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One of my biggest problems when I first started my flow through bin was keeping everything moist enough. Particularly with a heating cable active in a bin that was predominantly bedding, things seemed to dry up very quickly.
I contemplated getting an actual drip irrigation system, and tried various methods of adding water. In no particular order, I've tried the following and discovered shortcomings on each:
1: Spray bottle: too. damn. slow.
2: Hose with mister: too fast, potential for chlorine/etc since it's straight out of the tap, not as good in winter since hoses freeze, means leaving the hose out.
3: Shoebox with small holes punctured in the bottom: inconsistent drip, tends to drip out the corners, doesn't cover the whole bin evenly, wears out in fairly short order.
4: Slow pouring water over the top: Tried a glass, a watering can, and a bucket. All poured too fast, no matter how hard I tried to keep it slow, meant standing there pour, stop, pour, stop on and on for 10 minutes so it didn't flood the whole bin, plus often as not it just drained out the bottom.
5: Combination Spray Bottle & Watering Can: Pulled back the bedding/food and sprayed the dryer parts until things were appropriately damp.
6: Soaked bedding: Added sopping wet bedding to the top, and let it drip down.
On number 6, I had a winner... all of a sudden the drip was more even, the bedding had time to absorb water, and gravity did most of the work for me. Was it perfect? No. It required multiple additions of sopping wet bedding, and it still had a tendency to drip too fast. But I was getting closer.
A quick digressions: I picked up a bunch of egg crates from a bakery and they're turning out to be an ideal bedding medium. They hold moisture pretty well, and they don't have a tendency to dry out too quickly. Even better, you can put a few dry ones on top of the bin to discourage evaporation from the natural chimney effect, and after a week or so, the constant moisture has broken them down to the point that they're perfect as the next layer of bedding. Something about the cup shapes really seems to help capture the evaporated water and channel it back down into the bedding...
You can see where this is going.Cue idea number 7. Add egg crates to the top, fill each cup with water, and let gravity (and time) do their thing.
Here's a pic about 5 minutes after I dumped a full gallon of water into the top of the cartons:
And here it is 25 minutes after adding the water, with ~3/4 of the water soaked into the cartons and dripping slowly into the bin.
In case it isn't clear, I obviously spent WAY too much time overthinking this problem. The solution has been in front of me for 2 months and still it never occurred to me. Add cartons, pour water, and leave it alone for a couple hours. If I pull back the bedding and it still looks too dry in spots, add more water and wait another couple hours. I've done this about 8 times now, and the drip action seems to be slow enough for the bedding to soak up water, but fast enough that it only takes 3/4 of an hour per full gallon of water.
And oh, by the way.... it works just fine with regular egg cartons too if you don't have the 36 egg 12"x12" handy.
If only this had occurred to me earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of time and frustration...