DIY: PVC Hydroponic Systems

Overview

Hydroponic systems are often made from PVC products. PVC is versatile and long lasting with hydroponic applications. Square tubes work better than round pipes for hydroponics because they do not have to be stabilized to prevent rolling. You can find ready-made PVC systems of many designs, but they often cost much more than the raw materials. Building your own PVC system will not only save you money and allow you to modify it to you needs, but it will also help you understand conceptually how these systems are supposed to work.

Step 1

Drill four 4-inch holes in your square tube, with the centers starting 6 inches from the end and spaced 12 inches apart. The centers should be 3 inches from each 48-inch edge as well.

Step 2

Drill four 1/8-inch holes in the 1/2-inch PVC pipe with the centers spaced the same as they are with the square tubing. Screw the sprayer nozzles in each hole and epoxy the end cap on one end. Epoxy this tube to the inside of the square tube so the sprayer nozzles are centered underneath the 4-inch holes, and pointing up.

Step 3

Epoxy the square end cap to the square tube on the side where the 1/2-inch tube has its end cap attached. Drill two half-inch holes in the second end cap so one of the holes lines up with the end of the 1/2-inch PVC pipe, and so the second is at the same level, but an inch to either side. Epoxy the end cap to the square tubing, and epoxy around the 1/2-inch pipe. The 1/2-inch hole is the drain hole, the 1/2-inch pipe will have water constantly pumped to it, so water cannot leak around it. Let the epoxy dry according to instructions.

Step 4

Position the tote so it is laying flat and horizontal. Drill two 1/2-inch holes spaced 1 inch apart along the left side of the tote. The holes should be 5 inches from the top of the tote, each one-half inch from where the center of that side of the tote is.

Step 5

Cut your vinyl tubing into two 24-inch pieces. Set your water pump in the reservoir and connect one piece of tubing to the pump, run through one of the holes in the tote, and connect it to the 1/2-inch pipe with your double female connector. Place the second tube in the other 1/2-inch hole on the square end cap and run it through the other hole on the tote.

Step 6

Drill a 1/2-inch hole through your lid, set the lid on the tote, and run your power cord through this hole. Fill your tote with your nutrient solution and secure the lid.

Step 7

Set your net pots in the 4-inch holes, and position your starter plugs that contain your seedlings or cuttings so that the top of the plug is flush with the top of the net pots. Fill the net pots with the clay pebbles around the plugs. Set your system underneath your grow lights and always run the pump.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 6-by-6-inch square PVC tube with two end caps, 48 inches long
  • Drill
  • Drill bit, 4-inch diameter
  • Drill bit, 1/2 inches
  • Drill bit, 1/8 inches
  • 1/2-inch PVC pipe, with one end cap, 48 inches long
  • Four 360-degree sprayer nozzles, threaded, 1/8-inch
  • Epoxy
  • 50 Gallon tote, with lid.
  • 1/2-inch vinyl tubing, 48 inches long
  • Box cutter
  • Tube connector, 1/2-inch, double female
  • Submersible water pump, with 1/2-inch fitting
  • Nutrient solution, 10 gallons
  • 4 net pots, 4-inch
  • Clay pebbles, 1 qt.
  • 4 starter plugs with seedlings or cuttings

References

  • "How-To Hydroponics"; Keith Roberto; 2007

Who Can Help

  • Hydroponics: Grow System and Grow Room Setup
Keywords: PVC Hydroponic instructions, PVC Hydroponic plans, Building PVC Hydroponics

About this Author

Brandon Salo is a writer with four years of experience as a staff consultant writer for Content Customs. He holds a bachelor's degree in English writing, and a double minor in music and sociology.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | DIY: PVC Hydroponic Systems