Originally Posted by mainechicklet
My horizontal nipples in the white 2.5 gal bucket were perfectly fine from April-Sept....no leakage. I used the recommended drill bit 11/32 and inserted them perfectly square and hand-tightened. It looks like the plastic bucket has cracked above each HN. Maybe I over-tightened them originally but got away with it as long as the days were warm and as the temps dropped the plastic became a bit more brittle.... At this point I don't know if I should just purchase new plastic buckets.
I purchased a 2-gal black rubber bucket today (designed for livestock) thinking that the rubber might be more forgiving than the hard plastic. What do you think?
Also, the submersible heaters that you all recommend specify safety for plastic buckets. What about the rubber buckets?
On a slightly different note from way back in the thread: My 22 hens learned to use the HN within a minute and don't hesitate ever to use them. However, if given the choice, they totally prefer a dish of water.
What material is the bucket, ID or recycle number on the bottom?
Was it exposed to sunlight?
Might have over tightened, want to tighten juuuuust enough so no leaks..... very sharp angle on the HN's can create a lot of pressure.
Was it exposed to freezing temps without a heater?
Rubber bucket should work, if you can get a clean hole drilled in them, which could be iffy.
Even if hole was messy, it might still seal if rubber if soft enough.
Could test with hole up near top of bucket, so if it doesn't work bucket isn't totally useless.
Would want good fitting lid (with only a tiny hole for vacuum release) to contain humidity.
I use an aquarium heater isolated from jug bottom with a piece of polycarbonate(Lexan) and it's been fine,
don't know about any other heaters first hand.