Homesteading, Random Thoughts

Making A Hog Waterer From PVC Pipe

If you have ever had a pig on your place, then you know how much they love to wallow in mud.  Pigs love it so much they will dump their drinking water over to enjoy the fun of wallowing.  The problem is that then they have no water to drink, except the muddy stuff.  The muddy water seems to suit the pigs fine, but as a person who wants to provide the best for the animals in my care, it didn’t suit me.

The challenge is that pigs are so strong that they can flip a trough weighing hundreds of pounds like it was a marshmallow.  The choices you are left with is securing a concrete water trough that is about as heavy as the Titanic or going with an automatic system.  The concrete waterer is not an option- 1. because my husband refuses to move anything that heavy without a tractor and we don’t have a tractor & 2. I like to move the pigs around to till new ground for me and we don’t have a tractor.  So, that left us with an automatic type of waterer.

There are several ways of using automatic waterers, but again because I want to be able to move the pens around, I decided on a PVC type waterer.  I have seen these many times at livestock shows made out of green PVC and being about 2 1/2 feet tall and about 4 inches in diameter.  The pigs bite the water valve and water flows out.  When the pig stops biting on the valve the water stops.  This means that a pig’s pen can be kept dry if needed.  The waters are wired into the corner of the pen eliminating the pig from being able to flip it over.  I do not have any intention of denying our pig the joy of wallowing in mud, so I will fill the hole dug by said pig with water just for fun.

In the following pictures, you will notice that my pipe is not green but white.  Also, I chose the heaviest grade of pipe available, 8 inches in diameter and 5 feet in length.  This is because I do not want to fill this everyday and I thought the heavy grade pipe would have a longer life as pigs can be very rough.  The water valves were purchased at our feed store and the other supplies came from the local hardware store.  I purchased a 10 ft piece of pipe and had the store cut it into 2 pieces along with 2 caps to fit.  All total I spent about $55.00 and will have two waterers when done.

To construct a water:

pig waterer 1About 6 inches from the bottom of the pipe (the lid is about 4 inches deep) drill a hole using a drill bit with a saw blade attached to it.  This bit cuts a circle, a hole in the pipe.  The hole should be just a bit bigger than the nipple valve.  The valve has threads on it so that you can insert it into the hole and screw it in.  The bit I used was the same size as the valve because the next size up in the bit department was bigger than the valve.  So, I used the drill and bit to wallow out the hole some by just drilling around the edge until it was large enough.  Being that I have small hands and not enough strength to manhandle much more than a small goat- I gripped the valve with a pair of vice grips so that I had enough leverage to screw in the valve.  This is the hardest part- which was not that hard.

cleaning pipealcoholAfter the valve is in, the pipe needs to be cleaned to prepare them for the plumbers cement and putty.  If the cap and pipe are not cemented together the water will leak out. Also, the valve needs plumber’s putty to keep it from leaking.  First, I cleaned the pipe and cap with orange oil and vinegar to get all the dirt off.  The orange oil was followed by alcohol so that the surface would be super clean and dry faster.  When you are trying to glue anything, dirt and moisture are not your friend.

Plumbers putty snake For the valve: scope out about a quarter’s worth of putty and roll it into a snake (think play-dough and preschool).

wrapping the valve

water valve all smoothed out

Wrap the snake around the valve where it meets the pipe.  Then, press the putty down pressing out all air bubbles and smoothing the edges.  There were no directions on my tub I just had to guess at it.  Also, I thought I would have to wait until it hardened then I read on the tub that it never hardens.  So, I wasn’t really sure if this would work, but it did.

Inside the pipeI did the same thing on the inside of the pipe- just to be certain.  This is what the other end of the water valve looks like.  As you can see, there are threads and a screen to keep debris out of the water valve.

plumber's cementspreading the cementWhereas the plumbers putty was labeled as completely harmless, the cement was plastered with warnings.  One of the warnings was not to breath the fumes.  I find it sad that that warning had to be printed.  The fumes are awful and it was obvious that I should not stand too close.  The lid has a little ball on it for spreading.  Generously spread the cement on the pipe all the way around.

spreading cement on the lidDo the same on the lid.  Then put the lid on the pipe, you may need to use a hammer to tap the lid down.

I left my to dry for several hours.  After drying, I put water in the pipe and it did not leak!  Now, the pig has a new waterer.  I will be using this in the new pen, pictures to follow when that is done.

Pig waterer suppliesAn ingredient recap- PVC pip of selected length and weight, cap for pipe, plumber’s putty and plumber’s cement, water drinking  valve, alcohol and orange oil cleaner.

Tools- drill, drill bit with saw blade, hammer, and vice grips

PVC Pig Waterer
PVC Pig Waterer

39 thoughts on “Making A Hog Waterer From PVC Pipe”

  1. what an excellent idea, one of my pigs waits until i am standing right next to her pen then she picks the bucket up and tips it over, just to be naughty. Winters continue to be a problem but I do look forward to making this this summer.. thank you.. excellent tutorial.. c

    1. Yes, that sounds exactly like a pig! They are so smart and do have a sense of humor. I am so glad that this gave you an idea for your farm. I have no idea how you deal with so much cold for so long.

  2. Terrific idea. We usually get a couple of feeder pigs in the spring to raise until fall for the freezer. I’ve copied and pasted this to a word document on my computer to make when we get the new ones. Thank you for an excellent tutorial. With the pics, it will be easy to do!

  3. Hi! Thank you so much for posting this! I made a smaller one today for my kid’s 4H pigs. I have a question though. How did you secure yours and what did you secure it to?

  4. Your idea solved my problem. I could not find a nipple around our small town but the manager of our MFA said to check out valleyvet.com. I could not find anything so i called their 800 number. Got one. They are stainless steel and have 3 sizes. Very inexpensive. Can’t wait until i receive it. My boys are gettin pretty big and while watering a few days back, they decided that i was the quarterback. I hit the ground before i knew it. I have metal strapping that i plan to secure the water pipe to. Thanks so much !

  5. So even if there isn’t a pressure behind the water , they still get enough of it to drink ? I tried this with a 55 gallon plastic drum but the water just trickled out and I thought they wouldn’t get enough water and was thinking it needed pressure behind the nipple.

    1. No, no preasure is needed, it is a gravity feed system. If water is trickling out of the nipple without being pressed, then the nipple is not working properly. The pig will keep coming back until it is satisfied.

  6. Very neat idea, I have three of the smart critters and struggling with the same issues, I will give it a try

  7. Thanks for the great info! I am going to try and replicate this at a village in Africa where we hope to get a pig farm going:)

      1. Eastern Uganda near Kenya border. In between Tororo and mbale. I head there dec 11 to try out pig watering thing:)

  8. I think I am going to try this. Great idea! Can you tell me how well your waterer has held up? Is it still working after 3 years?

  9. As a pig farmer I’ve found that these types of waterer are not really effective for daily use. They do not hold enough water. The original intention for this waterer was for show pigs at the fair where they are only in those pens for a few days. Not a long term solution.

    1. If I were a pig farmer, I wouldn’t be using this method. However, as someone who only kept a feeder pig or two- this worked very well. I used a massively wide piece of pvc- no the small sort at the fair. For a pen that is moved every few days, this works great.

    1. We don’t, only because the pigs drink so much in the heat! If you find that to be a problem, you might try wrapping in the insulation tubing made for preventing pipes from freezing. It would also work for keeping water cooler- of course curious pigs might just shred it!

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