How to Build a Hydroponics System Out of PVC


Hydroponic gardening is a niche hobby enjoyed by individuals all over. Its space efficiency can help green thumbs express themselves no matter where they are rooted. Hydroponically grown plants often yield more faster, and this, too, is making them increasingly popular with gardeners. Building your own system doesn't have to be expensive, and you can use PVC piping for the bulk of the design. The project does take a little measuring and precision, but with some hard work you should be able to get your hydroponic garden going quickly.

Step 1

Assemble the pump housing. Place the water pump inside the plastic bin, and cut two holes in the lid just large enough for the hoses to pass through. Attach one hose to the outgoing port on the pump, run it through the lid, and set aside.

Step 2

Assemble the basic frame of the PVC hydroponic system. Lay the 3-foot-long sections of PVC piping on the table in front of you so that they run parallel to one another. On the one furthest from you, attach one of the PVC end caps on the left end of the pipe by lining the threaded portion with your sealing tape and then screwing the piece on. On the right side of this pipe do the same, only this time use an elbow joint.

Step 3

Take a 1-foot section of PVC pipe and attach to the other end of the elbow joint. Then, attach an elbow joint (pointing in the opposite direction of the first) to the other end. Connect your next 3-foot-long PVC pipe section to this, so that it runs parallel to the first but a foot apart. Do the same at the opposite end of this PVC pipe, and then repeat steps 2 and 3 for the third.

Step 4

Seal the hydroponic frame by attaching another end cap to the open end of the third length of PVC pipe.

Step 5

Make 3-inch circles along the tops of the 3-foot-long PVC lengths with a marker. These will be the plant locations, so make as many as you desire and equally space them. Use the jigsaw to cut these circles out.

Step 6

Drill an opening in the middle of the PVC end caps. This opening should be just large enough for your PVC hose fitting to sit in. Install the PVC hose fitting by sliding it through the hole, using a rubber gasket to seal the opening.

Step 7

Screw the unattached end of the outgoing hose to the PVC hose fitting on the PVC pipe that is on the furthest end of the table from you. Attach one end of the other hose length to the exit hose fitting, and then run the other end through the opening in the plastic bin lid. When the bin is filled with your nutrient solution, the pump will transport it up into the PVC piping, where it will fill until it reaches the exit hose and drains back into the bin.

Things You'll Need

  • Water pump
  • Airtight plastic bin
  • 3 3-foot-long PVC piping sections
  • 5-foot-by-3½-foot table
  • 3 1-foot-long PVC pipe sections
  • 2 PVC end caps
  • 6 PVC elbow joints
  • 2 PVC hose fittings with rubber gaskets
  • 2 6-foot-long hoses
  • Plumber's sealing tape
  • Jigsaw


  • GTG Hydroponics
  • Treehugger
Keywords: hydroponic gardening, build your own hydroponics, hobby gardening

About this Author

Josh Roberts has three years of experience as a writer in a variety of genres including fiction, creative nonfiction, nature, and technical writing. Graduating from Belmont University with a Bachelor's of Arts in English, he received the Carl Chaney Award for Excellence during that time. His work has appeared in Belmont's Literary Journal, and received honorable mention in the Nashville Scene's 2004 Writing Contest.

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