Heated waterer with recirculating water supply

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Indoroowet, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Indoroowet

    Indoroowet Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2014
    Nothern Utah
    A while back I saw a youtube movie where the water supply for the chickens was a cooler that contained a heater and a recirculating pump, and the pump then was used to fill the actual chicken waterer *in the coop*.

    Something like the sketch attached ...

    Has anybody seen that movie, and if so can you tell me the link ?

    TIA

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Liberator

    Liberator Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2014
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    Just thought I would share my setup. I use a pond pump and an aquarium heater. The heater is plugged into a thermostatic outlet that I found at tractor supply (On at 30 degrees, Off at 40 degrees). The water circulates at night using a standard outlet timer and one hour during the day. An aquarium air pump keeps the water fresh 24/7. Once a week I drain the water and let it refill. Everything is contained in the bucket and supplied via my garden hose. An automatic toilet fill valve keeps the water level constant.
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  3. Indoroowet

    Indoroowet Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2014
    Nothern Utah
    1 - how *big* (wattage), is your aquarium heater, and *where* is it located ?
    2 - at what time during the day do you do the water circulation ?
    4 - How do you keep the garden hose from freezing ?

    I assume water aeration keeps the water also somewhat *oxygenated* ?
    If the aeration is *on* 24/7, then there is probably no need to add a heater in order to keep the supply *unfrozen* ?
    How do you keep the nipples from freezing ?
    I have heard that the horizontal nipples are less prone to freezing, and are less *wastefull*, if you do not constantly have a supply at hand.
    The dark area underneath the nipples show proof of water leakage.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  4. Liberator

    Liberator Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2014
    Texas
    1. The aquarium heater is a 25 watt submersible that I just drop in through the side hole in the bucket. Where it lands doesn't matter as long as it does not hinder the automatic toilet float valve.
    2. The pond pump circulates between 8pm and 10am, then again between 3pm and 4pm.
    3. I have a water supply line to the barn limiting the environmental exposure. The hose is buried just a few inches below the ground until it enters the back of the coop. The supply line freezing is my only concern but a small one since I can manually fill the bucket if the need arises. Running the pump dry is also a concern. There is usually close to 10" of water in the bucket. The pump will start running dry at 3". Only by my laziness and neglect will this happen.

    The aquarium heater is a last resort since it is connected to the thermostatic outlet (Thermo Cube). The nipples do not freeze because of the water circulation during the coldest part of the night. I'm assuming the pond pump is adding some heat to the water.

    I know some complain about the vertical nipples, but any water making it's way to the ground only does so when the chickens are making a mess of it. I have not observed any nipples leaking while not in use. The nipples are readily available at my Tractor Supply store making convenience a key to my use of them.

    This is not a first attempt at perfecting this system. It has been a work-in-progress with the pictures above being only the latest incarnation. Some experimenting (trial and error) may be necessary on your part to keep your system running. As for my watering system, I am now confident my chickens are getting fresh water no matter the season. My chick watering system in the barn is similar minus the aquarium heater. The use of heat lamps keeps the chick's water from freezing. I have two chick nipple systems (utilizing the same Tractor Supply vertical nipples) running in series as supplied by one bucket. One runs to the brooder and the other to a small pen for the older chicks before re-entering the bucket.

    As a side note, the pond/fountain pump is a 250 gal with 1/2" threads screwed directly into the bulkhead fitting (pump is upside-down). The supply line pressure is reduced to 25 psi by using an inline drip irrigation system pressure regulator. The supply line is also connected to a sprinkler timer that turns on for one minute every six hours to reduce water loss in the event the line bursts from a deep freeze.
     
  5. Indoroowet

    Indoroowet Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2014
    Nothern Utah
    Thanks a million for all the tips !
    More things to consider in order to get a good system running.

    I can easily get electric power to the coop and accessories, but I am a long way from a water faucet.
    I have decided NOT to mind carrying a few buckets once a week or so, to fill the *cooler*.
    I assume that 10 gallons in the cooler plus 2 gallons in the waterer, ought to be sufficient for a week or so.
    I will definitively ADD the aerator !!!

    In my case, I will just let the water from the waterer *gravity feed* back into the main supply in the cooler,
    while pumping water from the cooler into the waterer.
    The *warm* water from the pump dripping/spraying, (plus the aeration),
    into the waterer ought to keep the water in that container agitated enough
    so that it will not freeze at severe cold temps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  6. Beyond Yonder

    Beyond Yonder Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 8, 2014
    Hello, Did you ever find the youtube video?
     
  7. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    How cold does it get?

    Doesn't seem viable for north east temps with days below freezing, and much colder nights.
     
  8. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    FYI - I have first hand experienced a near coop fire with the submersible aquarium heater. The water level got below the heater (my bad) and melted the suction cups and should have long shut itself off with it's supposed safety auto-shutoff. I don't trust these things. Instead I am now using a farm-grade submersible stock tank de-icer, which not only uses less electricity (doesn't heat the water so darn warm), but it SHUTS OFF IN THE ABSENCE OF WATER. Pull it out of the water and it shuts off, put it back in and it turns back on. Of course, this sort of safety device could fail, but it hasn't so far and seems far better designed for this purpose. I'm sure the aquarium heater makers are pulling their hair out wondering when a lawsuit is going to come their way (it wouldn't because such a user was using the device for a purpose it was never intended for).

    I use this de-icer:

    http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Stoc...id=1434233446&sr=8-1&keywords=K&h+250w+deicer

    (wait for autumn for a lower price and free shipping option)

    Our setup is a 5 gallon bucket with the deicer and horizontal nipples. It has worked to -9F (coldest here so far) and I have heard others it working at -20F. The deicer will NOT work with vertical nipples...the de-icer doesn't keep the water warm enough to keep the vertical nipples thawed below about 18F (hence my attempt with the aquarium heater before the horiz nipples).
    [​IMG]


    Note: the heat-reflective (insulating) bubble wrap was added late last winter, the -9F was recorded before this wrap was applied.
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