Drum Drinker Installation and Use

How to install a Dine a Chook Drum Drinker

Dine a Chook Drum Drinkers can be installed on any level surface capable of supporting 20 kg. Ensure Drinkers are stable.


Click to jump directly to the section you need:

1. Where to install a Drum Drinker

2. Correct Drinker mounting height

3. Drum Drinker installation

4. Drum Drinker Maintenance and Use

1. Where to put your 20 L Drum Drinker

While Dine a Chook Drum Drinkers can be installed outside, they must be in the shade to prevent the water inside from becoming warm. Chickens prefer to drink cool water and may become dehydrated if their Waterer becomes warm.

Drinkers should be protected from livestock, except for poultry, and wildlife. For this reason we recommend installing them inside the chicken coop or a pest-proof run.

Drum Drinkers are very heavy when full, so most chicken keepers prefer to install their Drinker within reach of the hose for easier refilling.

2. Choosing the correct mounting height

The correct mounting height for a Dine a Chook Drinker varies depending on whether you have chosen a Drinker Cup or a Nipple Outlet.

The type of poultry, breed and age of your birds will also make a difference. Choose your mounting height to suit the largest bird in your flock and provide a step for smaller birds.

In mixed flocks where size differs, we recommend installing 2-3 units at different heights. In flocks of mixed poultry, ducks and even geese will usually happily use Drinkers that have been mounted for chickens to drink comfortably.

Always monitor new Drinkers carefully after installation to ensure that all birds can comfortably access the water, and adjust the height as needed.

Drinker Cup height

Drinking Cups should be mounted at bird eye-level.


Nipple Drinker Outlet height

Nipple outlets are designed to be mounted above bird head height. Install Nipples so that chickens drink at a 45o angle above head height. While birds should be reaching up, it is important that they are not required to stretch their neck to reach the Nipple.

Providing a step

Where a Drinker is mounted for larger birds, a step can be provided for the smaller birds in your flock. Anything sturdy, such as pavers, bricks or timber, will do.

Steps can be placed directly in front of the Drinker. In a situation with various sized birds, it is recommended that steps are placed slightly to one side.

3. Dine a Chook Drum Drinker Installation Instructions

Please note the following:

  1. Install on a stable, level surface
  2. Never rest the Drinker on the Drinking Cups or Outlet frame
  3. Not suitable for an automatic water supply
  4. Do not unnecessarily disassemble Drinker Outlet Frame
  5. Failure to follow these instructions may void the product warranty or result in the product not working as intended


Steps to install your Drum Drinker

  1. Change over the Lubing Drinker Cup floats
  2. Install Drinker Outlet
  3. Connect Lubing Cups
  4. Install the Drinker on a stable surface
  5. Monitor your unit

Your 20 L Drinker comes with an Outlet Frame. Nipple outlets will already be in place, while Lubing Cup outlets will need to be attached after the Outlet Frame has been installed. Lubing Cup outlets also come with a float upgrade.


1. Change over the Lubing Drinker Cup floats

The additional floats provided with your Lubing Drinker Cups are not spares. For most chicken keepers, we recommend changing the Lubing Cup floats over prior to use.


The original Lubing Cup floats work perfectly well for chickens and poultry. However, they are designed to only allow a little water in the Lubing Cup. This doesn't affect how your chickens drink and the original floats do not have to be changed. However, most backyard poultry keepers prefer higher water levels in the Drinker Cup. This can be achieved by changing the Lubing Drinker Cup floats over to the complimentary Dine a Chook floats provided with your purchase.

To change your Lubing Drinker Cup floats:

  1. Use pliers to gently grasp the pin at the side of the Drinker Cup
  2. Remove the pin halfway and the float will fall out
  3. Leave the pin half way
  4. Hold the desired float in place
  5. Gently push the pin back into its original position to secure the float


2. Install Drinker Outlet

Most Drinker Outlets come preassembled and ready to connect to the water reservoir, as pictured below. Lubing Drinker Cups should be screwed into the Drinker Outlet after it is in place and has been installed/connected to the water source. 


Ensure the Drinker Outlet is complete, minus the Drinker Cups (if using), and screw any extensions into place.

Always ensure the square o-ring is in place prior to installing, as pictured below.


To install the Drinker Outlet, screw firmly into the bung hole on the front of the 20 L Drum reservoir. Do not over tighten.




Once in place, position the Drinker Outlet correctly, i.e. the right way up and level as pictured below. Push inwards while applying firm pressure and continue to tighten until the Outlet is correctly positioned.


3. Connect the Lubing Drinker Cups to the Outlet frame

Once the Drinker Outlet frame is in place, connect the Lubing Cups.

Place an o-ring onto the thread at the top of each cup.

Screw Cups firmly into place. Do not over tighten.


 Nipple outlets will already be in place.

For more information, including Lubing Cup maintenance, visit our Lubing Cup Instructions page. 

4. Install the Drinker on a stable surface

Drum Drinkers should be installed on a stable surface capable of supporting 20 kg.

Install the Drinker so that the Cups or Nipples are at the correct height for your flock (see above).

While Drum Drinkers are extremely unlikely to be toppled, we usually recommend installing the Drinker where birds are won't roost or perch on top of it, both for cleanliness and to prevent any possibility of the Drinker being knocked over. One of the reasons why we love our steel Drinker Stands is because they can be bolted to the floor for extra security!


Other Drum Drinker stand options include:

  • Bricks
  • Concrete blocks (besser blocks)
  • Pavers
  • Logs
  • Upturned milk crates

5. Monitor your new Drinker

After installing a new Drinker, you should always monitor your flock carefully until you are sure that all birds can access the water comfortably. If the Drinker is too high, consider adding a step or move the Drinker to a lower position. 

If you have any concerns about your new Drinker or it is not working as it should, please contact us directly.

For more information, including Lubing Cup maintenance, visit our Instructions page.

4. Drum Drinker Maintenance and Use

Dine a Chook Drum Drinkers will provide years of reliable service.

To use, simply fill the Drinker reservoir with water, loosely tighten the lid and your chickens will have access to clean fresh water. Use the handy water level indicator to determine when you need to refill the Drum.

As a loose guide, a 20 L Drum Drinker will provide enough water for 20 chickens for 2 days or 5 chickens for 8 days. However, the amount of water consumed by chickens varies depending on weather, diet and breed. You should always monitor your flock closely to ensure they never run out of water. 

Outlet Frames

Do not unnecessarily disassemble Outlet Frames. The water-tight connection on our Outlets is formed by an o-ring and a food-grade lubricant. Disassembling Outlets unnecessarily can compromise this seal.

Should disassembly be required, particularly after use, fittings will be difficult to separate. Handle gently.

To reassemble, spray fittings with olive oil before reconnection.

Clean with a damp cloth as needed.

Colour fading may occur over time.

Lubing Cups

Most Drinker problems are caused by dirty Lubing Cups. We strongly recommended cleaning Lubing Cups every 2-3 months, as per these instructions, and using a clean source of water free from minerals and sediment. 

Air Locks - Water is not flowing into the Cup/Nipple

If an air lock forms in the 20 L Drum, this will prevent water from flowing into the Lubing Cup or Nipple.

The Dine a Chook 20 L Drum has a specially designed aerated cap to prevent air locks from forming. However, if the cap is over tightened an air lock will form. This is more common in the summer months.

Carefully loosen the cap to break the air lock and tighten very loosely when replacing. Do not use other caps.

Water can also stop flowing if Cup or Nipple mechanisms are blocked or need cleaning. Instructions for how to clean a Lubing Cup, and other troubleshooting, can be found here.