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Ogre's DIY Ebb & Grow / Multi-Flow Controller Tutorial

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    I have built a dozen or so of these systems and they are still working today. To anyone building these - the upper float switches should be installed upside down compared to the lower float switches. Its an easy mistake to make and will have you scratching your head why its not operating properly. Thanks Ogre for this tutorial its been a huge help.

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      You probably have 12VDC relays. Get the 110VAC ones.

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        Converting to a Digital timer

        Look here for instructions.

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          System upgrades

          I just built this system and it works great. I made a few mods. I used a box from Aquahub and covered the analog timer hole with clear acrylic. I can see through the hole to the relay LED's, which are labeled FILL and DRAIN, this tells me which pump is on. I upgraded to a digital timer and I decided to add a box to house the digital timer next to the original box. Instructions on how to do the conversion are here. I also added an overflow float switch and an 8" cord to separate the control box from the control bucket, along with an RV plug to make it easier to run my wires. I want to mount the control box to a wall outside my tent. I also made an adjustable upper float bracket to control my upper floats during the grow. The bracket is available for purchase here. The images below show a schematic on how to wire in an overflow float switch and where to put LED indicator bulbs, if needed.


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            Overflow float switch and upper floats adjustable bracket

            Some pics of my control bucket and the adjustable bracket I made. to purchase one click here.

            If you would like to add a failsafe horizontal overflow switch, I have shown the wiring in the schematic. You can add this by taking one wire from the (HLH) HIGH LEVEL-HIGH float switch and cut it. Attach the end that is connected to the HLH to the new OVERLOW switch. Attach the other end of the cut wire to the remaining end of wire from the new OVERFLOW switch.

            IF YOU ARE USING A MODERN TWO OUTLET RECEPTICLE, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOU CUT THE TAB THAT SEPERATES THE TOP OUTLET FROM THE BOTTOM OUTLET ON THE "BLACK WIRE" SIDE (GOLD SCREWS). See the picture for more information.

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              INDICATOR LIGHTS (LED's) if you need them

              110VAC Indicator lights are available in green here or red here.

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                Other Ebb and Flow thoughts and parts

                Adjustable Upper float bracket

                I made an upper float bracket that makes it easy to adjust the water level of my Ebb and Flow Bucket System. This bracket makes it easy to mount up to three upper float switches and no need to mess with the outside ridges on your control bucket. It lets me raise the water level high for my seedlings. Later when the roots are well into their buckets, I can lower the water level to save nutrients. If anyone wants to buy one you can find them here . I recommend using a 7 gallon bucket for your control bucket to take full advantage of the upper float switch bracket. I bought one at a local brewery supply store for around $15. Raise all of your plant buckets 1-1/2 inches to allow your plant buckets to fully drain. The increased height of the 7 gallon bucket will easily accommodate this and still allow you to adjust the water height to a sufficient level for seedlings.




                I have also found it beneficial to place my pump outside of the control bucket to unclutter my control bucket. I use a standard tub spout and an elbow to connect my water pump.The pumps are made to be used either in or out of the water. I have not experienced any overheating problems.






                PARTS

                The connectors that I used for my 8' cable between the control timer box and the control bucket can be found here.




                You can order a complete kit here, with excellent instructions from Aquahub.com. You can also order parts on ebay from US and sellers in China. If you order parts from China they will take 3-4 weeks to arrive. You will save some money and the quality is very good.

                You can find horizontal float switches on eBay by searching for "horizontal float switch" .

                You can find a very good project box here. I like this box because it is pre-cut for the outlet and I can see the relay LED's.

                You can get a relay and base here.

                Digital Timer here and here.

                Adjustable upper float bracket here.

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                  More parts

                  GFCI plug here.

                  Strain relief cord connector here.

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                    perhaps somebody on this thread can help a new guy out. I just bought a used ebb-ctr... crappy ebb and flo controller. Only has one float on top and bottom. Drain cycle kicks on and off from just a few inches of hose water running back into bucket.

                    Thinking about converting into 2 floats on top and bottom but how do they function exactly? When it reaches the top do both floats need to click before it turns off? Same question on the drain cycle do both float need to trigger?

                    My thought is that with two floats on the drain cycle both floats need to be off to turn it off and both floats need to be on to turn in on. Is that accurate at all?

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                      Possible fix

                      The problem my not be your float switches. I experienced the problem of water flowing back into my control bucket from the hose going to the reservoir even with two float switches. You need to place 1 or 2 air holes (barbed elbows work well) in this line. Make sure they are placed below the reservoir lid and ABOVE the water line. What type of float switches do you have, horizontal ?

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                        nah I have anti siphon holes like you are talking about already installed.

                        But since you have two floats can you tell me how they work? does it drain until both are triggered or does it stop after the first is triggered?

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                          The behavior of the lower float switches depends on how they are wired to the relays. Look at the schematic here for a possible solution. Look up "hysteresis" to help you understand what they are doing.

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                            Anyone know the reason for 4 float switches?
                            LostTribe

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                              Originally posted by LostTribe View Post
                              Anyone know the reason for 4 float switches?
                              If there were only two floats, one high and one low, the "ripples" / water movement would cause the float to bounce and constantly trip on and off when the water reaches a certain level.
                              Notice how the two floats on the top and bottom are staggered somewhat. That's because one is used to activate the pump, the other is used to "lock" the float to prevent "bouncing" on and off.


                              -The 2nd high and low switch is installed simply to work as a "lock" mechanism. It prevents the 1st float, once activated, from bouncing on and off due to the bouncing water.


                              I'm pretty baked,. Not sure that made sense 😄

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