Heated, Circulating Water System (with pictures)

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MuddyFarms

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As per @ThunderHill 's request, here are some pictures of my circulating, heated water system. We just put it in this winter, and it has been working well for us so far. This system is in our small insulated, but unheated barn (that has electricity). The other day we found a block of ice forming on the wall down to the floor that was about 6 inches wide, 4 inches thick, and 2 1/2 feet long. That was beneath a cage where the growouts were drinking a ton, and the extra was running down the wall (which we have covered in plastic), and freezing. The water system pipe was right next to the ice block, but the system never froze.


Because of the tight quarters, it was challenging putting in the system. But it was worth it. Right now, I am still using a couple ball-tip water bottles for the young kits to get trained on. We have the water system on 14 cages. We do not have it automated with a float; we haul water down to put in the tote twice a day, instead.

Supplies:

FreezeX bucket kit (used the pump and bucket heater) from Bass Equipment
Thermocube from Bass Equipment
Rubbermaid Tote (the one we used holds at least 5 gallons)
½ inch PVC pipe
½ inch fittings
EDIT TO ADD: Inline water filter with replaceable filters
Pipe Tee, 1/2 Slip x 1/2 Slip x 1/8 FPT PVC from KW Cages
Fount, 1/8" Threaded from KW Cages
Pipe Support Clip for 1/2" PVC Pipe, from KW Cages

I purchased the FreezeX bucket from Bass Equipment, but because I couldn’t fit a bucket above the cages, I used a Rubbermaid tote. We placed the bucket heater on a piece of tile in the tote. We put in two founts per cage, so multiple rabbits could drink at the same time and so if one stopped working there is a backup until we discover the issue. We placed the founts at a height of 8 inches, which seems to be working well for youngsters and adults.

I wanted to keep the option of putting nest boxes in all the cages, so I opted to put the founts toward the end of each 2’x3’ cage. In the 2’x4’ cages, I put the founts in the middle so I could put the nest box in either end of the cage. I made sure my winter wooden nest boxes would fit, since they are bigger than the wire ones I use in the summer.

These founts are intended to be installed with the rod underneath the metal tip, so the rabbits can chew them with their bottom teeth. I found that they need to be installed flat or with a slightly downward angle. If they are tilted up slightly, the water likes to run down away from the rabbit.

The thermocube turns on power to the pump and heater when air temps in the barn reach 35 degrees F and turns it off when air temps get back to 45 degrees F.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Krevis1

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Love it ! And by the looks of it they do too! Plus that looks like a nice warm cozy winter room - bet their hoppy!
 

MuddyFarms

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Love it ! And by the looks of it they do too! Plus that looks like a nice warm cozy winter room - bet their hoppy!

Thanks! The room does make the temperature changes overnight slower compared to outside, which is nice. That way it doesn't typically go quite as low as the outside. It still does cause the pump and heater to run, but it doesn't have to run constantly.
Right now we have to manually turn on a fan to bring in fresh air. Once I get a fan installed in the wall and on a timer running it intermittently throughout the day and night, the temps in the barn will be lower. Since the rabbits can handle cold better than ammonia fumes, it should be just fine. That's when the system will be even more helpful.

~~~~~~~~~~~
P.S. The broken black doe in the first picture is the one that had a successful second litter last Saturday (after her first litter fail). :)
 
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i Purchased heated water bottles, I am expanding to the other side of the barn. I don’t water to plug in a bunch of bottles. Does this system work with tubing or just pvc. My husband is a retired pipe insulator and says tubing will freeze. I still think with this system it won’t.
 

MuddyFarms

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i Purchased heated water bottles, I am expanding to the other side of the barn. I don’t water to plug in a bunch of bottles. Does this system work with tubing or just pvc. My husband is a retired pipe insulator and says tubing will freeze. I still think with this system it won’t.

Everything I have read says that the tubing is not able to have a pump running water through it. The founts and tubing connections are not made for the pressure. The pump is needed to move the warm water to prevent freezing.

These are two very helpful rabbit equipment companies that are happy to talk over the phone about setting up water systems of many styles. I used a combination of parts from both companies. KWCages also has a small guide to watering systems that I have linked there. I don't think it goes over heated systems much, but it goes over styles and ways to set things up.






"...There are two types of water systems available from Bass Equipment Company. The rigid pipe system and the flexible tubing system. The rigid pipe system is best for large commercial operations and those requiring freeze protection. The flexible tubing system is equally functional but does not offer the durability and freeze protection the rigid system does. There are definite advantages for the use of either type of system. We will be glad to offer our assistance in choosing the proper system to fit your needs, application and budget." -Bass Equipment Company

Hope that helps!
 

MuddyFarms

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FREEZE-X RECIRCULATING SYSTEM

"Unique design allows float controlled reservoir to serve as standard breaker tank regulator for your automatic water system. In cold weather, the recirculating pump keeps heated water moving through the lines to prevent freeze ups. One Freeze-x unit is capable of servicing approximately 200 feet of 1/2" rigid PVC line. 1/2" MPT inlet and 1/2" FPT outlet is adaptable to most any connection needed. Includes submersible heater with built-in thermostat for added protection.
(DOES NOT WORK WITH FLEXIBLE TUBING SYSTEMS)" -Bass Equipment Company


^^^This is what Bass Equipment has on the page for the Freeze-X (pump and heater) system.
 

Concounselor

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As per @ThunderHill 's request, here are some pictures of my circulating, heated water system. We just put it in this winter, and it has been working well for us so far. This system is in our small insulated, but unheated barn (that has electricity). The other day we found a block of ice forming on the wall down to the floor that was about 6 inches wide, 4 inches thick, and 2 1/2 feet long. That was beneath a cage where the growouts were drinking a ton, and the extra was running down the wall (which we have covered in plastic), and freezing. The water system pipe was right next to the ice block, but the system never froze.


Because of the tight quarters, it was challenging putting in the system. But it was worth it. Right now, I am still using a couple ball-tip water bottles for the young kits to get trained on. We have the water system on 14 cages. We do not have it automated with a float; we haul water down to put in the tote twice a day, instead.

Supplies:

FreezeX bucket kit (used the pump and bucket heater) from Bass Equipment
Thermocube from Bass Equipment
Rubbermaid Tote (the one we used holds at least 5 gallons)
½ inch PVC pipe
½ inch fittings
EDIT TO ADD: Inline water filter with replaceable filters
Pipe Tee, 1/2 Slip x 1/2 Slip x 1/8 FPT PVC from KW Cages
Fount, 1/8" Threaded from KW Cages
Pipe Support Clip for 1/2" PVC Pipe, from KW Cages

I purchased the FreezeX bucket from Bass Equipment, but because I couldn’t fit a bucket above the cages, I used a Rubbermaid tote. We placed the bucket heater on a piece of tile in the tote. We put in two founts per cage, so multiple rabbits could drink at the same time and so if one stopped working there is a backup until we discover the issue. We placed the founts at a height of 8 inches, which seems to be working well for youngsters and adults.

I wanted to keep the option of putting nest boxes in all the cages, so I opted to put the founts toward the end of each 2’x3’ cage. In the 2’x4’ cages, I put the founts in the middle so I could put the nest box in either end of the cage. I made sure my winter wooden nest boxes would fit, since they are bigger than the wire ones I use in the summer.

These founts are intended to be installed with the rod underneath the metal tip, so the rabbits can chew them with their bottom teeth. I found that they need to be installed flat or with a slightly downward angle. If they are tilted up slightly, the water likes to run down away from the rabbit.

The thermocube turns on power to the pump and heater when air temps in the barn reach 35 degrees F and turns it off when air temps get back to 45 degrees F.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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I'm planning to do the same as you have done but I need some advice on the heater and pump you used. I did find the thermo block you mentioned...any help will be appreciated!
 

hotzcatz

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You could try sourcing aquarium supplies as well as livestock supplies since aquariums are a 'no pressure' system. An outside aquarium filter hung on the side of the water supply tank and flowing into an adjacent water tank may circulate the water at a zero pressure? It's a gravity flow system so as the water went out of the filter and filled tank #2, it would then flow through the pipes back to tank #1 that the filter is drawing from. Have the tank filler valve in the second tank so when the water level there drops, it adds additional water. If it were in Tank #1, it would fill too much water. Aquariums also have heaters so one of those could be put into Tank #1 where the filter is drawing the water.
 

MuddyFarms

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I'm planning to do the same as you have done but I need some advice on the heater and pump you used. I did find the thermo block you mentioned...any help will be appreciated!

I just used the pump and bucket heater from Bass Equipment's Freeze X Recirculating System. The heater is a stock tank heater that is safe for use in plastic buckets (I think I have seen the same one at my feed store). It has a thermostat built-in. I am not able to get to the pump right now, or I would tell you what it was. It needs the thermocube so that it will turn on and off automatically.

I also found that some feed stores sell thermocubes, some with different temps.
 

MuddyFarms

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I appreciate all the help!!!

Okay, the bucket heater I used was one of these utility de-icers, I believe: Model C-250 Cast Aluminum Utility De-Icer -OR- Model C-500 Cast Aluminum Utility De-Icer. Don't recall which one at the moment.

 
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