This is my Automatic Waterer with Horizontal Chicken Nipples.
I chose the horizontal type nipples after reading some of the forums on this site. I have 28 chickens and 1 rooster so I used 6 horizontal chicken nipples. I first tried this project using a small bucket. It worked well except that it had to be cleaned every week because of algae. I replaced the bucket with pvc pipe and caps and have used it for 2 months now with no algae buildup. This waterer will not work in freezing weather. I use buckets as backups in the winter when it is cold enough to freeze. My automatic waterer is set up where I can drain it if it is going to get below freezing.
2 - 6" PVC DWV DRAIN CAPS (Home Depot) 5.53 ea. Warning - These caps will not fit standard 6"pvc pipe!
8"- 6" PVC SEWER DRAIN PIPE SDR35 (Lowes)shortest length I could find was 24" so I made three waterers. $15.27 for 24"
1 - Korky 528 QuietFill Toilet Fill Valve (Wal-Mart) $7.87
1 - PVC Cabinet Handle or something similar $2.50ea
6 - Horizontal Chicken Nipples $2.00ea
6 - 1/2" PVC Pipe Plugs $.45ea
6 - 1/2" PVC Pipe Tees $.46ea
1 - 1/2"X 12' PVC Pipe $3.50ea
1 - 1/2" PVC Union $2.44ea
3 - 1/2" 90Deg Elbows $.29ea
1 - 1/2" PVC Valve $2.75ea
1 - 1/2"FIP X 12" SS Toilet Supply Line $4.99 (Lowes)
1 - 1/2"FPT X 3/4" FHT Irrigation adapter $1.67 (Lowes Irrigation fitting section)
2 - 3/8"OD x 1/2"MIP Quick-Connect Adapter $3.49 (Lowes Irrigation fitting section)
1 - Garden Faucet Wye $9.98
40' - 3/8" polyethylene tubing .19 per ft.
Tank frame Material:
2 - 1/2" CPVC Wing Elbows $ .76ea
6 - 1/2" CPVC Elbows $.44ea
1 - 1/2" x 5' CPVC Pipe 2.68ea
Here is a picture with some of the parts used for this project. 6" pipe cap, Korky toilet valve, pvc union, pvc tees, pvc pipe plugs,
and horizontal chicken nipples.
The first step was to drill a hole in the center of a 6" pipe cap. The middle hole is 13/16" in diameter. I used a flat wood bit.
I had to use a file and sandpaper on the middle hole to enlarge it slightly so the 1/2" pvc pipe would fit snugly. The other hole
in the 6" pipe cap is 1" in diameter. It is drilled at 1-3/4" from the outside edge of the cap to the center of the hole.
Then I cut a short piece of pvc pipe and glued it into the union. I had just enough sticking up to fit into the middle hole
and be flush in the inside of the cap. I used a union here so I could easily disconnect the holding tank from the piping.
Next step is to glue the union into the cap and install the Korky Toilet valve into the cap.(Don't tighten it yet.)
Make sure to get SDR 35 pipe. The shortest length I could find was at Lowes and it was 24" long. The project takes only 8".
Regular 6"pvc pipe is bigger on the outside and will not fit into the type of caps that I used. I used these type of caps because
regular 6" pvc pipe caps were way more expensive and rounded too much on the bottom to be able to mount the Korky toilet valve inside.
Next, I glued the 6" pipe into the cap with the valve in it.
Now that the pipe is glued into the cap the final adjustment of the toilet valve can be done. The Korky toilet valve is adjustable
in height by turning it counter clockwise to unlock it. I wanted to use it at its lowest setting so I would keep less water inside the pipe.
My thought on this is: The less water stored in the tank the fresher the water to my chickens. The Korky toilet valve has a little clip
to keep the valve from turning on its own and springing up when under pressure. I didn't use the clip. Instead I just turned the bottom
of the valve piping so the valve would be positioned as shown in the picture. The valve can't turn counter clockwise enough to disengage
and pop up. Then I tightened the nut on the bottom of the toilet valve piping.
Next, I drilled a 1/16" hole in the middle of the other 6" pipe cap. This is to let a little air in so it doesn't create a
vacuum inside the pipe. Also, I drilled holes and mounted the handle. This will be the lid. Do not glue the lid on
the pipe, it needs to be removable.
Here is a picture of the assembled water holding tank.
Next, I used the following items to be able to connect the 3/8" tubing to the holding tank:
1/2"FIP X 12" SS Toilet Supply Line and 3/8"OD x 1/2"MIP Quick-Connect Adapter
The supply line screws onto the toilet valve, the adapter screws on to the supply line, and
the 3/8" tubing pushes into the Quick-Connect adapter.
Here is a picture of all the connections put together.
On the other end of the water supply I used the following parts to connect my faucet:
Garden Faucet Wye(used so I could still use the faucet for watering my garden), 1/2"FPT X 3/4" FHT Irrigation adapter,
3/8"OD x 1/2"MIP Quick-Connect Adapter, and the other end of the 3/8" polyethylene tubing . My chicken pen is about 32'
away from the faucet. I buried the tubing from the faucet to the chicken pen. I also used some foam insulation from the ground
to the faucet and from the ground to the holding tank for a little freeze protection.
Here is a picture of the assembled parts that connect to the faucet.
Next, I started getting the chicken nipples assembled. I took the 1/2" pipe plugs and drilled 11/32" holes in them
and tapped the holes with a 1/8" pipe tap. There only 3 nipples in the picture but, I actually used 6 for my project.
I then wrapped the chicken nipple threads with Teflon tape and screwed each of them into the pvc plugs.
Then I glued the plugs into the pvc tees like shown in the above picture. I cut 6 pieces of the 1/2" pvc pipe
12" long to glue between the tees. I also glued a 1/2" pvc valve on the end of the piping so I could drain the
whole system if needed. I then used the remaining 1/2" pipe to connect the chicken nipples to the holding tank.
Here is a picture of the chicken nipples and valve on the end of the piping. If you look real close, you will
notice there are only 5 chicken nipples. I got in a hurry and forgot one and had to add it later!!
Here is a picture of the items it took to make a frame to set the holding tank in.
6 - 1/2" cpvc elbows, 2 - 1/2" cpvc wing elbows, and 1/2" cpvc pipe. 2 pieces 3-3/4"long, 4 pieces 6" long, and 2 pieces 6-3/4"long.
Here is a picture of the assembled frame.
And a picture with the holding tank in the frame.
Here are some pictures of the finished product.
This picture shows the pvc valve on the end for draining if necessary. So far, I would not change anything that I did in this project.
Just an added note: most of the time if a toilet valve fails, it fails open. If it did, it would probably push the lid off but, the chickens would still have water.
Thanks for looking at my project. - Jorjfdjungle