Automatic Refilling Water Bowl
Check out this video to see the water bowl in action...
The water bowl is a stainless steel dog bowl with a section of PVC cut to fit on top holding the float switch. The bowl has holes drilled on the edge aligning with holes in the PVC. Zip ties holds the PVC in place.
The float switch drops when the water level drops and signals to the Arduino that a top off is needed.
The Arduino then supplies 24V to the sprinkler system solenoid to allow water to flow to the bowl from the sprinkler piping.
There is also a bowl inside the coop so the chickens have some water at night. This bowl doesn't have a float switch, but since it's much smaller it fills up when the outside bowl is filled up. There is an aquarium bulkhead in the middle of the bowl with a pipe going through the floor to ground so any overflow goes outside of the coop instead of on the coop floor.
The Arduino also flushes the bowl daily even if the float does not drop.
Very young Henny and Penny getting a drink!
1 Stainless Steel Float Switch
I recommend buying a good quality, waterproof float switch. I had an experience in the past where a cheap float started to short out, and it's not worth the trouble. Spend a few extra bucks and get a good switch.
- Search eBay for "stainless float". This may return results for just part of a float switch, like only the float element itself, so make sure you get one that's completely assembled with wires and waterproof sealant at the top.