All About Cobett Waterers

What’s the real advantage in using a Cobett waterer?

Cobett’s unmatched winter endurance and versatility make it ideal for stockmen and sale barns. Unlike other heat free systems, occasional or even zero traffic does not freeze up the valve and plumbing as long as the tub is filled with water! Cobett’s bull-tough durability and long life are due to the black color, round design, UV inhibited polyethylene and substantial wall thickness. The buried installation and recommended drinking heights greatly enhance long-term stability. There are no anchor bolts to break loose from concrete!

Cobett waterers were designed to have three main features:

  1. An open drinking area
  2. Easy & wide-open access to the plumbing
  3. No required heating device

Apparently these and other features are widely appreciated, as word-of-mouth and repeat customers generate nearly 80% of sales!

How do Cobett waterers work without a heating device?

Electric heat is not required for valve protection. However, there is room below the tub to hang a low-wattage heating device for reducing surface ice. Each Cobett waterer includes and is mounted upon a 24″ wide base tube that is an appropriate length for the customer’s locale. Cobett fully utilizes the wide column of ground heat by placing the tub inside the ground heat chamber, not just above it. The entire tub of water is constantly and directly warmed or cooled by the surrounding underground temperatures. Because there are no doors and seals or a concrete pad, there are no cracks for air leaks! Lacking a door or cover that could accidentally freeze shut or open, Cobett allows Mother Nature to generate a relatively small amount of ice on the water surface. Unheated Cobett testing results and customer reports reveal some examples of overnight ice thickness in a beef dry lot situation:

  • 15-20 head @ -10°F and no wind = 1/2” ice
  • 0-5 head @ +10°F and no wind = 1” ice
  • with no traffic after 3:00 p.m. @ -20°F with -40°F wind chill = 2” ice

Thicker ice occurs if water is consumed only once or twice daily. A 4 1/2” icecap has been observed at -40°F during a -70°F wind-chill factor. Regardless of temperature, wind-chill or livestock traffic, it should take only a few seconds to open any overnight icing that may occur. Use the Cobett ice chipper or a ball peen hammer, etc. (not an ax) if needed, generally once that day. Customers like knowing that Cobett eliminates frozen valves and plumbing!

What type of valve is in Cobett waterers?

Cobett waterers are available with various valve options to meet the customer’s needs. Cobett is not a constant flow system. Model LB (large) has four valve options and Model SB (small) has two valve options. See the specifics on the Products page.

The more complex and sensitive floatless valve (not made by Cobett) requires a strainer, even for city water. A diaphragm that senses the water weight activates this valve. The floatless valve comes with a tool to set the water level.

The float valves and the float are made by Cobett Company in a very heavy duty and simple design. A thick cord attaches the 5 1/2” heavy-duty polyethylene float to the valve. Ice chunks that may cling to the float do not hamper valve function. Remember, ice floats too.

Always check with local officials for state and local backflow prevention rules and regulations prior to connecting to a water supply line.

Do I have to pour concrete for a Cobett waterer?

No. Concrete is not required. Installing can be a half-day, four-step process:

  1. Dig a hole.
  2. Set units in hole.
  3. Refill hole with dirt.
  4. Lay 12” of gravel on top of the ground prior to livestock using the waterer.

Laying 1” size, unwashed gravel on top of filter fabric greatly extends the life of gravel by keeping it out of the dirt. Using filter fabric eliminates the need for 3” size gravel. It is okay to pour concrete around the waterer after the ground has settled, if desired. Also, a suitable hole could be cut in an existing concrete floor. It is important to install Cobett in a well-drained location or install drainage tile. Obviously, installing the waterer in a mudhole would compromise its’ stability! Also, the drier the pit, the better the ground heat can efficiently minimize the icing.

How do I clean a Cobett waterer?

Cleaning is easily done by lifting out the tub, swirling the water and emptying it out. To lift the tub, remove two bolts from the top of Model SB or four bolts from the top of Model LB. Dip out some water from the Model LB tub before lifting. All tubs can be easily disconnected, if desired. You remain upright, dry and without smelly hands after cleaning the tub!

How long have you been in business?

We developed this waterer for our own Iowa farm in 1993. We came to fully appreciate this system during the severe winter of 1995 and began to test market our waterers in the fall of 1996. Cobett customers are now located in Canada and all U.S. states except CA and HI. Cobett Company guarantees satisfaction to the original owner for one year from the date of purchase.

Where can I buy a Cobett waterer?

Cobett waterers are marketed directly to customers. Phone orders can be picked up at our location or shipped via commercial freight (not UPS) to a town near you. If you have questions or wish to place your order, please call 888-699-4722. You may also ask us if there is a dealer near you.

U.S. Patent 5,740,760 • Canada Patent 2,198,647