- Flushing the Lines - On initial hookup of the water supply to a newly installed piping system, all the lines should be thoroughly flushed to remove any particles of dirt or debris that may have fallen inside the pipe lines during assembly. If the lines are not flushed, then these particles will be carried into the drinking valve, where they may become lodged on the seal and cause a leak.
To flush the line, open the drain valve at the end of the line, and allow water to flow out for several minutes. Repeat this procedure for each drain valve in your system. Start on the lines that are closest to the water supply and work your way to those farthest away.
- Actuate each Drinking Valve - To confirm the proper actuation of the Drinking Valves, each one should be manually actuated and the flow of water observed. In Flex-Tube installations, air trapped in the short length of Flex-Tube connection between the Valve and the lateral line will first be pushed out before water begins to flow evenly.
- Sanitizing the Plumbing System - For household potable water systems it is good plumbing practice to sanitize the lines on start-up to eliminate bacteria in the pipe lines. This is also a good practice to follow for your Automated Watering System. Sanitization of the lines can be easily done by filling them with a chlorine solution and allowing them to stand for at least 30 minutes. It is recommended that the chlorine solution have a concentration of 5 to 10 parts per million (ppm). This will not harm the animals/birds if they should drink it. (Normal municipal water supplies have chlorine levels of 0.5 to 2 ppm.)
You can easily prepare a chlorine solution by mixing household chlorine bleach and water. A solution of 1/2 teaspoon per 7 gallons water will produce a solution of approximately 5 ppm. Use Edstrom’s Chlorine Test Bulblets, 2400-1220, which have a range of 0-11 ppm, to test your mix.
The method of filling your pipelines with the sanitizing solution will depend on the Water Supply method you are using. If a Storage Tank is used, you can fill it directly with the sanitizing solution. If a Float Tank is used, the fresh water supply must be shut-off, and then the tank must be filled with the solution. If the Basic Pressure Station is used, it can be temporarily disconnected and a storage tank, filled with the solution, connected in its place. With the Deluxe Pressure Regulator Station a temporary storage tank can be connected directly to the injection port and the fresh water supply turned off.
Once you have the sanitizing solution as your water supply, you should flush each line just long enough to fill it with the solution. Then allow the system to sit for at least 30 minutes before flushing the lines with fresh water.
- Confirm that your Animals/Birds are Drinking - After installing your Automated Watering System, you must make sure that your livestock learns to use the drinking valve. To get them trained you must first remove other water sources from the cage. During the next 24 hours observe them carefully to determine if they are using the drinking valves. If you feel they are not finding and learning to used the drinking valve, manually activate the valve in front of them allowing a drop of water to "hang" from the valve. Continue to carefully observe them to confirm they have learned to drink.
Raisers of all type of animals and birds normally report very little problem getting their animals/birds to learn to drink. However, it is your responsibility to confirm that your livestock is drinking from your automated watering system.