PEX and Horizontal Chicken Nipples/Chicken Cups

U_Stormcrow

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Jun 7, 2020
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For reasons that aren't really relevant here, I need to build a second run, and another hen house. Most likely next to my existing run, to share a common fence and minimize materials usage. I have neither power nor water available there, and supply my chickens and ducks from a pair of 275gal food grade totes which collect rainwater from my barn. Every once in a while, it does get cold (20s) here, but not for long - just long enough to burst PVC pipes.

I was thinking of running a PEX line from my existing 275 gal water tote into the new run to provide supply. I have some scrap from another project that's long enough, tools for working it, and plenty of practice with it.

The advantages are obvious. Its flexible, it isn't damaged by repeat freeze cycles. Its one con is (mostly) easily addressed - it breaks down under UV light, but the Tote is covered, I can bury the PEX for most of the length, and protect it with a sleeve where it exits the tote and enters the ground.

What I don't know is how well PEX and these nipples work together - it does me little good to punch a bunch of holes, screw in my nipples, then find that they all leak. Anyone have any experience with this??? If I have to, I'll stub out with one of the thick black (sch 80) risers used for sprinkler systems, T it, and attach nipples to PVC stubs - but that gets me right back into the possible freeze damage issues I'm trying to avoid.

Experience would be welcome, but thoughts and other viewpoints are acceptable. Please help???

@aart your thoughts would be a welcome addition!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Vertical or horizontal nipples?
How big is the pipe you have?

The biggest con might be that PEX is fairly flexible,
so might not hold the nipples in the right orientation for optimal functionality.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
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North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Vertical or horizontal nipples?
How big is the pipe you have?

The biggest con might be that PEX is fairly flexible,
so might not hold the nipples in the right orientation for optimal functionality.

I was going to use either the 1" white PEX-b, its stiffer than the PEX-a, or my 3/4" PEX-b. I prefer it for supply lines and have a bunch of it. I just didn't know of the screw in type cups would grip the hole drilled in the PEX as well as it grips PVC...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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I just didn't know of the screw in type cups would grip the hole drilled in the PEX as well as it grips PVC...
Might depend on the threads.
I've only barley experimented with the HN's in PVC, I'd recommend 1/8" NPT fittings as the PVC is too hard to self thread well.
Take piece of your scrap and play with it.
 

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