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auto-water system issues

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auto-water system issues

Post Number:#1  Unread postby shazza » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:18 am


i have a gravity-fed auto water system (edstrom parts) for my rabbits and i'm having some issues, and i wanted to ask for advice before i went and bought new parts just in case there's something better out there.

really what i'm having problems with is the nipples leaking. im not even sure why - i just go out one day and the bucket is empty and there's a huge puddle under someone's cage. i had been using the cheap amazon nipples but they all started leaking after a few months. so i shelled out for the edstrom system because well, it's supposed to be good quality right? those nipples are NOT cheap - almost $5/each. So when they too started failing on me after a few months of use, i'm starting to feed frustrated. there's only one other place i have found nipples to fit the tubing, but they're slightly smaller (not that big of an issue, really,) and they too are failing on me.

people who use auto systems - is this normal to have them fail after a few months? to be fair it's only been a few since i purchased the system in March, but that's $20 i feel i shouldn't have had to spend.


the overall system is pretty standard - one roughly 5 gallon bucket to six cages, using the black 3/16 tubing and connector with shutoff valve to the bucket. no pressure control or anything, it's all gravity fed. the biggest culprits for leaking issues seem to be the rabbits at the END of the line...which theoretically should be the ones with less overall pressure. and the rabbit at the end of the line has changed a few times so i'm not convinced it's just that one was rough on their water nipple.

right now i only have one of the nipples leaking so i am about to have to order replacements, but i just wanted to ask if i've just had bad luck or what before i do so. if there's another place i can get 3/16ths water nipples that may last longer i'd love to know where.
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Re: auto-water system issues

Post Number:#2  Unread postby alforddm » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:46 pm


Do you have hard water? The minerals in hard water can clog up the nipples and cause them to leak.

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Re: auto-water system issues

Post Number:#3  Unread postby shazza » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:36 pm


we do, and i'm well acquainted with the struggles of it. the cheap nipples definitely got clogged up with calcium deposits but the copper edstrom ones have stayed much cleaner so far. i guess because i didn't see the deposits i didn't think about that possibility.

my normal mode of cleaning things that are clogged would be to soak them in CLR for a while. how safe would that be for something used by animals?
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Re: auto-water system issues

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Shea » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:01 am


If you soak the nipples in vinegar it should dissolve the hard water deposits. I've used that technique to clean many aquariums over the years.

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Re: auto-water system issues

Post Number:#5  Unread postby shazza » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:59 pm


oh my god i should have known that, we clean our rabbit cages with vinegar because of the calcium in the urine :p

i took the two offending nipples off yesterday and soaked them in vinegar for several hours until they were shiny again, and put them back on. so far so good, i don't see any more leaking. thanks guys!
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