Tuesday, February 4, 2014

BriteTap Chicken Waterer Remote Tank System

A number of customers have asked if they set up their BriteTap Chicken Waterer with a remotely located water supply tank. These are customers who want to have the tank outside of the coop or run so they can fill the tank without having to venture inside the chicken's living quarters.  




The BriteTap doesn't fit into standard PVC pipes but it is certainly possible to create this type of set up. In fact, its fairly easy to also connect a series of BriteTap waterers located in adjacent chicken pens to the same water tank.


BriteTap Connected to Silicone Tubing


Equipment Needed:

  • A length of 1/2" silicone tubing to carry the water from your remote tank to the BriteTap waterer. This tubing is available at stores that sell equipment to people who brew beer or make wine at home. (see online links below).
    Silicone tubing is flexible and fits snugly over the threaded end of the BriteTap waterer
  • A mechanism to connect the tubing to your water supply tank. The exact mechanism depend on the type of tank you're using but both work in the same way as the BriteTap waterer; they form a water tight seal when a nut is tightened so as to create a water-tight seal between the connection mechanism and the wall of your water supply tank:
    • For Water Coolers - If you are using a Rubbermaid or Igloo brand water cooler, we suggest buying a 1/2" weldless spigot. (These are also available at stores that sell equipment to folks who brew beer or make wine at home.) It is comprised of several pieces including a bulkhead fitting that will fit through the cooler's spigot hole, a ball head valve to turn the flow of water on and off, and a barbed fitting onto which you will slide your 1/2" tubing. 
      The right end fits onto your cooler while the tubing slips over the barbed connector on the left
    • For Plastic Containers - If you are using a plastic container as a water supply tank, then get a 1/2" bulkhead fitting. These are available at stores that specialize in drip irrigation and hydroponic gardening stores. They are also available on line. They connect to your water supply tank through a hole that you create and also have a 1/2 barbed fitting on the end onto which you can attach your 1/2" tubing.
      Bulkhead fitting
  • "T" Connector Fittings - This is only required if you plan to hook up several BriteTap waterers to the same water tank. You connect one piece of tubing to the top portion of the T fitting. Then connect two additional pieces of tubing to the remaining barbs on the fitting. These will lead to your BriteTap waterers. You can purchase these in most hardware store and in places that carry drip irrigation fittings.
  • Zip Ties, Wire Shelving/Spice Rack or other materials to hold the BriteTap in place in your coop or run. 

Hooking It Up - Darn Easy Really!
  1. Attach the weld-less spigot or bulkhead fitting to your water supply tank.
  2. Slide a piece of the silicone tubing over the barbed fitting and run the other side of the tubing to the place where you will set up the BriteTap waterer.
  3. Slide the second end of tubing over the threaded section of the BriteTap waterer. We've found that silicone tubing fits snugly enough that you don't need a hose clamp to get a secure and drip-free connection.
  4. Now hang the BriteTap waterer at the right height for your chickens. For mature, standard breed birds, this is about 20" above the ground.

Mounting In Your Coop or Run

There are probably many ways to mount the BriteTap unit in your coop or run when using a remote tank. We're providing two ideas on how to do it, but you may come up with other methods that work best in the location where you want to place your waterer.

Mounting To A Solid Wall - We purchased an inexpensive wire spice rack at our local hardware store. This can be mounted to a wall inside or outside your coop at the appropriate height. You then slip the valves of the BriteTap waterer between two of the wires on the lower shelf so that the valves stick through the bottom.  Mounted this way, the front of the BriteTap will face the wall. However, it doesn't really matter to your chickens.



Mounting to Chicken Wire - It's equally easy to mount the BriteTap warerer to the side of your pen if it is made of chicken wire. Just slip the threaded section of the BriteTap through the chicken wire and then use a few zip ties to hold it in place. Then attach the silicone tubing that leads to your remote water supply tank. 

We use zip ties to attach the BriteTap Waterer To the Chicken Wire On Our Run


Other Notes
  • We also tested plastic drip irrigation tubing to see if this would work to connect the BriteTap waterer to a tank. Irrigation tubing is cheap and also commonly available in hardware stores and garden centers. Unfortunately, we don't recommend it.  Drip irrigation tubing is quite rigid and does not fit easily over the threaded section of the BriteTap waterer. If you decide to try this, you will probably need to use a hose clamp to hold it in place, but be careful. You don't want to crack the threaded section by over tightening the clamp.
Links To Purchase Equipment:

Silicone tubing and weld-less valves can be purchased at brewing supply stores including: MoreBeer Brewing.

Bulkhead fittings can be purchased at your local drip irrigation or hydroponics stores or at eHydroponics.com

3 comments:

  1. This looks great and I plan on giving it a try this spring. My concern is keeping the water fresh and clear from algae when remaining stagnant. I know keeping it covered and dark will help. I think a little apple cider vinegar would help as well... Any suggestions?

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  2. Algae has not been a significant problem in our experience, but you can take steps to further reduce it. Just place your waterer in the shade. If you want to completely eliminate light entering the BriteTap waterer, you cover it with a little aluminum foil and wrap the whole thing in duct tape. Works like a charm and is cheap to boot. We're considering selling a cover for the BriteTap and will ask about interest in this from our customers. We'd love to have you as a customer. Thanks for your interest.

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  3. This is an excellent invention! I can't wait until spring comes and I can use this. This would make life so much easier. Right now I am using a steel water dispenser. Even though I have it raised up a few inches debris still manages to get into the water. The chickens also like to jump on top of the water dispenser and poop gets inside the water. Yuck! With this system I wouldn't have to worry about that.

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