lol it'll use the same amount of water either way
just less of a pain in the butt when it is hooked up to a hose....no refilling needed
lmao do they not have hose splitters where you are? itd cost 3-5 bucks and you could keep it hooked up while using your hose for whatever else you may need it for
i spose having to fill the bucket is way better than not having happy plants. and if they ever decide to be rational, you could hook it up in the future so they can see that the unit won't use more water.
Sorry if I made it sound like that WOULD work... I've never tried to run a float by gravity alone... So, let me try to help this way, I just now ran out to the greenhouses and grabbed you a few photos, show these to your parents and perhaps it will help...
You use a splitter so other hoses can still be used, you can then use an adapter to go from the hose fitting to a 1/4" fitting... this can be a polly line or copper. Copper is shown, but polly works really well too (it's what I have inside the g/hs for the RO systems running off of this same line.)
You leave that water on all the time, it goes to the cooler where there is a float. This float turns the water on and off to maintain the correct level for the pump to pump the water up to the top of the pads- this only runs when the cooler is running... so, when the cooler is off, and the tank is full, no water is running. (kinda like the tank in the back of your toilet) This is a much better option then maybe running out of water and blowing hot/dry air into the greenhouse or worse, killing your pump.
Hope that helps!
PS: If they still say no, and the bucket thing doesn't work, you can always just dump the water into the tank through the pads.... I know on "mobile" units (like the one I have in the picture there) that is actually one of the options they give you in the manual...
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I have run a fogging fan using a gravity feed (siphon hose line) from a large rain barrel and it works fine. You just have to be creative about these things and make physics work for you.
Pineapple, I guess I can assume you never tried the hose-end fogging nozzle technique, since your parents won't let you use the hose? That could be such a simple, low-tech solution to many of your problems. (heat and humidity)
It's only a 1/4 inch line that comes off the faucet, and like Adne showed you, the float stops the flow of water - so technically, it doesn't run the water line 24/7. Even when the cooler is off, there is water in the line, but it doesn't sit and run. It would probably be only a few cents a day (feed the children commercial, anyone?) to have it hooked up though the hose, and that would only be for the water you used.
I can sympathize with water bills though, mine in Colorado were hideous - I loved having a pretty green yard and would set it up to water early in the morning because of water restriction.
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My parents said they would think about it after I explained the floater, splitter and small hose bit.