Building your automatic watering system

Please note that I am basing this off of my own experience. About 2 years ago I had the most difficult time setting this up. There wasn't much useful information on the internet, that told me exactly what I needed to buy. So needless to say I had to waste a lot of money with trial and error. Recently someone suggested that I added this to my site.

Also the images listed are borrowed from the Klubertanz catalog, where I purchased all of my parts and will be using their stock #'s as references so it will be easier for you to purchase the correct items. Their website is http://www.klubertanz.com

I won't post prices because they do change often. Starting from the beginning I would expect for 10 rabbits or so you may spend about $75-90 to get going, but this is a huge time saver. Once you get your main parts, adding lines is pretty cheap.

The watering systems also give peace of mind in the summer, the rabbits will never be without water. I have only ever seen one rabbit out of about 200 that could not learn to drink out of the system. A good way to get them going is to push your finger on the valve, letting the water drip out, and put their face at it. They will figure it out. If your rabbit stops eating and gets thin, it may not have figured it out, and you should show them. But honestly even rabbits that I purchase who have always used crocks or bottles before, pick up on the watering system almost immediately. Rabbits are curious creatures and figure things out for themselves.

In the winter, depending on your location you may experience frozen lines. Klubertanz does offer parts to make a PVC water line, where you can add heat cables. I didn't build this one because I rarely experience frozen lines in the south. I have an enclosed barn (that is NOT insulated) and my lines only freeze completely if we go below 25 degrees for more then 3-4 hours. I usually experience about a week or two out of the year where I have frozen lines. Last summer (2008-2009) I don't think we had any frozen lines at all. Heat cables can only be used with a PVC system. Since I have never built one I cannot offer assistance or instructions for it.

In the small time where my lines are frozen I use crocks. If they freeze overnight I refresh them in the morning with warm water, which melts them quicker. Sometimes if I know it's going to warm up by noon, I run warm water over the tubing and it helps to thaw things quickly. Since my heavy duty water hose is black, it collects the heat from the sun and stays thaw even in the coldest of winters, so I usually only have frozen flex tubing. You could also purchase pipe insulation to put around the flex tubing, just be careful it isn't near the rabbits to chew on it.

This is the buying guide and instructions for building an autotmatic watering system from the Edstrom line using the smallest flex tube 3/16".

  • A102 - This is the drinking valve that the rabbits drink out of.
  • A108 - This clip holds the drinking valve (A102) to the cage.
  • 3/16" tubing - This tubing is purchase by the foot, it is the water line from the water supply to each of the valves.
  • A403 - This clip holds the water line that runs along the cage, out away from the wire, so it cannot be chewed on.
  • A404 - This is an optional "elbow" piece used to make turns in your water line by fitting two cut pieces of tubing together to flow in this angle.
  • A405 - This piece is use to splice pieces of tubing together to flow in certain directions. I most often use these between cages. The downward part of the T goes towards the drinking valve (A102.)
  • A406 - This piece is optional. It's used when you have two short pieces of tubing, and you want to connect them to make them long again.
  • A407 - I greatly prefer these to the end caps (A408) because they are easier to turn off and on, and provide a nice stream of water when needed. You place these at the end of a line to use as a flowing water supply and to flush the system clean as needd.
  • A408 - These end caps basically do the same job of A407 but they twist to open the stream.
  • A203 - This is a one gallon float system bucket. It is completely optional in my opinion. I only use mine now to clean my tubing (I use Vanodine as it's non toxic and safe if the rabbits do drink it.) I also use the tank to provide mass medications of vitamins as needed.
  • A205 - This is a pressure regulator that connects directly to your outdoor water hose. This is the heart of my water system. It has a filter in it to connect dirt but since I am on city water it rarely needs to be cleaned. If you're on well water you may need an additional filter, or need to clean yours more often.
    Without this pressure regulator, you may experience a very hard time balancing your pressure. You may come to your barn to find snapped off tubing with water spraying all over, as the pressure does build up. This prevents that from happening and I strongly recommend using it.

    My water hose usually needs to be replaced once a year. I purchase a heavy duty use hose from Lowes. Eventually after the heat and sun has bleached it, it will crack and leak but I get about a years worth of use out of them. I only have my outdoor water hose on just barely more then a trickle. Only on just enough to hear the hiss and whine of water flowing. Anything over this will cause too much pressure even for the regulator.

    I will post a diagram for a built watering system shortly.

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