DIY Catchment Solutions

Drain Bucket Catchment for indoor automatic watering

Where does the run-off go?

Our tutorial for "Self-Draining Saucers" will allow you to take the water away from the plants, but to where?

It all depends on how much gravity you have to play with.


Got Gravity?

If you can raise your plants, perhaps raise the whole tent, then you can simply use gravity to drain into a bucket. Preferably the catchment bucket will sit outside the tent or grow space to reduce humidity.

What if you don’t have height and gravity to work with?

This was my problem! The "Self-Draining Saucers" we describe in the tutorial raise the plant 3.5”, and I needed to work with only that amount of rise. With multiple daily fertigation events producing run-off, it was not enough to simply drain into a saucer or shallow pan. So I created an Automatic Pumping Drain Bucket.

The Automatic Pumping Drain Bucket

The "Self-Draining Saucers" have 1/2” drain lines. I cut holes 2” from the bottom of a bucket and attached grommets. I then fed each drain line into the bucket. Inside the bucket is a “Shallow Pan Condensate Pump”. The saucers drain into the bucket and the pump evacuates the waste water automatically. Simply attach 1/2" vinyl tubing to the pump and pump it to a separate 5-gallon bucket that sits outside the tent.


This is a pump that is designed to sit in a tray (or bucket) and turn on automatically when the water reaches a certain height. I had to get the “shallow pan” model, which turns on in only 1.75” of water and shuts off again when water is about 1”.

The pump is expensive but be careful about cutting corners here. I did a lot of research and if this is your problem, this pump is an excellent solution.

Drain Bucket Catchment for indoor automatic watering

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Author: Dr Coco

I am a university professor and have taught courses in horticulture. I am coco for cannabis and I hope you are coco for cannabis too :) Grower Love!