PVC pipe with horizontal nipples for water??

ChickenLittle5

Chirping
Mar 24, 2020
81
55
78
TN
I'm trying to finalize our coop design. I'm leaning towards using PVC pipe w/ horizontal nipples for water, but wondering what the downside is to this type of system. Is it hard to clean? Does it freeze easily? If so, is there a way to heat the system so that it doesn't freeze? Are 5-gallon buckets w/ nipples easier? Something else easier? We have a standard waterer from TSC in the brooder and they make a mess of it! Looking for cleaner alternatives for the coop. The chicks are a 4H project for my son, so I'd like a watering system that is fairly easy for him to refill, clean & monitor. (I'll supervise!) I'd also like something easy for the person watching the chickens when we are out of town. I'm located in the mountains of TN.
 

neo71665

Crowing
Mar 22, 2020
1,738
3,608
266
Arkansas
I have mine with an aquarium pump so the water stays moving. Hasn't froze but means you need power to it. In the mountains you most likely get colder than me down here in the delta.
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,334
3,855
396
SE PA
Yes the PVC will freeze. Go with a bucket and horizontal nipples. It's simple and will be easy for your son to refill. If you use a five gallon bucket, get a gamma lid for it, your son can spin it off and on and use gallon jugs to refill it. You can make a small horizontal nipple waterer for your brooder or place the chick waterer on a platform.

March 2019 chicks.jpg
brooder horizontal nipple waterer.jpg 2019 brooder 2.jpg

Here's my article on heated waterers.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...ock-tank-deicer-and-horizontal-nipples.74609/
 

ChickenLittle5

Chirping
Mar 24, 2020
81
55
78
TN
We had that one summer and loved the setup but had no means of heating it so the nipples blew out in the first freeze -- leaking the entire 5-gallon feeder bucket of water into the deep litter. :(
Sorry that happened. It must have made for quite the mess. :(
I have mine with an aquarium pump so the water stays moving. Hasn't froze but means you need power to it. In the mountains you most likely get colder than me down here in the delta.
Do you have a large reservoir in your system that holds the pump? I'm curious how you have it set up. I didn't think an aquarium pump would fit in a PVC pipe. Of course, it has been many years since I've had an aquarium, so maybe pumps are different now. I'd love to hear more details.
Yes the PVC will freeze. Go with a bucket and horizontal nipples. It's simple and will be easy for your son to refill. If you use a five gallon bucket, get a gamma lid for it, your son can spin it off and on and use gallon jugs to refill it. You can make a small horizontal nipple waterer for your brooder or place the chick waterer on a platform.

View attachment 2175782 View attachment 2175788 View attachment 2175795

Here's my article on heated waterers.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...ock-tank-deicer-and-horizontal-nipples.74609/
I like the idea of PVC because I can snake the top outside the coop for easy access, but I'd hate for it to freeze and have to clean out a wet nasty coop during the winter. I'll definitely look into a 5 gallon bucket with the gamma lid. I also love the water in your brooder! I was going to save the nipples to use in the coop, but after seeing yours, I think I'll do something similar for the brooder to help transition them to the nipples. My kids are constantly spilling the regular waters we use now. That pitcher looks so much easier for small hands!! Also, thank for the link to heating the waters. I'll read over that this weekend and come up with a plan!
 

neo71665

Crowing
Mar 22, 2020
1,738
3,608
266
Arkansas
Do you have a large reservoir in your system that holds the pump? I'm curious how you have it set up. I didn't think an aquarium pump would fit in a PVC pipe. Of course, it has been many years since I've had an aquarium, so maybe pumps are different now. I'd love to hear more details.

It's just a loop with the reservoir as a 5 gallon bucket. The pump just keeps the water moving. Flowing water doesn't freeze as easily as still water. Nothing fancy and just cheap using stuff I had.

I do plan on replacing the bucket with a 55 gallon barrel and using the downspout off the gutter on my shop when I quit being lazy and just do it.
 

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