Question for those with nipple watering systems

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LizGled628, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
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    We are going to build a PVC pipe nipple watering system (we saw one here on BYC and now we can't get the idea out of our head!). We'll have a mounted water tank on the outside, and a PVC pipe running on the inside and into the run, with two nipples inside and three outside.

    I was just wondering how people keep them from freezing up in the winter (if they do). Or should I use a different watering system in the winter? Thanks for the help!
     
  2. featherworks

    featherworks Out Of The Brooder

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    I love my nipple watering system. It and the holding tank are inside the coop. This past winter was colder than it has been in a long time. What I did was put 2 heat lamps in the coop. One on the tank and the other on the nipple line. It worked great and no frozen/broken pipes!!!

    Phil
     
  3. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Phil! My father is an electrician, and he is wiring our coop like it's a palace [​IMG] I wasn't sure that it would be enough, glad to know it is.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    What works in the winter in Mississippi is not necessarily going to work in a Rhode Island winter... [​IMG]

    If the nipples are on a pipe going out from the reservoir, you are pretty much S.O.L. for the winter (unless you either heat the whole entire coop to above freezing, which is both stupid and not generally verygood for the chickens, or use heat tape on the pipe, which is financially stupid and is just *asking* for a coop fire).

    If the nipples are directly ON the reservoir e.g. a big bucket, some people have reported success in climates similar to yours by putting an aquarium heater into the bucket (with the bucket also insulated as much as possible). You have to be *very careful* exactly which aquarium heater you purchase, if you want to try this -- most of them will start fires if they are allowed to stick out of the water such as if the water level drops too low -- but, apparently some people say it works for them, so you could *try* it.

    Frankly I'd suggest switching to a different system for winter though.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. JMPE

    JMPE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use a bird bath heater in the bottom of our bucket. It has a temp sensor and can't explode like a fish tank heater. However, it won't do any good with PVC lines.
     
  6. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the words of wisdom everyone. I think I might just use an alternate watering method in the winter, for the outdoors at least.
     
  7. jeb251

    jeb251 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a nipple pvc system and I use it year around, here is how mine is set up, I have 10 feet of 4" pipe it goes through two layer cages, there is no tank as the pipe itself holds 4 gallons, the pipe is wrapped in heat tape with a thermostat and insulated over the top of that, it worked flawlessly all winter and it got very cold here last winter, my new system will serve at least 8 coops and have a rain water captureing system tied in, all the pipe will have heat tape and the 55 gallon holding tank will be heated with a submersable aquarium heater activated by a thermocube
     
  8. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How cold is your winter? It can drop to zero here, and we had a lot of snow this winter.
     
  9. jeb251

    jeb251 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    its about the same here it gets to zero and we as well had a fair bit of snow, I think about 3 foot last year
     
  10. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excellent, thanks for the tip. Maybe I CAN do the PVC through the winter...
     

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