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Installation Methods
Whether you select to set up your automated watering system using the Flex-Tube Piping System, Rigid PVC Piping System or a combination of both, there are several basic system design principles that you need to consider as you do your layout and prepare your parts list:

  • Place the drinking valves on the side of the cage at a location and height that the animal can easily reach. The drinking valve should not be located in the nesting area, nor should it be located immediately above the feeding station.
  • Run lateral lines as near horizontal as possible; avoid going up and over an obstacle and back to horizontal. The reason for this is to avoid high points in the line where air pockets can form, which cannot be easily flushed out.
    Lateral lines are the piping lines that run the length of the cages and to which the drinking valves are connected. Header lines are used to interconnect multiple lateral lines to the water supply.
  • All lines should be laid out and installed with a drain valve at the end. On initial start-up, these drain valves must be opened to allow the water to fill the lines and push out all the air inside the lines. In addition, good management practice requires that you flush the water lines once a week to ensure the freshness of the water to your animals.
  • In larger facilities requiring long runs of piping lines, the water supply (gravity tank or pressure regulator) should be located centrally. This assures balanced water pressures throughout the system.
  • The lengths of the lateral lines and the number of drinking valves connected to the lateral lines should not exceed the recommendations for the option of distribution piping and water supply selected. Exceeding these limits can result in reduced water discharge rates from the Drinking Valves at the end of the lines, leading to the potential dehydration of the animals being served by those valves.

Option 1. Typical 3/16 Flex-Tube System
Below is an example of a design layout sketch for an Automated Watering System for cages arranged on shelves or a rack structure with one or more tiers. Most commonly, the Flex-Tube system is mounted along the front of the cages. The lateral line is located either on the top or along the bottom of the cage row to avoid interference with doors or feeders.

Legend and layout Guidelines

  • Water Supply - Either a Pressure Regulator or a Gravity supply can be used. If a Gravity supply is used, mount the tank 12 -36 inches above the top row of cages.

  • Drinking Valve with 3/16 connection , 1000-8000, or 1000-0766 - One per cage.Valve Clip, 1100-7440 or 1100-0867-100 - One per valve.

  • Tee Connector, 1610-1656 - One per valve.

  • Tubing Stand-Off , 1100-7273-316 - Install one clip at each Tee and one every 18 inches for additional support. Do not space support clips further than 18 inches apart.

  • 3/16 Flex-Tube, 1600-1654 - when calculating the footage required, DON'T FORGET to include the short lengths required to make the connection from the Tee fitting to the drinking valves. Maximum number of drinking valves supplied by a single line is 75. Maximum length of a lateral line is 50 ft.

  • Shut-Off Valve, 2000-4510-316 - Optional one per lateral line.

  • Drain Valve, 2020-1125 - One at end of each lateral line.

3/16 Flex Tube System Components

Average Quantity of Components Needed Per Cage

Cage width 18" 24" 30" 36" 48"
Drinking Valve, 1000-8000 1 1 1 1 1
Valve Clip, 1100-7440 1 1 1 1 1


Drinking valve, 1000-0766 1 1 1 1 1
Valve Clip, 1100-0867-100 1 1 1 1 1
Tee Connector, 1610-1656 1 1 1 1 1
3/16 Flex Tube, 1600-1654 (includes 12" lenth piece to each valve) 1 1 1 1 1
Drinking valve, 1000-0766 1 1 1 1 1


For each lateral line include:
One Drain Valve, 2020-1125
One Tubing Stand-off, 1100-7273-316
One Shut-off Valve, 2000-4510-316, per lateral line, optional
Don't forget to add 3/16 Flex Tube from your water supply to your system!

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