|Product & Usage Information
|BriteTap Waterer of Freez Free Drinkers? What Should I buy?
|If you live in an area where the winter temperatures are routinely below 32 degrees (freezing point of water), we recommend that you purchase Freez Free brand drinking valves, install them on a bucket and use a bucket de-icer to keep the water and valves from freezing in winter. Alternatively, you can purchase the BriteTap waterer and Freez Free brand valves and use them in different seasons. Use the BriteTap waterer attached to an insulated cooler in the spring, summer and fall to keep the water cool and then switch to Freez Free brand valves attached to a bucket/bucket de-icer in winter to keep the water liquid during the cold of winter.
|Can I use a bucket de-icer with the BriteTap waterer to keep it from freezing in Winter?
|A standard bucket de-icer is not effective in keeping the BriteTap waterer from freezing in winter because of the distance between the waterer and the heater is too great. We are working on a dedicated heater for the BriteTap waterer but do not have that for sale at this time. If the temperature is routinely below freezing in your area, we recommend purchasing our Freez Free valves and attaching them to a bucket. A bucket de-icer will be in close enough proximity to the Freez Free valves to keep them from freezing, even when the temperature drops well below freezing.
|How can I prevent my BriteTap waterer from freezing in Winter?
If you live in an area that rarely experiences freezing temperatures, you may not need to do anything special during the winter.
- Insulate The Water Supply Tank. If you aren't using an insulated water supply tank, consider buying one and using it with your BriteTap waterer. Igloo and Rubermaid brand coolers are well insulated and will keep the water supply from freezing for a long period of time. Tepid water (70 F) stored in a well insulated cooler can keep water liquid for 12 hours or more in sub-freezing conditions. As chickens drink from the BriteTap waterer, warmer water will be drawn from the tank into the BriteTap waterer and this will extend the amount of time before water inside the waterer freezes. Depending on the temperature in your area, you many be able to fill the BriteTap watering system with tepid water each day and have the water remain liquid during the day when chickens need access to it. Refill the waterer with fresh tepid water the following morning, taking care to make sure you've melted any ice that may have formed in the BriteTap waterer during the evening.
- Bring Your Waterer In During the Evening. In many locations, evening temperatures are below freezing, but daytime temperatures are warmer. A simple and cheap strategy for flock owners in such locations is to bring the BriteTap waterer into the house or a heated garage during the evening and to return it to the coop or pen the following morning.
- Let The Chickens Body Heat Warm The Waterer. Another solution that will work in some locations is to place your waterer inside the chicken coop. The chickens body heat may be sufficient to keep the temperature of the environment around the waterer above freezing.
If you live in a place where even daytime temperatures are routinely below freezing, consider the following approaches.
- Frequent Water Changes. If you are at home during the day, the simplest solution is to change the water several times during the day. Just spill out any cold water and replace it with fresh, tepid water. The frequency with which you need to do this will depend on the outside temperature. We recommend checking every 2-3 hours in the beginning until you get a sense for the length of time your waterer will go before freezing. BriteTap owners who use an insulated water supply tank can expect tepid water to stay liquid 4-5 hours in weather conditions ten degrees below freezing (22 F). Frozen water is crystal clear, so check your BriteTap waterer carefully to make sure ice has not formed inside and also test the valves to make sure they haven't frozen.
- Bring In the Power. To heat the BriteTap waterer with electricity, we recommend placing the BriteTap inside your coop and then using an oil-filled electric radiator heater, heater panel, or alternatively an incandescent, halogen or heat lamp light bulb to heat the environment inside the coop. This will keep the temperature inside the coop above freezing and will, therefore, keep the water inside the BriteTap waterer from freezing as well. Several manufacturers (Lux, Allied Precision, Thermocube) sell thermostatically controlled units that plug into your electric outlet. These turn on the heat source whenever the outside temperature falls below freezing. If you decide to use an electric solution to keep your chicken's water from freezing, make sure that you comply with local electrical ordinances to ensure that your power connections are safe. Since electrical codes differ from town-to-town, you should check with your local government's building department, or consult with a licensed electrician before adding power to your coop. Please note that owners of traditional plastic and galvanized chicken waterers can use either a bird bath de-icer or a heated base to keep their chicken's water from freezing. However, such solutions will not work for the BriteTap water because they don't directly heat the water in the waterer itself.
|How long does it take to train chickens to use the BriteTap waterer?
|In many cases, chickens will begin using the BriteTap waterer immediately and without any help from you. This is because chicken’s natural behavior is to peck at brightly colored objects and the water valves on the BriteTap are colored red.
If your birds need encouragement to learn how to drink, set up the BriteTap waterer and then use your finger to tap one of the valves. The clicking noise and release of water will attract attention and the dominant hen is likely to investigate first. Once one bird drinks from the BriteTap waterer, the rest usually quickly learn to drink as well.
Here are some additional tips when transitioning birds that are used to a traditional waterer to the BriteTap waterer:
- If you haven't done so, start by removing your older waterer. Like humans, chickens are creatures of habit. If the old style waterer remains in their coop or run, they have little incentive to change to the BriteTap waterer.
- Begin the transition in the morning when you first let your chickens out of their coop. Normally, Chickens begin their day by feeding. Since feed and seeds are dry, your chickens will be relatively thirsty when they finish their morning meal.
- Now show them the waterer by tapping on the valves and then back away so they have an opportunity to examine the BriteTap. Make as much noise with the valves as possible and let them see the water splashing out of the valves.
- If they don't start using the BriteTap immediately, give them 5 minutes and then repeat step #3. Try this several times if necessary.
- If your birds are still reluctant to use the waterer, pick up a docile bird, carry it over to the waterer and tap its beak against a valve to release some water. (Also use this same procedure with newborn chicks.)
- Don't switch back and forth between your old waterer and the BriteTap waterer! This confuses your chickens and they'll never make the transition. Be patient. Your birds will learn to use the waterer. You just need to get one bird to try it.
|I set up my BriteTap waterer and see a leak where the BriteTap waterer attaches to my water supply tank/water cooler. What should I do?
|When using your BriteTap waterer with an Rubbermaid brand cooler, try reseating the gaskets so that they are centered around the threaded section. Then re-tighten the nut till finger tight. You want the nut tight enough so that it clamps securely against the side of the cooler, but not so tight that it causes the gasket to gap and allow water to leak around it.
This issue seems to be much more common when attaching the BriteTap to an Igloo brand water cooler. If using an Igloo cooler, do as follows:
- Make sure to use the gaskets that came with your BriteTap kit and not the gasket that came with the beverage cooler.
- Place the BriteTap gasket on the threaded section and insert the BriteTap waterer into the Igloo cooler.
the nut on the cooler and hand tighten till finger tight.
sure the gasket is centered around the threaded section.
hold the nut with one hand and with the other hand grasp the the BriteTap
waterer on the outside of the cooler.
the hand that is grasping the BriteTap waterer, turn the BriteTap (not
the nut) one more turn so that it spins around and ends up in the upright
position. (Turning the BriteTap waterer gives you extra leverage to
really tighten things up. But don't over-tighten or you risk cracking the plastic on your BriteTap waterer)
unit should now be water tight.
with water and set into your coop.
- If this doesn't work, empty the tank and remove the BriteTap waterer. Wrap the threaded section of the BriteTap waterer with 5 or more turns of plumbers tape, also called Teflon tape. This tape can be found in any hardware store. Now re-install the BriteTap. You may need to use a fairly heavy wrapping to close off any small gaps.
|Is it better to install Freez Free brand drinking valves on a bucket (plastic container) or PVC pipe?
|If you live in an area where the winter temperature is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, then both PVC pipe and plastic containers are good water supply sources for your Freez Free brand drinking valves. However, if you experience freezing conditions in winter, we recommend installing your Freez Free brand drinking valves on a bucket and using a bucket de-icer to keep the water from freezing in winter. A de-icer placed in a bucket will work because the de-icer will be in close contact with your Freez Free valves. When installed on PVC pipe, Freez Free valves will be too far away from the bucket de-icer for the de-icer to be effective in keeping the valves from freezing.
|What should I do if the water inside my BriteTap waterer freezes?
|Place your BriteTap waterer into a sink and let luke-warm water run over the outside of the BriteTap waterer for 5 to 15 minutes. This will cause the ice inside to gradually melt.
Check the threaded section of the BriteTap waterer to make sure that no ice remains that might disrupt the flow of water between your water supply tank and the main section of the BriteTap waterer. Once you are sure all the ice has melted, fill your BriteTap waterer with tepid water and return it to your coop or run.
When thawing frozen water inside your BriteTap waterer do not use very hot or boiling water as this may harm your waterer.