Nipple / Cup waterer made from tubing and PVC

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OScarlet, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. OScarlet

    OScarlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have made one of these with nipples and I'm making one with cups. Ms Jellybean asked for help making one so I took pictures... a lot of pictures!

    This is by no means the only way to make these, I'm sure others have found cheaper or easier or different ways of making them. This is how I made mine, they have worked well and don't leak for me. I've made three now and had no problems with any of them so far (not long admittedly). I used push in nipples at first as I found they leaked around the holes and washers and I didn't want to futz with silicone etc so I decided to buy the more expensive screw fitting T pieces which I prefer and are easy and don't require drilling or fiddly bits.

    I bought my cups and PVC fittings from this seller on ebay
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/281169299671?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

    I did not look too hard or bargain shop. I am a little lazy and this seller had what I wanted. I bought from them before and was happy with the product and service.

    I have one cup/nipple for every two chickens because mine are spoiled. YMMV. They all want to drink at once, usually two to a nipple so it is working for us.

    I went to Home Desperate and bought 1 99c piece of 1/2" pipe (they have small pieces)

    One of these -- it is threaded on one end and not threaded the other end "female adapter"

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    One of these (not threaded) "cap"
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    one of these "nylon hose barb for 3/8" pipe"

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    (actually DH bought it, I bought the wrong one so he offered to go back for me <3) -- I think it was $2.38
    Check it fits into the thing in the first photo labelled 46c -- I didn't!

    a length of 3/8" tubing (you can actually do this any size, but I wanted tube that would fit snugly through 1/2" hardware cloth and stay put) -- length up to you! Buy a bit more than you think you need. Check the nylon hose base elbow fits snugly onto the tubing, it should take a little bit of effort.

    A bucket. Many people use a 5 gallon, that is too big for us, I think mine is a 2 gallon. A dark colour discourages algae but it is harder to see when it gets grungy and it heats up quicker in the sun. I like one with a handle so I can clip it to our fence.

    Optional and expensive -- bulkhead fitting. I got mine from a local hardware store... Home depot had something similar. For $11 ouch! You also need a converter to screw onto that with a hose bib fitting on the other end that will fit your tubing. Ask the nice people in the aprons to help if you don't know what to buy. That is what I did the first time. You might find the bulkhead fitting on ebay...? (ETA: Ocap says you can buy them on Amazon and I did find a long list of them there. You can also buy them at aquaponics shops if you have one locally. If you are in San Diego go to Marshalls off Miramar Road, they are incredibly helpful and will help you find everything you need for this.

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    You will also need

    a hacksaw or pipe cutter and

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    PVC pipe cement -- preferably one that is for potable water -- I used some we already had.

    and PTFE tape -- optional but it helps stop leaks. You can use silicone instead if you want but I like the PFTE tape because you can undo it and change things around whereas silicone just gums everything up... plus the tape is cheaper.

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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  2. OScarlet

    OScarlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The first thing I did was make sure everything fits, I have the right sizes of everything

    Then I laid out the PVC pipe T pieces on the table and figured out how far apart I wanted them. Mine are about ?? 5" ?? apart and my ladies have no problem with them. I cut pieces of about 6" pipe to go between them. Bear in mind there is a bit of the pipe that slots inside the fitting so you "lose" that bit of pipe -- try dry fitting it to see what I mean. So don't forget to add about 3/4" for every time a piece of pipe slots into a fitting. Cut all your pieces of pipe and dry fit the whole lot together.

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    I've shown it here with one T, you will need more pieces to join more Ts if you want extra nipples or cups. If you have used a hacksaw to saw the pieces you might want to smooth the ends with sandpaper.

    Take the lid off the pipe cement, it will stink of solvent, make sure you are outside or somewhere really well ventilated! There should be an applicator inside the lid, run this around the outside of the pipe and the inside of the fitting. You don't need huge amounts of this, it will drip if you do!

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    You can see the one I'm building in the background. I'm using a part from a previous one I made, hence the purple!

    Once it is cemented up fit the pieces together giving a tiny twist as you do. Be super quick about squaring them up so they are straight because the glue sets quickly -- in fact it is best to get them lined up as you put them together. If you only have one nipple you don't have to worry about this, but with more than one look along the length to check they are all pointing in the same direction, a little variation won't matter, the chickens won't care!

    Glue the end cap on in the same way and then the "female adapter"

    Leave to set up for a little while... make a cup of tea or go watch your chickens frolicking. Pat yourself on the back for doing a fine bit of plumbing!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  3. OScarlet

    OScarlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At this point I choose where I want the hole in the bucket and drill a hole and fit the bulkhead and check it doesn't leak. Mine haven't, you can use a bit of silicone if they do. If you are not using a bulkhead fitting then I would drill a hole slightly smaller than my tubing in the lid near the rim. Be aware, drilling in the bucket is a little tricky, go slow and don't push, you don't want to tear it.

    Next I collect the PFTE tape, the nipples or cups and the angle elbow. I apply a short piece of tape to each screw thread making sure it doesn't go over the end and block the hole.

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    Next go with your husband so he can vote for the first time in the U.S. after becoming a citizen! (or set pipe aside to finish curing)

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    Come home, screw in the elbow and the nipples/cups and connect the tubing to the elbow fitting.

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    fill the bucket with water and place higher than waterer then either fill the tubing with water and place through hole in lid to siphon down to waterer or attach to bulkhead with hose barb adaptor. If you do the second one you will have to flick the nipples or cup mechanisms to allow the air to leave the system. I like to let a bunch of water through just to rinse it all out.

    I have spray painted mine, spray paint doesn't last forever on PVC but I don't care, it looks purty!

    Mount with pipe bracket or zip ties or a piece of twisted wire making sure the bucket remains higher than the nipples/cups.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nice Tut!!

    Where's the bucket? (Apologies - Maybe I'm being impatient and you're working on more pics)

    Could you screw nipples into those tees as well?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  5. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    I found bulkhead fittings at Amazon
     
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  6. DMRippy

    DMRippy Pallet Queen Premium Member

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    can you post pics of the complete setup?
     
  7. OScarlet

    OScarlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes you can. I like that because it is screw thread you can switch them out if one leaks (one of mine did) or you decide to switch from cups to nipples or vice versa. I've added a picture of an installed one on my tractor at the top of the first post. I don't have a bucket yet for the one I made last night and it was late.
     
  8. Ms Jellybean

    Ms Jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for making this. :)

    Congrats on your husband becoming a citizen too!
     
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