Watering system help!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tlsmpsn, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. tlsmpsn

    tlsmpsn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2012
    Tremont, Illinois
    We are using a nipple watering system. 5 gallon bucket, raised on a platform on the outside of our coop with PVC with nipples running one line into the coop and one line into the run. It's been a great system for us thus far, but lately, the nipples are freezing up, even when we are barely approaching the freezing mark!

    The water in the bucket and the PVC isn't frozen - I check it twice a day. We have a bird bath heater in the bucket and heat wire wrapped around the PVC, but every morning, both the inside and outside nipples are frozen stiff. The temp in the coop isn't freezing so we just can't figure out why they keep sticking and locking up, seeming frozen.

    Any thoughts? Anyone else successfully used a nipple watering system through the winter? Bad nipples? [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. sires6

    sires6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Southern Maryland
    Small metal rod, exposed to wind = heat conduction = frozen nipples (the waterers, not yours!) Not defective, if that's what you're asking.

    Can you bring that part of the system in? Or wrap in pool noodles to insulate? It's a constant battle.

    Good luck!!
     
  3. Rich386

    Rich386 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2011
    Live Oak, FL
    Because the water in your bucket is 70 it is not running through the pipe so it is much colder. Take a look at my post for a gravity fed system. I added a note on heating the water if you can't see it let me know. Let me know what you think.
    Thanks Rich
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  4. tlsmpsn

    tlsmpsn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2012
    Tremont, Illinois
    No luck. Even with heat tape to keep it at just above freezing and a de-icer in the bucket (again... never making the water warm, just keeping it slightly above freezing), the nipples continued to freeze up. We insulated the PVC, but even with that and the heat tape, the water in it froze when we hit our first cold overnight and the entire pipe cracked.

    I'm back to hauling water out twice a day. I guess our system was a bust, even with suggested changes. We'll try from scratch in the spring.
     
  5. Rich386

    Rich386 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2011
    Live Oak, FL
    Are you circulating the water or just heating it?
     
  6. breakout

    breakout Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2012
    Do they really need water in the coop/run? IF they are free ranging your yard during the day and can get near the house maybe you can do the following to avoid hauling water. We don't put any water in the coop.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/672358/my-chicken-watering-solution
    At night if it's going to be below freezing we put boiling water in the tank to bring it up to 90 degrees and then run it out the pipe using the flush out valve. If it's going into the 20s we put a blanket over the pipes at night. Water is usually about 40 in the morning. If you have to keep them in the coop/run maybe you would need to run some of the heated water into the pipe and out a flush out valve to heat the nipples. Or can you block wind from the nipples? BTW keeping the tank covered from light and adding collodial siver seems to prevent algae.
     

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