This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
Where a large number of poultry is cared for, the annoyance and attention necessary to furnish a constant water supply can be overcome by using the system shown in the illustration. For this purpose a storage tank must be provided. This may be some old toilet flush tank, or any open reservoir that will hold sufficient water to keep all the drinking pans supplied. A float is provided and connected with a stop valve, so that when the float drops below a certain level, the valve will be turned open, and a fresh supply of water will enter the storage tank, thereby again raising the float and closing the valve.
Each drinking pan should be about 10 in. in diameter by 4in. deep, and is drilled for a 7/8-in. hole to fit a 1/2-in. pipe. At the pan end, the pipe is threaded so that a lock nut and leather washer can be attached on each side of the pan bottom, to provide a watertight joint; at the other end, the pipe
Ill: Simple Arrangement of a Flush Tank in Connection with a System of Pipes to Supply One or More
Pans of Water for the Poultry Yard is screwed into a tee in the 1/2-in. main line which connects with the storage tank.
In using the system, sufficient water is run into the tank to fill the pans about three-quarters full. The float may then be adjusted to a shut-off position for the inlet valve. All pans are automatically kept at one level, even though several may be used considerably more than others. When the general water level has dropped sufficiently, the float, dropping with it, will open the stop valve, and cause the water to enter the tank and pans until the original level is again restored. - Contributed by D. E. Hall, Hadlyme, Connecticut.