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    D's DIY Automated Vertical Feed and Drain System

    A few of you have asked me about this directly, and I'm seeing a growing trend of people adopting vertical planting arrangements in their gardens. This method is result of several years of R&D, primarily conducted by myself and bobblehead, with input from other members along the way. The goal on my end has always been to find a simple, reliable, scalable method for watering plants in my vert SOG garden. Anyone that has attempted this using pumps knows it's very difficult to get even amounts of nutes to each plant. Blumats seemed to be the answer, and to an extent they were, but potential runaway and clogging issues ultimately ended that venture. So I went back to drip using what was learned from the blumats, gravity is your friend. This system is simple, relatively cheap to implement, works for both vertical and horizontal feeding arrangements, and is easily scaled to any size/shape of garden. It is principally no different from any other drip setup with one exception. Gravity from the elevated res pressurizes the feed lines instead of a pump. This allows for much more even pressure distribution in the lines vs. a pump. As a result it's a lot easier to adjust so each plant gets the same amount of water/nutes. Here's what you'll need:

    1. An elevated reservoir. Size is dependent on your available space, and the gardens needs. Can be anything from a gallon jug to a 200+ gal. tank. It's important to remember the bottom of the res needs to be at least 1ft, possibly more with a smaller res, above the soil line to achieve proper "head" (the gravity created pressure that makes this work ).

    2. One solenoid for every 10 plants as a general rule. You can get away with more if you have decent head and flow. I think due to the nature of their design any battery operated solenoid should work with nearly zero pressure (PSI), but I'm not 100% on that. These work very well, and have a built in timer. http://www.irrigationdirect.com/cata...t/category/31/

    3. Manifold line (PVC, vinyl tubing, air compressor hose, etc). Needs to be between 1/2-1" (1" flows a little better, but 1/2" is sufficient to get the job done). The solenoid I linked has 3/4" input and outputs, so an all 3/4" setup is also an option. This setup is very flexible design and materials wise (use what's available to you). For those of you that don't know, the manifold line is simply the slightly larger hose/pipe you tap your 1/4" drip lines into.

    4. 1/4" vinyl drip line. Can be found in the sprinkler aisle of most home improvement stores. You will need enough for one run from the manifold line to each plant, so keep that in mind when calculating. Also all runs must be of equal length, so measure the furthest plant from the manifold line and use that length of line for every other plant. Doesn't matter if there is excess line on some plants, keeping them all the same length helps ensure equal flow to each plant.

    5. 1/4" shut off valves. You will need one for each plant. These will be found next to the 1/4 drip line.

    6. 1/4" Straight barb fittings. One for each plant. These are used to connect the 1/4" line to the manifold line. If using pvc for your manifold you will need top hat grommets like pico uses here https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=62654, or similar method of connecting 1/4" drip line to pvc. Some good illustrations of the basic concept we are creating in there also. Just without the pumps, and on a vertical plane. Also found in sprinkler aisle.

    7. Optional, but I highly recommend them. 1/4" tee fittings. Again one for each plant. These are used on the plant end of the 1/4" drip lines to spread the nutes/water more evenly in the pot. Again, sprinkler aisle.

    8. Bulk head fittings used to connect your res to you solenoid, manifold line, etc. Can be found in the plumbing aisle of most home improvement stores.

    9. Hole saw sized for your chosen bulkhead fitting (you want the outside edge of the hole saw to match up with the outside edge of the bulkheads threads). Guarantees you'll get a water tight fit with the bulkhead, but depending on what your res is made of, a razor knife might work just as well. I design and build grow rooms for a living so I'm pretty anal about shit being perfect, but for your average home grower small details maybe less critical. Up to you, but if it leaks on ya because you used a knife don't come crying to me about me.

    10. Various fittings (PVC, Barbed, sprinkler, etc), pipe tape/dope, pvc glue, etc, required to put your unique design together.

    Alright so those are the critical pieces, you can put them together a million different ways for the same end result. I'll detail my setup below as an example, it's up to you figure out how to best implement it into your space.

    I use a 65 gal. tank on the ground feeding a 35 gal elevated res. This allows me greater capacity while keeping a majority of the water on the ground . It also affords me an easy way to aerate and mix my res by using an overflow on the elevated res (lil trick I picked up from using blumats). It works like this. I have a pump move water from the 65 gal res up to the 35 gal.

    The 1/2" green hose on the right is connected to the pump in the lower res. The other hose is unrelated, ignore it.



    On the opposite side I have installed a 1" overflow (having it bigger than the fill hose ensures it will never overwhelm the overflow and flood my upper res).



    This overflow is connected to the lower 65 gal. res. The resulting waterfall action creates tons of dissolved oxygen and ensures the nutes stay mixed.

    In most smaller setups you would probably attach the solenoid directly to the elevated res, then followed by the manifold line. The unique nature of my setup required me to do something a bit different. I encircled my rack setup with pvc, essentially creating an extension of my elevated res. I then tapped into the pvc between each section of my rack, attaching a solenoid to feed a max of 8 plants each. I then attached a length of flexzilla (highly flexible green air compressor hose. Great shit!) to the other side of the solenoid. This acts as the manifold line part of my drip setup. You can use 1/2" vinyl tubing found with the 1/4" drip line, or anything else you find suitable. From there I tap 1/4" straight barbs into the flexzilla. These attach to the 1/4" drip line, and run to each plant.



    On the plant side I place a 1/4" shut off valve a few inches from the end of the 1/4" drip line. This is used to both adjust flow to individual plants, and to shut off individual lines when they are not in use (handy if your numbers vary). On the very end I place a 1/4" tee as an aid to spread to the water/nutes. Because there are no actual drippers in the design, chances of lines clogging due to salt build up is almost non existent. My garden is remote, so unwavering reliability is very high on my list of priorities.

    Satori F2 Vert Grow (Completed)
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=213034

    D's Vertical Redemption (Completed)
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....57#post4840157

    D's Gone Hunting (In limbo)
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....=1#post5941311

    Cannafornia Seeds Caliente Kong & Alaskan Thunder Kong Test Thread (Completed)
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....15#post6280215

    D's DIY Automated Vertical Feed and Drain System
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....90#post6323290

    ""Get It Fucking Done. It’s the truth, it’s the one thing you learn real fast in life is that nobody gives a fucking shit about excuses and the sooner you learn that nobody really gives a fuck about you, that you need to get off your ass and make shit happen then the better off everyone will be""". - Zakk Wylde

    #2
    Space saved for the drain section of the tutorial......
    Satori F2 Vert Grow (Completed)
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=213034

    D's Vertical Redemption (Completed)
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....57#post4840157

    D's Gone Hunting (In limbo)
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....=1#post5941311

    Cannafornia Seeds Caliente Kong & Alaskan Thunder Kong Test Thread (Completed)
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....15#post6280215

    D's DIY Automated Vertical Feed and Drain System
    https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....90#post6323290

    ""Get It Fucking Done. It’s the truth, it’s the one thing you learn real fast in life is that nobody gives a fucking shit about excuses and the sooner you learn that nobody really gives a fuck about you, that you need to get off your ass and make shit happen then the better off everyone will be""". - Zakk Wylde

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Mister D, exactly what I've been looking for! I was wondering if you could draw a diagram with all the peices labeled?

      Comment


        #4
        On my bucket!!
        I can't wait to reVert, and the biggest concern that was raised was the inability to feed with pumps at multiple levels...
        Ricky's Dope Barn

        sigpic

        Gorilla Glue #4, GSC Forum Cut, AC/DC (20:1 CBD)

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ayekay View Post
          Thanks Mister D, exactly what I've been looking for! I was wondering if you could draw a diagram with all the peices labeled?
          Sure, I'll see what I can come up with for ya. This is essentially a rough draft. I intend to go back and add more details, as well as explaining how the drains are setup. If you or anyone else has suggestions to improve, or things they'd like to see let me know .

          Originally posted by Arminius View Post
          On my bucket!!
          I can't wait to reVert, and the biggest concern that was raised was the inability to feed with pumps at multiple levels...
          Many hours of blood sweat and tears went into this design, but I finally have a working model. Killed it last crop, and half way through this one things look better than ever . Gravity fed is the future bro


          Think I'll make a post about utilizing this concept for horizontal gardens also. Works very well for that too
          Satori F2 Vert Grow (Completed)
          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=213034

          D's Vertical Redemption (Completed)
          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....57#post4840157

          D's Gone Hunting (In limbo)
          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....=1#post5941311

          Cannafornia Seeds Caliente Kong & Alaskan Thunder Kong Test Thread (Completed)
          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....15#post6280215

          D's DIY Automated Vertical Feed and Drain System
          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....90#post6323290

          ""Get It Fucking Done. It’s the truth, it’s the one thing you learn real fast in life is that nobody gives a fucking shit about excuses and the sooner you learn that nobody really gives a fuck about you, that you need to get off your ass and make shit happen then the better off everyone will be""". - Zakk Wylde

          Comment


            #6
            I'm totally borrowing this. Time to go to Home DePot and build me out a tester. Thanks man. That's amazing.
            "If you ever come across another Cannabis consultant who talks more about genetics and yield rather than cleaning protocols you're in trouble." - Fresh Start

            "Twisting glistening
            Through steel blades the branches slip
            Snip turns into stick" - JackCough

            My summer 2017 greenhouse

            Comment


              #7
              Nice!!!!! I could of used this a yr. or so ago!!!! Better late than never, haha!! Now I have a step by step when I set that room up again.
              sigpic

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by SirStynkalot View Post
                I'm totally borrowing this. Time to go to Home DePot and build me out a tester. Thanks man. That's amazing.
                Borrow away . I posted this in hopes that people will take it and shape it into something better. I designed around the basic concept that gravity pushes water from a high place (elevated res) to a low place (your plants). With that in mind there is literally no limits to how one can implement this into any size garden. Like d9 did with the ppk, I'm hoping others will think of things we haven't yet, and improve the design. Though honestly it's working so well now, I'm at a loss for what could make it better .

                Originally posted by frankenstein2 View Post
                Nice!!!!! I could of used this a yr. or so ago!!!! Better late than never, haha!! Now I have a step by step when I set that room up again.
                You and me both . Sadly it was still in development a year ago . I had the working model setup about 6 months ago, but I needed to do some real world testing before sharing with the community at large
                Satori F2 Vert Grow (Completed)
                https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=213034

                D's Vertical Redemption (Completed)
                https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....57#post4840157

                D's Gone Hunting (In limbo)
                https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....=1#post5941311

                Cannafornia Seeds Caliente Kong & Alaskan Thunder Kong Test Thread (Completed)
                https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....15#post6280215

                D's DIY Automated Vertical Feed and Drain System
                https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....90#post6323290

                ""Get It Fucking Done. It’s the truth, it’s the one thing you learn real fast in life is that nobody gives a fucking shit about excuses and the sooner you learn that nobody really gives a fuck about you, that you need to get off your ass and make shit happen then the better off everyone will be""". - Zakk Wylde

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have used a similar timer in a gravity feed situation. Looks to be the same except you set the timer with knobs. It ended up wearing out and not closing all the way, thus draining my entire rez. I also worried about the batteries dieing in it.


                  Heres a link to the style I had problems with: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0009X...&robot_redir=1
                  LSWM's 3k Vert Donuts - Finished
                  LSWM's Vert Donuts 2.0 - Current

                  Comment


                    #10
                    And now reading through the Amazon I can see why... They suck.

                    The Drip Pro version has less reviews but slightly better ratings. I still don't trust them. I may try to use the thing in my garden and just say fuck the leak...
                    LSWM's 3k Vert Donuts - Finished
                    LSWM's Vert Donuts 2.0 - Current

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Current project: ..Right here. Seriously, just click it.

                      Completed: . . ... More vert lerv . . . . . . . Blumats, vert, n' dirt

                      "Then they took me by the hand, and they invited me right in.. Then they showed me something, I don't even know where to begin.."

                      Comment


                        #12
                        So do you feed multiple times a day and just figure out how long the solenoid should be on to creat run off. Couldn't you pull out the blumat and leave the drip line in the coco. Then put a solenoid like yours on the top reservoir? Blumats always scared me ever since I had a runoff one night and flooded my room.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by LSWM View Post
                          I have used a similar timer in a gravity feed situation. Looks to be the same except you set the timer with knobs. It ended up wearing out and not closing all the way, thus draining my entire rez. I also worried about the batteries dieing in it.


                          Heres a link to the style I had problems with: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0009X...&robot_redir=1
                          Originally posted by LSWM View Post
                          And now reading through the Amazon I can see why... They suck.

                          The Drip Pro version has less reviews but slightly better ratings. I still don't trust them. I may try to use the thing in my garden and just say fuck the leak...
                          Can't comment on their long term reliability yet, but they have worked flawlessly so far . They're fairly cheap too, so they don't have to last forever. If you really want to get serious I can recommend a commercial grade solenoid that runs off 120v. They are around 300 each, but are built like a Russian tank

                          Originally posted by silver hawaiian View Post
                          Hawaiian approved, nice

                          Originally posted by RedBeardy5 View Post
                          So do you feed multiple times a day and just figure out how long the solenoid should be on to creat run off. Couldn't you pull out the blumat and leave the drip line in the coco. Then put a solenoid like yours on the top reservoir? Blumats always scared me ever since I had a runoff one night and flooded my room.
                          Yes I feed 3 times per day, for 1 min per feed. This creates almost no runoff in my setup, but feed times can be adjusted to create runoff if desired. The timer/solenoid I linked in the first post is adjustable in 1min increments. You then further fine tune feedings via the 1/4" shut valves located at the plant end of each drip line . As for the blumat setup, yes you absolutely could do that. In fact that is almost exactly what I've done here. Only difference is I replaced the blumat drip lines with 1/4" line to prevent possible salt build-up/clogging issues.
                          Satori F2 Vert Grow (Completed)
                          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=213034

                          D's Vertical Redemption (Completed)
                          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....57#post4840157

                          D's Gone Hunting (In limbo)
                          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....=1#post5941311

                          Cannafornia Seeds Caliente Kong & Alaskan Thunder Kong Test Thread (Completed)
                          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....15#post6280215

                          D's DIY Automated Vertical Feed and Drain System
                          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread....90#post6323290

                          ""Get It Fucking Done. It’s the truth, it’s the one thing you learn real fast in life is that nobody gives a fucking shit about excuses and the sooner you learn that nobody really gives a fuck about you, that you need to get off your ass and make shit happen then the better off everyone will be""". - Zakk Wylde

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Nice I'm going to try this out instead of blumats. Good information

                            Comment


                              #15
                              So simple,so effective, total Mr.D Style.... Solid!!!


                              D.U.D.E...
                              .








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