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Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

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Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#1  Unread postby guardianoasis » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:12 am


We are coming out of winter here and as we are growing in rabbitry numbers rather quickly here, I've been considering using a watering system. During the spring, summer and fall there would be little to no problem with the system. Our winters are mild compared to some areas of the US but still have been known to get below freezing for a month to 6 weeks.

What are some suggestions for watering systems that you guys like?
We have been on Bass and looked at the Borak and Edstrom systems but are still at the very beginning stages of research.

What are some suggestions for keeping the lines clear of ice?
The default "keep things from freezing" in my area is to wrap everything in insulating foam and then seal with some sort of duct tape or other water resistant tape. At the same time though I'd like to be able to see the lines to check for clogging or if they need to be cleaned.

Any help is appreciated.
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Re: Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#2  Unread postby alforddm » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:35 pm


Have you considered a circulating water system? I know there is a post about a really good one. Let me see if I can find it.

-- Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:35 am --

watering-system-pvc-schedule-40-pics-beginning-to-end-t12974.html

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Re: Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#3  Unread postby akane » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:25 am


It's flat out impossible here without everything you want to stay thawed being heated. We used heated lever valve bottles on the cages and heated bases under chicken waterers in the colonies. Some put a stock heater in their water system and circulate the water but if it's not kept moving and warm enough it will still freeze at the valves. You can also use heat tape on pipes but here you'd still probably have issues with the ends of the valves freezing.
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Re: Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#4  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:08 am


It is a little more money- but I like to buy PEX pipe and fittings instead of PVC pipe [because if you do get a freeze, your pipe will not shatter] I use the straight pieces [not the roll] because it will not be so crooked when done- crooked pieces sag and form ponds, and if it is going to freeze hard [and power goes out] , it will be impossible to drain the water out. I use a small [5 gal] float tank [in a building or enclosure] , then add a inline circulation pump- The water system needs to be a complete loop, with return line running back to the tank . and- add a drain at the lowest point in your system ,unless the tank is the lowest, then be sure to have a drain in the tank--
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Re: Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#5  Unread postby guardianoasis » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:51 am


I'll look into the circulating system a little more today. The friend of mine I picked up my two new buns from a couple days ago has a PVC setup that she loves that hasn't frozen on her yet. She's going to send me some info on her set up when she gets a chance and I'll share it with you guys. We don't get super cold winters here, everything stays above 0F. I think the lowest we had this year was a day or two at 28F but not like one right after the other.

The idea of going automatic water or not has been a thing I've gone back and forth on for a really long time. I like being able to look at the water bottles and know if someone has drank water or not, assuming the water bottle isn't leaking. But with the farm growing I fell like I'm going to be super busy this summer and not able to go out and water the second time... So I dunno. I just think getting the system will be better. I really don't like the idea of the rabbits going thirsty during the summer
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Re: Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#6  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:32 pm


guardianoasis wrote:I'll look into the circulating system a little more today. The friend of mine I picked up my two new buns from a couple days ago has a PVC setup that she loves that hasn't frozen on her yet. She's going to send me some info on her set up when she gets a chance and I'll share it with you guys. We don't get super cold winters here, everything stays above 0F. I think the lowest we had this year was a day or two at 28F but not like one right after the other.

The idea of going automatic water or not has been a thing I've gone back and forth on for a really long time. I like being able to look at the water bottles and know if someone has drank water or not, assuming the water bottle isn't leaking. But with the farm growing I fell like I'm going to be super busy this summer and not able to go out and water the second time... So I dunno. I just think getting the system will be better. I really don't like the idea of the rabbits going thirsty during the summer


unless your recirc-pump fails in a freeze you are unlikely to have any issues with PVC - I would rather watch feed intake for signs of trouble than worry about them not having water- and a water system is a big labor saver...
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Re: Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#7  Unread postby guardianoasis » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:38 pm


michaels4gardens wrote: unless your recirc-pump fails in a freeze you are unlikely to have any issues with PVC - I would rather watch feed intake for signs of trouble than worry about them not having water- and a water system is a big labor saver...


Yeah I'll have to look into it. I don't mind filling water bottles right now but as the rabbitry grows and we have a few hundred we are working with for commercial stuff, that's a lot of water bottles to fill that could fail.
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Re: Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#8  Unread postby NY Rabbits » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:01 am


I just installed a pvc system with Vari flow nipples and a 5 gal pail on the floor with a recirculating pump. Had to install a valve at the end of the return line to create enough back pressure for the nipples to work.

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Re: Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#9  Unread postby guardianoasis » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:05 pm


Hey everyone. We haven't started our automated watering system build yet. Been doing some more research online and looking into the information that you guys gave me here. I don't know how I missed the post about PEX pipes but I'll look into that too. At first glance at pricing it looks to be a little out of my budget right now but just off the small tid bit of info that I have read about it, it's something I'll definitely be looking into further for builds later on. Especially as the rabbitry grows and I have to have water going every which way for everyone. My only concern with it is that from what I've read so far, it doesn't do well outside and breaks down. It doesn't give the specifics as to what conditions lead up to that but that it happens. Anywho.

So we've decided to do the PVC watering system. Something that worries me about building the system though is that once it's in place, it's in place (because of the pvc cement). I've been trying to come up with an effective way to make it a gravity fed system for now but still be able to hook it up to a circulating system later. If anyone has an ideas that would be great. If not that's okay too. Just leads me to looking like a weirdo in Lowes and Home Depot staring at parts and trying to come up with an idea in my head.
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Re: Watering systems and preventing potential freezing.

Post Number:#10  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:53 am


If you put the top of your float tank at least 4 feet above the nipple waterers, [gives you about 2 psi at the nipple] and put your inline circ pump in the return line [also below the tank level] , and connect the return line back into the bottom of the float tank -- you will have a gravity fed system, --the system will work just fine all summer without the pump, when winter comes you can switch on, or plug in your circ pump.
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