Many of you have seen my automated systems before and I have had several people wanting me to better explain how I made my automatic self cleaning watering system. I thought I would give it a go to explain how I made this system work. Just like on my feeding system I use several components that are specialized for automation systems so I will try to explain what I am talking about in this write up.
Clean water is one of the best things you can give your chickens. I spent entirely to much time cleaning out the water buckets and keeping them filled. I decided to build an automated system to completely take care of the watering for me.


Here is how it works. Water is supplied from my garden hose. The hose is plumbed into a solenoid valve (electronic on off water control valve) which is controlled by my PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) to enable the water to flow. The water pan is an old Ice Cube tray from our old freezer. The pan is fastened to a 12" length of 2" X 2" Box tubing. The box tubing is then welded to a 1/2" shaft that sticks thru the wall into a bearing and is connected to a rotary actuator (device that rotates when power is applied). The platform is bolted to the bottom of the box tubing so it will rotate with the water pan. This keeps all pinch points out of the system. When it is time to clean out the pan the whole thing will rotate and dump the water into a drain in the ground. The waste water runs into the drain underground and makes its way to our adjacent garden. While the pan is dumping the water jet turns on and blasts the pan clean. Then the pan rotates back to the normal position and fills up with water. I run the water extra long to cool down the water since my garden hose runs across the ground the sun makes the water in the hose pretty warm. My latest upgrade was to add a flat fan fill jet to better clean the pan.

Here are some images of the 3D models I made for this system

Every time the chickens hear the fill valve turn on they all come running to the pan for fresh clean water. I run the cleaning cycle during the night when the chickens are in the coop. During the day the water pan is filled automatically every hour so it stays topped off and clean all the time.
I am including a link to my latest you tube video of this system.
Thanks for checking out my system!