Yikes! My galvanized waterer is rusting!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by swordgeek, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    I've been using a 3-gallon galvanized waterer for 2 years, and very recently, it developed some nasty rust spots on the floor of the inside, as well as around the edges of both the base and the cap thingie. If I don't scrub it out and refill it at least once a day, the water they're drinking is a little rusty. I imagine this is not good. (I do change their water daily, but when I'm on away, I'm not positive my husband or petsitter is so diligent.)

    I've got very hard well water, which explains the normal sediment I see (like inside my SS tea kettle). But rust? Nobody at my local Agway has ever seen this. I searched old posts here, and now I'm wondering if it may have been caused by my adding a little apple cider vinegar to the water for a week or two awhile back, on my vet's orders. The weird thing is, I'd given them a little vinegar in the past, though not for such a long period of time, and never saw any rust. Maybe the prolonged exposure corroded it?

    I broke down and bought a new waterer yesterday, but for that price, I would love to be able to use the old one as a secondary station - but not if it's unhealthy! Can I safely use Rustoleum or something to paint over those spots inside?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  2. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    Mine rusted the first summer I used it. I read on here that it might have been the Apple Cider Vinegar I was adding to the H2O.

    I too was pretty disappointed to have ruined a good and expensive waterer. I have all plastic ones now - but will follow this thread to see if the old one can be rehabbed for use again!
  3. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

    Feb 8, 2007
    I do not know if it can be rehabbed, but I used to use those as well and have never used vinegar in them and mine rusted too, all the ones I had eventually. I stopped using them as waterers and one of them I started using to store grain as a mouse proof container. Now I just use either gallon plastic ones or a black rubber feed pan for my large fowl girls.
  4. Liana

    Liana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Southern NH
    Acid environment and abrasion will both cause galvanizing to break down faster than normal. Dunno if it can be rehabbed and be safe for chickens.
  5. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a galvanized feeder that was bought this Spring that has rust forming on it where the birds poo'd on it. Don't know if it was made in China but seems anymore nothing lasts long that comes from China. [​IMG]
  6. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    Rust is just oxidized iron, I believe it would still be safe to drink from.
  7. Lotsapaints

    Lotsapaints Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    Paso Robles, CA
    there is a spray you used to be able to get that we used on our fence panels where we repaired them I think it was from rustoleum grey primer looking stuff the rust on the waterer will not hurt the birds but don't put ACV in any galvanized item it's like an acid wash...
  8. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Can't hurt to try Rustoleum on it. Be sure to buy a color that you might have other uses for cause it will only take a squirt or two for the waterer.
  9. rrgrassi

    rrgrassi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2010
    Royse City
    POR-15 should be good for the rust issues.
  10. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    Thanks for the help, folks. While it sounds like the rust may be more or less safe for them to ingest, it's just spreading so quickly now that I want to stop it from progressing. I'd like to keep using the waterer for a long time.

    Since I already have some Rustoleum kicking around from various paint jobs around the house and yard, I won't have to track down the POR-15. (I love Rustoleum... I even use it to re-finish the mesh on my older fencing masks.) I'll try taking some steel wool and/or sandpaper to the affected spots again and get as much of the fresh rust off as I can, then seal it with a thin layer of Rustoleum. I'll let you know what happens.

    And I will never, EVER add vinegar to a galvanized bucket again! I'll use a plastic one for that job. Live and learn. [​IMG]

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