Components and Mounting
Some of the components you will use could be different than ours – it all just depends on your setup. For our setup, we will be reducing the pressure of our municipal water and using flexible tubing to get the water to the rabbits. You could instead use PVC piping – it is totally up to you.
Here are some explanations to help you understand a few of the components involved better:
4 Way Water Valve: This device lets us take 1 input and have 4 different outputs. We are using this so that we can have output to our goats, rabbits, a general use hose, and one for any future expansions. You may not need one at all.
Flushable Filter: This will remove the tiniest of debris from the system. The drinking valves have very small components inside them and they cannot handle any debris entering them. If debris does get into them, the valve may stop working, leaving your animal without water, or it may not let the valve close properly, which means you will be wasting water.
Pressure Regulator: This is the device that can take the pressure from municipal water and reduce it to the low PSI we need for the drinking valves. Gravity-fed water reservoir systems are already low enough of a pressure that you do not need this component in those systems. If the pressure is not kept low (1-3 PSI) as indicated by the drinking valves, the small parts in the valve will fail – meaning water will leak out of the valves, or destroy them all together.
Tubing Standoff’s: Animals, much like your 2 year old, will chew on anything they can get their mouth on. Having these stand-offs keeps the tubing out of their reach.
Tubing: We chose flexible tubing so that our system could be more easily adjustable over time. PCV pipe options are available as well. The flexible tubing can be cut with a pocket knife and add less weight to our hanging system (as it also holds less water inside the pipe as well).
Vari-Flow Valve: Drinking valves can be bought that have either a fixed flow rate or you can buy ones that are adjustable. We recommend the adjustable ones. We have had to adjust them from time-to-time, and I am concerned that the fixed-flow ones would not have been sufficient. Be sure to also get the clips that are needed for either drinking valve – the tubing standoff clips are not the same.
Once your system is established the parts needed to add water into a new cage are inexpensive and may be available at your local hardware or farm supply store.