Every week or so we empty our stock troughs, sometimes for cleaning, sometimes to shift it into a new paddock or location to prevent the soil getting bared out. As dry springs like this one remind us, water is precious. The dam fills in winter, we pump up to the tanks, then try to gravity feed the stock troughs from spring until the rains come again. When it came to empty the troughs, we tried some judicious bucketing onto nearby seedlings, but that’s long and arduous when you have 450 litres to decant.
I accidentally purchased a couple of 80mm PVC pipe for another project sometime ago, and lo, quite by coincidence these 80mm lengths fit snugly in the outlet hole of the stock troughs. I fitted a cap on one end, drilled a hole to attach a hose outlet, and then rigged up 30m of garden hose for our new, and improved trough-drainer and portable tree watering system. We chose standard garden hose to make the whole device light and easy to transport.
Does it work? Sort of. Predictably, the flow-rate is only slightly brisker than glacial, but that’s not a problem if you want to give a few plants a good soaking and move the hose periodically. The big issue is really attaching it to the trough outlet. It fits somewhat snugly, but with water pressure behind it it works loose pretty quickly. A more elegant option is to find a spare outlet plug (such as that shown in the middle picture), cut a hole out of the centre and attach a hose outlet to that directly, that way I can screw it on firmly using the existing thread. Anyone know of any other ideas along these lines?
Postscript. With further tweaking, and some ideas from Anthony and Greg below, a couple of months later we constructed Mark 2, a version of the trough hose outlet that actually works!
Anthony Waite said:
How are you currently attaching your 80mm elbow to the trough outlet? Is it screwed on? Just wondering because it ‘s hard to make it out from the photo’s and if it’s screwed on and still leaking then plumber’s tape would be a suggestion to tighten it up and stop it leaking. Other than that I think your suggestion of a spare trough outlet cap with a hole and hose attachment glued should do the job. I guess if you want to increase your flow from trough you could increase the diameter of the hose you are using for it to flow from trough to trees.
Hey Anthony, thanks for your suggestions. The 80mm elbow is just wedged in place at the moment, so not ideal! I wonder whether plumber’s tape might be good just to tighten up the wedge as it is. Good tip to increase the hose diameter – we do have a fair few lengths of 1″ and 2″ rural pipe lying around but unfortunately there’s a trade off with flexibility when using them as they’re much more rigid than a garden hose! Hope to catch you soon – perhaps down on the farm!
Greg White said:
Hi Nap, I would suggest drilling and tapping a 1/2 inch BSP thread in the current 80mm black screw-on trough cap then screwing in a 1/2 inch garden variety water type cock tap with the quick connect hose fitting. (if you get my drift). That wat you can
1. connect your hose anytime and water to where-ever without removing the cap, or
2. unscrew the cap for cleaning the trough when required.
I think I have the drill and a 1/2 inch BSP tap (stands for British Standard Pipe) in the shed somewhere. I’ll have a look. Drop over next time your down and we can suss it out. (It’s Greg you neighbour, 270 Paradise Drive). Kind regards
Hey Greg, thanks for the tip – a great idea. We’ll drop by next time we get a chance! Cheers, Joel