Need Water Pressure Help with Nipple Feeders

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by razer1, May 23, 2013.

  1. razer1

    razer1 New Egg

    May 23, 2013

    I was referred here by a friend when I told her my problem and she said I should ask online.

    I recently purchased some plastic nipple feeders that I can screw into the bottom of a bucket and let my chickens drink from. This is all great but Algae builds up in the bucket and needs to be cleaned often because the algae will get in the nipples and then clogged them up...And my idea was to take these nipples out of the buckets and screw them into my irrigation PVC hose and the algae wont grow because no light can get to the water...

    So I have a water pressure issue. What I have is this water source creek (have water right to it) for irrigation and livestock use. It generally pumps out 55 gallons per minute into my pond with a 1" hose. If I back it up the pressure gets astronomical (100 PSI or higher I think) and can blow out the hose connections if the pressure isn't release. So I usually have any excess pressure released by going into the pond. But if I close off the pond release I can turn on 6-8 water sprinklers and it runs without issue.

    What I want to do is hook it up to this water source, but even with sprinklers going, the pressure is still way too high. It nearly blows the nipples out of the PVC, as well prevents the nipples from dripping water. The water comes out of the nipples like a pressure washer! It'd probably blind my chickens if they ever got it open!

    So I don't know very much about pressure regulators, and I'm on a budget of $70 or less. What I've found are these Senniger regulators. The lowest one will bring my pressure to 10PSI, and I wanted to ask here if that is still too much pressure and if I should try and get it lower? Or will that be about right for what I want to do?

    Hopefully someone has come across this problem before and has the answer. Thank you in advance.
  2. A reply from an ordinary chicken keeper here. Nipples do not like very much pressure, your right.

    1) You can buy a pressure regulator and still hook up to this water source. However, you can also do a couple of other things. 10 psi is not to high. From my math calculations you should be getting close to 20 psi with a full 5 gal bucket of water.

    2) Clean the 5 gal bucket with bleach, drain using the nipples, rinse well, fill then add a 1/2 cup of ACV and put a lid on it. That should take care of algae for a while.

    3) Add the PVC pipe (configured to however you want it to lay out) to your 5 gallon bucket and that will provide the pressure you need to water your chickens. You can link several buckets together also.

    For what it is worth, hope this helps.
  3. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    I tried that with automatic cup filling types which would be a lot more forgiving of pressure than nipples I'd think. I gave up lol

    It either was too much pressure and they overflowed or not enough and they ran dry. No amount of fiddling or pressure reducing seemed to find that happy medium.

    I've currently got it hooked up to a 15L drum with a screw on lid. I've had it like that for about 3 months and no algae at all in the drum.

    The drum is clear plastic and is in the shade and it runs into black polypipe.

    The cups get a bit of algae but I just give them a rub with my finger now and then and splash the dirty water out and let it refill with clean.
  4. razer1

    razer1 New Egg

    May 23, 2013

    I have to disagree chick charm on your math calculations. For every 27 inches in a column of water, it will exert 1 PSI on the bottom. I know that much. My 5gal bucket is only 23 inches tall, so it's less than 1 PSI on the nipples that hang off the bottom.

    Anyways, I'm trying to move away from the buckets as they are too much of a pain in the butt to keep using. I want to go fully automatic on the water without having to refill 8 buckets every 2nd afternoon (yes that's how much I go through) and I really don't want to use bleach or ACV. That's just more costs and time I don't want to mess with it.
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  5. razer1

    razer1 New Egg

    May 23, 2013
  6. Yes my calculations were wrong on the water buckets psi. I did not know the nipples had a 1 psi maximum. Learned something new today.

    That explains why so many system set ups have the pvc pipes hooked up to small water tanks and buckets. I would use the set up then that appps has with any modifications you need. So ultimately I would now have to go with my 3rd recommendation only.
  7. Stanggt88

    Stanggt88 Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2013

    I just completed my nipple watering system for my chickens. I have 5 nipples on it and a float to maintain water in the tank. I just hook a garden hose up to my tank and the float fills the tank and shuts off, then as the chickens drink, the water level drops and the float allows more water in.

    Its approx. 5 gallons on water plus whatever the pvc pipe holds. Think a tank on a toilet!! its pretty much the same concept except I made a stainless steel tank and used pvc so nothing should ever rust.

    I can add pictures later tonight if anyone is interested??
  8. derbo

    derbo Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2013
    Yes please could you post pics
  9. tha5150

    tha5150 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2015
    Could you post those pics? Years later I am hoping you still have them. Here is mine and I have leaking going on. Also it sort of sprays when the nipples are pressed which I think it should just be a drop or two of water when they are activated. ????

    The bucket has a float valve too and is just under 1/2 full when it shuts off.


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