drilling holes for watering nipples

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WVDan44, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought five nipples recently at a chicken fair. These don't have the threaded brass part that I've seen on others that would screw onto the nipple itself and keep it in place. They have a rubber one, a kind of bushing, that fits into the hole which you would have to drill out and the nipple fits up into the rubber piece. I have a couple of gallon jugs and also a new two-gallon water jug that I bought from Target. My question is, how do I drill the holes without cracking the plastic. Are all the different brands of nipples about the same diameter? I measured these and it looks like they are about 11/32. I thought about heating up a phillips screw driver and melting a hole in the plastic, or heating a narrow knife blade and reaming out a hole. A drill bit doesn't seem to be the best way. I'm thinking I need to practice on some plastic jugs first. What's the best way? Do I need to glue or caulk the jug where the rubber piece goes in?[​IMG]
     
  2. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    11/32 is the correct drill bit size - at least for the ones I got from Neil here on the site. They are what you describe. Rubber grommet that fits into the drilled hole, then the nipple inserted into that. I am using a container that is like a milk jug plastic. Drilled the hole no problem. Cleaned the edges. Wet the grommet and inserted into the hole. The only challenge I found was pushing the nipple into the grommet. With some force, it pops right in. Make sure you wet it first. I ended up using some Olive Oil on one to get it in... Once in they worked like a charm. No leaking at all. Good luck,
    Steve
     
  3. Rebel Rooster

    Rebel Rooster I Will Love! :)

    Jun 29, 2009
    Central SC
    My Coop
    11/32" sounds about right... Jugs don't work well with watering nipples... (I found out the hard way) go to a local grocery store that has a deli or bakery, ask the nice folks behind the counter if they have any extra buckets on hand... they always do unless someone else is picking them up... the buckets work lots better! and they usually have a nice lid that will snap in place to help keep water clean... Hope this helps! "Rebel Roo" [​IMG]
     
  4. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah... I got a 5 gallon Lowe's Bucket from Lowe's for about $2.00 w/lid. I am using a 1 gallon jug as well, and that works just fine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  5. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks to you both for the interesting tips. Enggass, did you try putting the nipple through the grommet before inserting it into the hole or do you have to put the grommet in first? Did you have to glue or seal it with anything? Reb Roo I think I see your point. The walls of plastic jugs aren't as thick as the walls of plastic buckets, but the jugs are more flexible whereas I wonder if the more brittle plastic buckets would crack more easily.
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Rubbermaid type pitchers, the slim ones that fit into a fridge door, are good for single nipple applications (inside a coop, for example). Nice thick plastic. Hangs against the coop wall without much real estate lost.

    I cheat. I use a regular hole starter type drill bit, make three holes very close together, then use a slim knife to "circle" the openings into a larger hole. I just keep checking the nipple against the hole until it's a tight fit, no larger.

    I also use that clear silicone stuff on the nipple just before I push it through, then another slim bead of it. Let it cure overnight.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  7. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    More good ideas. Thanks a bunch.
     
  8. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Put the grommet in first, then the nipple into the grommet. No seal/glue of any kind. One more tip... If you have a screw on top or tight lid, you will need to poke a few air holes somewhere in the top of the container - above the water surface level for it to work properly... I have made one with the more flexible plastic, and one with the hard Lowe's bucket. No leaks of any kind and work perfectly.
     
  9. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, right, it does need air holes in the top otherwise it would create a vacuum and no water would come out. Thanks again!
     
  10. rocketdoctor

    rocketdoctor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im curious to this type of watering system can someone send me a pic of one? does the nipple go on the side of the bucket and you just set it on the ground or does it go on bottom and you hang it. anywhere I can order these nipples online? I have an automatic waterer in my coop but looking for a cheaper and easier solution for my Run.
     

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