Sunday, May 12, 2013

Yet another chicken waterer.

Making sure the chickens have clean water is a pain.  I have a gallon sized waterer similar to this one.  I have it on top of patio stones stacked two high.  It's close to 6" off of the ground and I still find dirt and leaves in it all the time.  I've written about this before.  To solve this problem I created a waterer with poultry nipples and a PVC pipe.  That has worked alright, but it only holds a little more than a gallon of water.

So, I decided to make another one, this time with a larger reservoir.  I bought threaded poultry nipples from Amazon.  These are meant to be screwed into a flat surface like the bottom of a bucket.  I wanted to see how they'd work in a PVC pipe.

I started by cutting a section of 3/4" PVC pipe to length.   Then I put a clamp on it to keep it from rolling.  I marked every 10" for holes.  I then drilled the holes with a 5/16" drill bit.  (This is important.)

Next I wrapped the threads with Teflon tape.

I attempted to screw these things into the pipe.  They wouldn't go.  I thought for sure that I had read that they required a 5/16" hole.  That's what I drilled, but they would not go in.  I eventually got frustrated and got out the 3/8" bit.  That made the hole plenty big.  But, the things leaked like crazy.  I solved that problem with some silicone.  I waited over night for the silicone to dry and then mounted the pipe to the chicken coop with these clamps.

On one end I place a slip to MHT PVC adapter.  I closed it off with a hose cap.  I did this for two reasons.  It allows me to drain the pipe in the winter when there's a chance of freezing weather.  I can also open it to allow air to escape.

The other end of the pipe has a slip to FPT adapter and an MPT to barb connector for connecting the reservoir.

My reservoir is a 5-gallon bucket.  I drilled a 1/2" hole in it and inserted a 1/2" barb coupling.  Surprisingly, this hasn't leaked.

Here's a picture of the entire setup.  I have the bucket elevated on a log.  I used irrigation tubing to connect the bucket to the pipe.  

One final note about the poultry nipples.  After I completed this project (with a lot of frustration) I read the customer reviews on Amazon.  Someone posted that the correct drill bit size to use was 11/32".  I used 5/16, which by my math is 10/32".  That means that 1/32" of an inch caused me a whole lot of aggravation and time.  I'll need to do a little more research next time.

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