DIY Manual Watering System
This simple DIY tutorial allows you to mix up your nutrients for your plants and easily fertigate them with a regular garden hose and nozzle/gun. This simplifies the process with less hassles and mess. Enabling you to water your plants simply, without the complexity involved with watering cans and jugs.
Large Bucket For Reservoir: You will need a large bucket where you can mix and store your nutrient solution. Your size will depend on how much water you require. Many types of buckets will suit as a reservoir, as long as its big enough and can comfortably fit all the required components, such as the tank fittings.
Inline pump: A pump is required to move the water where you need it. For this particular system I recommend an inline pump as this design requires it. However a submersible pump will work just fine but will waste a little more water, as they typically cannot pump the last few inches. They also make mixing the solution a little more difficult as the unit and hose can get in the way.
½ inch sized garden hose: A garden hose is needed to connect the pump to the hose gun/nozzel. The more flexible the better as it provides easier manipulation with little issues.
½ inch barb x ¾ inch NPT adapter: These barb adapters allow you to connect your garden hoses using barb ends, which provides superior reliability compared to standard hose fittings.
¾ inch flexible hose: For connecting the pump to the reservoir. A larger diameter hose has less resistance, making it easier on the pump.
¾ inch barb x ¾ inch NPT adapter: For connecting your ¾ inch hose to barb fittings for superior reliability.
4x Hose Clamps: For clamping the hoses, ensuring reliable connections and preventing accidental leakages.
Water Tank Fittings: These tank fittings allow connections for the reservoir and have seals that prevent leakages.
Elbow Fitting: This is to be connected inside the reservoir on the tank fitting. It allows the water to be picked up from the lowest point, so little solution is wasted.
Thread Tape: Thread tape is used to seal the threads in joins, to prevent leakages. You might be able to get away with using this if all your components are NPT (tapered thread). If any of your components are NPS, then thread tape will likely be required to prevent leakages.
Hose Gun/Nozzle: The hose gun allows you to control the flow on demand, adapting to the dynamics where you need it. Some hose guns have adjustable heads where the type of flow can be changed. This is beneficial as different applications benefit different types of heads and flow rates. It is a good idea to opt for high quality guns. We recommend
Filter: This is important as nutrients can form soft solids that block the nozzle heads, causing all sorts of problems. You can opt for a cheap inline washer type filter. Which works well but requires more cleaning. Or a more expensive but effective filter that lasts much longer between maintenance and is easier to clean.
How To Install:
The Reservoir: The reservoir can be anything that is large enough to hold the solution you require and sturdy enough to handle some tough love. A lid is also advised. For this tutorial I used a 14 gallon rubbish bin.
In order to pull the nutrient solution from the reservoir, you will need to install a ¾ inch tank fitting which allows a connection into it. To install it you will need to make a hole that is about an inch wide in diameter.
The height of the whole needs to be precise in order to make sure that the 90° elbow you install will be as close to the bottom as possible once installed. Allowing the pump to draw water right to the very bottom. You can use your elbow to asses where the optimum height will be.
Once you have made the hole you will place the tank fitting through it, with the end with the outer thread extruding on the inside of the reservoir. And the end with the thread on the inside facing outside the reservoir.
Then you will screw on the associated nut that comes with the tank fitting. Each side of the fitting has a rubber washer. Which seals the fitting, preventing any leakages. Be sure to do this up tight.
Next you will install the elbow we mentioned earlier.
Lastly you will install the ¾ inch barb adapter to the outside of the reservoir. This may require some thread tape if your tank fitting does not have NPT threading.
Preparing The Pump:
Next is setting up the pump. Install the supplied ½ inch barb adaptor to the top of the pump. Making sure the connection is tight but not too tight that you break it.
Remove the front grill and then install the ¾ inch barb adapter also supplied on the front.
Take your ¾ inch flexible hose and feed a hose clamp around it. And then connect it to the barb adapter on the pump
Replace the grill.
Next connect the other end of your ¾ inch flexi hose to the reservoir.
Half way there.
You can fix the pump to something rigid to prevent the fragile pump from accidentally breaking.
Finally is the ½ inch garden hose. Take your garden hose, feed a clamp around it and install it on the top of the water pump. Tight but not too tight.
Last is the hose gun. You will need to detach the hose connection at the bottom and replace it with your ½ inch barb adapter. Prior to installing the adapter, you can install a inline mesh filter into the end of your hose gun, to prevent blockages.
Then install the hose gun to the other end of your garden hose.
Installation When Finished
Ready To Go.
Using A Submersible:
If you wish to just use a submersible pump, this still works fine. It will however not be able to use the last gallon of water as it is situated too high to pick up the remaining solution. It also makes it a little harder for mixing the solution in the reservoir.
This is really great! I dig the design and pump placement for getting the last couple inches of water. That has always been a problem with the one I built one for my system a few months back. Currently I use my just for water, I have been afraid to use a nutrient solution to clog up the pump. Have you had any issues with that? Also do you have a secondary mixing pump to keep the solution properly mixed? My great white and molasses usually sinks to the bottom.