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Adjustable auto chicken waterers (nipples)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Bluff Country Chicken, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Bluff Country Chicken

    Bluff Country Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I had posted a question re: nipple height. Responders mentioned that they adjusted theirs over time. I came up with a simple solution. From your 5 gallon reservoir bucket, have a feeder pvc go straight down to a "t" that feeds to your horizontal pvc. This is assuming your bucket rests on top of your pasture pen. As the birds get taller, simply put wood blocks between the 5 gallon bucket and the pen roof to raise the height of the nipples. This way you don't have to remove or re-glue any parts.
     
  2. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We ended up using flex tubing going from the bucket to the pvc and we were just going to shorten that when we need to raise it, the blocks under the bucket sound better. [​IMG]

    I'm really frustrated because my nipples are all dripping. That's fine with it being in the yard but I also bought some to put in the coop. I wonder if I just got POS nipples!?!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  3. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

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    I also made a waterer with a bucket and 3/8" hose supplying a 1.5" PVC pipe with nipples in it. It had 3 different kinds of nipples in it, and they all leaked. I just made some waterers with nipples mounted right on the bottom of the bucket. They don't leak. Same nipples.

    I think the water pressure was increased by running the water through a small hose to a small pipe, causing them to leak, but I'm not sure.
     
  4. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lebanon, TN
    Quote:Using threading tape should help with this. Also, if you drilled a hole that is slightly too big, then you will have leaking. BYC'er Neil Grassbaugh sells poultry nipples through the company he works for and would probably be able to help you out.

    I've had similar problems and I will probably switch over the the twist in nipples with a saddle. The saddles is permanently bonded to the pipe and isn't as finicky about a good tight join.
     
  5. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

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    My nipples weren't leaking because of a large hole, and I also used thread tape. The connection of the nipple to the pipe was bone dry. The leak was coming from the nipple itself, water was leaking through it, which will happen if there is too much pressure. The outside of the nipple was completely dry.
     
  6. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Interesting. The owner of a local hatchery and I were talking about them and he said that if the water source is too high off of the ground (more than 5 feet), the pressure will be too high.
     
  7. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

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    I can see how that could happen, and I thought about that in relation to my setup, but I had it setup in my garage with the water bucket about 2 feet higher than the nipples. My guess is that if you got into the science of hydraulics, you would find that the pressure at the end of the 3/8" hose was far greater than the pressure presented to the nipples mounted directly in the bottom of the bucket, even if the nipples at the end of the hose were at the same level as the bottom of the supply bucket, so that elevation was not a variable. Any mechanical engineers or physicists on the boards?
     
  8. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Not me. I'm just a simple fluid dynamics engineer. Work with liquids, gases (air) stuff like that.
     
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Assuming that your supply lines are sufficient to keep up with the demand (there is very little flow on a nipple watering system), the only thing that governs the pressure in a gravity fed setup is the height of the water column.

    Commercial nipple waterer systems have an adjustable regulator and a clear vertical column above the main line to show water pressure in inches of water column pressure. (Refer to the photos below). Each inch of water column is equal to .433 PSI. These commercial water systems are run with anywhere from couple inches to a foot or more of water column pressure. The water column pressure in a bucket fed system is the height of the water from the nipple to the top of the water level in the bucket. As the bucket empties your water pressure slowly drops until you reach zero water in the bucket and thus zero pressure.

    The lower the pressure the less water that is delivered each time the bird triggers the nipples. The higher the pressure the more water that is delivered each time the bird triggers the nipple. The pressure is adjusted so that the birds get enough water, but not too much more than they can drink with each triggering of the nipple. As an example, we have 2500 layers in a barn that are watered with a couple hundred nipples. They drink 125 gallons a day. If every time a bird takes a drink she gets a drop of water but another drop goes on the floor because the pressure is too high we'd have 125 gallons of water going into the litter every day. The pressure is regulated and the height of the nipples are adjusted so the birds drink very efficiently, getting enough water each day with very little going on the ground. For the specific brand of nipples that we have (Ziggity), we find that a mere 4" of water column pressure is sufficient for the winter, allowing the birds to get enough water while still keeping the litter dry. In the summertime we turn the pressure up slightly to around 6" of water column pressure to ensure the birds get enough in warmer weather. If we ran a water column height equal to a full five gallon bucket we would have quite a mess in the barn.

    High pressure doesn't cause leaky nipples. There is a small steel ball that sits in a machined seat to seal the valve. When a bird pecks the trigger to the side, the top of the trigger unseats the ball to allow the water to flow. High pressure causes these type of valves to seal even tighter. Leaky nipples are caused by very low water pressures, sediment and hard water deposits in the nipples, or poor quality nipples.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    As an example of high pressure sealing these even tighter, yesterday I was flushing the lines with high pressure water and saw very few leaking nipples.

    Referring to the photo of the watering system above, there is a ball valve above the regulator that bypasses the regulator and allows you bring the line up to supply pressure. At the far end of the line is a spring operated valve that is attached to a drain hose. By bypassing the regulator and putting high pressure on the line, the flush valve at the far end is forced open to allow high pressure and flow to blow any sediment from the lines. When I did this yesterday there was enough pressure on the line that the hens that were trying to drink were having trouble operating the triggers. When one did peck hard enough to unseat the ball and cause water to flow, she was met with a spray of water to the face from the nipple.
     

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