Trouble with Winter Water Set Up

Leov

Chirping
Apr 3, 2020
58
56
86
We have a 5 gallon plastic container, with 8 nipples, with an electric de-icer inside. While the water on the bottom half remains liquid, the nipples themselves are freezing up and we and we need to de-ice them each morning. Already broke two nipples doing this. The water container sits in a semi-enclosed run in Ulster County, NY. Run has roof and is wrapped in clear plastic, but gets into teens and single digits overnight. Water will not fit into coop, itself. Open to any and all suggestions!
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,416
4,183
416
SE PA
What deicer are you using? I wonder if it's not getting hot enough, before it shuts off for your cold temps. Do you know how warm the deicer gets, to keep the water from freezing. The one I use (link below) goes on at 35 and heats up to 45. This heats up the metal on the nipple enough to keep it thawed or enough so they don't freeze.

Our son's set up in SE PA is a 5 gal bucket and a 14 gal drum, with horizontal nipples and this 250 watt stock tank deicer in each. There are no problems with the nipples freezing on the outside. The deicer is sitting totally flat on the bottom. I was just up there last week and set the drum up for him, but he has been using the bucket for a few years without any problems. The temps get pretty cold there as well.
 
Sep 9, 2020
46
94
56
SE Michigan
Here is my approach. I have a length of rain gutter de-icing heater cable running through the full length of the PVC pipe and also inside the barrel that feeds it. So far - no nipple icing. BUT - this is my first year with chickens in SE Michigan and we haven't had a long, deep freeze yet...

water catcher.jpg
 

Leov

Chirping
Apr 3, 2020
58
56
86
i like it! I considered making a rain bucket to send water into the coop but never got around to it. Right now, I fixed a bad power cable (that was the weak link in my problems this past week) and the deicer seems to now be working just fine. Plus I added a 250 watt red light on a timer to go on above the water bucket at night and off in the morning to help keep any possible freezing at bay. We'll see how it works for now! And btw, this is my first venture into chickens. I started last fall and literally was ready for the chicks just before covid got started. Heard it was tough getting chicks after that. So, Thanks for the picture! Good luck in Michigan!
 
Sep 9, 2020
46
94
56
SE Michigan
9188FD07-EBF9-4185-8EA4-42A36C1F680D.jpeg

here is my rain barrel setup that feeds the PVC pipe with the poultry nipples. I had hoped that the roof would collect enough water to keep the barrel full - it did not. Yesterday, I rerouted my duck pond water pipe (on a timer and air blowout system) into the barrel. I plumbed in a 2-1/2” PVC pipe as a spill-over that subsequently sends fresh water to the duck pond. The gutter heater cable runs through the gutter, downspout, barrel and the nipple tube. After months of tweaking, I may have a zero-maintenance Michigan-winter-capable water system. We will see if it survives!
 

Leov

Chirping
Apr 3, 2020
58
56
86
Wow. That’s a heck of a job. Very impressive. Hopefully it’ll work!!!
 

Leov

Chirping
Apr 3, 2020
58
56
86
What deicer are you using? I wonder if it's not getting hot enough, before it shuts off for your cold temps. Do you know how warm the deicer gets, to keep the water from freezing. The one I use (link below) goes on at 35 and heats up to 45. This heats up the metal on the nipple enough to keep it thawed or enough so they don't freeze.

Our son's set up in SE PA is a 5 gal bucket and a 14 gal drum, with horizontal nipples and this 250 watt stock tank deicer in each. There are no problems with the nipples freezing on the outside. The deicer is sitting totally flat on the bottom. I was just up there last week and set the drum up for him, but he has been using the bucket for a few years without any problems. The temps get pretty cold there as well.
 

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