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Thread: Gravity Fed Drip Irrigation System

  1. #1

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    Gravity Fed Drip Irrigation System

    I have a vacation planned this summer that'll put me away from the plants for about 7-10 days and the one person I thought I would be able to rely on (and trust) to water the plants isn't going to be willing to do so...

    I've considered letting the plants sit in some water and hope that they make it a week but I have too many pots and trays and I'm not willing to take that large of a gamble with some of the plants I have. Yes it's better to have more water than not enough but I won't be able to leave enough water for them to sit in for 10 days anyways, not even 8.

    This is all indoors and there is no enclosure so I can't setup a misting system but here's what I had in mind; of course tailored to my use and conditions. Since I need to water every other day, I figured making something like this would be perfect. Does anyone have any experience with a make shift system like this or similar? Thanks for the help!

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    billylh's Avatar
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    looks good! i dont see why that wouldnt work? just watch out with over-flowing the tubs or whatever their in since its indoors as you mentioned.

    ~billy

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    mobile's Avatar
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    Are you going to sit the pots in a water tray so any excess drains through, if so then best to make sure that the tray has a larger capacity than the reservoir just in case your timer goes wrong. You might want to consider dual redundancy on you timer/valve too, because if there's only one and it fails then your plants will suffer.

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    Frilleon's Avatar
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    One issue I can see with this:

    Gravity fed irrigation systems tend to have HUGE reservoirs. The reason behind this is as the water level drops in the reservoir, so does the pressure to the irrigation line. So they make them huge and never let them drop below a certian water level so the pressure doesn't drop below a specific level. This may not be an issue if your reservoir is very large, or if you don't mind the amount of watering to drop throughout the 8-10 days.
    Grow List: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=116427
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    Hi guys, thanks for your answers.

    Those are all points that have crossed my mind which is why I'd really like and hope that someone has tried this before.

    The container would be a 50 gallon container, more than enough water for 10 days as I use about 3 gallons every 2 days. Any excess would be to keep the pressure up as Frilleon brough up.

    Mobile, you brought up my main concern. What IF something goes wrong and the timer/valve fails? Either the plants go dry or I flood the room... Again those are issues I hope someone has tackled in the past.

    Another aspect I'd like to get more clarification on is how the timer would trip the valve, and even then, how I could trip it for only a few minutes. Lastly, tweeking the dripping will be a challenge as well. Essentially I want my drip rate to equal my evaporation rate. That way I don't flood the room and the plants dont go dry...

    Still hoping! If I can't find anyone that has dealt with this I'll pioneer this trail for the next few months in the hopes to get things in working order before the trip comes around.
    Thanks for the inputs!

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    Hotrod30's Avatar
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    You need a zero pressure timer.

    Low Pressure Battery Timer New!
    This new water timer is the only battery water timer that can run a drip system from a ground level water barrel. It runs a zero pressure and is rain sensor ready (see TLPRS below). Easy to set 4 button programming with digital readout. There is a manual override and a low battery indicator. Start Times: Up to 9 per day. Every day up to 7 days
    Duration: 1 minute to 4 hours and 25 minutes
    Pressure Range: 0 to 80 PSI
    Flow Rate: 0.5 to 5.2 GPM @30 PSI
    Batteries: Two AA Alkaline (not incl.)
    Warranty: 2 year (Dripworks)
    Mfg. Part #: GRCHI

    TLP Low Pressure Timer $39.95 Qty:



    Taken from this web site page.


    http://www.dripworksusa.com/store/btimers.php#TLP


    Hotrod30

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    Peat's Avatar
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    whoops. suggestion has be suggested already. *edit
    that timer sounds great hot rod : )

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    mobile's Avatar
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    I think that I would go for a pumped system, rather than gravity fed. That way you don't need to worry about head and risk of flooding from a sticky valve - providing the head level is below that of the pots. A submersible aquarium pump in a reservoir should suffice. This could be hooked up to a suitable plug-in digital timer - I don't know what's available in the US but these types of timers are common and cheap here in the UK. Aquarium pumps are also easier to obtain than valves.

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