Horizontal nipples leaking from drilled hole.


7 Years
May 18, 2014
New Jersey
I have a 5gal bucket water that was fine for 6 months. Now it is leaking from where the nipples are inserted. I tried teflon tape but that didn't help. Any solutions that are cheaper than a new bucket?
Cheapest/easiest solution I've found is to smear the threads on the nipple with beeswax or petroleum jelly and then screw it into the bucket. Makes a cheap n easy water-seal. Might have to wipe up any globs off inside the bucket depending on how liberally one applies the gunk.
The trick is use drill bit smaller than recommend. This will allow you to tight in the future if need. You could check Craigslist for free bucket or plastic barrel.
If you do use caulk, be sure to use the one made for aquariums, it has fewer toxic substances that can leach into the water.

The beeswax sounds like a great simple fix, though.

Also, be sure to to not thread the nipples too tight. Hand tighten until firm/snug, perhaps a little less firm that you think might be necessary. I say this because most people's tendency is to overtighten things, which in plumbing can lead to leaks.

The hole size I have used for all my horizontal nipple waterers (most of which are buckets, but I have used yogurt tubs) is 3/8". This has been the perfect size, in my experience.

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