Majority of the water feeders in a new chicken house had stopped working. The water feeders were found to be operated on the principle that when the chickens pecked a plastic bowl, a compressed spring released a squirt of water. The small compression springs were made from type 302 stainless steel, and the operating stresses were safely within the design limits given by the Goodman diagram. The springs were revealed by scanning electron microscopy to contain numerous cracks on their inside surface, and these cracks were all at 45 deg to the wire axis. The solution was recommended as to select a grade of spring steel that would be more corrosion resistant than 302 stainless.