Igloo Cooler Waterer - Discuss!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lpyrbby, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've already created a version of a cooler waterer and posted an article on it here.

    The topic of this kind of waterer came up in another thread and instead of derailing that one, we want to bring that discussion somewhere where more know about it and can get involved with ideas and additional recommendations [​IMG]

    This was our original design, having absolutely NO idea what parts to get or how it would go together to function. This meant we had to use a LOT of silicone to make sure the spigot would stay in place. We also had to cut part of the handle so it would turn in such a small area. This was AWFUL.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now, our bucket looks more like this, and is a dream to shut the water off to the coop for cleaning.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don't have a how-to yet since husband put this all together while I was at work, but we have our old cooler to modify (yes, a second Igloo cooler because we love this that much!) so I'll have a chance to put together real build photos on the next one, with specific instructions for what we had to do and where we found some of the harder to find pieces for this.

    My husband likes to brew beer and it's a regular thing for those that brew to modify coolers to make "mash tuns" to handle the grains used in beer making. He had a good head start on getting things figured out and/or knowing where to look for the information this second time around. That said, here is where he generated our parts list from and here is the basic set of instructions for putting it together.
    In the parts list section, #8 isn't really necessary for this part, nor the filter at the bottom. Under the MISC section in the first link also, #1, he used a fiber washer from NAPA instead and filed the inner hole of the washer to fit the piece through.

    Here are photos of the parts we used, starting from inside the cooler and moving to the outside:

    This is basically the pathway of water in the cooler to make its way to the tubing that goes into the coop, into PVC to feed their cup waterers.
    [​IMG]


    This was traced out from the larger washer in the baggie
    [​IMG]

    The white piece is part of the cooler spigot assembly. The black washer is actually a fiber drain plug gasket that you can find at NAPA. I think he said this one was 5/8 and fit perfectly inside the white piece for the cooler. I think he said he had to take a round file to the inside hole of this gasket to fit on the double male brass pipe (pic below).
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    This piece butts up to the opening in the cooler to help seal from leaks.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This piece is what is actually in the opening of the cooler itself. So, all the pieces above will be on the inside part of the cooler. Husband noted that it IS going to be a tight fit when all put together and you will NOT be able to get more than a few thread turns in when connecting them all. Just FYI. Also, use some teflon tape on this piece!
    [​IMG]

    We are now on the outside of the cooler with this washer. This one was also cut to "fit" to match up with the fender washers (see below) we got for the outside. This piece is acting as an additional gasket.
    [​IMG]

    This is just a pic to show that both of the black washer pieces above were cut out of this size.
    [​IMG]

    These are the flat zinc washers in 5/8 that are next in line.
    [​IMG]

    Ball valve this time, instead of a hose bibb.
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    The hose barb is used to attach the plastic tubing to, and screws into the end of the ball valve above.
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    In line view of all those pieces to kinda demonstrate how it's supposed to go together.
    [​IMG]

    *phew!*

    Let's discuss!
     
  2. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The design I saw used a 13 gal cooler with drain spout. The drain spout accommodates an off the shelf compression fitting. All lines were insulated with black foam wrapped in duct tape and terminated with nipple fixtures. What I liked was a small pump was located in the cooler and the line of the pump was fished all the way to the last nipple which kept a constant flow in the lines. During the winter a small floating water heater was placed inside the cooler and no frozen water.
     
  3. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd love to see that design in action!

    I live in a semi-warm area (warmer than the majority of the US anyway [​IMG]) so freezing is a concern, but not a daily one. I haven't really resolved that aspect with the pvc section because the heat would need to be applied to the cups instead of the cooler.
     
  4. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    I got a 3/4" pipe nipple based on the instructions I saw elsewhere (for brewing) - I see you have the 3/8". How's the fit for that? (I haven't tried putting mine together yet, and am wondering if the "3/4" was withe ra typo or a misread on my part...)

    Thanks for starting this. I'm going to be trying this soon (as you know) and will post here. [​IMG]

    - Ant Farm
     
  5. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can't help you on where I saw it. But to prevent freezing at point of use, the smaller tube carrying the hot water went beyond the last waterer pushing the cold water back to the cooler. Since I'm in the same climate I was thinking about having a freeze guard to turn the heater and pump when needed.
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Hey from the NN thread... mainly posting to follow this. Awesome post, using pictures.. thanks!

    I've done only the nipples on bottom of a bucket,did not work out so great.
     
  7. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think the only reason for going with the 3/8 size is that it was recommended in that link for the parts list. Maybe it was a typo, since 3/4 is gonna be pretty large in comparison. Did you take apart the cooler spigot and check? Honestly, with the latest one all put together, it's a good seal and no wobbling around at all.

    I have a mess load of screw-in vertical nipples, but haven't used them yet. I really like the cup version and have only had any leaking during the colder days we had when the water froze enough to make the PVC swell a little, which pushed one of the connection points loose in the PVC itself. I've been toying with the idea of heat tape during the winter, in hopes that maybe it'll be enough to keep them functioning.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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  9. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    You may luck out and have more to share with the thread! There may be no one "right" way to do this [​IMG] No rush either. I know how it is to have plenty of projects to accomplish [​IMG]
     
  10. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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