Instructables
I decided to make my own waterer for my chickens after having  to replace many UV damaged store bought ones.
I was also very annoyed having to fill the waterer up everyday, thanks to the chickens running around and knocking into it.
The one I made works by the same principle as the store bought ones, by maintaining a vacuum.  

Step 2: Cut pipe and dry fit everything!

Picture of Cut pipe and dry fit everything!
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This is the step where you cut all your pipe and make sure it all fits together.
Take care to ensure that all the pipes cut are clean and all (slag, pvc shavings, burrs, dingle berries) are removed.
I used 2 ft length pipes and found out that it had a 1.5 gallon capacity. 
If you want to increase the capacity you could make the pipe longer or add cross members.

Step 3: The water bowl.

I highly recommend using a uniseal, (http://www.aussieglobe.com/uniseal1.htm).  it fits in a hole and flares out when you stuff a pipe in it, creating a water tight seal.
Also, on the down pipe you need to drill a set of holes, these holes need to be below the lip of the cap.
As the water fills the bowl, the holes allow air into the system thus allowing more water out.  When the water covers the hole, air can't enter the system and the water stops flowing. 

Step 4: Glue everything together.

The system relies on maintaining a vacuum, so a good seal on all joints is a must.
I put two valves on the system, one open and one closed.
When filling it up I close the bottom one and open the top, and when in use it's reversed. 
Make sure to let the glue set before using the system.

 
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magilla573 years ago
Here's an idea that I've used for hydroponics that might work for you. Take an old toilet tank, with the float assembly intact, and plumb the outlet end (the bottom of the tank) to one side of a watering timer valve, and the other end of that to the inlet of the watering trough (a length of plastic rain guttering with endcaps works well). Plumb a water line into the intake side of the toilet tank (as you would normally do in an in-house installation). Now, you set the timer to whatever length of time you want the water to 'change out' in the trough. When the timer 'opens', water rushes down from the tank into the trough; and, when the water level drops in the toilet, it automatically refills and awaits the timer to dump the water into the trough again. If you hook up a separate water timer to the outlet end of the trough, you can coordinate the opening/closing sequencing so that the trough's outlet opens and drains the trough moments before the inlet timer allows water to fill the trough. That's it in a nutshell, but you can see that the potential benefit is that you never have to touch the watering system again as it automatically drains and fills itself...forever.
Skip3 years ago
could you rig the water feeding bowl to a much larger water storage device (rain barrel/ water tank, etc...?) so you wouldn't have to fill it up as often?
JavaLady3 years ago
Good work. I've made a similar one for my coop. I used a 5 gallon bucket for my water holding tank, and those pet fountain ends where they have to tap-tap for water. Great minds think a like !
jrossetti3 years ago
Interesting design. How long does the cup stay clean? How will you keep it from cracking when the water freezes in the winter?
ravenc83 (author)  jrossetti3 years ago
it stays relatively clean for about 3 days, when ever I have to fill it up I usually flush out the bowl. As far as the freezing, our winters really don't get that bad, we might get some ice on the surface. I would assume you could use some pipe insulation and/or paint it black.