpwaterer.com/what-size-waterer-is-right-for-me/ .
Drinking Post size = shoulder height of the smallest animal (inches) + local frostline depth (inches) + 18 inches (46 cm)
2. What if I don’t know my frostline?
If you don’t know your local frostline depth, you can call your local water department. If you don’t have a local water department, you can call a local outdoor plumber. The Drinking Post functions and installs like a frost-free yard hydrant, which any outdoor plumber should have experiencing installing. Ask them how deep the frostline is in your area; if they don’t know, just ask how deep they bury frost-free yard hydrants in your area. That will give you a good idea for how deep the Drinking Post should be buried since they’re so similar. It’s very important to get an accurate understanding of your frostline depth before ordering. There’s no electricity or heaters on the Drinking Post, so the base must sit at least 18” below the local frostline for it to work properly all year long.
**Remember, there’s a difference between frostline depth and water line depth! A lot of people get confused with frostline depth and water line depth. The Drinking Post needs to sit at least 18″ below the frostline (not the water line). Water lines are buried below the frostline so they don’t freeze up. Sometimes the frostline depth is more difficult to figure out than the water line depth. If you’re having trouble determining your frostline depth, you can use your water line depth to help size your Drinking Post (as long as you’ve never had any issues with freezing). If you’re using water line depth, you don’t need to add the additional 18″ (46 cm) (ex: if your waterlines are 3 ft. (91.5 cm) deep, you can put your Drinking Post 3 ft. (91.5 cm) deep). Keep in mind that it’s always better to use frostline depth if you know what that is. When using frostline depth, you’ll always need to add 18″ (46 cm) (ex: if your frostline is 3 ft. (91.5 cm) deep, you’ll put your Drinking Post 4.5 ft. (137 cm) deep).
3. What is the price of a Drinking Post?
The price of the Drinking Post depends on what size you need (see FAQ #1). Once you know what size you will need, you can look at pricing. All of our products and pricing is listed on our Shop tab, here: https://dpwaterer.com/shop/. If you purchase directly from us on our website and have it shipped, there will be associated shipping charges. If you purchase from a Dealer and go pick it up, you will not have to pay shipping (see FAQ #18).
Along with the Drinking Post, there is also the cost of installation. Some customers have the equipment to install the Drinking Post themselves, while others will hire an outdoor plumber or excavator to do the installation. To get a price estimate for installation, call your local outdoor plumber or excavator and let them know you need to install a piece of equipment that works like a frost-free yard hydrant.
4. Will this freeze in the winter?
The Drinking Post will not freeze as long as you order the correct size and install it properly. The Drinking Post is specially designed to stay frost-free without electricity or heating elements. We sell the Drinking Post all over the US, Canada, and even into Northern Canada, and it works in even the most bitterly cold climates (see FAQ #12). When installed properly, the Drinking Post can handle extremely cold temperatures, down to -50 F/-45.5 C! The most important thing when installing a Drinking Post is making sure the base is installed 18″ below the local frostline and ensuring that the leach field is big enough. The leach field should be at least built to our minimum dimensions of 3′ x 3′ x 1′ deep, if not bigger.
If you live in an area with cold winters, you should winterizing your Drinking Post each year. This is a very simple process and should be done in the fall before the winter temperatures come along. You can watch a short video on how to winterize your Ultimate Drinking Post: https://vimeo.com/803639154/186d766e4a. (If you have a Legacy Drinking Post, watch this winterization video: https://vimeo.com/204587683/9e4cc66584)
Since the Drinking Post fills and drains with every single use, there is never any standing water in the unit. This means there’s never any water in there to freeze! As long as there is adequate drainage in your leach field, ensuring all the water can properly drain after each use, you won’t experience issues. This, combined with the base being installed 18″ (46 cm) below the local frostline, is the magic of how the Drinking Post can stay frost-free year round without using any electricity.
5. What is the Drinking Post made out of?
All of the metal components (screws, rod, pipe fittings) are stainless steel or brass.
The exterior sleeve, which is for protecting and housing the actual waterer, is made out of a synthetic polymer blend (PVC). It is incredibly durable, but has flex when needed. So, if your animal likes to rub up against the Post, it will flex instead of break. The material also has UV protection to shield against sun damage.
The bowl, paddle, and valve are also made from similar synthetic plastic materials (PVC). PVC is temperature neutral, so it will never be too hot or too cold when your animal pushes the paddle to get water. It will always be safe and comfortable for them.
Drinking Post is strong and durable and every Drinking Post comes with a warranty! For more info on the warranty, see FAQ #19.
6. My animals lean and rub on things, will this break the Drinking Post?
This is a common question, but there’s nothing to worry about. The Drinking Post is very durable and will not break! The base of the Post sits deep in the ground (18″ (46 cm) below the frostline) which provides a lot of stability for the Post! Only a small portion of the Post will be sticking out of the ground. Secondly, the Drinking Post is made of PVC which is very strong, but has flex when needed. So if animals are leaning and rubbing, it will flex with the pressure instead of breaking. Finally, the Post is in 2 parts, an interior and an exterior – the interior is the actual waterer, and the exterior is made to surround and protect it. Any damage would be done to the protective exterior sleeve, leaving the actual waterer unharmed. Keep in mind, there is a comprehensive 5 year warranty on every single part because of how sturdy and durable our product is.
If you’d like, you can take extra steps to prevent any damage (although it’s not needed, some people just feel better with added protection). First, when installing the Drinking Post, you can put it up against a fence or a structure like a barn. That will reduce access and give some protection to the backside. You could also split a fence line with your Drinking Post. This is advantageous because it will allow 2 different lots to have access to the same Drinking Post and will protect the Post from leaning and rubbing. If the Drinking Post is free-standing in a pasture, you could slip a couple of tires over the Post. The Post is 8″ in diameter, so you can easily fit a tire over it. They’ll still be able to comfortably drink, but they can’t get right up against the Post. You could also fabricate a barrier out of 2×4’s if you would prefer to do that instead of using a tire.
7. What if my horse cribs/chews?
The bowl on the Drinking Post is recessed about 3/4″ (1.9 cm) from the outside sleeve to protect it from cribbers. If you have the original Legacy Drinking Post, you can outfit it with the Legacy round paddle (https://dpwaterer.com/
8. What if my horse has a grazing muzzle?
We have a lot of customers who use the Drinking Post with grazing muzzles. The bowl of the Drinking Post is 7.5″ (19 cm) in diameter. The size of the bowl will be able to accommodate your horse’s nose along with the grazing muzzle.
One thing you can do to help your horses who use a grazing muzzle is to keep the training attachment on permanently. The training attachment just adds some extra height to the paddle so the animal doesn’t have to put their nose very far in the bowl to push the paddle, it just makes it easier to activate the water (which is why it’s great for training).
Some customers are concerned about the muzzle getting caught on something. That should not be an issue as there are no sharp edges in the bowl. We don’t get complaints about that happening with customers who have grazing muzzles.
9. I have multiple species, can they share the same Drinking Post?
Yes, multiple species can share a Drinking Post, but it depends on your individual situation whether it is recommended or not. If you have multiple species sharing one Drinking Post, you will size it to the shoulder height of the smallest animal that will be using the Post. The taller animals will have no problem bending down a bit to use the Drinking Post.
If you have horses and cattle, they can easily share the same Drinking Post since they use the same style of paddle. Mini horses and full sized horses can also use the same Drinking Post as they too use the same paddle.
If you have sheep and goats, they can share a Drinking Post since they use the same paddle. Alpacas use a similar paddle as well, so they can share with sheep and goats.
However, if you have horses and goats for example, we typically recommend getting one Post for your goats and one for your horses. Firstly, they use different paddle styles – horses use our standard flat paddle and goats use our livestock paddle attachment. Secondly, horses need a taller Drinking Post than goats. If you can’t get one Post for each (understandable), you’ll get the goat waterer. Horses will bend down to use it and are more likely to learn the goat paddle.
If you’d like a recommendation for your specific situation, please give us a call!
10. How many animals can use one Drinking Post?
There is no minimum headcount required for a Drinking Post, you could get a Drinking Post for only one animal.
The maximum headcount for a Drinking Post is 25 animals. If you have more than 25 animals, you will need to get more than one Drinking Post.
The Drinking Post only allows one animal to be drinking at a time, so that can cause a bottleneck if you have too large of a group of animals trying to drink at the same time. When deciding how many Drinking Posts you should get, you should consider your specific situation – how many animals you have, what species you have, how many different lots you have, etc.. You want to make sure that all your animals will have adequate access to the Drinking Post.
11. Will the Drinking Post work if I have a well?
Yes, the Drinking Post will work if you have a well. For the Drinking Post to function, it needs to be hooked up to a pressurized waterline. It does not matter if that waterline is supplied by a well, by city water, etc., as long as there is adequate water pressure. The Drinking Post requires 25-65 PSI at the base of the Post to function properly (for more info on water pressure, see FAQ #20).
12. How easy is installation/setup?
Installation is very straightforward. It installs like a frost-free yard hydrant. Any outdoor plumber or excavator will have experience installing frost-free yard hydrants and can apply that knowledge to the Drinking Post. Every Drinking Post will come with an Installation Guide, be sure you and your installer read that through and call us with questions.
The most important part of installation is making sure the base of the Drinking Post is at least 18” (46 cm) below the local frostline. Make sure you order a long enough Drinking Post to accomplish that. Equally as important is making sure the Post has adequate drainage. You will install a leach field directly below the Post which is where the water will drain into. The leach field will be made of washed rock (anything from pea-sized gravel to 1″ river rock, you can buy it washed or hose it off before installation). You will cover the leach field with a landscaping fabric (or a roofing paper or Geo-Textile fabric). The leach field must be built to our minimum dimensions which is 3′ x 3′ x 1′ deep (91.5 cm x 91.5 cm x 30.5 cm deep). If you have clay in your soil (or anything else that will make drainage more difficult like large rocks), you will want to over build your leach field.
As long as your Drinking Post is deep enough and your leach field is big enough, you won’t have any issues.
For more information on installation, visit this page on our website: https://dpwaterer.com/horse-waterer-installation-instructions/ . I would also highly recommend watching this video from our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El4I1-tQ16Y . This is a great resource, it will answer a lot of your questions about installation.
13. I have hard soil, will this affect my installation?
If you have hard soil, clay in your soil, etc. you should increase the size of your leach field. The Drinking Post uses a gravity fed drain to drain the water after each use, so there must be adequate drainage for the Drinking Post to work properly. Your local outdoor plumber or excavator should have experience with the local soil conditions and should be able to recommend the how much larger to build your leach field. The minimum dimension of the leach field is 3′ x 3′ x 1′ deep (91.5 cm x 91.5 cm x 30.5 cm deep).
14. How easy is maintenance?
Maintenance is exceedingly easy with the Drinking Post. There is no regular maintenance required to keep the Drinking Post functioning properly. Once you have it installed, there’s not much you need to do.
The only maintenance that will recur is cleaning your intake filter. Depending on your water hardness, you may have to do this every year to every couple years. It is a very easy process, it only takes a few minutes.
Here is a link to the Maintenance page on our website: https://dpwaterer.com/maintenance/ . There you will find videos that show exactly how to take care of any basic problem you may run into with the Drinking Post (including cleaning your intake filter). You only need to carry these processes out if you are experiencing an issue though, you don’t need to perform them regularly or proactively.
15. How easy is cleaning?
For cleaning, there’s not much you need to do. Since the Drinking Post fills and drains with each use, it stays very clean. Since there is never any standing water in the unit, it won’t grow algae, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning algae in the summer.
The main thing that gets into the bowl is hay/grass particles from the animal’s mouth. Dirt can also make its way into the bowl. The bowl filter at the base of the bowl will prevent larger debris like the hay/grass from draining, everything else will drain away into the leach field below the Post. When the bowl refills, those hay/grass particles will float back up and will most likely be re-consumed by the animal. If there are a lot of hay/grass particles in the bowl, you can wipe it out with a cloth or just push the paddle and overflow the bowl, the particles will run over the sides with the water. You can also fill the bowl with water and scoop out the particles instead of overflowing the bowl.
16. How long does it take to train your animals to use the Drinking Post?
Training varies between animals. Some pick it up after one training session while others will take a few days to become proficient with the Drinking Post. The most important thing is to follow the training guidelines! Your animal can definitely learn the Drinking Post, so don’t worry. We’ve never had a customer who couldn’t train their animal on the Drinking Post. Read our Training Guide, this is a comprehensive guide to training.
The most important thing with training is to make sure you remove all other water sources so the Drinking Post is their only option for water. If they can take the easier way, they will! Also, a thirsty animal will more readily learn the Drinking Post, so make sure they are thirsty before you start your training session. Finally, don’t continually push the paddle to fill the bowl for them. If you do this, they are training you to use the Post for them! They will rely on you to fill the bowl instead of doing it themselves. Read the Training Blog, above, to learn how to train your animals.
**You want your animals thirsty, not dehydrated. If they need additional water during training, bring them into another area and give them some buckets (when they’re in the area with the Post, they need to use the Post, so additional water should be given in another area). Any additonal water should be given after your training session so they are thirsty during training.
17. Does Drinking Post provide repair service?
Drinking Post does not provide repair services. We are the manufacturer. If you are having an issue with your Drinking Post, it is typically an easy fix and 9 times out of 10 you will be able to easily do it yourself. We have a Maintenance page on our website with videos that go over how to work on your Drinking Post. You can find that here: https://dpwaterer.com/maintenance/ . If you are having issues and need help troubleshooting, you can give us a call at 303-482-1642 and we will help you pinpoint the problem and give you instructions on how to fix it. If you are having issues with your waterline or other elements other than the Drinking Post itself, we recommend you call your local outdoor plumber.
18. Should I order from a Dealer or order online?
If you have a Dealer in your area it can be good to order from them because you can just go pick it up and you won’t have to pay for shipping. You can find our Dealer map here: https://dpwaterer.com/drinking-post-dealer-locator/ . All of our Dealers are listed on this map along with their contact information. If you have a Dealer near you, you will order directly through them and go pick it up. If you do not have a Dealer within driving distance, you can order from our website and we will ship it out to you! You can place your online order here: https://dpwaterer.com/shop/ .
19. Does the Drinking Post have a warranty?
Yes, the Drinking Post has a warranty! Our Ultimate Drinking Post has a 5 year warranty on every single part. The warranty starts on the date of purchase.
If any part of your Drinking Post fails within the warranty period, give us a call and we’ll replace it free of charge!
**If you have our original Legacy Drinking Post, the warranty is 1 year on all the interior parts and 5 years on the exterior sleeve.
20. How much water pressure does the Drinking Post require?
The Drinking Post requires 25-65 PSI (1.7-4.5 bar) at the base of the Post for it to work properly. If your water pressure is too high, you can use a pressure reducer. Having your pressure too high will cause the water to spurt out rapidly and abruptly. We see that this can easily spook the animal. If it is too low, you will have to increase the pressure. Having your pressure too low will cause the bowl to fill very slowly. It’s very important to make sure that when you’re determining if you have adequate water pressure that you are measuring at the base of the Drinking Post, not somewhere else along the line.
21. If I have a high water table, will the Drinking Post work for me?
A high water table is an uncommon situation, most people do not have a high water table. If you do have a high water table, you’re most likely already aware of it, as it can cause issues with other things on your property. A high water table can affect the Drinking Post in some situations. To figure out if it’ll be an issue, you need to determine the bury depth of your Post vs. how high your water table is. For the Drinking Post to be affected, the water table would need to be high enough to saturate the leach field that sits directly below the Post. A saturated leach field could cause issues with draining. This happens because the Drinking Post has a gravity-fed drain, the water just falls out the bottom and into the leach field. If a high water table saturates your leach field, then there’s no gravity pull to draw the water out of the Post. If you think you have a high water table, speak to a local outdoor plumber who has experience installing frost-free yard hydrants in your area. The Drinking Post functions and installs like a common frost-free yard hydrant, which would have the same issues with a high water table. The water table will most likely fluctuate through out the year, it goes up and down. The key here is to talk to a professional who has experience in your local area. Any outdoor plumber will be able to advise you on this issue.
22. How big is the bowl?
The bowl is 7.5” (19 cm) in diameter. This is big enough to accommodate the nose size of any animal the Drinking Post is designed for. Draft horses and other large breeds can comfortably use the Drinking Post.
You can also clip the Training Attachment to the paddle if your horse has a particularly large nose. When the trainer is on, they don’t have to put their nose very far in the bowl to activate the water.
Horses with grazing muzzles can use the Drinking Post comfortably as well. See FAQ #6 for more info about grazing muzzles.
23. What temperatures can the Drinking Post handle?
The Drinking Post can handle extremely cold temperatures, as long as it’s installed properly. We have tested it at -50 degrees F! The most important thing when you get a Drinking Post is making sure it’s installed properly with the base at least 18” below the local frostline. If you get extremely cold temps in the winter, like -10 degrees F and below, we would recommend winterizing your Drinking Post. If you go to the Maintenance page on our website (https://dpwaterer.com/maintenance/) there is a video that shows how to winterize your Drinking Post. It is a very simple process and you should do it in the fall before the winter temps come along. We have happy customers all over the US, Canada, and up into Northern Canada. The Drinking Post can work anywhere in any temperature, as long as it’s properly installed.
24. Can I retrofit my original Legacy Drinking Post with the new Ultimate Drinking Post parts?
Yes, an existing Drinking Post can be updated with the new Ultimate parts! To completely upgrade your Drinking Post to Ultimate, you will need an Ultimate bowl, paddle, and blue valve which you can purchase on our website. To do the full upgrade you will want to purchase the Complete Ultimate Upgrade Kit (https://dpwaterer.com/
We also have a second, cheaper option – you can purchase the Ultimate Bowl and Paddle Assembly which comes with the Ultimate bowl and paddle, but does not come with the Ultimate blue valve (https://dpwaterer.com/
How to perform the upgrade:
25. If I have hard water, will it affect my Drinking Post?
Hard water will not significantly affect the Drinking Post. The only thing you may encounter is that your Intake Filter might clog up more easily. If this happens, you will have to clean your Intake Filter, and if you have hard water you may need to do this more than a typical customer. However, this is not a big deal because cleaning your Intake Filter is a very easy process! It only takes a few minutes to complete the whole job. Also, you do not need to do it proactively, you only need to clean your Intake Filter if you notice your bowl is filling more slowly than normal. Slow fill is the best indication that your Intake Filter is clogged. If you are not seeing signs of slow fill, you don’t need to do anything. I have attached written instructions that go over exactly how to clean your Intake Filter. You can also watch a video that shows the process on our Maintenance page: dpwaterer.com/maintenance. Just follow that link and then select the video titled “Clean Intake Filter”.